Dosing of psyllium husks: the most important questions and answers

Dosierung von Flohsamenschalen: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Flea seeds have become known as a popular and alternative laxative. Questions about effectiveness keep coming up. Especially for the correct dosage of psyllium. Can flea seeds be dangerous? How should I dose psyllium for best results? In this article we want to clarify these questions.

However, the well-known natural remedy also has other effects. Depending on the dosage of flea seeds, you can use it for different areas. Proper intake is essential, but it can also be confusing. With this article we will clarify all your doubts and help you to get an overview of the topic of psyllium dosing.

the essentials in brief

  • Flea seeds or psyllium husks are a popular and natural laxative. The swelling effect of the seeds can improve bowel movements. It is generally considered a safe method.
  • The dosage of psyllium depends on the area of ​​application and the severity of your problem. When taking it, it is best to always pay attention to the consumption recommendations given by the manufacturer.
  • Because flea seeds have a swelling effect, it is important to consume them with enough water. It is recommended to drink 1-2 glasses of water with the seeds so that they can take full effect.

Dosing of psyllium: what you should know

There are many unanswered questions about the dosage of psyllium. A natural and herbal remedy often leads to a certain "harmlessness" of the drug to suspect. This does not always have to be the case. It is therefore important that you dose psyllium correctly.

To ensure that you can take psyllium safely and in a controlled manner, we will clarify the most important questions about dosage. In this way you are assured of the healthiest results.

What are psyllium?

To ensure safe intake, it is important to know what you are putting into your body. The so-called flea seed shells are the seed shells of the psyllium plant. The shape of the fruit is reminiscent of fleas. This is how the name flea herb or flea seed plantain came about.

different cores

Flea seeds or psyllium husks are a popular dietary supplement. They are often used as a topping to refine dishes. (Image source: Maddi Bazzocco / unsplash)

Flea seed shells are used the most. They are mainly grown in India and Pakistan. The shiny seed pods are sold as a dietary supplement. They found great popularity in the West because of their effects. And are often a popular alternative to turmeric.

How do flea seeds work?

The effect of flea seeds is manifold. They mainly work in the area of ​​digestion. Flea seeds are one of the most effective home remedies to strengthen the intestinal flora. Proper dosing of the drug can have the following effects(1):

  1. Ingestion: Flea seeds are among the so-called bulking agents. The drug is usually taken orally. More information on the exact dosage amount can be found later in this article.
  2. Seeds swell: Flea seeds or psyllium husks contain acidic polysaccharides in their epidermis. After ingestion, the seeds can swell to 2-3 times their original volume. Therefore, a correct dosage is of great importance.
  3. Supportive effect in the large intestine: The seeds can hardly be digested and thus reach into the large intestine in their swollen state. There they can shorten the passage time of the stool through their effect and support digestion. (2)

A clinical effect of psyllium, for example, could be demonstrated in a small study on 20 patients. For over a month, some of the subjects received 20 psyllium extracts daily, while others received a placebo. The group that took the psyllium was able to demonstrate a significantly stronger digestion. (3)

How should I dose the different types of psyllium?

When dosing psyllium, you must pay attention to the type of psyllium you want to take. A basic distinction is made between Indian psyllium and normal psyllium. For Indian psyllium there are these advantages and disadvantages:

If you want to buy a local product, you should buy psyllium. The different remedies have the same effect. But they require a different dosage. The advantages and disadvantages of flea seeds are as follows:

The following dosages are recommended for the different types of psyllium. Here you can see again how different the effects of the species are. You should also make sure you have enough water. This is how the seeds can swell:

type of seeds Recommended daily dose(1)
psyllium 10-30g
Indian psyllium 12-40g
Indian psyllium husks 4-12g

When dosing, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. There may be deviations depending on how high the dose of your product is. You can also take the recommended amount with meals throughout the day. It is particularly important to take enough water (1-2 glasses) together with the medicine.

How often do you take psyllium and what dosage?

In the previous section we already touched on the issue of dosing. However, you have to consider certain parameters in order to achieve the best goals. The specified amount of psyllium should be set up according to your needs. For example, if you are struggling with constipation or digestive problems, a dosage at the upper end of the maker is recommended.

belly of a woman

Minor digestive problems require only a small amount of psyllium. The more urgent your problem, the higher you can dose. (Image source: Ava Sol / unsplash)

Since psyllium only unfolds its swelling and thus healing effect when combined with water, it is essential to ensure that you drink enough fluids. Here 150ml of water is recommended for 5g of psyllium(4). You should not exceed the appropriate daily dose, but you can spread it out throughout the day.

