Constipation, Habitual constipation treated by Senna Leaf
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Also known as Folium Sennae, it means the dried leaflets from Cassia angustifolia Vahl. or Cassia acutifolia Delile., plants in the family legume. The former is mainly produced in India, Egypt and Sudan, and that latter is mainly from Egypt and cultivated in some regions of China, such as Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan. It is usually harvested in September, dried and used raw.

Leaves of Cassia angustifolia Vahl. are ovate-oblong or ovate-lanceolate, 1.5 to 5cm long, 0.4 to 2cm wide, and with entire margin, abruptly pointed blade tip, and slightly asymmetrical leaf base. Up surface is yellow-green while lower surface is pale yellowish green, glabrous or nearly glabrous, and with slightly ridgy veins. It is leathery, slightly sticky, and with weak but peculiar odor and slightly bitter taste. Leaves of Cassia acutifolia Delile. are lanceolate or ovate, slightly curly, and with short-pointed or slightly convex blade tip, asymmetrical leaf base, and surface covered with short soft fuzz.

As one of the most important laxatives, the lapactic effect of senna leaf herb is pretty obvious, which is the main reason why nowadays this herb is widely used for colon cleansing and detox and a variety of conditions like Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bloating, Hemorrhoids, and so on. Actually a series of ready-made products, such as senna leaf tea, extract, powder, capsules, extract syrup, and concentrate, have been developed for easy consumption. However, it may violently stimulate the gastrointestinal tract. 

constipation, habitual constipation treated by senna leaf

Senna Leaf

Modern pharmacological actions
1. It contains anthraquinone derivatives, whose purgative effects and irritation are stronger than other anthraquinone-containing laxatives. As a result, Diarrhea induced by senna tea may accompany by abdominal pain;
2. Its main active ingredients are sennoside A, B, which are absorbed by stomach and small intestine, and then resolved by liver. The decomposition products follow the blood circulation and excite the pelvic ganglion, which thus leads to the contraction of the large intestine and causes diarrhea.
3. Anthraquinone inhibits various bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, etc., and skin fungi.

Proven senna leaves related herbal remedies
This Chinese herb is considered as sweet bitter in flavor and cold in medicinal properties. It covers the meridian of the large intestine. Its vital functions are purgating heat and bowels, removing food retention, and arresting bleeding. And main senna leaves uses include heat-accumulation induced Constipation, Habitual constipation, bloating and indigestion, Edema, gastroduodenal ulcer and bleeding, and so on. Recommended senna leaf dosage is from 3 to 6 grams in decoction, usually decocted later, or 1.5 to 3 grams in making herbal tea or powder.

Constipation by heat knot
Since this herb is good at inducing diarrhea, it is ideally used for heat-knot inducing constipation, habitual constipation and senile constipation. More often than not, it is used after being infused in hot water or decoction alone. Small doses can be used as mild laxative while large doses as cathartic prescription. In the case of heat knotted constipation accompanied with abdominal fullness and pain, this herb usually combines with Zhi Shi (Immature Bitter Orange) and Hou Po (Magnolia Bark) in an herbal recipe to enhance the role of purgative action.

Swelling in ascites
Since it is a purgating drug and diuresis, which can help alleviate water retention and swelling in ascites. And it can be used alone or in recipes along with Qian Niu Zi (Morning Glory Seed) and Da Fu Pi (Areca Peel).

Apoplectic coma
Clinically it is also used, in small doses to replace tea, for comma in stroke. It facilitates bowel movement and thus relieve symptoms for a soon recovery.


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