Specification & Spread
Ispaghula seeds — semina plantaginis psyllii
Ispaghula — Plantago psyllium L.
Plantain family — plantaginaceae
It is an annual plant with a height of 10-40 cm.
The stem is strongly branched, abundantly glandular pubescent in upper part and inflorescence. The leaves are up to 7 cm long, opposite or whitish, linear, entire, or toothed and pubescent.
The flowers are small, tetramerous, gathered in a medium-sized, dense, numerous capitate inflorescences on long peduncles emerging from the leaf axils. The fruit is a capsule 3-4 mm long, opening with a cone-shaped lid, with two small shiny seeds.
It blooms in July, the fruits ripen in August.
Spreading. It grows in Eastern Transcaucasia, Turkmenistan. It is introduced into industrial culture in Ukraine. For medical purposes, the raw materials are obtained only from plantations.
Habitat. It grows on dry slopes.
The chemical composition of ispaghula seeds
The seeds are very rich in mucus - up to 40%;
The protein substances contain 20-25%,
fatty oil - 18-20%. Ariquin iridoid glycoside is present.
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
The seeds should be harvested in the period of their full ripening. Moreover, it is harvested only from inflorescences of the lower tiers (side branches), until it is crumbled.
When herb is harvested, almost unripe seeds are almost always on the branches. During the drying of the herb, it ripens and also gathers.
The seeds are dried in dry clear weather, because even with a slight moisture, the seeds become lucid and no longer crushable. But even under these conditions, it should be laid out in a thin layer (no more than 10 cm) and turned over regularly (at least once a day).
The dried herb is threshed on the grind, the separated seeds are sifted out.
The properly dried seeds should be red-brown in colour; it should be shiny and smooth.
External signs of raw materials
The seeds are oblong-ovate, with curved inside edges, 2-5 mm long, 1-2 mm wide and 0.4-1.5 mm thick.
On the one hand, the seeds are convex, on the other - slightly concave. In the center of the concave (abdominal) side there is a seed rib in the form of a white spot.
The surface of the seeds is shiny, smooth, the colour is from dark brown to almost black.
The smell is absent.
The taste is with mucous flavour. When it is wetted with water, the seeds become very close - the mucus is in the outer layer of the seed coat (in the cells of the epidermis). Qualitative reactions. When 95% of ethyl alcohol is added to the aqueous extract from the seeds, a white amorphous precipitate (polysaccharides) is observed.
Properties and application
As a mild laxative for spastic atonic constipation.
As an enveloping agent for chronic colitis.
The action is based on a strong swelling of ingested seeds (3-5 times).
At the same time, mucus has an anti-inflammatory effect and has a hemostatic effect.