Psyllium is the common name for a plant harvested specifically for its seeds. The seed’s coat, or husk, contains a large amount of a hydrophilic (water loving) substance called mucilage. When mixed with water, this chemical turns into a translucent, colourless gel. Using hot water simply helps speed up the process.
Mucilage belongs to a group of chemicals called ‘exopolysaccharides’. This big word refers to long strings of sugar that are secreted outside the organism. Plants usually make mucilage as a way to store food and water, and it is commonly found in cacti and other succulents, such as the vegetable ‘okra’.
Products made using psyllium are often sold as a form of dietary fibre. Because it isn’t easily broken down in the gut, and the mucilage absorbs water, it helps relieve the symptoms of constipation and diarrhea.
Humans evolved as omnivores, meaning that our digestive system is suited to breaking down both plant matter and meat. A diet that is low in dietary fibre (or ‘roughage’) can create problems for your intestines, increasing the risk of constipation, colitis and colon cancer. On the other hand, adding some fibre to your diet can help regulate your blood sugar, lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and help make you feel more full at meal times.
While adding some forms of cereal to your diet, such as bran, can provide a small amount of fibre, the best way of getting it is to eat your cereals (grains), fruit and vegetables.
Warning: To make this slime you need to use hot water. Be sure to follow the instructions and leave the slime to cool for five minutes before touching.
You will need
- Psyllium seed husks (available from health food stores, or use Metamucil)
- Measuring cup
- Hot water
- Food colouring
What to do
- Place three cups of hot water into a bowl and add three to four drops of food colouring. You can use green to give it a really slimy look.
- Measure out a cup of psyllium husks and gradually add them to the hot water while constantly stirring. Stop when you think you have the right amount of ‘sliminess’.
- Gross out your friends by taking a bite from your edible slime!
You’ll need these things. Add food colouring to three cups of hot water. Grab a handful of that psylli slime!