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Biological Name: Cassia senna, Cassia angustifolia, Cassia acutipliaSenna

Family: Leguminosae

Other Names: Fan xie ye, Senna, wild senna, Rajavriksha, locust plant, American senna

Elements Applied: Pods and leaves are the elements commonly applied in herbal medicine

Active Components:

  • Anthraquinone glycosides:
  • Glycosides found in the leaves are: sennosides A and B, derived from aglycones senosides C and D, sennidin A and B, which in their turn form heterodianthrones of rhein and aloe-emodin. Other glycosides are aloe-emodin glycosides, rhein anthrone and palmidin A, various anthraquinones and some constituents with unknown structure. Sennosides are commonly found in abundance in C. Senna.
  • Glycosides found in the fruit are glycoside sennoside A1 and sennosides B and A;
  • Naphthalene glycosides: 6-hydroxymusizin glycoside and tinnevellin glycoside;
  • Other: resins, volatile oil, mucilage, sugars, flavonoids, and so on.

Used For: The remedy is applied for treating constipations, reducing fevers, boosting metabolism and urination, as well as killing helminthes.

Senna has a strong purgative capacity, due to its strong ability to enhance bowel movement. However, when treating constipation, one should always remember that the condition is commonly backed by some reason, which should necessarily be addressed and cured.

In Ayurvedic medicine the plant is applied to eliminate skin inflammations, reduce blood pressure, fight excess weight and treat constipation.

Senna produces a strong effect, thus you should carefully measure the dose you take, unless the plant causes nausea, spasms, meteorism, diarrhea, and pains. To make the effect milder, you can also aid the remedy by stomachic plants, such as fennel and ginger, in a proportion of 4:1 (senna:stomachic herb).

Senna is commonly applied to treat strong constipation, or constipation accompanied by fever. It is also used to purify the bowel from Pitta. The plant is not suitable in case of inflammations, due to its irritating origin. For milder conditions rhubarb is the ultimate solution, as it produces less negative impact on the digestive system.

Commonly mixed with: Senna is usually mixed with gas-relieving remedies and aromatic herbs like Fennel, ginger or cardamon to avoid bitter taste and decrease the irritation.

Additional Info: Cassia senna species is found in tropics of Africa and specially raised in Sudan, Egypt and other countries. Cassia angustifolia is found in India, and grown specially in Pakistan and India.

Preparation and Intake: If taken in form of infusion the plant doses depend on the species, but in both cases the leaves or seeds are soaked in water and kept infused for 8 hours on average. The dose for Tinnevelly Senna is 8 pods on average; the dose for Alexandrian Senna is 4 pods on average. These are two species named according to their commercial attributes.

In form of a tincture the plant is used in a dose of 3 ml on average, and applied before going to bed.

Safety: Not recommended to use in case of pregnancy, diarrhea, digestive system inflammations, and hemorrhoids.

If applied on a regular basis the plant can worsen the condition of the colon, making it weaker and increasing constipation. Recurrent constipation is safely addressed by purgative oils and moisturizing courses.

Leaves should be applied with extreme care before or after childbirth, and in course of menstruation.