D. Balasankar, K. Vanilarasu, P. Selva Preetha, S.Rajeswari M.Umadevi, Debjit Bhowmik* (India)
Senna is a small, perennial, branched under-shrub. It is cultivated traditionally over 10,000ha in semi-arid lands.rnSince its leaves and pods are common laxatives, they are widely used in medicine and as a household remedy forrnconstipation all over the world. India is the main producer and exporter of senna leaves, pods and sennosidesrnconcentrate to world market. Basically, the senna leaves that are used for medication are dried leaflets belonging tornspecies of Cassia. For ages, senna has been used as a potent cathartic or purgative. Several scientists and researchersrnare of the view that the senna possesses this property owing to the apparent presence of elements and compoundsrnsuch as dianthrone glycosides (1.5 to 2 per cent), main sennosides A and B along with minor quantities ofrnsennosides C and D and other intimately associated amalgams. Besides being a laxative, senna is used as a febrifuge,rnin splenic enlargements, anaemia, typhoid, cholera, biliousness, jaundice, gout, rheumatism, tumours, foul breathrnand bronchitis, and probably in leprosy. It is employed in the treatment of amoebic dysentery as an anthelmintic andrnas a mild liver stimulant. Leaves are astringent, bitter, sweet, acrid, thermogenic, catharitic, depurative, liver tonic,rnanthelmintic, cholagogue, expectorant, ferbifuge. Usefull in constipation, abdominal disordes, leprosy, skinrndisorders, leucoderma, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, dyspepsia, cough, and bronchitis.