What is Senna Leaf Extract?
Senna leaf extract comes from the senna plant. It’s an herb that belongs to a group of flowering plants native to tropical regions. The most commonly used variety of senna as a medicinal extract or tea is the Cassia senna, also called wild senna. You can find it in many parts of the world, including North America, along the moist banks of streams and rivers and densely wooded areas. Although the variety of senna widely used is the Cassia senna, try not to confuse it with cassia, another name for a cinnamon bark species. If you want to start taking the herb for your health and well-being, it’s best to check with your healthcare professional first.
History of Senna
For centuries across the globe, the senna leaf, usually as a tea or powder form, worked as a laxative. The first noted in history was the Arab physicians during the 9th century. The name “senna” originated from the Arabi word known as “sena.”
The herb also emerges in traditional Chinese medicine to treat atherosclerosis, blocked arteries or furring of the arteries. The Chinese also used it for constipation, brightening the eyes and cleanse the liver. The ancient, traditional Indian medicine, Ayurvedic, used senna for skin problems, bronchitis, jaundice and anemia.
In the Middle Ages, they called the herb “Purging Cassia,” and the Italian medical school called it purgative. (x)
Does Senna Leaf Aid in Weight Loss?
Quick weight loss is not a scientific fact, but senna leaf draws water out of the body and purges, it can lead to a temporary loss of water weight. Beyond that, however, it does not aid in long-term weight loss or management.
The solution to weight loss is a healthy diet and exercise. Weight loss is frustrating because there are so many programs, and finding the one that works requires you to do the research. If you are obese, a study showed fasting under doctor’s supervision, and then 30 days of high protein diet, high fat and low carbohydrate worked best. After the fast, the study followed three groups, each on different diets. (x)
Senna Leaf Extract Benefits
Today, beyond the use as a treatment for constipation, senna can prepare the colon for colonoscopies and other procedures. It may help ease some symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and have anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic effects. Senna leaf and its extract are available as tea, powder, oil, granules, capsules and as part of herbal blends. Some benefits include:
Senna leaf and pods contain compounds called sennosides, which handle the herbal effect of the digestive system. The pods contain larger amounts of the sennosides. (x) Sennosides increase movement in the large intestine, a process known as peristalsis, and direct water back into the stool, making it easier to pass. (x)
The FDA approves senna leaf as a non-prescription oral laxative. It can help produce a bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. People commonly take it before bed. Check with your doctor before taking the herb for constipation.
Studies show that senna, especially when combined with fiber such as psyllium, is an excellent way to manage intermittent and chronic constipation. It is influential among the elderly population who are more prone to constipation, and children can also benefit, after consultation with their pediatrician, of course.
A scientific study with 30 geriatric patients aged 65 to 94 participated in a trial to see if senna taken with a bulk-forming laxative called lactulose (Levolac) helped them with chronic constipation. The results were positive, proving the senna with the Levolac worked. (x)
Another study in four hospitals in Northern Ireland, two nursing homes and one hospital England had 77 elderly patients with a history of chronic constipation and under long term care. They administered senna-fiber combination or lactulose on intermittent periods. Bowels were more frequent on days with senna-fiber combination, which was considerably more effective than lactulose. Senna cost less, too. (x)
Another similar study on 42 adults who were constipated were treated with two laxative preparations. Randomly, they were given a placebo and the two laxatives, intermittently. Psyllium or psyllium plus senna were the two laxatives. Both of them increase the bowel movements but only the one with senna also increased the moisture in the stools. As a final assessment, the psyllium group frequency increased 48% while the combination of psyllium and senna group increased their frequency by 63 percent. (x)
Pediatricians, pediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons have recommended senna for children, but it’s best to check with your family doctor before administering the herb. Apply the guidelines, and you may want to avoid long-term use. (x)
- Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common but complicated condition. There are multiple causes, and symptoms can vary from person to person. For example, IBS can cause diarrhea, constipation or both. Getting to the root cause of IBS is essential, but meanwhile, senna is one way to relieve constipation it causes. (x)
Senna leaf may be effective as an occasional treatment for IBS-related constipation. The herb lists other agents like aloe vera and castor oil as practical solutions for constipation caused by IBS. They stimulate your colon and increase contractions. Fluids secrete in the intestinal tract, which helps increase movement. (x)
