Herb information Senna or Sanai

Sennai is medicinal herb native to Sudan and Arabia. In India, it is cultivated mainly in Southern India, especially in districts of Madurai, Tiruchirapally, and Tinnevelly. Senna is also known as Tinnevelly senna. Senna leaves are collected by hands. Then these fresh bluish leaves are shade dries, till leaves change to yellowish-green colour which is than graded and stored.

Senna is strong purgative that is useful in treating occasional constipation. It works by acting on motility of the colon by inhibiting stationary and stimulating propulsive contractions.

senna-herb

Marathi: Sonamukhi

Botanical name: Cassia angustifolia Vahl,

Synonym: Cassia senna Linn. var. senna

Cassia acutifolia and Cassia obovata is also used as Senna/Sanaai.

Family: Caesalpiniaceae

Vernacular names

Sanskrit: Markandika, Swarnapattri,

Markandikaa, Markandi

Hindi: sana, Sanaya, Hindi sana, sanai

English: Indian senna, Tinnevelly senna

Bengali: Sonamukhi

Gujrati: Mindhiaval, Sonamukhi

Nepalese: Sanai

Sinhalese: Senehakola

Unani: Sannaa, Sanaa-makki,

Senaai, Sonaamukhi, Sanaa-Hindi

Oriya: Sunamukhi

Punjab: Sannamakhi, Sanapati, Sarnapatta

Tamil: Nilapponnai, Avarai

Telugu: Sunamukhi

Urd : Sena, Barg-e-Sana

Arabic: Senna

Parts used: Leaves and pods

Properties and action of Senna leaves, as per Ayurveda:

Rasa: Katu,

Guna: Laghu, Ruksha, Ushna

Virya: Ushna

Vipaka: Katu

Karma: Rechan

Tamil: Nilavarai

Kannada: Nelavarika, Sonamukhi, Nelaavare, Nelavarike, Nela Aanriake

Malayalam: Sunnamukhi, Nilavaka, Chinnukki, Adapatiyan

Senna Uses in Ayurvedic Medicines

Senna leaves are used in Ayurveda for preparing medicine. Senna is useful in treatment of deranged vata and kapha dosha. It is sure and safe purgative that is useful in abdominal diseases and occasional constipation. It is useful for treating splenic enlargements, jaundice, amoebic dysentery, biliousness, distention of stomach, vomiting, hiccups gout, and rheumatism. The important formulation are Panchasakara churna and Sarivadysava.

Sanai or senna leaves can be taken in dosage of 0.5 to 2 grams in powder form. Senna pods have also purgative properties but they are milder and slower in action than the leaves. Senna should not be used in inflammatory colon diseases.

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