Senna Natural Laxative and Potential Side Effects

Senna natural laxative extract can be very helpful in treating constipation. However, due to the very serious possible side effects you should take caution before using this powerful supplement.

Also called cassia, it is member of the bean family native native to China, India and Pakistan. Its leaves and seeds are harvested for their powerful therapeutic properties.

Senna is a strong reliever of constipation, and has been used for centuries by many cultures for a variety of maladies.

Senna side effects...the problem with laxatives

Using senna natural laxatives should be your very last resort in treating constipation. They contain chemicals called anthraquinones, which stimulate the colon. Some of the more popular ones include Ex-Lax, Fletcher's Castoria and other over-the-counter medications.

Unfortunately, they can have some very serious side effects that you should be aware of. Since they are so powerful, they should not be used by anyone with chronic gastrointestinal conditions such as hemorrhoids, ulcers or colitis.

When taken in large amounts side effects can include nausea, diarrhea and severe cramps.

Most importantly, if you do choose to take it do not take it for more than two weeks! One of the potential problems with extended use is lazy bowel syndrome, which is a condition in which you will be unable to move your bowels without chemical stimulation.

So what's the best option?

Senna leaves on their own have a nauseating taste, so if you're going to take it your best bet is to mix it with peppermint, ginger or other herb that can offer similar benefits and help cut the taste a bit.

Also, make sure you buy a high quality senna product from a reputable manufacturer to ensure it will offer the therapeutic benefits it should.

You can purchase it in leaf, pod, powder or whole form, depending on your personal preference. You can also choose other herbs to mix it with when you make your tea to make it more palatable for you.

Again, just make sure you do not overuse it as it is a very powerful laxative. Start with a very low concentration to see what kind of results you get.

As with all health supplements, make sure you consult your physician or qualified herbal professional before taking any senna or other constipation treatment.


more on our medicinal herbs page

return to our HSG home page

 Resources...


Need a daily supplement for health and wellness?  Discover what we have been taking ourselves for years!


Need bulk herbs, teas and capsules?
Get the best prices here!