What does an herb used in love sachets in the Middle East have to do with your colon? You may be surprised. We’re talking about senna. How far back can we trace this herb's use in the healing arts? As it turns out, senna is one of the oldest known herbal medicines and is included in most of the world's pharmacopoeias. It's first known use can be traced back to two Arabian physicians, Serapion and Sesue. They are said to have given the herb its Arabic name “Senna” and employed it as a purgative. The Chinese were a little more literal in their naming of the herb. In China, the name for senna, Fan Xie Ye, means "foreign-country laxative herb." Whatever you call it, today it is used worldwide to treat a variety of colon related issues
Senna for Natural Constipation Relief
Primarily, senna is used as a natural remedy for constipation. And a much-needed one it seems. In 2011, 63 million people were affected by chronic constipation in the US alone. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if you have fewer than three bowel movements per week or your stools are harder than usual, you may have constipation. Then again, according to health expert Jon Barron, if you are not having one major movement for each major meal you ate the day before, then you definitely have constipation. Why the difference of opinion? Because “medical experts” base their opinion on the norm for modern Americans who eat a highly processed diet, whereas “health experts” base their opinion on the norm for those eat a natural, unprocessed diet. Which do you think is the “healthier” opinion. Either way, though, constipation is a major problem.
Senna contains naturally occurring chemicals called anthraquinone glycosides that usually start working in three to nine hours. Anthraquinone laxatives, such as senna, work in two ways. First, they help assist with constipation by increasing the amount of water and electrolytes in the intestine. They also work by stimulating contractions of the colon muscles, which helps to accelerate the passage of stool. Senna is considered among the strongest of the anthraquinone laxatives—surpassed only by cape aloe. Its effectiveness as a purgative has been supported by centuries of anecdotal reports as well as modern human and animal studies and is why Jon Barron uses senna in his Colon Corrective formula.
Senna for Hemorrhoids Relief
In addition to constipation, senna may be recommended for people with hemorrhoids, fissures, or those undergoing surgery involving the abdomen, anus, or rectum—because it relieves the straining associated with constipation. Senna may also be used to clear the bowel to improve the visibility of abdominal organs during an ultrasound procedure.
Senna as a Natural Antibacterial & Anti-Inflammatory
In addition, senna is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce any swelling associated with irritation as well as in the overall healing process.
Senna for Treating Skin Conditions
Surprisingly, senna has also been used topically to treat a variety of skin conditions. In Ayurvedic medicine, senna leaf is made into a paste and used as a compress to help heal ringworm, Pityriasis versicolo, and other similar types of skin issues.
How to Take Senna
Today, senna is commonly found in capsule and tablet form, tea bags and loose tea, as well as liquid extracts. The undiluted dried root can typically be found in health food stores.
Incidentally, its use in Love Sachets is probably based on its highly aromatic smell -- reminiscent of mild green tea.