Characterization of Psyllium (Plantago ovata) Polysaccharide and Its Uses

Living reference work entry


The Plantago is one of the genera in family Plantaginaceae, a large genus of herbs or sub-herbs distributed mostly in the temperate region and a few in the tropics. Psyllium has been in use as a medicinal agent since ancient times throughout the world. It is used for treatment of constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and high blood pressure. In olden days it was also used topically to treat skin irritations, such as poison ivy reactions and insect bites and stings. The husk of the seeds of various species of psyllium is used for its medicinal properties. The primary ingredient of the seeds and husk is a mucilaginous polysaccharide. Psyllium has been reported for the treatment of constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), colon cancer, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia. When mixed with water, the therapeutic efficacy of the drug is due to the swelling of the mucilaginous seed coat which gives bulk and lubrication. Psyllium increases the volume of the feces by absorbing water in the gastrointestinal tract, which stimulates peristalsis. Modification of the polysaccharide by cross-linking or derivatization has been done to investigate its use as pharmaceutical excipient with multifarious roles. Various cross-linkers that have been studied include methacrylamide, N,N-methylenebisacrylamide, and polymethacrylamide.


Psyllium Ispaghula Dietary fibers Constipation Irritable bowel syndrome Cancer Hyperlipidemia Acrylamides Excipients 





Ammonium persulfate


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Glucose transporter protein




Human leukocyte antigen


Irritable bowel syndrome


Indian Pharmacopoeia


Low-density lipoprotein










Polymethacrylic acid


Polyvinyl alcohol


Random amplified polymorphic DNA


Short-chain fatty acids


Seed husk of psyllium


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmaceuticsAISSMS College of PharmacyPuneIndia

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