Senna (Cassia species; Senna alexandrina) is one of the most widely used laxatives. It can be found in the tropical and subtropical regions of all continents except Europe. Most varities are indigenous to North, Central, and South America. Both the leaves and fruit can be used medicinally. Senna is a stimulant laxative. Senna leaf has greater cathartic properties than the fruit. Senna contains anthraquinones including dianthrone that consists of mostly sennosides A and B and minor amounts of sennosides C and D. It also contains a small amount of free anthraquinones. Senna helps relieve constipation. It is also useful for hemorrhoids and evacuating the gastrointestinal tract.
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Cautions Orally, senna may cause abdominal discomfot, colic, and cramps.