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(S) Snigdhajira

Part Used: seeds, seed husks

Energetics: sweet, astringent/cooling/sweet PV- K and Ama+

Tissues: plasma, blood

Systems: excretory, digestive

Actions: laxative, demulcent, emollient, astringent, expectorant

Indications: chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea and dysentery, colitis, catarrh, urethritis, cystitis, gastritis, ulcers

Precautions: may create congestion and food stagnation in the g.i. tract

Preparation: infusion, powder (500 mg to 2 g), paste

PSYLLIUM SEEDS are perhaps the best lubricating, bulk laxative (take 1 teaspoon to 1/2 ounce of seeds, depending upon the severity of the condition, in water. Do not steep). The seeds swell with mucilage in the colon, which absorbs bacteria and toxins, soothes inflamed mucous membranes and moistens dryness. Psyllium seeds, however, may cause griping. They may be replaced with psyllium husks, which are a superior medicinal, or balanced by an aromatic like ginger or fennel. The heavy property of psyllium tends to reduce Agni, and so for long term usage balancing it out with a digestive stimulant would be recommended anyway.

Psyllium can be taken in buttermilk in case of diarrhea, and in warm milk in case of constipation. The powder can be used externally as a poultice for skin irritation; for rheumatic pain for its soothing action.

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