Sen leaf: what is this medicinal plant and how to take it?

Nature provides us with plants with therapeutic effects often preferred to drugs, considered more extreme, invasive and artificial treatments.

The sin leaf is a plant whose use dates back to the Middle Ages, A time when they already knew its properties as a laxative.

    What is the sen leaf?

    In recent years, this plant has become more popularNot only used to treat intestinal problems such as daily constipation, but has also been attributed properties for weight loss.

    Although it has been shown to be quite effective as a natural laxative, the sinus plant is not without controversy, as in certain doses it can cause more harm than good to the body.

    Let’s see in more detail what this plant is, how it can be prepared as an infusion, what are its therapeutic effects as well as its side effects and why it should not be used.

    A medicinal plant with multiple properties

    Sin (Senna alexandrina) is a medicinal plant cultivated in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan and India. which is best known for its powerful laxative effects. This plant falls into the category of stimulant laxatives, since it acts directly on the intestinal mucosa, increasing peristaltic movements of the colon.

    It is also linked to improving symptoms of hemorrhoids, in addition to being used by some people to lose weight more easily.

    Despite its benefits, the plant, which is marketed in herbalists and drugstores as leaves and tablets without a prescription, can have unwanted effects, and that is, although it is a natural remedy, it is not. not without health problems.

    Preparing the infusion

    The infusion of sen leaves is not a bit too complicated, however, certain precautions must be taken to prevent the infusion from becoming a little unpleasant and harmful to health..

    In herbalists, you can find preparations of this plant, as well as others such as ginger, mint or fennel to make the infusion more pleasant on the palate, because the sinus plant is quite bitter.

    The infusion can be prepared with 1 or 2 grams of sen leaves per 250 ml of water. Place the sinus leaf in a container, such as a pot, mug, or pot, add hot water, and wait about 5 minutes for the liquid to absorb nutrients from the plant. It is advisable not to incorporate boiling water, because in this case the infusion will become too irritating.

    Main uses and indications

    The main components of sinuses are the sinuses. The infusion of this herb has been shown to be a potent short-term laxative and this is its main use.. To make the sinus leaf infusion as effective as possible, it is recommended to drink it before bedtime as it will aid digestion the next morning. The recommended daily dose of breast leaves is between 0.5 and 2 grams.

    Thanks to the fact that it helps alleviate the effects of constipation, making it easier to remove feces, it also heals rectal injuries such as hemorrhoids. For this purpose, they can consume by people over 2 years old, although children between 2 and 15 years old are recommended to take other treatments, such as mineral oil and lactulose.

    This plant is a diuretic, which helps cleanse the body and decreases water retention. It has also been linked to an improvement in the muscles of the urinary tract, making it easier to expel urine.

    Sinuses are thought to be a likely effective treatment for bowel preparation before a colonoscopy, as are castor oil and bisacodyl. However, research has not yet clarified whether senna leaves are the most effective component for this purpose or whether other substances such as polyethylene glycol or sodium phosphate are more effective in cleaning the intestines.

    Side effects

    Abusive consumption of this plant can lead to a situation of dependence on laxatives. This contributes to the bowel not functioning on its own, becoming “lazy”.

    Most of the side effects of this plant are due to overdose because its consumption is too long in time. Consuming more than 3 grams of sinus leaf daily can be toxic.

    Due to its laxative effects, the main symptoms that this plant can cause are gastrointestinal, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loose stools, intense colic, as well as a decrease in vitamin K, bleeding, lack of potassium, decreased hemoglobin, hypocalcaemia. , hypocalemia, poor intestinal absorption, dehydration, increased menstrual flow, liver damage and, in more severe cases, coma.


    Although this is a natural remedy, keep in mind that the sin leaf is not suitable for all types of people.

    Here are the cases in which the consumption of this plant is not recommended, both in the form of an infusion and in the form of tablets.

