Organic Senna Leaves
Botanical Name: Senna alexandrina
Senna is an FDA-approved over-the-counter (OTC) laxative. It is used to treat constipation and also to clear the bowel before diagnostic tests such as colonoscopy.
The most common application for senna tea is to stimulate bowel movements and alleviate constipation.
The primary active compounds in senna leaves are known as senna glycosides, or sennosides. Sennosides cannot be absorbed in your digestive tract, but they can be broken down by your gut bacteria.
This breakdown of sennosides mildly irritates the cells in your colon, an effect that stimulates intestinal movement and produces a laxative effect.
Long-term senna tea intake may lead to laxative dependence, electrolyte disturbances, and liver damage.
Furthermore, senna may negatively interact with certain types of medications, such as:
- blood thinners
- licorice root
- heart rhythm medications
If you have heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or liver disease, you should consult your healthcare provider prior to taking any senna product, as it may exacerbate these conditions.
Senna is not generally recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.