Psyllium Husk Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/03/22 •  7 min read
psyllium husk benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Energy: psyllium husk helps aid digestion, ease constipation, promote regularity

Longevity: psyllium husk helps heart health, gut health, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, manage and prevent diabetes pancreas health

Appearance: psyllium husk helps weight loss

Psyllium husk is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: unknown

Carbon footprint: unknown

Destruction: low, psyllium husk production is relatively sustainable, there is no significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as there are no pesticides, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc

Psyllium husk is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, psyllium husk production does not require any animals

Harms: none, psyllium husk production does not require any animals

Indirectly killed or harmed: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from psyllium husk production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Psyllium husk is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers often experience exploitation, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Psyllium husk…

Where does most psyllium husk come from?

Psyllium is mainly from the Mediterranean region and in India. The world’s top psyllium husk exporting country is Germany, followed by China, India, USA, Spain, Poland, Egypt, Canada, Hong Kong and UK.

Is psyllium husk nutritious?

Yes! Psyllium husk is high in fiber and potassium.

psyllium husk is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is psyllium husk gluten free? Yes, psyllium husk is gluten free. Psyllium husk does not contain gluten. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

psyllium husk is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is psyllium husk a common food allergen? No, psyllium husk is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to psyllium husk but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

psyllium husk is a low-fodmap food.

fodmap friendly food

Is psyllium husk FODMAP friendly?

Yes. Psyllium husk is a low-FODMAP food and fit into a low-FODMAP diet. 

A low FODMAP diet may help those with bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

It’s all about knowing your body. Observe what works and what doesn’t. You body might even react negatively to a low-FODMAP food simply due to intolerance. Everyone is different! Be mindful and patient. Take time to get to know what’s best for your physical health and overall wellbeing.

See this High-FODMAP and Low-FODMAP List of Food

psyllium husk is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is psyllium husk eco friendly? Is psyllium husk sustainable?

Psyllium husk production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

psyllium husk is vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is psyllium husk vegan? Yes, psyllium husk is vegan. Psyllium husk is from the husks of seeds of a type of plant, and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

psyllium husk is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is psyllium husk a product with labor concerns? At this time there are no major concerns with psyllium husk production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

unsweetened psyllium fiber powder USDA

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.