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August 6, 1932

Psyllium Seed: The Latest Laxative. A Scientific Treatise.

JAMA. 1932;99(6):500. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740580068041

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This seed, because of its resemblance to fleas, has been called flea-seed and was employed by the ancient Egyptians in the form of an infusion for the same purpose for which it is used today. Since the introduction of psyllium into this country, the market for the seeds, for which the French have coined the more pleasing term of "grains de longue vie," or "long life seeds," has increased to such an extent that large areas, most especially in Provence, are now wholly dedicated to its cultivation. The author is convinced that psyllium has advantages over liquid petrolatum in that there can be no leakage, and over bran in that it does not produce undesirable irritation on the intestinal mucosa. The mucilage is partly digestible, but there is still enough left to be distinctly recognizable in the stools. The main contraindication for psyllium seed is ulcer or any other break

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