Senna alexandrina

Senna alexandrina Mill.

Leguminosae

  • Cassia senna L. Cassia acutifolia Del.
  • Alexandrian Senna
  • Egyptian Senna
  • سنامكي
  • sanamakki
  • סֶנֶא מְחֻדָּד
  • sene mekhudad

Chamaephyte

  • Desert
  •  Thermophilous plants

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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Senna alexandrina Mill.

System/StateTraditional
Complaint/Use
Activity / Interpretation Traditional
Preparation/Administration

Parts Used

Source
Dermatological

Acne

Anti-Infective

Prepare poultice of powdered leaves + egg white & apply externally.

LeafZ
Dermatological

Freckles

Freckle remover

Prepare poultice of powdered leaves + egg white & apply externally.

LeafZ
Dermatological

Psoriasis

Anti-inflammatory

Grind leaves + henna (Lawsonia inermis) leaves, + �madda al-lionel� (a wax-like material ? identity); place in a bottle & apply morning & evenings.

LeafB
Endocrine/ Metabolic

Weight loss

Anti-obesity

1.Grind leaves + equal amounts fennel + anise (Pimpinella anisum) seeds + cumin (Cuminum cyminum) + �fadi� (? meaning) + sugar; mix & eat x1 spoon/day after lunch.
2. Decoct handful of leaves in water for 10 min & drink filtrate x3/day mornings on empty stomach.
3. Add 1 teaspoon ground senna (? part) to 1 cup water & drink x1 cup before sleeping for 1 mth.
4. Add few seeds to boiling water & drink x1-2 cups/day.
5. Decoct leaves & drink x1 cup on alternate days.

Leaf, SeedB
Gastrointestinal

Abdominal pain

Carminative

Add few senna seeds + anise (seeds?) + fennel (seeds?) to boiling water & drink x1-2 cups/day until relief.

SeedB
Gastrointestinal

Against "heat in the stomach"

Antacid

Powder or decoct leaves & drink.

LeafZ
Gastrointestinal

Constipation (See NOTES 1)

Laxative

1. Add 6-12 seeds to 1 cup almost boiled water, decoct 1-2 min & drink x1 cup. (B)
2. Steep seeds overnight in cold water, boil, add leaves, cool & drink 1 glass x3/day. (B)
3. Add � teaspoon ground senna to 1 cup boiled water, cover & drink x1-2 cups/day after eating for 1 week. (B)
4. Mix senna seeds + anise (Pimpinella anisum) + ground cumin (Cuminum cyminum) + licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) + fennel (Foeniculum vulgare); add a little of mixture to almost boiled water & drink multiple doses as needed. (B)
5. Decoct leaves & drink x1 cup on alternate days. (B)
6. Heat fruit & leaves in water & drink extract. (Z)
7. Cook or infuse leaves in water & drink. (Z)
8. Use leaves in powdered form. (Z)
9. Decoct leaves with following plants generally added to decoction: "kamnon ha-anis" (Pimpinella anisum); dried figs; "kuzbara" (Coriander, seeds or root); "khiyar shanbar" (Cassia fistula). (Z)

Fruit, Leaf, SeedB, Z
Gastrointestinal

Diarrhea

Anti-diarrheal

Decoct leaves in water, cool & drink 1 cup x3/day.

LeafB
Gastrointestinal

Intestinal gas

Carminative

Decoct leaves in water & drink x 2-3 cups until well.

LeafB
Gastrointestinal

Jaundice

Hepatic

Decoct or powder leaves & drink.

LeafZ
Haematology

Spleen diseases

Non-specific

Powder or decoct leaves & drink.

LeafZ
Helminth infections

Intestinal worms

Anthelmintic, Vermifuge

Heat fruit & leaves in water & drink extract on empty stomach.

Fruit, LeafZ
Musculoskeletal/ Joints

Gout

Anti-inflammatory, Uricolytic

Decoct leaves in water & drink x1cup/day until well.

LeafB
Musculoskeletal/ joints

Joint pain (Z) Leg & joint pain (B)

Analgesic, Anti-arthritic, Anti-inflammatory

1.Powder or decoct leaves & drink. (Z)
2. Decoct leaves in water & drink x1 cup/day until well.(B)

LeafZ, B
Nervous System

Head pain

Analgesic

Decoct leaves in water & drink x1 cup/day until well.

LeafB
Nervous System

Sciatica

Analgesic

Decoct leaves in water & drink x1 cup/day until well.

LeafB
Respiratory

Runny nose

Anti-Infective, Anti-catarrhal

Powder or decoct leaves & drink.

LeafZ
Wound Healing

Small purulent lesions

Anti-Infective, Vulnerary

Cook fruit & leaves in water + "sbideh baqal'a" (talc?) + "fulus" (? seeds of Cassia fistula) + "afsantin" (? Artemisia absinthium (See NOTES 2 + "riban dashini" (? Rheum sp.) (See NOTES 3) + almond oil & drink.

Fruit, LeafZ

The authors of the Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany (FPE) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes

1. Z Notes that the main use of Senna Alexandrina is for constipation.
2. in the recipe for small purulent wounds, the ingredient "afsantin" is identified by Z as Artemisia. This may refer to Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) an important non-native medicinal plant.
3. In the above recipe, the ingredient "riban dashini" is identified by Z as Rheum (rhubarb). This is not however the arabic or Hebrew word for this plant which is "rawand" or "ribes' (respec.).

Leaves & fruits of Senna alexandrina contain sennosides (anthranoid laxatives) & can be habit forming. May be cytotoxic, genotoxic & mutagenic. Abusers of anthranoid laxatives have higher rates of colon cancer & can develop melanosis coli. Side effects include gastric cramps, low potassium, discoloration of urine & hemorrhoidal congestion. Should not be used for more than 1-2 weeks. Avoid in preganacy, lacatation & children under 12 yrs. Contraindicated in hemorroids, nephropathy, i ntestinal obstruction, abdominal pain of unknown origin, appendicits, colitis, Crohn`s Disease & Irritable Bowel.