Senna: therapeutic uses, dosage, side effects, precautions.

 Medicinal plant:-Senna 


    You must have delighted in the sight of lovely yellow senna blossoms adorning streets and backyards. Senna is a tropical flowering plant that belongs to a sizable genus. It has long been a staple of natural treatment. The fruit (pod) or leaf of the Senna Alexandrina plant is known as senna. As trade names, Senna is also known as Fletcher's Castoria, Ex-lax, and SenokotIt. In folk medicine, it has been used as a stimulant and laxative. Senna is a common ingredient in herbal teas believed to aid in digestion and bowel motion.let's talk about senna's advantages for your health.
    Constipation is treated temporarily with senna. Additionally, it is utilized to relieve intestinal obstructions before to surgery and other medical treatments. Senna belongs to the group of drugs known as stimulant laxatives. It induces a bowel movement by causing the intestines to work harder.
    Senna is an over-the-counter (OTC) laxative with FDA approval. It helps to relieve constipation and empty the bowels before to procedures like colonoscopies. Senna is also used by people to treat IBS, hemorrhoids, weight loss, and numerous other diseases, but there isn't any solid scientific proof to back these claims.

    Senna's traits:

    Senna may be advantageous due to a number of its characteristics that have been researched by numerous study teams. Senna has some advantageous qualities, including the following:

    • It could have laxative qualities.

    • It has anti-allergic properties.

    • It might provide anti-inflammatory advantages.

    • It could have antioxidant properties.

    • It might function as an antibiotic.

    • It may exhibit antifungal properties.

    • It might serve as a painkiller 

    • It might serve as an antitumour agent  

    • It may possess liver-protective properties.


    Chemical and dietary makeup

    1) antioxidants 

    Senna is a natural source of several antioxidants. A significant antioxidant found in senna plants is -carotene. Antioxidants are chemicals present in low concentrations in relation to oxidizable substances that prevent or postpone the oxidation of oxidizing compounds. Due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are produced in excess of an antioxidant's ability, oxidative stress develops during metabolism and other activities. The most prevalent ROS include hydroxy radicals, superoxide anion, nitric oxide, and peroxyl nitrite anion free radicals produced from nitrogen. Senna contains antioxidants such as carotenoids, beta-carotene, flavonoids, folic acid, ascorbic acid, and tocopherols in naturally occurring amounts. 

    Oxidative stress is linked to a number of disorders, including cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, inflammatory diseases, and early aging. Oxidative stress is brought on by a lack of antioxidant activity and an overabundance of free radicals in the body, which harms vital macromolecules like nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. 

    A high intake of foods containing antioxidants reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, the aging process, cardiovascular diseases, cataracts, brain dysfunction, and cancer, by reacting with free radicals and acting as an oxygen scavenger. 

    2) Bioactive substances

    Senna contains a variety of bioactive substances, including terpenoids (sitosterol, stigmasterol, and camesterol), anthraquinones (alatinone and alatonal), fatty acids (oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids), and phenolics (rhein chrysaphanol kaempferol, aloeemodin, and glycosides). There are many biological actions attributed to these secondary metabolites.The wide range of medical benefits of Senna alata's phytochemical substances are dependent on the presence of other chemical compounds that are involved in the creation of various effects on the human body. The main secondary metabolites that are found in plant bases are phenolic chemicals, tannins, terpenes, flavonoids, and alkaloids. These substances help plants defend themselves against herbivores, insects, and microbes, which is a crucial part of plant defense. Some of these chemicals are in charge of giving plants their distinctive scents, while others are in charge of giving them various hues. 

    Approximately 200,000 phytochemicals in herb plants have pharmacological actions, according to a scientific study. 

    TLC was used to screen plant extracts for the presence of phytochemicals, and the results show that these extracts contain derivatives of anthracene, anthrone, glycoside, and flavonoids. The volatile Cassia oil, which was present in amounts between 1% and 2%, is primarily responsible for the spicy scent. Gum, cinnamaldehyde, mannitol, tannins, coumarins, and essential oils are some of the principal chemical components of cassia.


    This complex species, with an estimated range of 260 to 350 species, is widely cultivated throughout India's tropical and temperate areas. Indian Senna, Alexandrian Senna, and Senna Alexandria are a few of its common English names. Senai in Hindi, Nelavarike in Kannada, Nilavirai in Tamil, Nelatangedu in Telugu, Nilavilakku in Malayalam, and Swarnapatri in Sanskrit are all names for it on the Indian subcontinent.

    Ayurvedic Significance

    Senna has a taste similar to madhura, is cool in nature, is simple to digest, and has a slight purgative effect.This herb's rechana (laxative) virtue aids in the management of constipation, and its deepan (appetizing) and usna (hot) effects, when consumed with heated water, aid in weight loss by increasing digestive fire. Due to its ropan (healing) feature, senna leaf paste can be applied topically to the skin to cure a variety of skin issues.

