Senna and Its Uses

Dr. Ram Bdr Bohara
Dr. Ram Bdr Bohara

Senna is a laxative or brisk purgative according to the dose used. The anthraquinone derivatives stimulate both the secretion and peristaltic action of the intestines, almost entirely indigestive food. Senna is a safe purgative in cases of simple constipation and faecal accumulation, but on account of its tendency to gripe and nauseous taste,it should be combined with carminative.

It is used to treat constipation. In old people,it may be necessary to use laxatives more often.In such cases Ispagula may be preferred.However,the mainstay in the treatment constipation is to advise the patient to take sufficient high residual diet and drink adequate quantities of water.

Does and Administration

Adults : 2-3 Tablets or 150 ml infusion at time.

Side Effects

Mild griping pain may occur.Faeces and urine may become yellow to red -colored.Some times pelvic congestion.


  1. Do not use Senna in sudden constipation, Colic pain (Abdominal pain),Vomiting and hardness of Abdominal muscles.
  2. Do not give Senna to children below the age of three years.
  3. Do not use it repeatedly to treat chronic constipation.
  4. Avoid giving Senna to lactating mother as may cause diarrhea in breastfed infants.
  5. Warn the patient that urine may be colorful yellowish brown or red.

* Dr. Ram Bahadur Bohara is the Chairman of the of Nepal Alternative Medical Development Council, Advisor of Science Infotech and Health Columnist of Nepalpatra . 

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