Gut Health

Solving Constipation: Unlocking the Benefits of Sennosides and Senna Leaf

Colon Ultra Cleanse

Colon Ultra Cleanse

Promotes Healthy Colon Function


Solving Constipation: Unlocking the Benefits of Sennosides and Senna Leaf about Colon Ultra Cleanse

If you’re exploring natural remedies for constipation, you’ve likely come across sennosides and senna leaf. But what are they, and how do they work? Sennosides, extracted from senna leaves, are powerful natural laxatives that can provide relief from constipation. They work by stimulating intestinal activity, essentially ‘waking up’ your bowels to induce a bowel movement. While senna leaf has medicinal properties beyond its laxative effects, it’s crucial to use it correctly due to potential side effects. This article delves into everything you need to know about sennosides and senna leaf - from how they relieve constipation to safe usage guidelines.

Key Takeaways

  • Senna is traditionally used in herbal medicine for various ailments and shows potential in treating inflammation.

  • Senna leaves contain natural laxatives called sennosides, which are effective in treating constipation by stimulating intestinal activity and converting to an active metabolite that induces bowel movement.

  • Clinical research is ongoing to explore Senna’s potential future medical applications, including its anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective (liver protective) properties, but more studies are needed to understand its full pharmacological action and safety.

The Dual Nature of Senna: Laxative and Medicinal Herb

Senna’s medicinal properties go beyond its well-known laxative effects. Its use in traditional medicine is as diverse as it has been long-standing. Senna has been used to address a range of conditions including:

  • constipation

  • asthma

  • diabetes

  • typhoid

  • malaria

  • herpes

So, how does senna manage to be so versatile?

The key lies in senna’s rich composition of active compounds, including sennosides and senna alkaloids, which contribute to its laxative effects. These compounds not only stimulate the bowel but also appear to have potential in the treatment of inflammation.

Despite Senna often being marketed for weight loss, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim. Nevertheless, the plant’s long history of use in traditional medicine, coupled with recent scientific interest in its potential health benefits, make it a fascinating subject of study.

Senna in Herbal Medicine

The use of Senna as a laxative for addressing constipation is well known. However, Senna is also acknowledged for its blood purifying and diuretic properties, as well as its anti-fungal activity.

Its laxative effect is due to the presence of sennosides, which act as irritants to the bowel lining, inducing a beneficial short-term relief from constipation.

It is commonly utilized for medicinal purposes through methods such as tea consumption, preservation for medicated wine, and utilization in the form of powders and decoctions.

Chronic Constipation Relief

One of the most common uses of Senna as a laxative is in the management of chronic constipation.

Shocking new findings from medical researchers and gastroenterologists reveal that even if you have a bowel movement every day, if you still have gas, bloating, and other digestive problems, then you may be suffering with unhealthy elimination.

Studies reveal that Senna relieves constipation due to the compounds hydroxyanthracene glycosides known as sennosides, which stimulate colon activity and have a laxative effect.

The mechanism of action of Senna in relieving chronic constipation involves:

  • Stimulating peristalsis

  • Increasing fecal water content

  • Activating macrophages in the colon to secrete prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), thereby enhancing the motor activity of the colon

Senna is also used in bowel preparation for bowel cleansing. When used for this purpose a bowel movement is typically induced within 6 to 12 hours after the bowel preparation prior to the bowel cleansing.

Exploring Sennosides: The Active Components of Senna Leaf

Senna’s potency originates from its leaves, where naturally occurring laxatives called sennosides are extracted. These active constituents, also known as senna anthraquinone glycosides, are the ones doing the heavy lifting when it comes to treating constipation. But how exactly do they do that?

Well, sennosides act as stimulant laxatives, augmenting the intestinal activity to induce a bowel movement. This is achieved through the action of anthraquinone derivatives, sennoside A and B, which are metabolized by the intestinal microflora in the large intestine upon ingestion, making them an effective stimulant laxative.

Understanding Sennosides

Sennoside A and B (SA, SB) are the primary components in sennosides. They are the principal purgative constituents of sennosides. They may seem complicated, but put simply they reduce the passage of time food is in the digestive tract. More specifically, these sennosides work their magic by undergoing a conversion into an active metabolite, rhein anthrone, which exerts a purgative effect in the intestine. This process involves several steps, including inhibiting contractions in the proximal colon and reducing the passage time of luminal contents.

Eventually, this prostaglandin downregulates the levels of aquaporin 3 in the epithelia of colon mucosa, contributing to the relief of constipation.

Senna Extracts and Preparations

Senna extracts and senna preparation, including senna laxatives, come in various forms to suit different needs. You can find them as tablets, capsules, and even teas. These are typically administered as necessary for the treatment of constipation. Remember, if you miss a dose, take it as soon as you realize it, without increasing the dosage.

