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Cassia Angustifolia and Cassia Acutifolia,the Cassia senna spectrum stepped from the ancient Arabic sena...
Scientific name:Cassia Senna(Cassia angustifolia or Cassia acutifolia)
Part Used : Senna leaves and pots
Latin Name : Cassia Angustifolia or Cassia acutifolia.
Latin: Folium Cassiae
Plant Family: Leguminosae
Common Names: Alexandrian Senna, Cassia lenitiva, Cassia lanceolata, Cassia officinalis, East Indian Senna, Nubian Senna, Tinnevelly Senna,Cassia senna, Senna, Rajavriksha, Fan xia ye,American senna,locust plant
It cleanses and purifies the blood and causes a fresh and lively habit of the body.A shrub with winged leaves, each being made up of six pairs of smaller leaves. The yellow flowers, produced in longish spikes at the tops of the branches, are moderately large and are striped with red.
Origin of Senna:
Origin: Senna is a shrub native to Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria and Nubia in North Africa, as well as India,Pakistan and China,Sennas are herbaceous subshrubs and both varieties used, Alexandrian and Tinnevelly, have desert origins.
Senna Leaf consists of the dried leaflets of the pinnate leaves of Cassia Senna L. (C. acutifolia Delile), known as Alexandrian Senna, and C. angustifolia Vahl, known as Tinnevelly Senna, or narrowleaf senna, a herbal undershrub, of the Leguminosae family. The latter is mainly produced in India, Egypt and Sudan, while the former in primarily produced in Egypt. It is also cultivated in Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan in China. In China, the herb is harvested in September, then the leaves are dried in the sun and used when raw.
Cassia Angustifolia:Cassia angustifolia Vahl, also named as Tinnevelly senna,Origin from India and South China.
Tinnevelly senna is native to southern India and northeastern Africa, grows wild in southern Arabia, on the coast of East Africa from Mozambique to Somaliland, and Asia. It is now cultivated on a large scale in southern and northwestern India,Pakistan,and South China. The Tinnevelly senna of commerce is obtained mainly from India and south China, and Alexandrian is obtained mainly from Egypt and Sudan.
Cassia Acutifolia:Cassia acutifolia Delile,also named as Alexandrain senna,Origin from south Africa.
Alexandrian senna is native to northern and northeastern Africa, growing wild in semidesert and sudanosahelian zones of Africa, including Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, and Sudan. It is cultivated in the valley of the Nile in Sudan, southern China, and India.
History and Name Origin: the Arabic sena:
Senna is the most widely used anthranoid drug today and has been used for centuries in Western and Eastern systems of medicine as a laxative, usually taken as a tea or swallowed in powdered form.
Its medical use was first described in the writings of Arabian physicians Serapion and Mesue as early as the 9th century A.D. The name senna itself is Arabian.
Besides its wide use in conventional Western medicine, senna leaf remains an important drug used in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Unani medicine
Historical or traditional use:
Medicinal Parts Used: Dried fruit pods, and leaves(Dried leaflets),the leaf tend to be used in making tablets,the fruit(pods) is most commonly used for preparation of senna infusion(tea),Scientifically,the pods are crushed and made into tablets.
Historical or traditional use (may or may not be supported by scientific studies): People in northern Africa and southwestern Asia have used senna as a laxative for centuries. It was considered a "cleansing" herb because of its cathartic effect. In addition, the leaves were sometimes made into a paste and applied to various skin diseases. Ringworm and acne were both treated in this way.
Phytochemicals and constituents of Cassia Senna:
The principal active constituents of senna are dimeric glycosides called SENNOSIDES A, B, C, and D. The aglycones are composed of aloe-emodin + rhein for A and B and rhein + rhein for C and D.
Other Phytochemicals:sennoside C,sennoside D, rhein, chrysophanol, aloe-emodin, kaempferol, myricyl alcohol, salicvlic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, isorhamnetin, barbaloin, kaempferol, Cathartic Acid,anthraquinone derivatives,etc.
Constituents of Cassia Senna:
Anthraquinone glycosides: in the leaf; sennosidesA and B based on the aglycones sennidin A & B, sennosides C & D which are glycosides of heterodianthrones of aloe-emodin and rhein. Others include palmidin A, rhein anthrone & aloe-emodin glycosides, some free anthraquinones and some potent, novel compounds of as yet undetermined structure. C. senna usually contains more of the sennosides.
