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I'm thinking about translating a recipe in Japanese and I'm kind of astonished that there isn't a wikipedia page for psyllium seed husk powder, but there's a brief one for psyllium. I'm not sure if it's even available in certain stores in Japan but I'm just curious. Upon googling, I've seen both エダウチオオバコ and サイリウム used for the plant itself. ( Example: http://www.wakasanohimitsu.jp/seibun/plantago_psyllium/ )

But how do go about on describing it as a powder? I guess know the name of the plant but the powder is from the husks of the seed...?

This is an example of how it's sold in the US:

enter image description here

Although it's used as a laxative "緩下剤" - that's not what I'm really using it for. Its other use is being a water binder for gluten-free recipes: http://www.thedailydietribe.com/2013/01/5-ingredient-mondays-easy-french-bread.html?m=1

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For your information, gluten-free foods aren't as popular in Japan as in the US: while products dubbed "gluten-free" are often found in average US supermarkets, I've never seen them in the supermarkets I've used in Japan. –  Pteromys Mar 26 at 14:06

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

For what it's worth, I know of psyllium husk powder both in English and in Japanese. I've seen it as

サイリウムパウダー
サイリウムハスクパウダー
サイリウムシードパウダー
オオバコの粉末 (サイリウム)

in the context of raw food diet recipes (as binding agent). Recipes often just write something like 「サイリウム (オオバコ) 5g」 though, even if the recipe definitely calls for powder.

(You can find all sorts of transcriptions of "psyllium husk" on the internet, like サイリム, but these are usually free transcriptions by vendors, who themselves don't know who uses psyllium husk and for what.)

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This is just a helpful guess based on some research (below) but it would be interesting if someone could use this as an example to explain how to come with the expressions such as this, based on potential components.

Anyway my final suggestions were:

プランタゴ・オバタ種皮の粉末

as per

http://kakaku.com/item/K0000571718/

or

プランタゴ・オバタ種皮末

as per

http://www.tomatolife.com/pino/Plantagoovata.html

Research

Based on the list of words below, I came up with the following expressions:

オオバコの種子の殻の粉・粉末

粉・粉末のオオバコの種子の殻

オオバコの種子の殻粉

and then just googled オオバコ種子

I thought the main problem was the number of ingredients (pun intended) that go into the expression "psyllium seed husk powder". It is quite easy to come with the parts, fairly easy to come up with an expression but not so easy to streamline for a label.

List of words:
(These were collected from the my dictionary, space-alc and google-guessing)

オオバコの種子 | psyllium seed

コーヒー豆の殻 | coffee husk
粉ミルク | Powdered milk
粉チーズ | Powdered cheese
粉末原料 | powder raw material
粉末クリーム | powdered cream 小麦粉 | wheat flour

There is also a word 殻粉 (から‐こ) which has two meanings:

1 麩(ふすま)。| wheat bran
2 米の粉や小麦粉で作った団子。|Dumpling made from rice powder or flour

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Er... Looks like I had the ability to find out but was looking in the wrong spot.

Turns out the loan words "husk" and "powder" are normally used. (ハスク)(パウダー)

(I'll probably accept this as my accepted answer in 2 days but if anyone finds any alternative writings that would be great.)

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1  
From your own link, オオバコ[外皮]{がいひ} seems to be an alternative to サイリアムハスク, but looking online サイリアムハスク seems like it might be more common. (For what it's worth, I've never heard of this before in English or Japanese.) –  snailboat Mar 26 at 10:19

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