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  Senna (Cassia angustifolia and Cassia senna)  
 
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Senna is used in the treatment of constipation and acts by stimulation of intestinal peristalsis or contractions. It is important to recognize that constipation is sometimes caused by factors which should be corrected prior to the regular use of a strong cathartic like senna. Short-term use only is recommended without a doctor's supervision, as cathartics can become habit-forming.

When stimulant laxatives such as senna or Cascara sagrada have been used for a long time, stopping the medication may result in severe constipation. You may need to "retrain" your bowels in order for them to function naturally by gradually lowering the nightly dose of senna. This may take longer than a month to accomplish.

Prolonged use of senna has also been reported to cause chronic diarrhea with excessive electrolyte and nutrient loss, enlargement of the ends of the fingers and toes, and pigmentation of the colon.

Although uncommon, allergic reactions to senna have been reported. Stop taking senna and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.
 

 
 

Senna (Cassia angustifolia and Cassia senna) can help with the following:
 
 
Digestion  Constipation

Uro-Genital

Not recommended for:
  Susceptibility To Miscarriages
 Anthraquinone laxatives such as aloe, buckthorn, cascara sagrada, docks, meadow saffron, and senna stimulate smooth muscles, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Avoid absolutely







GLOSSARY

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Colon:  The part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum. The colon takes the contents of the small intestine, moving them to the rectum by contracting.

Constipation:  Difficult, incomplete, or infrequent evacuation of dry, hardened feces from the bowels.

Diarrhea:  Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Electrolyte:  An element or compound that, when melted or dissolved in water or other solvent, breaks up into ions and is able to carry an electric current.

Peristalsis:  Movement characterized by alternate circular contraction and relaxation of the intestine or other tubular structure which propels the contents onward.

Stimulant Laxative:  Stimulant laxatives are believed to stimulate nerve endings in the nerve plexuses of the bowel wall, increasing the movement of its content via several mechanisms. The most common active ingredients include the Anthraquinones (Senna, Aloin, Frangula, Cascara and Powdered rhubarb) and the Diphenylmethane derivatives (Bisacodyl, Sodium picosulfate, Phenolphthalein). Traditionally-used castor oil has fallen into disuse because of its 'drastic' action and unpleasant taste.

Urticaria:  Commonly known as hives, urticaria is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Urticaria is not just an allergic disease, however. It can be caused by metabolic diseases, medications, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease, or physical sensitivity. Traditional allergies to foods or medications as well as viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria which usually lasts only a few hours but may last up to 6 weeks. Chronic urticaria (lasting more than 6 weeks) is more complex, given the vast number of potential triggers. Symptoms include sudden onset; initial itching; then swelling of the surface of the skin into red or skin-colored welts (wheals) with clearly defined edges; welts turn white on touching; new welts develop when the skin is scratched; usually disappear within minutes or hours. Welts enlarge, change shape, spread or join together to form large flat raised areas.