    Therapeutic Advantages 

    Treatments for Pile/Constipation

    A typical digestive problem brought on by aggravated pitta and vata doshas is constipation. Senna aids in the treatment of constipation by balancing the doshas. Senna's natural laxative properties help to control constipation and other digestive problems. The presence of active bio components aids in regularizing bowel movements and loosening of the stool. Additionally, because of its purgative and laxative properties, which aid in removing waste from the large intestine and prevent piles from forming, it is also helpful for cleansing the colon.

    Promotes liver health

    Virechana, also known as purgation therapy, is advised for the treatment of hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, and jaundice in accordance with the holistic philosophy of Ayurveda. The Senna plant's dried leaf or pod extracts stimulate the liver and provide a means of removing too much Pitta from the body. In addition, the senna leaf is a natural blood purifier that enhances liver function and removes toxic pollutants from the body.

    Wrong kind of worms

    This medicinal plant's strong anthelmintic qualities help prevent worm infestation. Without harming the body, it effectively removes parasitic worms from the gastrointestinal tract.

    Controls weight

    Poor food habits and lifestyle choices lead to weak digestive fire, which increases Ama and causes constipation. Obesity is the outcome of an imbalance in the system's meda dhatu (fatty tissues). Due to its deepan (appetizer) activity by reducing the buildup of fat in the body, senna extract helps to clear ama. In addition to these benefits, it also eliminates waste from the digestive tract and provides relief from constipation, which further contributes to weight loss. It is not suggested to use this powder for an extended period of time. As a result, it is crucial to consult ayurvedic experts before using this product for weight loss.

    Optimises Skin Health

    Senna is a tried-and-true treatment for a number of skin issues, such as eczema, blisters, inflammation, and itching. Kapha and pitta doshas can be calmed with senna extract. This herbal powder prevents pore clogging and reduces inflammation, which helps to fight acne breakouts and minimize scarring. Senna powder applied topically with rosewater lowers swelling and lightens acne scars.

    Senna might be used to treat infections. In recent investigations, researchers have looked into using plant products to make medications to fight microbiological infections. Senna is well known for having antifungal properties and may be used to treat a fungal infection. Additionally, it has effects on the DNA of the bacteria E. coli. Senna contains phenolic chemicals that have been found in studies by Kumar et al. (2013) to have potential antimicrobial effects. These plant-derived chemicals may be effective against Gram-positive bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli. Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Rhizopus stolonifera, and Fusarium oxisporum are further fungi that they may affect.4Senna's efficacy against such illnesses in humans, however, still needs to be demonstrated by more in-depth investigations. Do not self-medicate if you are experiencing any infection-related issues; instead, speak with your doctor.

    Senna's applications for diabetic mellitus

    It is known that oxidative stress can impair numerous bodily organs' capacity to function normally. Studies have also revealed that conditions like diabetes mellitus, which can elevate blood glucose levels, may also be brought on by oxidative stress. Senna's use as an anti-diabetic supplement may be due to its antioxidant effects.However, there is not enough evidence to support the benefits of senna on blood sugar levels in humans that have been suggested. More research is required to confirm these advantages.

    Possibilities for using senna to combat obesity

    Senna's antioxidant properties may aid in the management of obesity. In patients who are fat, senna may aid in the proper operation of the digestive enzyme. It might have anti-obesity advantages.

    To demonstrate the impact of senna on obesity conditions in humans, further research is required.

    use for senna's anticancer properties

    The possible health advantages of senna leaves are due to their bioactive components. According to research by Onyegeme-Okerenta et al. from 2017, the bioactive substances in senna may be the reason for the herb's possible anti-cancer effects. It might decrease lipid peroxidase levels, killing cancer cells in the process. Additionally, it limits the spread of cancer cells. To provide humans with the same advantages as the herb, these studies are insufficient. Therefore, additional research is needed to support this assertion.

    as a herb that increases immunity against Covid-19 and other diseases 

    A new coronavirus outbreak (SARS-CoV-2) that started in China in December 2019 has been shown to pose a serious threat to world health. However, multiple findings from clinical studies suggest that herbal therapy plays a significant part in COVID-19 prevention, which offers new hope for the disease's treatment. The purpose of this study is to determine whether senna (Senna alexandrina Mill.) is effective in preventing Covid-19 and other disorders.

    Senna's other possible applications

    • Senna may be useful in treating many skin conditions and infections on the outside of the body.

    • Senna leaf powder may be used to treat gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and intestinal worms. After seeing your doctor, you can also use senna to relieve constipation.

