Psyllium husk is derived from the outer husk of the seeds of Plantago ovata, a plant native to parts of Asia, the Mediterranean and North Africa. In the health and nutrition community, it is a well-known natural laxative attributed to its particularly high dietary fibre content (70 percent soluble and 30 percent insoluble), fourteen times that of oat bran. Psyllium husk is used to promote bowel movement, treat constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and regulate cholesterol and blood sugar level in diabetics.
Harnessing these properties for culinary purposes, psyllium husk is used as a thickening and binding agent in recipes, and often used to improve texture in gluten-free baking by helping to trap air bubbles provided by the leavening agent. Similar to chia and flax seeds, psyllium husk becomes mucilaginous, gummy and elastic when mixed with liquid, but it is more powerful than chia and flax seeds (in that order). However unlike chia and flax seeds, it is not a source of omega-3 fatty acids. As a replacement for one egg, mix 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk with 1/4 cup filtered water. Some people experience discomfort with psyllium husk, in which case feel free to replace with an equal amount of chia or flax seeds.
When taking psyllium husk, please drink lots of water; without sufficient water the husks may form blockages in the intestines!« Back to Glossary Index