Over-the-counter laxatives containing senna are commonly used to treat constipation. They come under various trade names including Ex-lax, Fletcher’s Castoria, and Senokot. Keep in mind, prolonged or excessive consumption of these preparations could strain your liver so use these with care.

Unfortunately, none of today's harsh, chemical laxatives, or even enemas, can fully rid your bowel of toxic build-up. There are also natural senna formulations that include other nutrient rich compounds that can soothe your colon and intestines and promote safe, comfortable and reliable elimination.

Green Valley Natural's Colon Ultra Cleanse

To relieve occasional constipation Green Valley Naturals formulated Colon Ultra Cleanse with the highest-quality Senna leaf extract that's standardized to ensure sennoside purity and potency.

In addition, Colon Ultra Cleanse provides soluble Psyllium fiber that's shown to reduce patients' abdominal mass from 42 percent to 17 percent... and their ano-rectal constipation decreased from 62 percent to 19 percent. With additional ingredients like:

  • Goldenseal: Helps promote a healthy inflammatory response and heal the delicate mucous membranes lining the inside of your colon.

  • Fennel powder: Helps relax irritated nerves and relieve feelings of bloat and discomfort.

  • Ginger root: Calms nerves and soothes your bowels for comfortable, reliable elimination.

Colon Ultra Cleanse goes to work at once, eliminating toxins and built up fecal matter so you can feel lighter, more comfortable, and go easily and strain-free everyday.

Senna leaf and its sennoside content are still the focus of medical research as scientists try to uncover new benefits for human health.

Clinical Trials and Research Insights

Recent advances in Senna research have shed light on its new, potential therapeutic effects. The studies have found that senna plays a role in:

  • Promoting a fit and trim waistline: It works by regulating gut microbiota composition and balancing blood sugar.

  • Balancing blood sugar: It supports the secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), improving insulin sensitivity.

  • Fighting inflammation: Sennoside A has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory effects across different inflammatory conditions by modulating the TLR4 signaling pathway and reducing the expression of pro-inflammatory factors.

  • Supporting liver health: Sennoside A helps protect the liver against damage.

Safety Profile: Adverse Effects and Warnings

Senna, despite its centuries-long use and general safety when used appropriately, carries potential risks. Like all substances, Senna can cause adverse events, especially when used in high doses for longer than recommended periods.

Additionally, Senna can potentially cause the following side effects if used in unusually high doses or without the proper hydration. It can:

  • Disrupt electrolyte balance by modifying the transport of electrolytes in the intestines

  • Heighten peristalsis and promote excessive bowel movements

  • Result in dehydration, especially when used for an extended period

Drug Interactions and Contraindications

When it comes to using Senna, it’s important to be aware of potential drug interactions and contraindications. Senna has the potential to interact with specific medications including digoxin, warfarin, and diuretics. Individuals with gastrointestinal conditions such as stomach pain, intestinal blockage, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, appendicitis, stomach inflammation, and hemorrhoids should avoid using Senna. It may exacerbate these conditions and cause further complications.

Administering Senna: Dosage and Consumption Tips

For maximum benefits and minimal risks from Senna, understanding the correct way to administer it is crucial. This includes knowing the appropriate dosage and how to consume it safely. The suggested dosage for adults is 17.2 mg to 22 mg of sennosides orally, once or twice daily, while a lower 8.6 mg dosage may be suitable for some younger or smaller individuals.

Moreover, it’s important to follow guidelines provided by your healthcare provider regarding any limitations on food, drinks, or physical activity while using Senna. In the event of a missed dose, it is advised to take it as soon as remembered without increasing the dosage.

Correct Dosage for Relief

The correct dosage of Senna varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Age

  • The specific formulation and brand of Senna being used

  • The medical condition being treated

  • Other individual patient factors

Healthcare providers take these factors into consideration when determining the correct dosage of Senna.

For adults and children 12 years of age and older with specific conditions, the typical dosage is 2 tablets one or two times a day. For children 6 to 11 years of age, it generally stands at 1 tablet one or two times a day. A healthcare provider might also prescribe senna syrup in doses of one or two 5ml spoonfuls (7.5mg or 15mg) at bedtime for adults aged 18 years and over.

Taking Senna Safely

Taking Senna safely involves more than just following the recommended dosage. It’s important to use it for a short-term period, not exceeding two weeks without a break. Additionally, it’s advised to maintain proper hydration by consuming six to eight glasses of fluids daily.

Improper use of Senna can result in potential side effects including:

  • Black, tarry stools

  • Blood in the stools

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Stomach pain, discomfort, cramps

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Potential liver toxicity

In case of severe or persistent side effects, or if the symptoms of constipation persist, seek medical help.

