Psyllium fiber, also referred to as ispaghula, is a substance derived from the plant seed husks of the Plantago ovata plant, according to Healthline. People commonly utilize the fiber to regulate bowel movements due to its laxative effects. Psyllium eases constipation by absorbing excess fluid in the digestive system.
When taken with a healthy diet, psyllium fiber also treats high cholesterol, explains WebMD. Side effects of psyllium fiber include stomach cramps and intestinal gas. It is important to take psyllium fiber with a minimum of 8 ounces of liquid to prevent the substance from swelling up in the throat, which can lead to choking or breathing difficulties.