Senna leaf is an herb that comes from senna plants in North Africa. Senna leaf powder is a ground form of the leaf of the senna herb, and it's slightly sweet in flavor, but also has some bitterness to it.
Senna leaf has long been used for constipation and is also a relatively effective anti-parasitic. The senna plant's leaves, flowers and pods have been used for centuries specifically for these purposes.
- Different Names Of Senna Leaf
- Benefits Of Senna Leaf Powder
- How To Use Senna Leaf Powder
- Supplementing With Senna Leaf Powder
- Is Senna Leaf Powder Healthy?
Different Names Of Senna Leaf:
Senna leaf powder is also known by its botanical name Senna alexandrina mill from the Fabaceae plant family. It may also be referred to as senna, Alexandrian senna or Indian senna.
Benefits Of Senna Leaf Powder:
Senna leaf tea is a viable short-term treatment for constipation. Senna stimulates bowel movements by relaxing the muscles that hold onto poop and contracting the muscles that work to push poop through the intestines.
Before senna leaf is able to work to stimulate bowel movements, the sennosides in the senna leaf herb must change into rheinanthrones by healthy bacteria in the colon.
Senna leaf powders ability to alleviate constipation might also make it useful for treating hemorrhoids, though further studies are needed to support this conclusion.
Senna is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties.
Read More: What Causes Constipation
How to Use Senna Leaf Powder:
Senna leaf powder is typically prepared as a capsule, tablet, or extract. It may also be taken as a tea. Since senna leaf is rather potent, those who are looking for a more mild effect are encouraged to use the pod of the plant.
It's important to drink lots of fluids when taking senna leaf powder in order to prevent loss of body fluids and electrolytes.
Senna leaf powder is approved by the FDA to be used as a laxative. The recommended daily dose for adults ages 12 years and older is 17mg, and 8mg for children 12 years and under.
Women who suffer from constipation shortly following pregnancy may take 14mg twice a day. Children under 2 years of age should not take senna leaf powder.
Exceeding the recommended daily dose may cause adverse effects. Senna leaf powder should only be used on a short-term basis and should not be used for an extended period of time. More specifically, the supplement should not be used for longer than two weeks at a time.
Supplementing With Senna Leaf Powder:
Consuming senna leaf powder may cause certain side effects, including the following:
- Abdominal cramps
- Off-balance of electrolytes
Long-term side effects of senna leaf powder may include:
- Exacerbated heart conditions
- Liver damage
- Laxative dependence
- Rectal bleeding
Senna leaf powder may not be suitable for certain individuals, including those who are suffering from:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Crohn's disease
Those who currently take certain types of medications may also not be suitable candidates for senna leaf powder, as it may interact with the drugs. These may include the following:
- Blood thinners
- Estrogens hormone replacement
It's very important to speak with a health care practitioner before taking senna leaf powder.
Is Senna Leaf Powder Healthy?:
Senna leaf powder may be an effective natural and non-prescription supplement to alleviate constipation and should be relatively safe to take in small doses, but only for the short-term. Instead, it is best used occasionally when symptoms of constipation arise.
As with any other type of herb or supplement, it's always suggested that users consult with a physician before taking senna leaf powder.
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