Herb: French Psyllium

Latin name: Plantago arenaria

Synonyms: Plantago indica, Plantago psyllium, Plantago ramosa

Family: Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Medicinal use of French Psyllium:

Psyllium has been used as a safe and effective laxative for thousands of years in Western herbal medicine. Both the dried seeds and the seed husks are demulcent, emollient and purgative. The seeds have a mucilaginous coat and swell to several times their volume when in water. The seeds and the husks contain high levels of fibre, they expand and become highly gelatinous when soaked in water. By maintaining a high water content within the large bowel they increase the bulk of the stool, easing its passage. They are used as a demulcent and as a bulk laxative in the treatment of constipation, dysentery and other intestinal complaints, having a soothing and regulatory effect upon the system. Their regulatory effect on the digestive system means that they can also be used in the treatment of diarrhoea and by helping to soften the stool they reduce the irritation of haemorrhoids. The jelly-like mucilage produced when Psyllium is soaked in water has the ability to absorb toxins within the large bowel. Thus it helps to remove toxins from the body and can be used to reduce auto-toxicity.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Disturbed ground, dunes and grassy places.

Edible parts of French Psyllium:

Young leaves - raw or cooked.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds.

Cultivation of French Psyllium:

Disturbed ground, dunes and grassy places.

Known hazards of Plantago arenaria:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.