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Senna Leaf – Definition, Benefits, How to Prepare Tea, and More

Senna Leaf Definition

Senna leaf, also known as senna or senna, is a medicinal plant widely used to treat gastrointestinal problems, mainly constipation because it has strong laxative and purgative properties.

This laxative effect is primarily due to its ability to irritate the intestinal mucosa, making the intestines’ movements faster, favouring faeces’ elimination. For this reason, its use should be with great caution.

This plant’s scientific name is  Senna alexandrina, and it can purchase in health food stores and some handling pharmacies.

Senna alexandrina is a modern name that encompasses two ancient names for senna:  Cassia Senna and Cassia Angustifolia .

What are the Benefits of Senna Leaf?

senna leaf

Despite its benefits, senna leaves should use with caution and under medical guidance. Its constant use can alter the intestinal microbiota, extreme colic, and even predispose to rectal neck cancer.

So let’s see the benefits and properties of senna leaf, which go beyond its laxative effect.

1. Laxative

  • We start with the best known and already discussed benefit. The best-known function of the senna leaf is as a laxative. And it is that its efficiency for this is practically immediate.
  • In ancient medicine and herbalism, senna leaf recommends for extreme episodes of constipation.
  • Thus, many people believe that it is efficient to lose weight; this is not true.
  • What happens is that several intakes of this senna leaf can empty the intestine of faecal matter, and this causes a weight reduction, but it is only momentary.

2. Prevent Hemorrhoids

  • Haemorrhoids can appear if there is severe constipation. One of the consequences of suffering from constipation that is continuous or for a long time is haemorrhoids’ appearance.
  • It is due to the blood pressure in the area.
  • For this reason, taking some light doses of senna leaf prevents haemorrhoids, as this plant allows the stool to come out more efficiently, reducing the pressure that exists in the anus.
  • On another note, you can use hemorrhoid cream with lidocaine on the hemorrhoids that had already appeared.

3. Diuretic

  • Senna leaf also works as a natural diuretic. Its effects on the body, this plant take as an infusion, helps the body more easily dispose of the fluids that accumulate in the body.
  • Also, taking senna leaf helps to tone the muscles of the urinary tract.
  • Therefore, in addition to cleaning the body by expelling toxins through urine, it favours urine retention.

4. Detoxifier

  • Due to its diuretic and laxative properties, senna leaf is an excellent detoxifier.
  • Also, to relieve constipation, this plant is ingested as an infusion to detoxify the body in general.
  • Remember that the body has several ways to eliminate toxins. Either through faeces, urine, and bile production.
  • The senna leaf favours the improvement of these processes allowing general detoxification of the body.

5. Prevents the Appearance of Gallstones

  • Senna leaf is an efficient Cholagogue. Cholagogues are substances that allow the expulsion of the bile contained in the gallbladder.
  • The senna leaf has, among its properties, this benefit for the body.
  • By freeing the gallbladder of excess bile, the possibility of suffering from gallstones decreases and is harrowing. They negatively affect the detoxifying capacity of this organ.

6. Auxiliary against Irritable Bowel

  • Some treatments for irritable bowel include senna leaf. As already mentioned, the senna leaf’s primary function is as a powerful and efficient natural laxative.
  • So in treatments against irritable bowel, it can be of great help.
  • However, it must remember that it may contraindicate for sensitive people or people with digestive problems.
  • It is good to go to a herbalist to determine if senna leaf can use for this purpose.

7. Combat Swelling due to Fluid Retention

  • Heat or other factors cause the body to swell from fluid retention. However, this is not something to be overlooked. The body should not have excess fluids for too long.
  • For this reason, it recommends taking a senna leaf to enjoy its diuretic effect.
  • An infusion of this plant helps the body discard this excess water, and as a consequence, the swelling that regularly occurs in the extremities is relieved.

