Cassia senna/C. acutifolia/ C. angustifolia
SENNA, ALEXANDRIAN SENNA, TINNEVELLY SENNA
The pods and
leaves of this small shrub provide one of the most widely used laxatives, an
action first recorded by Arabian physicians. It is taken for constipation
due to lack of bowel tone but laxatives should not be overused.
The first records of senna's medicinal use come from Arabian physicians who imported material through Alexandria, from which one of the common names derives. Senna now provides the main ingredient of many pharmaceutical laxatives. A small shrubby plant with leaves divided into opposite leaflets, it has small yellow flowers that give way to flat curved pods, each of which contains six seeds.
including sennosides A, B, C, D, palmidin A,
aloe-emodin, and rhein; kaempferol; mucilage.
Widely used in many systems of medicine to treat constipation due to lack of tone or contraction of the bowel, but it should not be used for spastic constipation or colitis (an inflammatory condition of the intestines).
Powdered leaves, infusion, tablets, tincture, over-the-counter preparations.