- Synonyms of Senna
are Alexandrian Senna. Nubian Senna. Cassia Senna. Cassia lenitiva.
Cassia Lanceolata. Cassia officinalis. Cassia aethiopica. Senna
acutifolia. Egyptian Senna. Sene de la palthe. Tinnevelly Senna.
Cassia angustifolia. East Indian Senna.
- Senna, a popular
purgative, consisting of the leaves of two species of Cassia (natural
order Leguminosae), viz. C. acutifolia and C. angustifolia. These are
small shrubs about 2 ft. high, with numerous lanceolate or narrowly
lanceolate leaflets arranged pinnately on a main stalk with no
terminal leaflet; the yellow flowers are borne in long-stalked racemes
in the leaf-axils, and are succeeded by broad flattish pods about 2
- The crop can
thrive on a variety of soils, but is largely grown on red loams, on
alluvial loams. The texture of the soil which account for the major
hectarage under senna crop varies from sandy loam to loam, while the
black cotton soils are heavier and more fertile. The average pH ranges
from 7 to 8.5. It is very sensitive to water logging. Hence, grown
only on well-drained soils. Senna is a warmth loving crop and require
bright sunshine for its successful growth. Heavy rains and cloudy
weather during growth are harmful to the crop. An average rainfall of
25-40 cm. distributed from June to October is sufficient to produce
- Senna plant
produces foliage containing higher sennosides between 5-90 days age,
depending upon the total plant growth. The picking of leaves is done
by hand so that most of the growing tops are removed at harvest this
also induces the plants to produce more of branching which otherwise
reduce foliage growth considerably. A second picking is taken at
90-100 days and the third picking between 130-150 days when the entire
plants are removed so that the harvested material includes both leaves
and pods together.
senna L. (Caesalpineaceae) is an important medicinal plant, which has
been widely used in Ayurvedic, Unani and Alternative Systems of
Medicine1 due to its purgative action. The drug mainly comprises of
dried leaves and pods. The active chemical components of the plant are
anthraquinone glycosides – sennosides, especially sennosides A and
B, which are responsible for the purgative action.
- It is used to
treat acute constipation and is useful after anal-rectal surgery, or
with very painful hemorrhoids, as it ensures soft stools and easy
is one of the principal herbal drugs having export potential for
developed countries. India is the major supplier of the leaves and
pods (shells) as well as senna glycosides to the world market.
Approximately 75% of the senna produced in India is exported.
gums (galactomannans) are widely used for a variety of industrial
applications. The Australian market is supplied entirely by imports
costing tens of millions of dollars per year. Carob, guar, and Senna
gums are currently used to supply the bulk of this demand. However,
inconsistency of supply and price has driven industrial users to
search for alternative sources of supply.
field harvest was conducted on wild Senna obtusifolia to demonstrate
the feasibility of mechanical harvesting. Glasshouse estimates were
low at 0.8 tonnes/hectare, too low to support a viable industry on a
conservative estimated return of $250/tonne seed in the economic model
used. However, experimental yields of up to 2.6 tonnes/hectare are
reported overseas and should be possible here, given attention to
agronomy and cultivars. At a yield of 2.0 tonnes/hectare cropping of
Senna tora would be commercially viable, returning a gross margin
equivalent to that of barley in Central Queensland. At 2.6 tonnes/hectare
the gross margin would equal that of wheat.
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