Senna (Cassia angustfolia) plant for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Senna (Cassia angustfolia) is a plant of the Fabaceae family useful for its laxative and antihelminthic properties. Let’s find out better.

Among the so-called diseases of our century (large hat under which numerous pathologies and symptomatological manifestations are collected strictly correlated or directly caused by prolonged stress conditions), one of the main is, without a doubt, constipation or “lazy bowel syndrome”.

An excellent and effective natural remedy is represented by Cassia angustifolia (vulg. Senna), a plant with remarkable laxative properties, already widely used in the past. Senna is able to regularize intestinal transit thus determining a real “re-education” of the lazy intestine, thanks to the presence of particular active ingredients (anthraquinone glycosides) which act at the level of the gastrointestinal tract, weakly irritating the mucosa and thus allowing evacuation.

Property of the Seine 

The main properties of Senna are: powerful laxativeanthelminticfebrifuge. The drug is recommended in case of acute constipation, constipation, hemorrhoids, anal fissures and for the elimination from the intestinal tract of contrast media used for radiological diagnostic tests.

How to use 

It is possible to use the drug in the form of fluid extract (up to twenty drops twice a day – upon medical advice) or as an infusion (prepared with dried leaves or fruits, left to soak in boiling water) to be consumed in the evening before going to bed.

These preparations are capable of inducing a bowel movement approximately six hours after taking. It is also possible to prepare a drink by letting the drug steep for 10-12 hours in water at room temperature: the preparation is more effective and safer than the infusion.

Contraindications and side effects 

Due to the presence of active ingredients that tend to irritate the intestinal mucosa (anthraquinones), in order to cause the desired evacuations, the drug is contraindicated in case of irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal obstructions, intestinal irritation, chronic constipation, spastic constipation, rectal stenosis, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, abdominal pain.

It is not recommended to take it under the age of 12 and during pregnancy. Being an anthraquinone laxative, it is a good idea to use senna only in case of occasional constipation and not to prolong the treatment beyond ten days.

Description of the plant

The vulgar name with which Cassia angustifolia is indicated, Senna, would derive from the name of the region of Nubia Senn√†r; its meaning, on the other hand, from the Arabic and would mean “heal“.

Senna is a plant native to the Middle East, Egypt and India, belonging to the botanical family of Febaceae, which includes over ten thousand different species.

It appears as a herbaceous plant or as a small shrub that can reach over one and a half meters in height, with green-yellowish leaves, grouped and elongated, yellow flowers, gathered in small inflorescences and black, flattened and elongated fruits.  

Of the plant, to obtain the drug, dried leaves and / or fruits are used. Among the active principles of the phytocomplex, hydroxyanthracenic glycosides (sennoside A and B) are primarily mentioned; mucilage; tartrates.

Habitat of the senna

The optimal habitat is mainly represented by woods and uncultivated land.

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