    • Digestion benefits from senna leaves or dried pods.

    • Senna can potentially cleanse and purify the blood. 

    • Haemorrhoids might benefit from senna treatment.

    • Although studies have demonstrated the benefits of senna in a number of illnesses, more research is required to determine the full scope of senna's positive effects on human health.

    • Long-term, uncontrolled senna intake has been associated with laxative dependence and liver damage. Before taking Senna, I advise you to consult your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: heart disease, liver disease, or intestinal problems. Senna may interact with medications like diuretics and blood thinners. People with Crohn's disease, intestinal obstructions, or stomach pain shouldn't use senna. Additionally, it could not work well with medications for the heart.

    Side effects of Senna

    Given that Senna is a natural laxative, prolonged use of the herb may result in liver damage and dependence on laxatives. Senna consumption in excess can lead to dehydration, increased thirst, nausea, and excessive salvation. Senna may interact negatively with heart medications, as well as blood thinners, diuretics, and other drugs that thin the blood. Additionally, it is not suggested for people who have Crohn's disease, intestinal blockage, or stomach problems.

    Senna is probably safe for the majority of individuals to consume when taken orally for up to a week. Senna is an over-the-counter (OTC) drug that has FDA approval. It may have certain unfavorable consequences, such as diarrhea, cramps, and stomach discomfort.

    When used for more than a week or at quantities greater than 34.4 mg sennosides twice daily, senna may not be safe. Long-term use may result in dependence on laxatives and cause the bowels to stop functioning regularly. In addition to harming the liver, prolonged use can have other negative effects.

    How Should I Use Senna?

    • Senna can be consumed by adults. Senna should only be taken by adults and children on an Ayurvedic physician's advice.

    • Before ingesting any Senna supplements, you must get the advice of a licensed physician. Without first seeing a licensed physician, never stop or substitute an ongoing modern medicine treatment with an ayurvedic/Senna medication.


    Safety Measures for Senna:

    Senna must be consumed for a little time in the prescribed dosage. In addition, the following safety measures must be observed when using senna for therapeutic purposes:

    Senna is associated with major negative effects during pregnancy, such as liver damage and reliance on laxatives. During pregnancy, it is best to avoid using any herbs without first talking to a licensed medical professional.

    If you are nursing your baby, it is best to speak with a doctor before taking any herbal supplements because senna is known to have adverse effects.

    Senna is regarded as safe for children over the age of two. Children, however, might have certain negative consequences. As a result, it is advised to only administer it to kids under the supervision of a licensed Ayurvedic physician.

    GI conditions: Senna should not be consumed by anyone who has an intestinal obstruction, stomach pain, diarrhea, appendicitis, stomach inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, or hemorrhoids.


    Adults typically take 17.2 mg sennosides of senna orally once or twice per day. Age-specific dosage recommendations apply to children. Find out from a healthcare professional what dosage might be appropriate for your condition.

    Senna can be purchased as a herbal tea, capsule, tablet, or churna. It is best to consume it with lukewarm water. Depending on the patient's age, the severity of their ailment, and other factors, the appropriate dosage of this herbal supplement may differ from person to person. It is advised to speak with an ayurvedic doctor, since they can determine the patient's indication and provide the proper dosage.

    Herbal Supplements: 

    When you use senna with herbal supplements, it might cause potassium levels to drop too low. Taking senna with other herbal supplements might show a laxative effect, leading to diarrhoea. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid taking senna along with herbs such as buckthorn, liquorice, aloe, horsetail, gossypol and rhubarb. 

    Affects on Other Drugs:

    Senna may have mild interactions with some prescription drugs. Senna can interact in the following ways:


    For some persons, senna might result in diarrhea. When taken together, diarrhea may intensify the effects of warfarin and raise the risk of bleeding. If you are using warfarin, it is suggested to stay away from senna.

    Digoxin (Lanoxin): 

    Senna is a laxative that is stimulating. Laxatives with stimulants may cause the body's potassium levels to drop. Digoxin side effects are more likely when potassium levels are low.


    Senna may lessen oestrogen effects by influencing the body's absorption of oestrogen.

    Diuretic medications: 

    Senna, which is a laxative, has the potential to produce diarrhea. Additionally, potassium levels could drop. Senna and diuretics together may therefore cause potassium levels to fall.

    Senna and herbal supplements: 

    Using senna together may result in potassium levels that are too low. Senna may have a laxative effect when taken with other herbal supplements, resulting in diarrhea. Senna should not be taken with herbs including buckthorn, licorice, aloe, horsetail, gossypol, and rhubarb for this reason.


    The information on this website is provided solely for educational reasons and is not meant to replace professional medical care. The reader should speak with their doctor to evaluate whether the information is appropriate for their circumstance because everyone has different needs.

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