Senna leaf: 4 super powerful benefits and side effects

One of the main benefits of senna leaf is its laxative properties. However, it is important not to exceed the proper dosage to avoid side effects.

Senna leaves comes from a species of shrub also known as cadecillo or frijolillo , family Fabaceae. It is known in popular culture for its properties and the benefits it provides to treat constipation and some stomach upset.

However, since it is classified as a natural laxative that acts on the intestinal mucosa, it is important to ingest it in the appropriate doses to avoid major problems. We tell you more about its benefits and how to consume it.

Senna leaves benefits or uses

This plant, native to northern South America, is an over-the-counter laxative . This means that you do not need a prescription to purchase it. Besides this, it is also used to alleviate gastrointestinal problems. Below we detail its benefits.

Helps relieve constipation

The most popular use of senna leaf is to relieve constipation. Although more evidence is needed in this regard, a review published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery indicates that it is a safe treatment option to mitigate this condition in children.

However, an article in the book Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health suggests that its consumption be done only for the short term and to mitigate occasional constipation. In addition, she comments that its preparation in tea is taken, in most cases, at bedtime, to produce a bowel movement the next morning.

Senna leaf

Promotes bowel preparation before colonoscopy

Thanks to its laxative effects, senna leaf is also used as an alternative method for its benefits to prepare the large intestine before a colonoscopy . This is an exam that allows direct and complete visualization of the colon to diagnose and treat intestinal diseases.

In relation to this, a study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences showed that the consumption of the extract of this plant had the same effect and benefits as a polyethylene glycol solution  in the intestinal preparation of patients, one day before the procedure.

Helps improve hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum . One of the main causes of this problem is constipation. Although there is no evidence regarding the benefits of senna leaf to improve this condition, it is assumed that, by helping to combat constipation, it would also contribute to improving hemorrhoids.

Senna leaf with flower

How to prepare a senna leaf infusion?

Herbal preparations are very common to alleviate the symptoms of some mild health conditions and do not require medical treatment. Although most of these drinks are aromatic and mild in flavor, in the case of senna, it is characterized by having a slightly bitter taste.

However, certain preparations of this plant are already mixed with other herbs. This makes it taste and smell better. As for its natural preparation in infusion, the process is very simple and you just have to follow the steps that we detail below.


  • 1 cup of water (250 ml).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of senna leaves (2 gr).
  • Honey (optional).


  • In a small saucepan, pour the water and heat over medium heat.
  • Before boiling, add the senna leaves and turn off the heat.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes and strain the preparation.
  • If desired, sweeten with honey.
  • You can drink one or two 5 ml tablespoons a day.

How long does it take to take effect?

The general recommendation is to consume it before going to sleep to see results the next morning. This is because its laxative properties take approximately 8 hours to take effect . Regarding the dose, a National Health Service publication suggests that it should not be more than 5 ml a day and should not be taken for more than a week.

Is Senna Leaf Tea Healthy For Weight Loss?

Healthy and sustainable weight loss comes from burning more calories than you take in. When this happens, your body makes a difference by accessing the extra calories it ate before and stored as fat. Burn fat and lose weight. Other forms of weight loss that are less healthy include water weight loss, fasting to reduce weight from foods, and “trick” diets that trick your body into an emergency state that burns fat faster.

Herbal Senna Laxative

Senna leaves are a traditional gastrointestinal treatment because it is a powerful laxative. This means that it will encourage you to have more frequent and larger bowel movements. A side effect of this is that you will lose water weight. AND

Bottom line

Senna leaves may stimulate some weight loss, but the mechanism for weight loss – excretion rather than burning fat – is not a healthy weight loss option. Also, the weight loss is temporary. It doesn’t actually reduce body fat. The weight will come back on as soon as they re-establish their normal patterns and restore a healthy level of hydration.

Senna leaf 4 super powerful benefits

Contraindications and side effects of senna leaf medication

Senna leaves can have adverse effects if consumed in high doses or for a long time. One of the main consequences of this is that the intestines stop working properly and a dependency on laxatives is generated.

On the other hand, excessive consumption of the plant could cause stomach aches and diarrhea . Therefore, it is necessary to consult with your doctor before ingesting it and let him know if you have any of these conditions:

  • You have had an allergic reaction to senna or any medicine in the past.
  • You have a bowel obstruction, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
  • You are in the process of getting pregnant, you are already pregnant or you are breastfeeding.

Finally, remember that, in addition to this natural remedy, constipation and digestive problems can be improved by incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine. Try to eat a balanced diet high in fiber , drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and do some physical activity.

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