Also know as: Cassia
Parts used: Leaflets, seed pods
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Senna Leaf Tea
Senna is a very powerful laxative, so powerful many call it cathartic. Herbalist all support its laxative action; but warn of its disgusting taste. The taste is nauseating.
It is generally recommended to use over the counter laxatives; such as, Fletcher’s Castorio, Gentlax, Sennexon and Senokap.
Both senna and cinnamon come from trees with peel-able bark. Both are sometimes called cassia today. But these herbs have very different actions and should not be confused.
Senna laxative and other anthraquinone laxatives should be used as a last resort for constipation. First increase the fiber in your diet, drink more fluids, and get more physical exercise. Then try the bulk forming laxative, psyllium. If you still need relief; then try senna tea.
The powerful action of this herb means it should not be used by those with gastrointestinal conditions. This herb should never be used more than two weeks because over time it causes lazy bowel syndrome, which is the inability to move stool without chemical stimulation.
Large amounts of senna cause diarrhea, nausea, and severe cramps with possible dehydration. And long term use can cause clubbing of the finger tips. It may also cause a skin rash in sensitive individuals.
As with all herbal nutrition supplements, senna leaves supplements should only be used in amounts typically recommended for medicinal purposes and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications. If symptoms for which the herb is being used do not improve significantly in two weeks contact your physician.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT:
Senna glycosides or sennosides.
Senna is not a garden herb in the United States. However, there is one species that grows in the eastern United States. It is a small woody shrub that reaches the height of three feet. It has branching stems, pointed leaves and seeds contained in a pod. The species generally grown in herbal medicine is grown in the Tennevelly region of India.