Known throughout northern Africa and central Asia as a cleansing herb, senna has been around for centuries. Brewing it as a tea is one way – in addition to taking oral supplements or medication containing senna – to ingest for medicinal purposes. Senna works to fight constipation, and also has some other potential health benefits.


According to MedlinePlus, senna is approved for laxative use in adults in order to clear up conditions such as constipation, and is most effective when taken orally. This makes senna tea a viable option for patients suffering from chronic constipation. The large amount of sennosides in senna tea helps to stimulate colon function as well as increase fluid secretion by the colon, thus making it easier for the body to loosen and pass hard stool.

Surgery Preparation

Because of its laxative properties, drinking senna tea can also help patients preparing for major gastrointestinal surgery by flushing out the digestive tract. Using senna to help prepare patients for bowel procedures or even major surgery proves to be up to 12 percent more effective than by using drugs such as commonly administered polyethelene glycol, according to the University of Michigan Health System. However, you should never take any herbal remedies before a surgery or medical treatment unless it has been cleared by your doctor.

Dosage and Side Effects

Due to its powerful effects on the digestive system, you should only take senna under the supervision of your doctor, and don’t take more than 34.4 milligrams daily, recommends MedLinePlus. Some side effects include dependency, low potassium levels and dehydration. Women who are pregnant, especially in the first trimester, should talk to their doctors before drinking senna tea for laxative purposes. Avoid senna if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious chronic disease of the digestive condition, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/276163-what-are-the-benefits-of-senna-tea/

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