Botanical Name: Cassia Angustifolia
Family Name: Caesalpinaceae
Common Name: Indian Senna
Hindi: Senna, indian Senna, Sanay, Sanaya, Hindisana, Swarnamukhi, Sonamukhi, Sunamukhi
Sanskit: Markandika, Swarnapatri, Rajavriksha
Tamil: Nilavarai, Nilapponnai,Nilavagai,Nilavaagai, Avuri
Malayalam: Sunnamukhi, Nilavaka, Chinnukki
Kannada: Nelavrika, Sonamukhi
Habitat: Cultivated in dry lands of Southern & Western India, and indigenous to Arabia.Parts Used: Pods, stems, leaves
A small erect shrub, Indian senna attains a height of about 2 to 3 feet. Its stem is pale green, smooth and erect. The spread out branches possess around 4 to 5 pairs of leaves. These leaves are pale yellowish-green in color, elongated spear shaped with pointed apex, about 1 to 2-inch in length and about 0.2 to 0.3-inch in breadth. The plantar surface is shiny green and dorsal surface is yellowish green. The plant has small yellow flowers. The brown pod contains 5 to 7 seeds that are dark brown in color.
Indian senna is native to India, Arab and tropical African countries. It is cultivated in India, Pakistan, Egypt and Sudan. In India, it is found throughout the year in South, mainly the districts of Thirunelveli, Madurai, Tiruchirapally and Mysore. It is commonly known as Indian Senna.
Its leaves are dried and powdered to be used daily to strengthen immunity and cure many diseases.
Uses & Benefits of Indian Senna
- The herb stimulates liver for proper secretion of enzymes in the body.
- It helps in lowering bowels and increasing the peristaltic movement of the intestines.- Indian senna purifies blood and restores the metabolic imbalance lost due to indigestion.
- The powder made from crushing leaves and fruit is helpful in treating constipation and indigestion.
- It is useful in relieving people from the condition of osteoarthritis, gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
- The herb is used as an expectorant, wound dresser, antidysentric, carminative and laxative.
- Indian senna is handy in treating loss of appetite, hepatomegaly, spleenomegaly, malaria, skin diseases, jaundice and anemia.
- The herb has purgative, anthchiintic, antipyretic, cathartic, laxative, vermifuge and diuretic properties.
- Treating loss of appetite, liver and spleen cancer, malaria, skin diseases, jaundice and anemia.
Caution:Senna contains compounds known as sennosides, which may be cathartic. They irritate the bowel walls, and stimulate evacuation. Frequent use is not recommended as it may become dependent to the system. Patient with spasmodic constipation, inflammatory conditions of the alimentary canal, fever, piles and menorrhagia should not take Senna.
The laxatives that contain high dose of Indian senna can result in abdominal cramping and diarrhea. When Indian senna is consumed in high doses, the anthraquinones present in it may change the urine color to red, pink or brown. Prolonged use of Indian senna leaves can reduce the potassium levels in the body that can lead to muscle weakness and dangerous changes in heart rhythm. The leaves, when taken for a long period of time, can result in aching joints, weakened bones or muscles, weight loss and decreased appetite. Consuming the herb on a regular basis can cause clubbing at the ends of the fingers.