Anthraquinone glycosides: In the fruit; sennosides A and B and a closely related glycoside sennoside A1.
Naphthalene glycosides; tinnevellin glycoside & 6-hydroxymusizinglycoside
Miscellaneous; mucilage, flavonoids, volatile oil, sugars, resins, etc
Main Effective Constituents:Sennoside A,C42H38O20;Sennoside B,C42H38O20.
Other Phytochemicals:Sennoside C;Sennoside D;Rhein;Chrysophanol;aloe-emodin;kampferol;myricyl alcohol;salicvlic acid;palmitic acid;stearic acid;isorhamnetin;barbaloin;kaempferol,etc.
More about constituents of Cassia Senna:
Senna contains anthraquinone glycosides known as sennosides. These molecules are converted by the normal bacteria in the colon into rhein-anthrone, which in turn has two effects. It first stimulates colon activity and thus speeds bowel movements. Second, it increases fluid secretion by the colon.
Together, these actions work to get a sluggish colon functional again. Several controlled studies have confirmed the benefit of senna in treating constipation.
Constipation induced by drugs such as the anti-diarrhea medicine loperamide (Imodium) has also been shown to be improved by senna in a clinical trial.
Senna leaf contains 1.5~3% hydroxyanthracene glycosides, mainly sennosides A and B, which are rhein-dianthrones, and smaller amounts of sennosides C and D, which are rhein-aloe-emodin-heterodianthrones; naphthalene glycosides; flavonoids (derivatives of kaempferol and isorhamnetin); 10~12% mineral matter; 7~10% mucilage (galactose, arabinose, rhamnose, and galacturonic acid); about 8% polyol (pinitol); sugars (glucose, fructose, and sucrose); and resins.
The Commission E reported 1,8-dihydroxy-anthracene derivatives have a laxative effect. This effect is due to the sennosides, specifically their active metabolite in the colon, rheinanthrone. The effect is caused by inhibiting stationary and stimulating propulsive contractions in the colon. This results in an accelerated intestinal passage and, because of the shortened contact time, a reduction in liquid absorbed through the lumen. In addition, stimulation of active chloride secretion increases water and electrolyte content of the contents of the intestine.
Systematic studies pertaining to the kinetics of senna leaf preparations are not available. However, it must be supposed that the aglycones contained in the drug are absorbed in the upper small intestine. The b-glycosides are prodrugs that are neither absorbed nor cleaved in the upper gastrointestinal tract. They are degraded in the colon by bacterial enzymes to rheinanthrone, the laxative metabolite. The systemic availability of rheinanthrone is very low. Animal experiments reveal that less than 5% is passed in the urine in oxidized form or in conjugated form as rhein and sennodine. The major amount of rheinanthrone (more than 90%) is bound to the feces in the colon and excreted as a polymer.
Active metabolites, such as rhein, infiltrate in small amounts into the milk ducts. A laxative effect on nursing infants has not been observed. The placental permeability for rhein is very small, as was observed in animal experiments.
Drug preparations (i.e., preparations from whole senna leaf) have a higher general toxicity than the pure glycosides, presumably due to the content of aglycones. Experiments with senna leaf preparations are not available. A senna extract showed mutagenic toxicity in vitro. The pure substance, sennoside A, B, showed no mutagenic toxicity in vitro. An in vivo study with a defined extract of senna pod revealed no mutagenicity. Preparations with an anthranoid content of 1.4~3.5% (calculated as the sum of specific individual compounds) were used. These were potentially equivalent to 0.9~2.9% rhein, 0.05~0.15% aloe-emodin, and 0.001~0.006% emodin. The results appear to be also applicable for specific senna leaf preparations. Some positive results have been observed for aloe-emodin, and emodin. A study for carcinogenicity was performed with an enriched sennoside fraction containing about 40.8% anthranoids, of which 35% were sennosides (calculated as the sum of the individually determined compounds), equivalent to about 25.2% of the calculated potential rhein, 2.3% potential aloe-emodin, and 0.007% potential emodin. The tested substance contained 142 ppm free aloe-emodin and 9 ppm free emodin. The study was conducted over 104 weeks. Rats received up to 25 mg/kg body weight and showed no substance-dependent increase of tumors.
