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Blond psyllium (Plantago ovata) is an herb. Its seed husk is used as a laxative and stool softener and to help reduce cholesterol.

Psyllium seed husks absorb water in the stomach and form a large mass. This mass stimulates the bowel in people with constipation. In people with diarrhea, it can slow down the bowel and reduce bowel movements. This mass can also reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the body.

Blond psyllium is commonly used as a stool softener in people with constipation and hemorrhoids. It is also used for diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. It's used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these other uses.

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
  • Coronary heart disease (CHD).  Consuming products containing soluble fiber, such as blond psyllium, may reduce the risk of CHD when used as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
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  • Hyperlipidemia.  Oral blond psyllium reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in most patients with mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia. It is unclear if blond psyllium is beneficial in older adults.
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When taken by mouth: Blond psyllium is likely safe for most people when taken with plenty of fluids. Drink at least 8 ounces of fluids for every 3-5 grams of husk or 7 grams of seed. It might cause gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. Start with a lower dose and increase the dose slowly to reduce the risk for side effects.

Blond psyllium is likely unsafe when taken without enough fluids. It might cause choking or block the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

When applied into the eye: Blond psyllium mucilage in eyedrops is possibly safe for most people.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if blond psyllium is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Blond psyllium is likely safe when taken by mouth appropriately when pregnant or breast-feeding.

Growths in the large intestine and rectum (colorectal adenoma): Blond psyllium might increase the risk of new growths in people with a history of colorectal adenoma. People who have had this condition should avoid blond psyllium.

Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders: Don't use blond psyllium if you tend to develop hard stools in the rectum due to GI tract narrowing, obstruction, or conditions that can lead to obstruction, such as spastic bowel.

Allergy: Some people can have severe allergic reactions to blond psyllium. This is more likely in people who have been exposed to blond psyllium at work. Don't use blond psyllium if you are sensitive to it.

Phenylketonuria: Some blond psyllium preparations are sweetened with aspartame and should be avoided in patients with phenylketonuria.

Swallowing disorders: Do not use blond psyllium if you have problems swallowing. Blond psyllium might increase your risk of choking.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Blond psyllium contains large amounts of fiber. Fiber can decrease how much carbamazepine (Tegretol) the body absorbs. By decreasing how much carbamazepine (Tegretol) the body absorbs blond psyllium might decrease the effectiveness of carbamazepine (Tegretol).

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Blond psyllium is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin). As a general rule, any medications taken by mouth should be taken one hour before or four hours after black psyllium to prevent this interaction.

Ethinyl estradiol

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Ethinyl estradiol is a form of estrogen that's in some estrogen products and birth control pills. Some people worry that psyllium can decrease how much ethinyl estradiol the body absorbs. But it is unlikely that psyllium will significantly affect ethinyl estradiol absorption.


Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Blond psyllium contains large amounts of fiber. Fiber can decrease how much lithium the body absorbs. Taking lithium along with blond psyllium might decrease the effectiveness of lithium. To avoid his interaction take blond psyllium at least one hour after lithium.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Blond psyllium might decrease blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of sugars from food. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking blond psyllium with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Some people worry that blond psyllium may decrease warfarin (Coumadin) absorption and its effectiveness, which could increase the risk of clotting. But blond psyllium does NOT seem to affect warfarin (Coumadin) absorption or effectiveness.

Iron: Taking blond psyllium with iron supplements can reduce the amount of iron that the body absorbs. To avoid this interaction, take iron supplements one hour before or four hours after psyllium.
Riboflavin: Psyllium seems to slightly reduce the amount of riboflavin that the body absorbs. But this probably isn't a big concern.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Blond psyllium has most often been used by adults in doses of 3-24 grams by mouth daily for up to 20 weeks. Always drink at least 8 ounces of fluids for every 3-5 grams of husk or 7 grams of seed.

Blond psyllium is available in many different types of products, including cereals, breads, and snack bars. Metamucil is a well-studied, commonly used brand of blond psyllium. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

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