Herb of the Month
Name: Cassia angustifolia)
Seena, Indian Seena, Tinnervelly Senna, Cassia Senna
Pods, Stems, Leaves
Cultivated in dry lands of Southern & Western India
indegenous to Arabia.
Description and composition:
The Cassia plant family has 300 - 600 species of
trees, shrubs, vines and herbs with numerous species growing in
the South American rainforests and tropics. Many species have
been used medicinally and these tropical plants have a rich
history in natural medicine. Various Cassia plants have been
known since the 9th or 10th century as purgatives and laxatives
including Cassia angustifolia and Cassia Senna which is known as
Senna. Fedegoso or Cassia occidentalis, is a small tree growing
5 to 8 meters in height which is found in many tropical areas of
South America including the Amazon. Indigenous to Brazil, it is
also found in warmer climates and tropical areas of South,
Central and North America.
Seena is an Arabian name, and the drug was first brought into
use by the Arabian physicians Serapion and Mesue, and Achiarius
was the first of the Greeks to notice it.
Cassia angustifolia is native to India and cultivated mainly in
India and Pakistan.
People in northern Africa and southwestern
Asia have used senna as a laxative for centuries. It was
considered a “cleansing” herb because of its cathartic
effect. In addition, the leaves were sometimes made into a paste
and applied to various skin diseases.
power and curative properties :
Senna is a powerful cathartic used in the
treatment of constipation, working through a stimulation of
intestinal peristalsis. Senna is mainly for severe constipation,
the constipation following a fever or for clearing Pitta from
the small intestines.
The leaves were sometimes made into a paste and applied
to various skin diseases. Ringworm and acne were both treated in
It is also used in hypertension and obesity.
Senna leaf is a strong anthraquinone-
containing purgative that is used in constipation.
Though Senna is a laxative, which
theoretically should be good for Vata, it is a peristalsis
enhancer that will provoke Vata in the long run through its
bitter taste and cold energy.
Because of its substantial squeezing
action, Senna is usually used along with carminative herbs,
such as ginger and fennel.
Ayurvedic Supplements that contains
Senna Leaves :