Actions and Application of Cassia Senna:
Cathartic:an agent producing evacuation of the bowels.
Purgative:acting mainly on the lower bowel,an agent that produces a vigorous emptying of the bowels, more drastic than a laxative or aperient. Senna is a powerful cathartic used in the treatment of constipation, working through a stimulation of intestinal peristalsis. It is vital to recognize, however, that the constipation is a result of something else and not the initial cause and that this has to be sought and dealt with.
Priest & Priest tell us that it is an " intestinal ganglionic vaso-relaxant. Specific influence upon lower bowel to restrict fluid reabsorption. Excites colicky contractions." They give the following specific indications: to produce rapid catharsis, (tonsillitis, diphtheria, eruptive disease (from constipation), remittent /intermittent fevers, acute hemorrhoids, to ease liver and gall-bladder function)
Haemostatic: good hemostatic characteristics.
Cholagogue: an agent for increasing the flow of bile into the intestines
Laxative: an agent promoting evacuation of the bowels; a mild purgative
Vermifuge: an agent to expel parasitic worms, especially of the intestines
Gastrointestinal Conditions:as a cleanser during a fast (best combined with Cinnamon, Fennel or Ginger) as a very effective laxative,constipation,eases nausea and biliousness,halitosis,increases peristaltic movements of the colon (by local action on the intestinal wall)
Senna works by irritating the lining of the upper intestines which provokes reflex muscular activity in the colon resulting in a bowel motion (due to the chemical anthraquinone)
Senna is a popular component of over-the-counter laxatives worldwide. Used in iron deficient anemia, for parasites or for general sluggishness. Useful in cases of fissure or hemorrhoids. Works within ten (10) hours
Popular Use:Modern human studies have investigated the use of senna for severe constipation:
for chronic constipation in long-stay elderly patients,
for constipation in childhood,
for managing morphine-induced constipation,
for bowel preparation prior to intravenous urography,
to improve colonoscopy preparation with lavage,
for preparation prior to radiographic examination of the colon,
in management of constipation in the immediate postpartum period,
in management of postoperative constipation in anorectal surgery,
to improve the visibility of abdominal organs in ultrasound examination,
for disorders characterized by slow intestinal transit time or constipation,
and as a laxative for terminal cancer patients treated with opiates.
Medicinal virtues:The leaves have a purging quality, but afterwards have a binding effect. It is corrected with Caraway seed, Aniseed, or Ginger and a dram (1.7 g) taken in wine, ale or broth, on an empty stomach comforts and cleanses the stomach and purges phlegm from the head and brain, lungs, heart, liver and spleen.
It strengthens the senses, procures mirth, and is good in chronic agues.The Common Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens) works violently both upwards and downwards, offending the stomach and bowels.
Modern uses:In modern practice Cassia angustifolia is the variety of Senna used as a laxative. It is given with aromatic herbs, such as Ginger or Aniseed, to prevent griping pains. Both leaves and pods are used in over-the-counter pharmaceutical preparations. For domestic use, one teaspoonful of powdered Ginger is added to 2 oz (56 g) of Senna leaves in 1 Pt (568 mi) of boiling water. Infuse for 20 minutes. The dose is 2 fl oz (56 ml). Senna should not be used during pregnancy.
Caution,Precaution,Pharmacology and Medical use Cassia Senna:
Caution: It can cause nausea and griping pains when used alone but the effects of this can be counterbalanced by using Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel, Ginger, or any other aromatic herb with it. The pods have less griping effect than the leaflets.
Precaution:chronic gastrointestinal conditions,colic,colitis,dehydration,hemorrhoids,inflammation of the alimentary canal,prolapsus,spastic colon,ulcers,during pregnancy and lactation,for prolonged periods to avoid the bowel becoming dependent
Intestinal obstruction, acute intestinal inflammation, e.g., Crohn's disease, colitis ulcerosa, appendicitis, abdominal pain of unknown origin. Children under 12 years of age.
Properties: Sweet and bitter in flavor, cold in nature, it is related to the large intestine channel.
Functions: Relieves constipation by removing stagnancy and inducing purgation.
