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The product we call psyllium is the epidermis (outer shell) of the seed from the Plantago ovata plant. It is grown almost exclusively in India. The most common human-label brand of psyllium is Metamucil®, which is 1/2 sugar and 1/2 psyllium. The second leading brand is Fiberall®, which also contains finely ground bran.
The acutal mechanism of action of the psyllium is still disputed. We do know that more sand is seen on the mason jar test after feeding psyllium. In essence, scientists and researchers do not know exactly how it works, we just know that is does work.
Psyllium can be fed with any diet. It will not cause nutritional imbalances unless it is fed in such great quantities that is causes diarrhea.
comes in two forms. The most common form is ground
(or powdered) psyllium. It does not matter
form is pelleted psyllium. When psyllium
was fed on top of bran, the powder was the obvious choice. Now with the worries
about bran causing nutritional problems as well as stones, for those that
several feeding schedules currently being
touted as best. Some say a tablespoon every day prevents colic. This may be
true, but we are finding that a cup or so at once flushes the system better.
One cup each day, however, gets a little expensive and may not be needed,
unless the horse has a history of
One cup twice a week has been suggested and used successfully for years. If this is what you have been doing and it works for you, do not change. There is not sufficient proof that any other schedule is more effective. More recently, the semiweekly schedule has been rearranged for a possibly better flushing action. The currently proposed dosage is to feed one cup each day for the first week of every month and then none until the start of the next month. Sand colic is a deadly disease that is easily and inexpensively preventable. With proper feeding, regular exercise, and psyllium, sand colic can be a thing of the past.