Special Considerations: Senna During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Senna use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as with any medication or supplement, requires special attention. Its safety in these situations is not well-established, and it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before using Senna. While Senna is not associated with a higher likelihood of birth defects, it may lead to side effects like stomach cramps, bloating, and upset stomach when used during pregnancy.

During breastfeeding, the excretion of only small amounts of Senna into breast milk makes it generally safe for consumption, with minimal risk of harm to the baby. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to seek guidance from a healthcare provider before considering the use of Senna while pregnant or breastfeeding.


To sum up, Senna is a remarkable plant with a wide array of potential health benefits and some risks. Its active components, sennosides, serve as natural laxatives, offering relief from constipation. Senna leaf extract tones your colon and promotes the gentle muscle contractions that help push stool along. Moreover, Senna has a rich history of use in traditional medicine for a variety of health conditions. However, its usage requires caution due to potential side effects, particularly with long-term use or high doses. Special considerations are also needed during pregnancy and breastfeeding. While ongoing research continues to provide fascinating insights into Senna’s potential therapeutic applications, it’s crucial to remember that its use should always be guided by a healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sennosides the same as senna leaf?

Senna leaf and sennosides are not the same. Senna leaf contains sennosides, but sennosides are purified and isolated as calcium salts, found in products labeled as sennosides.

What not to mix senna with?

Do not mix senna with drugs such as diuretics, digoxin, and estrogens, as it may lead to interactions and adverse effects. Be cautious when using senna with other medications.

Is senna the safest laxative?

Senna is generally considered safe for short-term use, but it can have dangerous side effects with long-term use or high doses, such as liver damage and bowel dysfunction. In particular, the anthraquinone derivatives present in some extracts can lead to hepatic injury attributed to liver injury, including acute liver failure, especially when used in very high doses. Use as directed. That being said, Sennoside A helps relieve liver fibrosis. Moreover, Sennoside A demonstrates hepatoprotective effects by preventing hepatic steatosis and halting the progression of liver fibrosis. Individuals with chronic gastrointestinal issues should refrain from using Senna.

How long does it take for senna to make you poop?

Senna usually produces a bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours after intake. Senna's metabolic transformation in the large intestine is quite interesting. Sennoside A is converted into rhein anthrone by ß-glucosidase and reductase of intestinal microflora through two main metabolic pathways. Prior to this, sennosides remain unabsorbable by intestinal epithelial cells as they are not hydrolyzed by acid in the stomach nor by ß-glucosidases in the small intestine. The result? A laxative effect that aids in facilitating bowel movements. If constipation persists after one week of using senna, or if it worsens, it's important to consult a healthcare provider.

Is Senna safe to use during pregnancy?

It's crucial to consult a healthcare provider before using Senna during pregnancy as its safety is not well-established and it may lead to potential side effects. Always seek medical advice before using any medication during pregnancy.

Le J, Ji H, Zhou X, Wei X, Chen Y, Fu Y, Ma Y, Han Q, Sun Y, Gao Y, Wu H. Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Metabolism of Sennoside A, A Medicinal Plant-Derived Natural Compound. Front Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 26;12:714586. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.714586. PMID: 34764866; PMCID: PMC8576406.

Alshehri MM, Quispe C, Herrera-Bravo J, Sharifi-Rad J, Tutuncu S, Aydar EF, Topkaya C, Mertdinc Z, Ozcelik B, Aital M, Kumar NVA, Lapava N, Rajkovic J, Ertani A, Nicola S, Semwal P, Painuli S, González-Contreras C, Martorell M, Butnariu M, Bagiu IC, Bagiu RV, Barbhai MD, Kumar M, Daştan SD, Calina D, Cho WC. A Review of Recent Studies on the Antioxidant and Anti-Infectious Properties of SennaPlants. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022 Feb 4;2022:6025900. doi: 10.1155/2022/6025900. PMID: 35154569; PMCID: PMC8837466.

Hardcastle JD, Wilkins JL. The action of sennosides and related compounds on human colon and rectum. Gut. 1970 Dec;11(12):1038-42. doi: 10.1136/gut.11.12.1038. PMID: 4929273; PMCID: PMC1553168.

Wilkins JL, Hardcastle JD. The mechanism by which senna glycosides and related compounds stimulate peristalsis in the human colon. Br J Surg. 1970 Nov;57(11):864. PMID: 4921423.

Lemli J. Senna--an old drug in modern research. Pharmacology. 1988;36 Suppl 1:3-6. doi: 10.1159/000138414. PMID: 3285362.

Colon Ultra Cleanse

Colon Ultra Cleanse

Promotes Healthy Colon Function


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