Description: Psyllium / plantain seed (Plantago ovata). The genus Plantago contains over 200 species;; 2 species (Plantago ovata and Plantago psyllium) are important commercially in having seed husks that are used in herbal medicine as a laxative. Psyllium seed husks (also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium) are the outer seed coats that are high in fiber and mucilage content. The husks are soluble in water, expanding and becoming mucilaginous when wet. Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in human beings and are thus used as a source of dietary fiber. Psyllium is produced mainly for its mucilage content, which is highest in P. ovata. The term mucilage describes a group of clear, colorless, gelling agents derived from plants. Mucilage is obtained by mechanical milling/grinding of the outer layer of the seed. The milled seed mucilage is a white fibrous material that is hydrophilic and thus strongly binds to water. Upon absorbing water, the clear, colorless, mucilaginous gel that forms increases in volume by tenfold or more producing the dietary fiber bulk.
Type: SEM
Magnification:* x11
Copyright 2011 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
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