For example, if you plan to take 10g of Indian psyllium a day, you can take 5g before two heavy meals a day. Also make sure you take the last dose on time so that you have a carefree night. In addition, the intake of flea seeds is considered harmless for pregnant and breastfeeding women. (5)

When do I take psyllium and what dosage?

Since flea seeds can have a strong laxative effect, you should not take them just before bedtime. Especially at the beginning of the intake, it is advisable to choose a quiet week. This way you can experience the effects of the seeds on your body stress-free and in your own home. An example intake could look like this:

Day time of day Crowd
day 1 In the morning Consume 3 g of psyllium with plenty of water before breakfast
day 1 noon Consume 7g of psyllium with plenty of water before lunch. No taking for dinner.
day 2 Morning, noon, evening 5g flea seeds are taken with plenty of water with each meal.
day 3 morning and noon For breakfast and lunch you take 7g of flea seeds before eating. Keep drinking enough water.
day 3 At evening If you got through day 2 well, take another 5g of psyllium before dinner and drink 1-2 glasses of water.

Keep increasing your intake of psyllium and pay attention to how you feel in your body. Adjust the dosage accordingly. Taking it before meals will likely give you an additional feeling of fullness. If you use psyllium for colon cleansing, it makes sense to create a nutrition plan . It helps you to keep track at the beginning.

Can I overdose on psyllium?

There is still no corresponding data that the daily intake of psyllium has long-term health consequences. However, all high-fiber supplements come with certain risks and side effects. Flea seeds can have the following side effects:

  • appearance of bloating
  • abdominal pain
  • Problems with medication (e.g. slow absorption of aspirin)
  • Low blood sugar level

If you are taking medication due to diabetes or other illnesses, check with your doctor beforehand how they behave in connection with psyllium. For easier absorption, a lower dose is recommended, especially at the beginning. You can increase this slightly daily or weekly to avoid flatulence and cramps. (6)

How do I dose psyllium in my meals?

The intake of psyllium is particularly easy through food. Of course you can also put your amount of psyllium in a glass of water and drink it slowly. You can also let psyllium swell and then use it in recipes. But you can also easily incorporate them raw into your meals.

You can eat psyllium swollen, raw or in a meal. The seeds are suitable for sweet and savory dishes.

It is recommended to take psyllium before or with meals. This is the best way to unfold their swelling effect. You can refine your meals with psyllium. Then make sure to drink enough water during meals.

Porridge with different toppings

A healthy meal can easily be refined with psyllium. They are particularly popular as a topping on muesli or porridge. (Image Source: Ben Neale / unsplash)

Flea seed shells are particularly popular as a topping on yoghurt or muesli. You can also mix them with your dessert pudding and enjoy it that way. Even with hearty recipes, the flea seeds can be processed well. You can use them in the potato pancake mass or sprinkle them on your pasta plate. Remember to drink enough water and stick to the daily dose.

Dosing of psyllium: How to dose psyllium correctly depending on the occasion.

The dosage of psyllium can vary depending on the area of ​​application. We briefly introduce you to the most common uses. This way you can ensure an optimal dosage.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome : Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the intestines. Symptoms include bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
  • Type 2 diabetes : A disturbance in glucose metabolism is one of the causes of diabetes. Symptoms such as high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure often appear. (7)
  • Gut Health: Many patients who seek treatment for long-standing constipation or diarrhea remain dissatisfied. Psyllium husks are one of the aids to good gut health .
  • Appetite suppressant: Flea seeds can also help with weight loss. They are considered appetite suppressants and thus prevent excessive consumption.

irritable bowel syndrome

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, psyllium in combination with other therapies can help. You should discuss taking it with your doctor. Also make sure you have a balanced diet, enough rest and exercise. If symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea occur due to your irritable bowel, you can counteract them with psyllium.

A hydration ratio of 1:10 is recommended here. Start with a low dose of psyllium and work your way up as needed. The laxative effect will only appear after prolonged use. You can consume the seeds with peppermint oil if you suffer from diarrhea predominately. (8th)

type 2 diabetes

In 2018, an analytical examination of various studies showed that dietary supplements high in fiber can have an impact on type 2 diabetes. The studies showed that a high-fiber diet (such as psyllium) reduced the risk of developing diabetes. In addition, reduced blood sugar could be measured in patients who were already ill.

