Senna originates in regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia including China and India. Senna is known widely as a very powerful laxative due to the constituents present called anthraquinones, which are also known as sennosides or glycosides.
The dried leaves and fruit bodies of senna are especially effective in treating constipation and clearing the bowel before medical procedures, such as a colonoscopy diagnostic test. Senna is also used to aid in weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and hemorrhoids.
The above mentioned are not the only benefits that can be received from adding dried Senna leaf to your diet. Below are some additional ways dried senna can improve your skin, hair, and digestion.
7 Hair, Skin, and Digestion Benefits of Dried Senna Leaf
1. Treats Skin Conditions
This shrub is also used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest medicinal systems with one of the main guiding principles being that the body and mind are inextricably connected.
The essential oils, tannins, and resin present in senna alleviate skin inflammation. This can also be made into a paste to cure ringworm and heal burns and other wounds.
2. Treats Skin Infections
Due to the high antibacterial property of senna, it can be used to treat skin ailments and dermatological problems. Those that suffer from conditions such as acne and eczema, but prefer natural alternatives often turn to this powerful leaf for relief.
3. Use to Achieve Strong Hair
Many women (and men!) are on the hunt for the best ingredient to strengthen hair, condition the scalp, and achieve shiny, smooth hair. My friends, I present the senna leaf, which achieves all of the above mentioned.
A paste can be made by mixing yogurt, water, and senna powder. Adding citrus, spices, and essential oils can achieve a better effect, so if you’ve got them - add them! Apply it directly to the hair and let the prepared senna paste penetrate into the scalp and roots of your hair. Lastly, cover your hair with a plastic bag and let it dry. After few hours, rinse it off and voila! For best results, use weekly.
4. Great as a Conditioner
Senna also works well as a stand-alone conditioner. Senna’s constituents help minimize the impact of chemical treatments from commercial products that build up and dull the hair. Your hair may feel dry and rough at first, but not to worry. The benefits will appear after a few uses. (I experienced this same reaction when I switched to a purifying all-natural lemon cleanser. Now my hair is gorg!)
5. Combats Hair Loss
Among the other amazing hair benefits provided by senna, it also improves scalp health, treats dandruff, and thickens hair. It makes the hair stronger and combats hair loss. Try mixing it with Amla and Shikakai for a better result.
6. Treats Constipation
Dried senna is also effective in treating constipation. In fact, the FDA approved this as a nonprescription drug for treatment. It stimulates muscles used in digestion and speeds up the release of fecal matter. In addition, this softens the stool because it enables the colon to absorb sufficient water. In traditional Chinese medicine, this shrub is known as the ‘cleansing herb’ because of its laxative effect.
7. Effective for Weight Loss
As a byproduct of the digestive benefits of senna, it improves and promotes weight loss. The purpose of senna is not to treat weight loss itself, but by promoting proper digestion and bowel movements, stagnant food is passed through the tract and cannot accumulate in the stomach. Therefore, you won’t feel bloated, but rather fresh, light and clean.
Next time you pick up a diet tea, notice it probably contains senna. Rather than filling up on artificial crapola, scoop up some Senna leaf in the Wild Shop and have some senna tea!
Senna Side Effects and Warnings
Senna tea is from Cassia Senna Shrub. This is safe to use for adults and children two years and older. The active compounds called sennosides and glycosides act as irritants in the colon, which enhances the muscular contractions of intestines, pushing the bowel to come out.
The side effects - if used excessively - could be cramps, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. Do not use this for a period of 2 weeks or more because it can increase muscle weakness, heart disorders, and liver damage.