Besides being a laxative, senna is used as a febrifuge, in splenic enlargements, anaemia, typhoid, cholera, biliousness, jaundice, gout, rheumatism, tumours, foul breath and bronchitis, and probably in leprosy. It is employed in the treatment of amoebic dysentery as an anthelmintic and as a mild liver stimulant. Leaves are astringent, bitter, sweet, acrid, thermogenic, catharitic, depurative, liver tonic, anthelmintic, cholagogue, expectorant, ferbifuge. Usefull in constipation, abdominal disordes, leprosy, skin disorders, leucoderma, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, dyspepsia, cough, and bronchitis.
The Commission E approved the internal use of senna leaf for constipation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) approves senna leaf for short-term use in occasional constipation (WHO, 1999).
The British Herbal Compendium indicates its use for constipation and conditions in which easy defecation with soft stools is desirable, such as anal fissure or hemorrhoids (Bradley, 1992). ESCOP indicates it for short-term use in cases of occasional constipation (ESCOP, 1997); the German Standard License for senna leaf tea indicates its use for constipation; conditions in which easy bowel evacuation with soft stools is desirable, for example in cases of anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and after recto-anal operations; for bowel clearance before X-ray examinations; and before and after abdominal surgery (Bradley, 1992; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
Pharmacology of Cassia Senna:
Pharmacology: Senna leaves and pods have been shown to have laxative activity. It is usefull in habitual constipation. Pharmacological investigations show that sennosides A and B account for the entire activity of the senna leaves and pods.Leaves contain glycosides, sennoside A, B, C & D. Two naphthalene glycosides have been isolated from leaves and pods.
The medicinal action of Senna can be attributed mainly to the anthraquinone glycosides, especially sennoside A and B. It appears that the aglycone portion is responsible for its action. The breakdown of the anthraquinone glycosides in the digestive tract can occur in one of two ways. The bowel flora can directly hydrolyze themin a similar way to that of free active aglycone. Alternatively, in the presence of bile and the sugar moiety, the free aglycone can be absorbed into the blood stream and secreted later into the colon. The final result is stimulation of the Auerbach plexus resulting in increased intestinal muscle contraction. In addition, its mucilage content decreases bodily absorption of fluid leading to an enhancement of the final laxative action.
Purgative, anthchiiintic, antipyretic, cathartic, laxative, vermifuge, diuretic,Dextoxing ,Colon Cleansing, Body Detoxing.
Senna is a powerful cathartic used in the treatment of constipation, working through a stimulation of intestinal peristalsis.
Aid the body in cleannig waste
Promote the excretions of toxins which are thought to contribute to fatigue and general ill-health
The anthraequinones of this herb can inhibit a variety of bacteria (staphylococci and Bacillus Coli) and dermatomyces (Microsporum audouini, etc.).
Alleviate constipation by increasing the amount of water and electrolytes (substances in the blood such as sidium and potassium that help to regulate fluid balance in the body) in the intestine.
Senna leaf is a strong purgative that is commonly used for constipation. It may also be used to detoxify the body, expel worms or act as a diuretic.Senna Leaf is blended with other herbs to make a laxative beverage. We supply the best quality of Senna Leaf extract in China, which is good in shape and free of chemicals.
Senna extract is an FDA-approved over-the-counter treatment for occasional constipation. Because there is no controversy regarding senna's effectiveness for this purpose, we do not present the supporting evidence here. Rather, we address the concerns that have been raised regarding senna's safety.
Senna contains chemicals in the anthranoid family, such as anthraquinones, anthrones, and dianthrones. Related substances are found in a variety of plants used for laxative purposes, such as cascara sagrada and turkey rhubarb. The mechanism of action of anthranoids, however, is somewhat worrisome: they seem to work primarily by damaging the cells lining the colon. 1 In general, cell damage can be a precursor to cancer, and on this basis concerns have been raised that senna might increase colon cancer risk.
Evaluating this possibility is more difficult than it sounds. The most obvious method is to survey a large population over time, and see whether people who use senna have a higher incidence of colon cancer. However, studies of this type ( observational studies ) are inherently unreliable, because they don't show cause and effect. People with colon cancer or other precancerous conditions may become constipated and take senna, and this would cause a statistical association between use of senna and colon cancer, even if senna did not cause cancer. In any case, the results of such studies have been mixed, and overall the association, if any, does not appear to be strong.
