Historically, there are many medicinal uses of Senna. But the most common and therapeutic application of Senna leaves and pods has been as a laxative because of its cathartic properties. Many modern studies have found that Senna is useful in treating constipation. It stimulates colon activity, which speeds bowel movements and improves digestion. It also results in decreased absorption of water and thereby a bulkier and softer fecal mass. This suggests there is action in lower bowel and no effect in stomach and small intestine. Together, these actions work to get a sluggish colon functional again.

Senna is consumed both directly by the end consumer as well as by organizations involved in extracting sennoside from the plant parts.

The sennoside content of Indian Senna varies from 1.5% to 3.0%. The cathartic properties of leaves and pods or their powder retain their biological activity for a long period, but have to be protected from light and moisture.

A few of the common modes of direct consumption are:
• By brewing and drinking the leaves in a similar manner as tea
• Tablets and Capsules
• Ingesting in powder form
• In syrup form

A Confirmation

Senna is widely accepted as a treatment for constipation and its efficacy has been upheld as under,

• Senna is approved by the World Health Organization for short-term use in occasional constipation. (WHO, 1999)
• Senna is included in the British pharmacopeia, the United States pharmacopeia and others too.
• Senna tablets and capsules, and other formulations are sold as over-the-counter and prescription laxative preparations, all over the world.
• Many clinical studies have been carried out about the benefits of Senna on constipation and numerous articles have been printed in medical journals.

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