Psyllium is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. Psyllium is commonly used as a food ingredient in manufactured breakfast cereals and in gluten-free baking. It is also used as a food thickener, the ground psyllium seed husks bind moisture and help make the bread less crumbly.
Psyllium is cultivated and harvested for its seed and husk, it grows best on light, well drained, sandy soil. This plant requires sunny, dry weather preceding the crop’s harvest, a single plant can produce more than 10,000 seeds! The Psyllium flower spikes turn reddish brown when ripe, the lower leaves become dry and the upper leaves turn yellow. Mature plants are cut 15 cm above the ground and then bound. They are left to dry for a few days before threshing. Harvested seed must be dried to below 12% moisture to allow for cleaning, milling, and storage.
Psyllium has a long history of use, especially in Europe, North Africa, India and China. The U.S. is the largest importer today. Its seed and husk is an excellent source of gluten-free, soluble fiber, has been used by herbalists and traditional medicines for many years. It is quickly becoming one of the top recommendations for people using low-carbohydrate Atkins-style diets. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information!
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