Herbs are used to detoxify the body from waste and toxins. Herbal medicines including dietary fibers were not fully recognized for their medical significance until recently when various studies have been conducted to understand the benefits derived from herbs.
The Chinese people are predominant users of herbs. They use herbs for various medical purposes as well as herbs being a vital ingredient in most of their food. This may be part of the reason why Chinese people are known for long lives as well as extraordinary strengths even in old age. In addition, there is also a minimal case of heart disease among Chinese people that may also be the result of their herb packed diet.
Herbs, especially those with dietary fibers, are excellent in reducing total blood cholesterol – cutting the risk of coronary heart disease. Aside from that, dietary fibers also help in alleviating numerous bowel disorders.
There are two categories of dietary fibers – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers may be dissolved in water. Insoluble fibers do not dissolve. Both of these fibers help in regulating bowel movements.
Psyllium is a natural, water-soluble, gel-reducing fiber that is extracted from the husks of blond psyllium seeds. It is also a member of a class of soluble fibers referred to as mucilages. These mucilages are used as thickening and stabilizing agents in most salad dressings, lotions, soup and creams.
Psyllium is used to fight a variety of digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, diverticular disease and colitis. It is utilized by most colon cleansing programs as a means of preventing colon cancer. This is because most of the diet of people today is made up of meat products, fats and sugar that are often low in fiber content. These foods tend to slow down intestinal transit time resulting in irregular bowel movements.
Moreover, these types of foods usually take two days to transit the intestines, often resulting in constipation. An irregular bowel movement allows for bacterial putrefaction and exposes you to carcinogenic substances within the colon.
Dietary fibers help in stool bulking as well as in softening stools. A stool that is larger, softer and bulkier moves through the intestine more easily and more quickly since less exertion is required. This type of bowel movement is ideal for the intestinal wall since very little force has to be applied. Likewise, hemorrhoids and development of diverticular disease and varicose veins are prevented.
The bulking effect of dietary fibers also rids the colon of toxic substances since it acts like a sponge soaking up toxic substances attached to the walls of the intestines. This spongy action of dietary fibers is also ideal for those trying to lose some weight as it decreases hunger.
Dietary fibers are also useful in cases of diarrhea since they slow down a too rapid transmit time. It stabilizes bowel movements and often times is used to control alternating cases of diarrhea and constipation. Dietary fibers also encourage the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilous and bifidobacteria that are very helpful in regulating bowel movement.
There is only one problem with dietary fibers; they have the tendency to slow down the stomach’s emptying of food into the small intestine and increase blood glucose instead. On the positive side, dietary fibers are also found to stimulate pancreatic enzymes that can be beneficial in the management of diabetes.
Please consult your doctor for advice before making any dietary changes.