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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Senna Leaves - Ayurvedic Properties & Health Benefits

Beautiful lines suit every tree, herb and shrub that has useful and beneficial properties inside their parts.

Every herb has some kind of property that helps in treating certain ailments.

One of the herb is there, if you are looking herbal remedy for constipation and other bowel problems. This herb is known as Senna herb. To know about their remedies, we have to get knowledge about the plant first.

senna, herb, leaves

What is senna?

Senna is a flowering plant. It belongs to the family leguminosae. Leguminosae is a family known for flowering plants that include trees, shurbs and herbs. These are recognized by their fruits, legumes and stipulate leaves.

Where senna grows?

This plant is originally found in North Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia.It came in India in eighteenth century. It is cultivated in Tamil Nadu, Bangalore, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Delhi.

Species used for medical purpose are

Alexandrian senna and Tinnevelly senna. Tinnevelly senna species is of India.

Cultivation of senna

Tinnevelly senna is cultivated in rich clayed semi irrigated land.It is sown during spring rain around in February. Senna grows in the sun well because it is a sun-loving plant. The harvesting time of senna plant is of 90 days from the time of sowing.

What are the natural constituent of senna plant and they show their action?

The active component of senna are two glycosides named as sennoside A and sennoside B.

Ayurvedic Properties of senna

  • Rasa - Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter), Madhura (Sweet)
  • Veerya (Potency) - Hot
  • Guna (Qualities) - light, Dry in nature, Pungent
  • Vipaka - Katu, After digestion pungent
  • Prabhava (Effect) - Virechaka (mildpurgative)
  • Effect on Tridosha - The herb is Pitta virechaka (removes excessive Pitta from body) and Vata anulomaka (removes excess Apaan vata through the anal route)

Mode of action

This herb work as a laxative by smoothing the muscles so that digested food moves through the intestines. It helps to enhance the stool volume and moves it out of the colon. This step is done by chain of fatty acids that promote all things like digestion, fermentation and converting the glycosides into a purgative agent.

Ayurvedic benefits of senna leaves

Due its natural ayurvedic constituents, this plant has many useful effects on body functioning and cleansing.

Treatment of Constipation:

As this plant has laxative properties, shows effect in relieving constipation.It stimulates the muscles of the colon and give a push force on fecal matter more quickly. Senna leaf acts on the intestinal walls by causing contractions which lead to bowel movements. These movements softens the stools by enabling the colon to absorb water. It effectively cures even very hard cases of constipation. The glycosides in it help transport electrolytes, causing bowel movements within 6 to 12 hours of its intake.

Colon Cleanser:

Senna leaf helps to clear the heat produced in large intestine. This helps the body to get rid of stagnant food accumulated in the stomach.

Weight Loss:

It helps in weight loss by curing constipation problem.

Antibacterial Properties:

The essential oils, tannins and other compounds present in senna plant have anti-bacterial properties.These can inhibit the growth and proliferation of microorganisms. By chewing senna leaf, mouth problems like mouth infections and gingivitiscan be cured.

It clears toxicity of body. It is useful for tumors of the abdomen ascites and enlargement of the abdomen

For Hemorrhoids:

It is helpful in treatment of hemorrhoids as it helps reduce swelling and facilitates quick healing, causes easy defecation in intestine. The non-sugar components in it increases peristaltic movements by irritating and stimulating the intestinal tract. In this way it just speeds up the passage of stools.

For Skin Infections:

The important components like resin and tannin in senna, can cure skin inflammation. The paste made from senna leaves is effective in treating skin infections like acne as well as inflammatory conditions like eczema. Acetone and ethanol present in senna can fight microorganisms that cause acne.

It also acts as an antifungal agent.

Helpful in Hair Remedies:

  • It is used as a hair pack by mixing senna powder with water and yoghurt.
  • It can help in conditioning by minimize the chemical effects on hairs.
  • It also helps to treat dandruff.

Some precautions that should be in mind while using senna plant

  • It is advised to take senna for short terms.
  • The long term uses can cause problems like Diarrhea.
  • Some people can be allergic to senna leaves. They can have change in urine color.
  • Long term usecan cause muscle weakness, liver damage, heart function disorder and colorectal growths.
  • Short term side effects are vomiting, stomach discomfort and abdominal cramps.
  • At the glance, it is helpful to use senna plant in a productive and a dosage way to cure a disease. Extra and continuous use can create problems.

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