Psyllium: Who's this?
Don’t be shy, if you meet Psyllium (Plantago psyllium), don’t hesitate, but strip him down to his seeds, and then undress them of their husk, because it is rich in precious mucilages, which are just the superpower we are looking for.
Psyllium’s powers, or should we say his mucilages' powers, are like a weapon ready to be activated through a trigger. This trigger is not so much love or money, but water. In fact, Psyllium’s mucilages are hydrophilic: being water lovers, they come to life as soon as they come into contact with it, manifesting their abilities by making a thick gel. This gel is indeed Psyllium’s power, that in all cases of constipation will help "delivering". On the other hand, if his mucilages are deprived of water, they absolve the opposite function, and - in case of diarrhea - will absorb excess fluids when eaten.
Therefore, Psyllium is not simply a laxative, but is a mechanical transit regulator. We don't mean to belittle him, but we could call him a Super Traffic Policeman, a gastrointestinal tract regulator that - if properly paid in water - will affect intestinal transit.
They say that Psyllium’s mucilages (he is absolutely lost without them) have been used in medicine against: ophthalmic diseases, flu, bronchitis. Even the botanist Paolo Silvio Boccone believed that his mucilages were useful when added to turtles soup, in order to treat phthisis.