Scientific name : Plantago ovate

Family : Plantaginaceae


It is a herb growing to a height of 1 feet all over India. It is cultivated in some parts of North West India like Rajasthan and Punjab. The leaves are 4-8 inch long. The flower stalk is oval shaped. The fruits are little oval in shape and are about 7-8 mm long. The seeds inside the fruits are of ear shaped and white in color. The seeds are mucilaginous in nature. Inflorescence of isabgol is long and its length may be 1.5 – 4.0 cm, which is known as awn or bristle. In isabgol, the female flower matures early than the male flower, hence mainly cross pollination takes place. Flowers are petioleless, non-leafy small, bisexual, incomplete and irregular.
Chemical composition :The seed contains amino acids including valine, alanine, glutamic acid, glycine, cystine, lysine, leucine and tyrosine; and a mucilage consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides composed mainly of xylose, arabinose and galacturonicacid; rhamnoseandgalactose are also present. The seeds also gave aucubin, the antibacterial principle. The seed coat contains fatty acids mainlylinoleic, oleic and palmitic acids in decreasing concentrations
Properties :
“ ईषद्गोलंपरंवृष्यंमधुरंग्राहिशीतलम्।
रक्तातिसारास्रपित्तंनाशयेदितिकीर्तितम्॥ “ ( वैह्यामृतम् )
• Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)
• Guna (Qualities) – Snigdha (Has moisture), Guru (Heavy), Picchila (Slimy)
• Vipaka – Madhura (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)
• Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Madhura)
• Karma (Actions) – Vata pitta shamaka (reduces vitiated vata and pitta dosha)
• Some others opine that it balances down Kapha and Pitta Dosha.

Benefits :

  1. Constipation:
    • Isabgol contributes to the ease of passage of the stools as it adds unfermented gel, which functions as an emollient and lubricant agent.
    • It significantly increased moisture in stools and both dry and wet stool weight in patients with gastrointestinal disease.
  2. rhoea:
    Isabgol also helps slow down the colon transit and gastrointestinal emptying time; this property is beneficial to people suffering from diarrhoea or faecal incontinence from liquid stools.
  3. Dealing with Bowel Diseases:
    • Supplementing isabgol may help in the management of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel diseases and ulcerative colitis due to its anti-constipation activity.
    • Anaerobic fermentation of isabgol fibre in the intestines results in a large production of metabolites, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  4. Colorectal Cancer:
    It restricts butyric acid’s antineoplastic activity. Thus, it’s considered beneficial in preventing colorectal cancer.
  5. Cholesterol:
    Isabgol fibres (soluble and insoluble) have significance in reducing total low-density lipoprotein and serum cholesterol. Thus, it helps reduce the risk of heart diseases.5
  6. Managing Haemorrhoids:
    • Since isabgol helps in dealing with both constipation and loose stools, it would also help in managing haemorrhoids.
    • People treated with a placebo of B vitamins had no major difference, and those consuming isabgol had a reduction of bleeding.
    7 Type II Diabetes:
    Studies on a population with type II diabetes have shown that isabgol husk effectively improved glycaemic and lipid control after meals.