- Bowel Prep for Colon Procedures
Consider talking to your doctor about using senna when preparing the colon for procedures like colonoscopies senna may help your body. A study found that the process was faster and more effective when adding senna to the colon cleansing formula (x). Another study found that senna was more effective than a different type of laxative called polyethylene glycol when patients prepared the colon for surgery. (x)
A study performed on 271 patients to compare the effectiveness of three colon cleaning regimens for colonoscopy. Senna as a laxative work most effectively with a substantial cleaner colon when used with a saline enema while patients (x)
- High Amounts of Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The senna plant and the senna leaf contain high amounts of resveratrol, a compound with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It allows the senna leaf to aid digestion and ease inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. (x) (x)
Based on the adverse effects of radiation for cancer treatment, a study aimed to test the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic (stop cell mutation) role in decreasing your body’s disturbances and oxidative stress. The study, performed in human white blood cultures, combined calcium, senna and fennel seed extract, showed a reduction of cancer-causing cells called mono- and binucleated. (x)
A study performed on rats pre-treated with senna before administering cadmium causes a liver disease called hepatotoxicity. The results proved that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of senna decreased the cadmium in their livers. The herb promises to be an agent to work against chemicals that cause hepatotoxicity. (x)
A scientific study performed on mice to study senna’s effects on the Malaria parasite proved the herb suppressed parasites. The study also administered chloroquine to boost the antimalarial development. It showed the two therapies work well together. (x)
Using test tubes, a scientific study showed that three different senna species were effective remedies for Paramphistomum gracile. These parasites affect the digestive systems of ruminants, such as cows, goats and sheep. (x) Though this helps farm animals, it opens the possibility of preventing other parasitic diseases in humans. Animal studies also show its ability to expel parasites from the intestinal tract. The effect was gradual, but clearly, the extract suppressed the multiplication of parasites. (x)
Senna Leaf Extract Dosage
As a dietary supplement, take 100 mg to 150 mg of senna leaf extract powder before bed. Be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage. Taking this product can cause a bowel movement within six to 12 hours.
Where to Buy Senna Leaf Extract?
You can purchase Senna Leaf extract in powder form at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements.
BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying Senna Leaf extract as a dietary supplement for constipation or potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Senna Side Effects
By exceeding the recommended dosage, diarrhea, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cramps may occur. Spoke with your doctor before adding this supplement to your regimen. Do not take if you are pregnant or nursing or have a history of stomach or intestinal problems. Do not take for longer than 1-2 weeks at a time.
In some people, IBS causes the colon to frequently, and sometimes painfully, spasm. Since senna stimulates the colon, it could worsen matters. If you’re unsure if senna is appropriate in your case, please consult your doctor.
Senna (Cassia species) is a popular herbal laxative that is available without a prescription. Senna is safe and well-tolerated but can cause adverse events, including clinically apparent liver injury used in high doses for a more extended time than recommended periods of use. (x)
Once senna helps with your constipation or other health concerns, you need to discontinue use unless your physician says otherwise. Some other side effects of excessive use of senna or prolonged include:
- Cardiovascular complications
- Chronic diarrhea and constipation
- Altered electrolyte levels
The Bottom Line
Centuries of experience and modern research show that senna can promote overall gastrointestinal well-being when used as directed.
The FDA approves senna leaf as an oral laxative. It can help produce a bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. You can use it before bed. Check with your doctor before taking the herb for constipation.
Senna leaf extract can provide relief for occasional bouts of constipation. By stimulating the colon’s muscles and promoting the hydration of its contents is safe for most people when needed. Under the direction of a pediatric healthcare professional, even kids can benefit.
Medical professionals prescribe senna when preparing the colon for procedures like colonoscopies senna. The herb may be effective as an occasional treatment for IBS-related constipation. Fluids in the intestinal tract help increase movement. Senna also has antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anti-parasitic properties.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.