Senna (Cassia angustifolia) is natural herb ingredient of SaniTea™

sennaSenna (Cassia angustifolia) was used for centuries because of its powerful laxative effect and is considered a "cleaning body" remedy. Senna leaves contain anthraglycosides - the most important of which are sennosides. Many clinical studies proved that active ingredients in Senna increase bowel functions, the peristaltic movements of the colon by its local action upon the intestinal wall, and provide laxative effect.

Senna (from Arabic sana), the sennas, is a large genus of around 250 species of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae. This diverse genus is native throughout the tropics, with a small number of species reaching into temperate regions. Almost all species were at one time or another placed in Cassia, a close relative which until recent decades served as a "wastebin taxon" to hold all Cassiinae. The species were reassigned by Howard Samuel Irwin and Rupert Charles Barneby, but this process is not entirely complete and some corrections may still take place.

Typically Senna species have yellowish flowers. They may be herbs, smallish trees or even a kind of liana, but typically are shrubs or subshrubs.

Senna is currently used in medicine as a laxative. Sennas have for millennia played a major role in herbalism and folk medicine. Alexandrian Senna (S. alexandrina) was and still is a significant item of trans-national trade e.g. by the Ababdeh people and grown commercially, traditionally along the middle Nile but more generally in many regions around the northwestern Indian Ocean.

Sennas act as purgatives and are similar to aloe and rhubarb in having as active ingredients anthraquinone derivatives and their glycosides. The latter are called sennosides or senna glycosides. Senna acts on the lower bowel, and is especially useful in alleviating constipation. It increases the peristatic movements of the colon. The plants are most often prepared as an infusion.

The long-standing use of (mainly) Alexandrian Senna is reflected by its presence in many herbal remedies and tonics. On the other hand, it was contained in more dangerous "medications" such as the highly toxic antihelminthic Lumbricide and - because their purgative effects are a readily-observed "proof" that some concoction "works" - many generally useless and often poisonous "patent medicine".

Today, because of the presence of ample anthraquinones, sennas are still used as the primary ingredient in certain stimulant laxatives. Senna is also the primary ingredient found in most diet teas. The combination of acting as a stimulant which reduces a dieter's appetite, and the laxative properties that cause food to move through their system before as many calories can be absorbed is a combination that can lead to rapid and even dangerous weight loss.

Senna (Cassia angustifolia) is natural herb ingredient of SaniTea™