Herbs of Asia

Alexandrian Senna (Cassia acutifolia) – Ma Khaam Khak

Alexandrian Senna (Cassia acutifolia)


Action: Alterative, Anthelmintic, Antipyretic, Antiseptic, Cholagogue, Laxative, Purgative
Taste: Bitter
Part used: Leaf, Pod
Internal application: Tea made from Alexandrian senna pods is a strong and effective laxative for treatment of constipation. The leaves are somewhat more gentle, and tea from the leaves is traditionally used as a mild laxative for the elderly. In smaller doses, senna stimulates the liver and encourages the production of bile, thereby aiding digestion.
Topical application: Decoction of Alexandrian senna pods is an antiseptic. Applied topically, it is used traditionally as a treatment for bacterial and fungal skin infections. As a gargle, it is used to treat infections of the mouth, including tooth and gum disease, and mouth sores.
Caution: Senna is not recommended for patients with hemorrhoids or for those with high levels of stress, tension, or chronic anxiety.
Note: Where C. acutifolia can not be found, the more common Western varieties, C. Marilandica or C. angustifolia, can be used.

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