Gujarat produces 90% of India’s Isabgol; a global hit

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Isabgol production highest in Gujarat (img: Envato Elements, Noun project, Max Pixel)

Gujarat produces 90% of isabgol (psyllium husk) in India, which has multiple medical utilities and is majorly exported to foreign countries, providing significant foreign exchange.

Isabgol cultivation comprises the most land used for medical plantations in India. Gujarat is the highest producer of this medical harvest in the entire nation.

Isabgol production shoots up in Gujarat in five years

Gujarat has recorded a stagnant rise in Isabgol production in the last five years. The state has two major processing units for isabgol at Siddhpur and Unjha. These two cities have a total of 25 processing units.

As per the data from the last five years, the isabgol harvest received at the Unjha agricultural produce market committee (APMC) has shot up from 65.4 thousand metric tonnes in 2018–19 to 87.05 thousand metric tonnes in 2022–23.

Moreover, the land for the isabgol harvest and its production has doubled in Gujarat in the last five years. The state had around 6754 hectares of land for isabgol cultivation and produced 6817 metric tonnes of it in 18–19.

This number has shot up to 13.3 thousand hectares of land for harvest and a production of 12.9 thousand metric tonnes of isabgol in 2022–23.

The state sees the most isabgol production in Banaskantha at 47%, then in Kutch at 34%, Mehsana at 10%, and Junagadh at 5%.

Gujarat-grown Isabgol a global hit

Isabgol garners the highest amount of foreign exchange among all the medicinal crops exported from India. 93% of isabgol producedtion in India is exported to foreign countries.

Among them, the USA imports the highest amount of isabgol from India, followed by Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Korea.

75% of the isabgol produced in India is exported to the USA. This quantity reached a staggering 19.6 thousand metric tonnes in 2022–23, amounting to ₹1023.29 cr.

Isabgol, a remedial ingredient, comprises many benefits

Isabgol seeds consist of many cooling properties, which makes them helpful in Ayurvedic, Unani, and allopathic treatments.

The seeds of isabgol and the paste made out of them are beneficial for the digestive system and urogenital systems.

It can cure swelling of the skin, intestinal ulcers, and warts; and is used in gonorrhoea treatment. It is also useful for decreasing cholesterol.

Alongside medical, industrial implementations of isabgol are countless as well. It is used in colouring, textile printing, making ice cream and sweets, and also in the cosmetic industry.

Peeled seeds of isabgol contain 17–19% protein.

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