8. Strengthens the Gallbladder

  • Senna leaf helps strengthen the gallbladder. The senna leaf not only exerts the function of removing excess bile from the gallbladder, but it also manages to improve it so that it functions optimally.
  • For this reason, the senna leaf works as a very effective detoxifier.
  • As long as its consumption keeps at a moderate level, this leaf can help rid the body of toxins that accumulate naturally.

9. Eliminate Intestinal Parasites

  • Intestinal parasites cause digestive problems. The general recommendation of doctors is that humans take some deworming medicine to clean the intestines.
  • Senna leaf is a natural alternative to rid the body of intestinal parasites.
  • Anyway, you have to be careful in its intake and not use it in children. In adults, available information on concentrated senna leaf infusion is enough to eliminate intestinal parasites.

10. Purifying

  • Purifying the body regularly helps us feel light and full of energy. The senna leaf is considered an efficient detoxifier and cleanser.
  • In addition to eliminating the toxins it accumulates from the body, it also purifies it.
  • This plant’s diuretic, laxative, and Cholagogue function correctly remove toxic compounds from the body contained in some foods. It helps to get rid of all this through faeces and urine.

11. Improves the Digestive System

  • By ridding the body of intestinal parasites, the digestive system improves. It is why senna leaf has recommended aiding in treating irritable bowel because it also enhances the intestines’ functioning.
  • A treatment that includes several doses of senna leaf allows the intestine to cleanse all faecal matter thoroughly.
  • It allows the stomach and intestines to tone and strengthen by working better.

12. Helps the Purifying Function of the Liver

  • The senna leaf is an aid in the functioning of the liver. This organ is the great purifier of the organism, so many other functions in the body depend on its proper functioning, hence the importance of keeping it healthy.
  • The senna leaf’s consumption helps to strengthen and tone the liver and fulfil its purifying function.
  • However, it must take in moderation, as taking too much senna leaf could have the opposite effect and seriously damage the liver.

How to Prepare Senna Leaf Tea?

senna leaf

Prepare the tea. The green leaves of senna should prefer because they have a more active effect on the body than its dry version. In addition to this, the greener the leaf, the stronger the effect.


  • 1 to 2 g of senna leaves;
  • 250 ml of boiling water.


  1. Take the herb in a pot or cup, add the water and let it rest for 5 minutes. Wait until it is a warm, strain, and drink 2 to 3 times a day without adding sugar.
  2. Although tea is a practical option to consume senna, this plant can also purchase in the form of capsules, which can be sold in natural products stores and in some pharmacies, which are ingested one pill of 100 to 300 mg daily.
  3. Ideally, this plant should use under a doctor’s guidance and for a maximum period of 7 to 10 days. If, after this period, constipation persists, you should see a general practitioner or gastroenterologist.

Possible Side Effects of Senna Leaf

side effects

The laxative effect of senna is mainly due to its ability to irritate the intestinal mucosa.

For this reason, the use of this plan for more than one week could cause some side effects such as severe cramps, abdominal bloating, and an increased amount of gas.

Some people may also have vomiting, diarrhoea, increased menstrual flow, hypokalemia, intestinal malabsorption, and decreased haemoglobin in the blood test.

Contraindications of Senna Leaf

Senna leaves are contraindicated in cases of hypersensitivity to senna, during pregnancy, breastfeeding, in children under 12 years of age, and the possibility of intestinal obstruction, enteritis, acute appendicitis, and stomach pain of unknown cause.

Also, senna should not consume by people taking heart medications, laxatives, cortisone, or diuretics.

Its use should not be longer than 10 consecutive days, as it can cause various side effects and increase the predisposition for colorectal cancer. Therefore, before using senna leaves, it is essential to ask a doctor to avoid possible complications.


Senna leaf tea, a herbal infusion regularly use to treat constipation.

Some people claim that it aids weight loss. It would help if you didn’t use it in any weight loss detox or cleanse. Doing so could conduct to laxative dependence, liver damage, and other serious health issues.

It tea may cause short-term stomach cramps and diarrhoea. To minimize your risk of adverse effects, you shouldn’t drink it for longer than seven days in a row.


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