(Herbs Knowledge) Senna

| September 11, 2012 | 0 Comments | 6 views

Senna Scientific Names and Common Names,Senna Biochemical Information,Uses,Warning,Where Found,Parts Usually Used,Senna Description of Plant(s) and Culture,Medicinal Properties.

(Herbs Knowledge) Senna

Contents:

Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties | Biochemical Information
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | Formulas or Dosages | How Sold | Warning | Bibliography

Scientific Names

Cassia marilandica L. Cassia senna Leguminosae Pea family

Common Names

American senna
Locust plant
Wild senna
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Parts Usually Used

Leaves (dried)
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

American senna is a perennial plant that may reach a height of 4-6 feet. The stems are erect, round and slightly hairy, with even-pinnate leaves on long petioles. Note rounded gland at the base of the leaf stalk. Each leaf consists of 8-10 narrow, oblong, pointed leaflets. The yellow flowers with 5 somewhat unequal petals grow in clusters in the leaf axils and appear in June to September and are borne in racemes. The flowers are followed by long brown hairless pods with many seeds. Seedpods with joints twice as wide as they are long. The flat seed pod is a legume, about 2-4 inches long.

Other varieties of senna are: Alexandrian senna (C. acutifolia), used in Ayurvedic medicine (Sanskrit name: Rajavriksha) (Chinese name Fan-xia-ye); Tinnevelly senna (C. angustifolia); Purging senna (C. fistula). All are regarded as cathartics.
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Where Found

Found in rich soils of the eastern United States, in open woods and beside streams from Pennsylvania across to Iowa and south to Florida and Texas.
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Medicinal Properties

Cathartic, diuretic, vermifuge, stimulant
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Biochemical Information

Anthraquinones, flavones, tartaric acid, mucin, salts, essential oils, traces of tannin and resin.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Senna belongs to the sugar class of laxatives, its properties being due, for the most part, to the water-attracting properties of the sugar while in the intestinal canal. Senna sometimes causes griping effects. To modify this, combine Senna leaves with one of the aromatic herbs; ginger, anise, caraway, fennel or coriander.

Senna is a small shrub in Egypt, Nubia and Arabia. It is believed the early Arabian and Greek physicians were first to use the leaves and pods of this plant as medicine. The use spread with civilizations along the Mediterranean, through Europe and the rest of the world. The Herbalist Almanac states: “In modern times the market has grown to stupendous proportions.”
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Uses

This herb is an effective laxative and is much used by herbalists for that purpose, but usually in combination with other herbs, since it tends to cause griping by itself. Also it is combined with other herbs to get rid of intestinal worms. Can be used as a mouthwash for halitosis and that bad taste in the mouth.

The leaves are considered to be stronger, while the pods are milder, like buckthorn or cascara. Senna is stronger and more irritating than rhubarb.
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Formulas or Dosages

Gather the leaves while the plant is in bloom.

Infusion: use 1 tsp. leaves with 1 cup of boiling water; steep for 1/2 hour. Take hot or cold, a mouthful 3 times per day or 1/2 cup before going to bed. Take no more than 2 cups per day total. If 2 cups per day is exceeded, it may cause nausea, griping pains and purging of the bowels.

Tea of seedpods is milder, slower-acting.

An infusion of dried leaves (mixed with cloves or ginger and cream of tartar to prevent griping senna causes when given alone) is an effective laxative. Same limit of 2 cups per day applies.

Tincture: the dose is 1/2 to 1 tsp.
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How Sold

Commercial senna comes from a related Arabian plant.
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Warning

Without consultation with the doctor, take senna leaves and/or fruits for only a short time! Do not use this herb in cases of intestinal obstruction or inflammation of the stomach. It should not be administered for inflammatory conditions of the alimentary canal, fever, piles, menorrhagia, prolapse rectum, prolapse uterus or during pregnancy.Overdoses and frequent usage can cause laxative dependency as well as abdominal pains, nausea and vomiting. Contraindicated in pregnancy.
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Bibliography

, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023, 1984

, by Pamela Forey and Ruth Lindsay, Crescent Books (January 27, 1992).

, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

, edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

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Category: Herbs

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