Studies in animals have generally been reassuring, but a few such trials, as well as test-tube studies, have found some evidence of possible increased risk with long-term use.
Senna does have one potential safety advantage over other herbal anthranoid laxatives: its particular anthranoids are not very absorbable. This reduces the potential risk of harm deeper in the body.
Senna leaves for constipation:
Senna leaves are remedies for constipation because of its stool-softening action.
Use it with immature citron or trifoliate orange (Fructus Aurantii Immaturus) and official magnolia bark in order to reinforce its actions of relieving constipation by removing stagnancy and causing purgation.
These leaves are cultivated specially in South India.Northern Africa and South Asia have used senna as a laxative for centuries.It was considered as a "cleansing" herb because of its cathartic effect.Senna effectively slims down the body as it flushes out toxins leaving one with a healthy bodily system
Senna leaves are useful for people with hemorroids or anal fissures.it is also recommended following rectal surgery and can be used to clean the bowel.Senna leaves are among the widely used laxatives.Both senna leaves and seeds are medicinal.These leaves constipation by stimulating the colon muscles which help to accelerate the passage of stool.
Sennoside A has a more powerful purgative action than any other anthraquinone and it is more applicable to acute constipation than to chronic constipation. When it stimulates the large intestine to cause purgation, abdominal pain may follow.
Senna leaves have been approved by the W.H.O(World Health Organization) for use in occasional constipation.They are also approved in the U.S and European countries as ingredients in over the counter and prescriptive laxative preparations.
A study in the medical journal "Diseases of the colon and rectum" showed that senna leaves were able to prevent or treat post-operative constipation.
The "South African Medical Journal" shows that treatment with senna leaf was successful in 93%-96% of women suffering from postpartum constipation.
A study published in the medical journal "Pharmacology" suggests that a combination of senna leaves and bulk laxatives can alleviate chronic constipation in geriatric patients.These leaves are considered to be one of the more effective agents for relieving constipation caused by narcotic pain reliever such as morphine.
Clinical studies in the United States and abroad involving various age groups suggest that senna is effective in managing constipation associated with a number of causes including surgery, childbirth, and use of narcotic pain relievers. A study in the medical journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum showed that senna was able to prevent or treat postoperative constipation after proctologic surgery. The South African Medical Journal shows that treatment with senna was successful in 93%-96% of women suffering from postpartum constipation. By comparison, only 51%-59% of women in the placebo group experienced relief. Senna is considered to be one of the more effective agents for relieving constipation caused by narcotic pain relievers such as morphine. In another study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, researchers recommended the use of senna in terminal cancer patients with opiate-induced constipation, citing the effectiveness of the herb and its relatively low cost. A study published in the medical journal Pharmacology suggests that a combination of senna and bulk laxatives can alleviate chronic constipation in geriatric patients.
To treat ascites with abdominal distention:
This herb can be soaked alone for drinking or used together with morning glory seed (Semen Pharbitidis) and areca nut shell in order to reinforce the effects of relieving constipation by purgation and inducing diuresis.
Senna alexandria seems to be little used in early Veterinary medicine. I am sure this is in no way a reflection of this herb's effectiveness, but just that there were more potent cathartics favored, i.e. the aloes, linseed oil, castor oil, cascara sagrada, and rhubarb (rhei radix). The Senna most used was imported from India and Egypt. Like aloes, its action is centered on the large intestines by stimulating the vascularity of the mucous membrane and causing increased peristalsis. This herb seems most effective when combined with other cathartics. The suggested dose in horses was four to five ounces, from Veterinary Materia Medica and Therapeutics by Winslow.
Short description of process and Grade Standard:
Senna leaves are tested before and after grinding for Sennosides contents and are extracted with methanol.
The above methanolic extracts are collected and Calcium sennosides are separated by addition of Calcium Salt solution.
The precipitated Calcium sennosides are centrifuged and washed with methanol & dried under vacuum.
The dried Calcium sennosides are ground, tested and packed.