The dosage of psyllium in another study was 20g daily, divided into two meals. The drug was added to a biscuit baking mix for this purpose. The study took place over 12 weeks and the subjects were already suffering from type 2 diabetes. After the study, patients showed better health values ​​and lower blood lipid levels. (10)

gut health

In a study of the effects of psyllium on constipation, patients were given 11g of the seeds per day. The study ran for 3 weeks and showed great success among the subjects. Psyllium has been shown to improve bowel movements and is considered a safe therapy treatment. (11)

There is still scientific debate about the effect of psyllium on diarrhea. The testimonials differ from case to case.

However, a 2019 study found no effects of psyllium on diarrhea. The test subjects were given an amount of around 15g per day over a period of 10 days. No significant improvements in the problems could be recorded. (12)

appetite suppressant

Appetite suppressants are particularly popular as a weight loss miracle drug. However, most of the products on the market are considered harmful. Flea seeds or psyllium husks can show a healthy and natural alternative here.

Subjects who, in the course of a study, consumed around 7 g of psyllium before meals showed less appetite. The swelling effect of the seeds led to reduced food intake. The patients also described a stronger feeling of fullness throughout the day. (13)


Psyllium shows definite effects in most patients. You can easily take them in the recommended doses. Pay attention to correlations with other medications when taking it. If you are unsure, we always recommend consulting your doctor. If you are healthy, there should be no problems taking it.

The correct dosage of psyllium is essential. However, if you take the recommended amount with enough fluids, you should see results. The seeds provide relief from indigestion and constipation. As a safe and natural laxative, psyllium in the right dosage is a good alternative to chemical drugs.

Individual proofs(13)

  1. Nadja Meier, Beat Meier, Samuel Peter, Evelyn Wolfram, In-Silico UHPLC Method Optimization for Aglycones in the Herbal Laxatives Aloe barbadensis Mill., Cassia angustifolia Vahl Pods, Rhamnus frangula L. Bark, Rhamnus purshianus DC. Bark, and Rheum palmatum L. Roots, Molecules, 10.3390/molecules22111838, 22, 11, (1838), (2017).
  2. Hänsel, R., Sticher, O.: Pharmacognosy/Phytopharmacy. SpringerHeidelberg (2007).
  3. Ernst, E.: Naturopathic practice. SpringerHeidelberg (2001).
  4. Kostiuk, RJ Sense and Nonsense of Flea Seed, Cranberry and Co. J. Urol. urogynecol. 25, 28-30 (2018).
  5. ELL-BEISER, Helga. Prescribe correctly: medicinal plants during pregnancy. German Heilpraktiker-Zeitschrift, 2017, vol. 12, no. 02, pp. 42-46.
  6. MD Micheal F. Picco in “Healthy Lifestyle: Nutrition and healthy eating” on the question “ I find it difficult to eat enough fruits and vegetables. Is there any harm in taking a fiber supplement every day?”, December 2020.
  7. Journal of Cardiology: Type 2 Diabetes, Glucose Disorders, and Vascular Diseases. Jacob S, Balletshofer B, Häring HU Jacob F, Keulen L, Lang R Journal für Kardiologie - Austrian Journal of Cardiology 2004; 11(10), 392-395
  8. Kraft, K. Irritable bowel syndrome. MMW - Advances in Medicine 152, 21 (2010).
  9. McRae MP. Dietary Fiber Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2018 Mar;17(1):44-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2017.11.002. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PMID: 29628808; PMCID: PMC5883628.
  10. Soltanian N, Janghorbani M. Effect of flaxseed or psyllium vs. placebo on management of constipation, weight, glycemia, and lipids: A randomized trial in constipated patients with type 2 diabetes. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2019 Feb;29:41-48. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.11.002. Epub 2018 Nov 17. PMID: 30661699.
  11. Lertpipopmetha K, Kongkamol C, Sripongpun P. Effect of Psyllium Fiber Supplementation on Diarrhea Incidence in Enteral Tube-Fed Patients: A Prospective, Randomized, and Controlled Trial. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2019 Aug;43(6):759-767. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1489. Epub 2018 Dec 18. PMID: 30561029.
  12. Lertpipopmetha K, Kongkamol C, Sripongpun P. Effect of Psyllium Fiber Supplementation on Diarrhea Incidence in Enteral Tube-Fed Patients: A Prospective, Randomized, and Controlled Trial. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2019 Aug;43(6):759-767. doi: 10.1002/jpen.1489. Epub 2018 Dec 18. PMID: 30561029.
  13. Brum JM, Gibb RD, Peters JC, Mattes RD. Satiety effects of psyllium in healthy volunteers. appetites. 2016 Oct 1;105:27-36. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.04.041. Epub 2016 May 7. PMID: 27166077.
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