    1. Pregnancy and lactation

    The plant stimulates smooth musclesSomething that could lead to premature contractions and even an abortion.

    During lactation, it is not recommended to take the sinus leaf as the laxatives present in this plant could reach the baby through breast milk, causing digestive problems in the newborn.

    2. Hypersensitivity in the breast

    People allergic to the plant should not consume any derivative of the same.

    If taking an infusion or a sinus leaf tablet for the first time, it is recommended to do it gradually, ingesting a small amount to see what effects may occur.

    In this way, it is possible to know if there is some type of hypersensitivity to a compound of the plant, such as swelling of the lips, breathing problems or any other type of immune response.

    3. Digestive problems

    Due to its laxative action, people suffering from a digestive problem such as diarrhea or Crohn’s disease should avoid consumption as much as possible. by the Alexandrian Seine.

    The plant is only recommended in cases of constipation not due to serious illness. In case the person suffers from a serious medical condition, one should consult a doctor before resorting to natural treatments.

    4. Lose weight

    Many people find that if they eat a large meal, to avoid gaining weight or speeding up the results of weight loss diets, consuming laxatives will prevent the absorption of certain nutrients like fat.

    This is simply not true. Consumption of laxatives does not prevent the absorption of components present in food and, if so, it does so in a very limited way.

    The sinus sheet is not a remedy to lose weight easily. Its excessive consumption can have a negative impact on the metabolism, which is why it should not be used for weight loss.

    There are other amazing natural remedies that have proven to be effective in achieving this goal, such as exercise or a varied and healthy diet that has no shortage of vegetables and fruits.

    5. Long-term consumption

    Although it has proven to be an effective short-term remedy for treating constipation, it is not recommended to exceed two weeks of consumption of this plantAs in the long term, it can have adverse effects on the liver, intestines and even the heart.

    The ideal is to take infusions or tablets from the sinus leaf occasionally. If you suffer from daily constipation, this herb should not be consumed to fix it. It is advisable to go to a professional.

    Interactions with other herbs and drugs

    The leaf of the sinus plant can have a particularly negative impact on the body in case the person consuming it is also taking other natural remedies or drugs. No interaction was found between the sinus grass and food.

    Some of the compounds with which this plant interacts and the side effects generated are as follows.

    1. Diuretic and laxative drugs

    As sen is a laxative herb, combine it with other compounds which have the same function or which contribute to urination more frequently potentiating this effect.

    Laxatives and diuretics contribute to a decrease in potassium in the body.

    2. Estrogens

    Some hormone replacement treatments use estrogen. The sen plant decreases the amount of these hormones in the body, which reduces the therapeutic effects of hormone replacement therapy.

    3. Contraceptive tablets

    Estradiol is an estrogen found in some contraceptives. Since the breasts lower the estrogen levels in the body, this also reduces the effectiveness of contraceptive treatments.

    4. Digoxin

    Digoxin (Lanoxin) is a medicine used to treat heart problems. This drug may interact with the breast because the side effects of digoxin are increased when there is a decrease in potassium in the body.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Cogley K, Echevarria A, Correa C, De la Torre-Mondragón L. (2017) Contact burn with blistering in children treated with Sennosides. Pediatr Dermatol; 34: 85-88.
    • Irwin HS and Barneby RC (1982). The American Cassiinae: A synoptic review of the legume tribe, Cassieae subribe Cassiinae in the New World. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, 35, 1-119.
    • Izzy, M., Malieckal, A, Little, E., and Anand, S. (2016). Review of the efficacy and safety of the use of laxatives in geriatrics. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics 7 (2), 334-342
    • Leung, L., Riutta, T., Kotecha, J. and Rosser, W. (2011). Chronic constipation: an evidence-based review. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 24 (4), 436-451.
    • Vilanova-Sanchez A, Gasior AC, Toocheck N, et al (2018). Are senna laxatives safe when used as a long-term treatment for constipation in children? J Pediatr Surg; 53: 722-7.

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