Pharmacopeial grade senna leaf must consist of the dried leaflets of Alexandrian or Tinnevelly senna, or a mixture of both species. It must contain not less than 2.5% of hydroxyanthracene glycosides, calculated as sennoside B. Botanical identification must be confirmed by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), macroscopic and microscopic examinations, and organoleptic evaluation. The stomatal index (a calculation of the percentage of stomata¡ªholes in the leaf's skin through which the plant breathes¡ªcomprising the number of epidermal cells, including the stomata, each stoma being counted as one cell) for Alexandrian senna is 10¨C15, usually 12.5 and for Tinnevelly senna it is 14¨C20, usually 17.5 (BP, 1988; IP, 1996; Ph.Eur.3, 1998; Tu, 1992). The Chinese Pharmacopoeia additionally requires a purity standard of not more than 5.0% rachis (the main axis of the compound leaf) and fruits contained in the senna leaf (JP XII, 1993). The French Pharmacopoeia additionally requires a test for absence of known adulterants, namely Cassia auriculata (Bruneton, 1995; Ph.Fr.X, 1994). The ESCOP monograph requires the material to comply with the European Pharmacopoeia (ESCOP, 1997).
Pharmacopeial grade senna leaf standardized dry extract (Sennae folii extractum siccum normatum) must be manufactured from European Pharmacopoeia (Ph.Eur.) grade Sennae folium in accordance with the Ph.Eur. Extracta monograph. It must contain minimum 5.5% and maximum 8.0% hydroxyanthracene glycosides calculated as sennoside B with reference to the dry extract, with an allowed deviation of 10% (Ph.Eur.3, 1998).
Pharmacopeial grade senna pod must consist of the dried fruit of Alexandrian or Tinnevelly senna, or both. It must contain not less than 3.4% (Alexandrian senna pod) and not less than 2.2% (Tinnevelly senna pod) hydroxyanthracene glycosides, calculated as sennoside B. Botanical identification must be confirmed by TLC, macroscopic and microscopic examinations, and organoleptic evaluation (BP, 1988; IP, 1996; Ph.Eur.3, 1998). The Herbal Medicines Codex, however, requires not less than 2.2% of total anthraquinone glycosides calculated as sennoside A (JHMC, 1993). The ESCOP monographs require the material to comply with the European Pharmacopoeia (ESCOP, 1997).
Preparations,Dosage & Administration:
Infusion: the dried pods or leaves should be steeped in warm water for 6-l2 hours. If they are Alexandrian Senna Pods use 3-6 in a cup of water; if they are Tinnevelly Senna, use 4-l2 pods. These names are given to two different species when sold commercially. Tincture: take 2-4ml of the tincture taken before bedtime.
Dosage and Administration:
1.5~3g for laxation, 5~10g for purgation. The herb is soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes for oral administration.
Unless otherwise prescribed: 0.6~2.0 g (corresponding to 20~30 mg hydroxyanthracene derivatives calculated as sennoside B) per day of cut or powdered herb or dried extracts for teas, decoctions, cold macerates, or elixirs. Liquid or solid forms of medication exclusively for oral use.
The correct dosage is the smallest dose necessary to maintain a soft stool.
Note: The form of administration should be smaller than the daily dose.
Dried leaf: 0.6~2.0 g.
Infusion or decoction: 0.6~2.0 g in 150 ml hot water for 10 to 30 minutes.
Cold macerate: 0.6~2.0 g in 150 ml cold water for 10 to 12 hours, strain, then heat before drinking.
Fluidextract 1:1 (g/ml): 0.6~2.0 ml.
Elixir: 0.6~2.0 ml sweetened fluidextract.
Dry hydroalcoholic extract (5.5~8.0% hydroxyanthracene glycosides): 0.25~0.55 g.
For laxative formula use: NMT 50mgs extracts in 24 hours.
Special caution for use: Stimulating laxatives must not be used for more than one to two weeks without medical advice.
Overdosage: Electrolyte and fluid imbalance.
Special warnings: Use of a stimulating laxative for longer than the recommended period can cause intestinal sluggishness.
This preparation should be used only if no effects can be obtained through changes in diet or the use of bulk-forming products. Not indicated for:Children younger than age 12,Pregnant and breast-feeding women
Senna leaves and other stimulant laxatives should not be used for longer than two weeks to four without medical supervision.Chronic use or misuse of senna leaves can also cause electrolyte and fluid inbalances thus affecting your body balance.
