Senna leaf: what are its benefits and side effects?

Senna leaf comes from a species of shrub also known as cadet OR little beanof the Fabaceae family. It is known in popular culture for its properties and the benefits it offers to treat constipation and some stomach ailments.

However, since it is classified as a natural laxative that acts on the intestinal mucosa, it is important to ingest it in the appropriate doses to avoid major problems. We tell you more about its benefits and how to consume it.

Senna Leaf Benefits

This plant, native to northern South America, is an over-the-counter laxative.. This means you don’t need a medical formula to acquire it. Apart from this, it is also used to relieve gastrointestinal problems. We detail the benefits below.

Helps relieve constipation

The most popular use of senna leaf is to relieve constipation. While more evidence is needed in this regard, a review posted in Journal of Pediatric Surgery note that it is a safe treatment option to mitigate this condition in children.

However, a book article Botanical medicine for women’s health suggests that its consumption is done only in the short term and to relieve occasional constipation. He also comments that its preparation in tea is taken, in most cases, before bedtime, to produce a bowel movement the next morning.

Prepared with senna leaves.
Senna leaves can be used not only as a healthy infusion, but also for beauty and hygiene products.

Promotes bowel preparation before colonoscopy

Thanks to its laxative effects, senna leaf is also used as an alternative method for its benefits to prepare the large intestine before a colonoscopy. It is an examination that allows direct and complete visualization of the colon to diagnose and treat intestinal diseases.

In relation to this the a study published in Journal of Research in the Medical Sciences he proved it the consumption of the extract of this plant had the same effects and benefits as a solution of polyethylene glycol in the bowel preparation of patients, one day before the procedure.

Helps improve hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum.. One of the main causes of this problem is constipation. While there is no evidence on the benefits of senna leaf to improve this condition, it is assumed that by helping to combat constipation it would also help improve hemorrhoids.

How to prepare an infusion of senna leaves?

Preparations based on herbs They are very common for relieving the symptoms of some mild health conditions that don’t require medical attention. Although most of these drinks are aromatic and mild in taste, in the case of senna, this is characterized by having a slightly bitter taste.

However, some preparations of this plant are already mixed with other herbs. This gives it a better flavor and aroma. As for its natural preparation in infusion, the process is very simple and you just have to follow the steps that we detail below.


  • 1 cup of water (250ml).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of senna leaves (2 g).
  • Honey (optional).


  • In a small saucepan, pour the water and heat over medium heat.
  • Before boiling, add the senna leaves and turn off the heat.
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes and filter the preparation.
  • If you like, sweeten with honey.
  • You can drink one or two 5ml spoonfuls a day.

How long does it take to take effect?

The general recommendation is to consume it before going to sleep to see results the next morning. This is since then its laxative properties take about 8 hours to take effect. As for the dose, a publication of National Health Service suggests it should be no more than 5ml per day and should not be taken for longer than a week.

Macerated Senna
Preparing the infusion with senna leaves is not difficult. Remember to adjust the consumption dose.

Contraindications and side effects of senna leaf

Senna leaf can have adverse effects when consumed in large doses or for a long time. One of the main consequences of this is that the intestine stops working properly and an addiction to laxatives is generated.

On the other hand, excessive consumption of the plant could cause stomach pains as well diarrhea. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before ingesting it and let them know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Have you had an allergic reaction to breasts or any medications in the past.
  • You have intestinal obstruction, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • You are about to become pregnant, are already pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Finally, remember that, in addition to this natural remedy, constipation and digestive problems can be improved by incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. Try to eat a balanced diet with a high fiber content, drink at least 2 liters of water a day and get some physical activity.

The post Senna leaf: what are its benefits and side effects? first appeared on research-school



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