Cassia angustifolia Valh. (Fabaceae) – Senna
Senna leaf or native sheet is a species that grows as a shrub with complex leaves in the form of feathers which are in pair. The leaves are ellipsoidal to egg-shaped, with green-yellow color and a pointed top. The yellow flowers are gathered in clusters on top of the branches. The fruit is a pod with 6-8 seeds.
Cassia angustifolia grows in the deserts of Arabia and Asia. In India and Pakistan it is grown for obtaining drug. C. acutifolia Del. (Syn. Senna alexandrina Mill) from the northern areas of Africa, also known as senna.
In Ebersoviot papyrus written in 1550 BC, named after the scientist who discovered it, are named about 800 medicines including the Senna (Cassia sp.). Senna is useful in constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and in tea blends is applied also for cleaning and weight reduction. The leaf from senna has long been known as a laxative. Effectively stimulates the emptying of the intestine, and the effect is 6-10 hours using. Has influence on increased excretion of potassium, and in the case of overdose it can cause cramps in the stomach. If you use it for longer time it can lead to loss of natural movement in the intestines and the occurrence of “lazy bowel”.
Tea from the dried leaf from senna apply to constipation and it is a strong laxative. Sometimes the fruit is used too – a pod. For the physiological effects are responsible senna glycosides – sennosides A and B. These organic substances increase the secretion in the stomach and the bowel that promotes laxation. You should drink tea from senna in the evening before bedtime, one cup. It should not be consumed repeatedly, as this may lead to the creation of habit, and intestines can lose their natural reflex for movements or their discharge. Because of that, it is common to use it for 3 days to a week, and for long-term use should consult a doctor or pharmacist. Although it is very useful, the senna should be avoided in cases of various forms of obstruction, ulceration and inflammation of the organs of the digestive tract (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, abdominal pain of unknown origin, bleeding from the rectum). It is not recommended for children under 12 years. At pregnant women and nursing mothers may lead to cramps.