Senna and other stimulant laxatives should not be used for longer than two weeks to four without medical supervision. Using senna longer than recommended can result in lazy bowel syndrome and permanent damage to the intestinal lining. Chronic use or misuse can also cause electrolyte and fluid imbalances, which can have adverse effects on the heart. To prevent or treat constipation, most doctors recommend making dietary changes or trying milder, bulk-forming laxatives such as psyllium before using senna or other anthraquinone purgatives. Dietary approaches involve eating a high fiber diet , drinking six to eight glasses of water a day, and getting plenty of regular exercise.
Unless otherwise indicated by a doctor, senna should not be used by anyone with an intestinal obstruction, stomach inflammation, or intestinal inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease , colitis, irritable bowel syndrome , or appendicitis. Senna should also be avoided by those with undiagnosed abdominal pain. Senna should not be used by children younger than age 12. Senna should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding women. It may significantly reduce drug absorption and lessen the efficiency of any over-the-counter or prescription medication. Children and seniors, who may be more susceptible to senna's effects, should start with smaller dosages of the herb.
Can cause cramping , so is best used in combination with other Herb's. Should not be taken for more than two weeks to avoid weakening bowel. Should not be used if you have diarrhea, loose stools or abdominal pain. Consult your physician if you have frequent diarrhea. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication of have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.
The bottom line: At present, it appears reasonable to conclude that short-term use of senna is quite safe, while long-term use might or might not be safe. However, senna is not recommended for long-term use. Chronic senna consumption can cause dependency, meaning that it becomes impossible to have a bowel movement without it. In addition, there have been sporadic reports of unusual reactions to chronic use of senna, such as hepatitis.Thus, if used appropriately, senna should be safe.
As is the case with all laxatives, people with significant colonic disease, such as ulcerative colitis , should not use senna.
If senna is taken to the point of diarrhea, the body may become depleted of the mineral potassium . This is particularly dangerous for people using drugs in the digoxin family , which can cause dangerous cardiac arrythmias if potassium levels in the blood are inadequate. People who use medications that themselves deplete the body of potassium, such as thiazide or loop diuretics , are at special risk of this complication of senna overuse.
The safety of senna during pregnancy has not been established, and pregnant women are advised to avoid senna during the first trimester.Nursing women should also avoid using senna.
Acute Toxicity of Total Sennosides.LD50.Mice.Oral.1.414g/kg.Reference:Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi,1986,6(8);455.by Jin Ya Cheng,etc.
Acute toxicity of Total Sennosides,Lethal dose,50 percent death,LD50.Mice.Oral.1.414g/kgs,equals to raw senna leaf dry base 36.3g/kg,this dose 300 times than clinical human dose,toxicity study from clinical apply of senna leaves 102 case,no toxic effects find.Reference:Wagner H. Drogen-analyse, 1983;99
In single incidents, cramp-like discomforts of the gastrointestinal tract. These cases require a dosage reduction.
With chronic use or abuse: Disturbance of electrolyte balance, especially potassium deficiency, albuminuria and hematuria. Pigment implantation into the intestinal mucosa (pseudomelanosis coli) is harmless and usually reverses on discontinuation of the drug. Potassium deficiency can lead to disorders of heart function and muscular weakness, especially with concurrent use of cardiac glycosides, diuretics, or corticosteroids.
Stimulant laxatives such as senna tend to have more side effects than other purgatives, so it is important to take the lowest effective dosage. The side effects of senna include stomach cramps, diarrhea , and gas, which can be severe if the herb is used longer than recommended or in large amounts.
These problems may be avoided by reducing the dosage and adding other herbs. More serious effects include fainting, dehydration, and electrolyte disorders such as low blood potassium, albuminuria, and hematuria. Potassium deficiency can lead to muscle weakness and disorders of heart function. Potassium levels may drop even further if senna is combined with cardiac glycoside medications, diuretics, or corticosteroids. People using diet pills or teas should be sure that if senna is an ingredient they use the products short term (a month or less).
Because of its potential effect on potassium levels, senna should not be combined with anti-arrhythmic drugs, thiazide diuretics, corticoadrenal steroids, or licorice root without the supervision of a doctor.If you are taking: digoxin,thiazide diuretics,or loop diuretics,It is especially important not to overuse senna.
1.Research Update:Cassia Angustifolia.