Senna alexandrina commonly known as Senna is an ornamental plant belonging to the legume family Fabaceae and in the genus Senna. S. alexandrina is also known under the names Egyptian Senna, Indian senna, Senna. The plant is native to North Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia. In Asia, it is mostly found in the temperate regions of India and China. The herb received the names âAlexandrian Sennaâ and âEgyptian Sennaâ because Alexandria in Egypt was the main trade port in past times. The fruits and leaves were transported from Nubia and Sudan and other places to Alexandria, then from it and across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe and adjacent Asia.
As a herbal supplement, Senna contains a variety of molecules and bioactives such as:
The stereoisomers Sennoside A and B (main two, although C-E), found at 1.12-1.24%;
Aloe-emodin and Emodin; Chrysophanol, Physcion and Racemochrysone, dihydroanthracenone and anthraquinone derivates; Flavonoids, including Kaempferol; Naphthalene precursors; Beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol. The sennosides are seen as the active ingredients. They are glycosides of a rhein anthrone molecule, which then bind to each other in pairs. For the drug to be bioactive, the glycoside must first be broken off (by intestinal bacteria metabolism) and then the dirheinanthrone molecule (also known as Sennidin) passively separates. Sennosides may passively degrade into glycosides of rhein anthrones, called 8-glucosyl rhein anthrones.
Senna is found in many tropical countries. The plant has been used in India for thousands of years as a laxative. It can be found in capsule and tablet form, tea bags and loose tea, as well as liquid extracts. The undiluted dried root can be found in health food stores.
Senna contains glycosides, which are a group of organic compounds that are commonly found in plants. These compounds work as a laxative by smoothing the muscles as digested food moves through the intestines. This helps to enhance the stool volume and move it out of the colon. The process is caused by the chain of fatty acids that promote digestion, fermentation, and successfully converting the glycosides into a purgative agent.
This wonderful herb is quite beneficial for the entire body. Natural herbs are an effective and inexpensive way to get a glowing skin and keep skin problems at bay. Some of the ways in which senna can benefit our body are as follows.