Alternate Names: Cassia senna, cassia acutifolia, cassia marilandica, cassia augustifolia, wild senna, locust plant, aden senna.
Medicinal part: Leaves and pods
The leaves and pods of the senna plant contain compounds called anthraquinones, which are powerful laxative for over a thousand years. This herb is also known as India senna, tinnevellysenna,Cassia senna,Khartoum senna,and Alexandrian senna.
Senna contains anthraquinone, which causes intestinal contractions by interacting with bacteria in the digestive track.Senna contains anthraquinone, which causes intestinal contractions by interacting with bacteria in the digestive track. The leaves and pods of the plant are used for people suffering from constipation. People suffering from Crohns disease or other serious digestive diseases should not use senna. It should not be used by people with diverticular disease, colitis, congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, or recent colon surgery. Senna contains hydroxyanthracene glycosides known as sennosides. These glycosides stimulate colon activity and thus have a laxative effect. Also, these glycosides increase fluid secretion by the colon, with the effect of softening the stool and increasing its bulk. Senna was first brought into use by the Arabian physicians Serapion and Mesue. Achiarius was the first of the Greeks to notice it and he recommends the fruit but not the leaves, where as Mesue prefers the pods to the leaves, which is less potent and does not cause griping .