Have you heard claims about the herbal benefits of Senna Leaf? That Senna Leaf Extract is good for weight loss? Let’s take just a few minutes to learn about the cassia angustifolia herb and the many medicinal uses and health benefits of its leaves.
Senna Leaf, also known as Follium Sennae, refers to the dried leaves from either Cassia acutifolia Delile or Cassia angustifolia Vahl. Leaves from Cassia acutifolia Delile are obovate or lanceolate, a bit curly and unequally oblique at the base, greyish-green, have distinctive vein, and come with weak, peculiar odor and sweet taste.
The leaves of Cassia angustifolia Vahl are ovate-lanceolate or ovate-oblong, have pointed blade tip with entire margin, and slightly asymmetrical base. It has a slightly bitter taste and has a mild yet peculiar scent.
Chemical components of this herb include chrysophanol, sennoside A,B,C,D, physcion, emodin, glucoside, kaempferoL, 3-methyl-8-methoxy-2-acetyl, and 6-naphthalenediol-6-O-Î²-d.
Alternative Names for the Herb include Cassia Senna, Cassia lentiva, Casia Lanceolata, Wild Senna, Cassia, Cassia officinalis, Cassia angustifolia, Alexandrian Senna, Marilandica, Aethiopica, Senna acutifolia, Nubian Senna, Tinnevelly Senna, Egyptian Senna, East Indian Senna, or locust plant.
Senna Leaf Health Benefits
- Weight Loss
Some of the vital functions of Senna leaves are purgating bowels and heat, easing food retention, and arresting internal bleeding. It is an effective cure for indigestion, bloating, gastroduodenal ulcer, edema and habitual constipation.
More commonly used for its lapactic laxative properties, Senna has anthraquinone derivatives or glycosides that work by irritating the colon, stimulating peristalsis and subsequent evacuation of stools. Senna may also help enhance stool volume by smoothing the muscles and preventing water and electrolyte re-absorption.
Because it is a powerful laxative, Senna leaf has a lapactic effect, which is one of the reasons why it is used in colon cleansing and detoxification. It also cures constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids. Its purgative actions can promote weight loss by excreting fats and toxins through the digestive system.
Senna leaf tea is known as a mild cathartic, which is useful for women who just gave birth; this can help ease their discomfort and accelerate defecation.
The leaves also have anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in alleviating symptoms of hemorrhoids or obstruction in the rectum that can make defecation a painful experience.
The Anthraquinone found in Senna leaves inhibits bacteria such as Staphyloccus aureus, E. coli, and skin fungi.
More clinical studies are needed to verify the anti-parasitic effect of Senna leaves, but studies involving rats show that Senna leaf extract is effective in reducing parasite levels and in improving symptoms of anemia and organ damage.
Senna leaf is an herb that cleanses, detoxifies and heals the body for overall health and vitality. A daily dose can have many uses and benefits.
Does Senna Leaf Extract Aid in Weight Loss?
One of the benefits of increased bowel movement is weight loss. As one of the safest methods for increasing bowel movement, Cassia angustifolia is commonly used as a weight loss supplement.
Since no prescription is needed to take senna leaf extract for weight loss, many people are using it as an over-the-counter weight loss supplement with promising results.
Another big advantage?
Compared to other weight loss products, senna leaves cause no adverse effects on the body. Of course, you must use this product responsibility to prevent any possible side effects, such as dehydration.
Cassia Angustifolia: A Closer Look at Senna Herb
Cassia angustifolia, also known as Senna, is an herb that is fast becoming a critical part of natural medicine. This plant is included in the list of closely related species that are collectively known as Senna: Senna alexandrina, Cassia lanceolata, Cassia senna, and other members of the genera Cassia and Senna. The plant is also known as Egyptian senna, East Indian senna, and sene de la palthe. This plant was first cultivated thousands of years ago in African countries such as such as Sudan and Egypt. It is presently being cultivated in nearby countries such as India and Somalia. Historically, Senna has been an important commodity in Egyptian trade.
As mentioned earlier, Cassia angustifolia mainly grows in countries located in Africa and Asia. Classified as a shrub, this plant can grow anywhere from 0.5 to 2 meters in height. It possesses an erect stem with spreading branches. Each of these branches contains 4 to 5 pairs of leaves. It has large, yellow flowers that tend to brown with time. Its fruit, classified as a legume, is flat and oblong in shape, containing up to 6 seeds. Both the leaves and fruit are used for medicinal purposes. The most common way they are prepared is by boiling them to produce an herbal tea.
Cassia angustifolia is used for:
- Reduced constipation
- Bowel preparation
- Gastrointestinal cleansing
Health benefits and Uses of Cassia angustifolia
Cure for constipation This is the primary use for senna. It is an FDA-approved non-prescription drug for the treatment of constipation. This is mainly due to this supplement’s ability to stimulate bowel movement, preventing the buildup of stool in the gut. It is actually considered to be more effective than other anti-constipation supplements such as lactulose. Its effectiveness is further improved if it’s used in combination with psyllium or docusate. However, it must be noted that using senna may not be recommended for young children.
Bowel preparation Senna is considered a safe alternative for preparing the bowel for specific medical procedures involving the gastrointestinal tract. It is a bowel preparation formula that causes minimal side effects in a wide range of patients. Also, because it can be taken orally, it is easy to consume and is generally well tolerated. It can be used for cleansing the bowel for procedures such as colonoscopy, diagnostic imaging, and gastrointestinal tract surgery. In fact, it is considered an adequate alternative for more widely used bowel preparation formulas, such as polyethylene glycol.
Prevents the development of hemorrhoids Hemorrhoids are one of the more common problems encountered in the gastrointestinal tract. While the development of hemorrhoids is considered multi-factorial, avoiding inflammation is one of the more effective ways to prevent it. Senna has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help those who are dealing with hemorrhoids. Also, because it helps in improving your gut’s motility, it will prevent the buildup of fecal material in the rectum, which can cause inflammation. Regular consumption of senna tea is linked to reduced inflammation.
Gut cleansing Cleansing your gastrointestinal tract is considered vital for maintaining optimal health. While there are many agents you can use for this, one of the best ones out there is senna. Because of its ability to improve motility, you clear out waste in the form of feces faster. This will prevent the buildup of toxins within your gut. In addition, senna is also seen to have an anti-parasitic effect. While more studies are needed to understand this effect better, it has been observed that senna reduces parasitic mobility and lowers the effects of parasitic infection, such as anemia.
Senna Leaf Side Effects
Senna leaf and extracts are considered safe at normal doses. However, at high doses for extended periods of time, hepatoxicity can occur. One woman made senna leaf tea and drank approximately 200 mL daily for two years and experienced portal vein thrombosis. If you’re eating the raw leaves or taking an herbal extract supplement in powder or capsule form, follow dosing instructions on the packaging and exercise caution not to ingest senna products for long periods of time. I personally take herbs every day of the month except the first five days.