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GOLDEN RAIN TREE
COFFEE SENNA
CANDLE BUSH
EGYPTIAN SENNA


CASSIA FISTULA
CASSIA OCCIDENTALIS = SENNA OCCIDENTALIS
CASSIA ALATA = SENNA ALATA
CASSIA ANGUSTIFOLIA = SENNA ALEXANDRINA
CASSIA SENNA

CAESALPINIACEAE

There are more than 600 species in the Cassia and Senna genus, from trees to herbs and sub-shrubs, many of which are decorative in their leaves and yellow flowers.
These are plants from tropical and subtropical countries, mainly from the new world.
They are classified in the family Caeasalpiniaceae, associated with Mimosaceae and Fabaceae (formerly Papilionaceae: beans, peas, clover etc ..) They can be grouped in the superfamily of legumes.
Recently many Cassia species have been rename Senna species.

CASSIA SENNA LAXATIVE CONSTIPATION DERMATOSIS SKIN MYCOSIS



CASSIA ANGUSTIFOLIA=SENNA ANGUSTIFOLIA
CASSIA SENNA ( séné ) EGYPTIAN SENNA


phytothérapie



They are small shrubs
(less than a meter)
with zygomorphic yellow flowers
and paripinnate leaves.

The fruit is a pod
flattened and parchmented,
opening spontaneously and enclosing
6 to 8 brownish seeds.

Cassia (Senna) angustifolia is from Sudan
and the horn of Africa, C. senna from India.

These are both dry-zone species, growing in
semi-desert.












yellow

The leaves and pods of both species have a similar composition.

When they are fresh, just harvested, they contain glucosides which on drying around 40 ° C dimerize by an enzymatic process and give glycosides (dianthronics) : sennosides A, B, C, D.

The sennosides A and B are in the majority, they are anthracenosides , compounds derived from the anthrone (giving by oxidation anthraquinone) and found in other plant families important in pharmacology: aloe, rhubarb , buckthorn, cascara.

The fate of these sennosides and related compounds in the digestive tract is interesting but complex.

They are neither resorbed nor hydrolysed before reaching the colon (terminal intestine) where, under the action of the intestinal flora, they are hydrolyzed and anthrones liberated.
Anthrones are the active forms.
Sennoside is a form of transportation to the colon.

Curiously anthrones are ineffective if they are absorbed free or hydrolyzed too early (in the small intestine) because they are then excreted in urins after hepatic glucuroconjugation.

Anthrones act on intestinal motility, strengthening the peristalsis of the left colon and sigmoid while increasing the amount of fluid in the colon by inhibition of water resorption.

The main result is a strong laxative effect that can become purgative in some or if the amount of sennosides is too important.

A direct effect on the mucosa is not noted but research continues on the possible toxicity of anthraquinones.


USES

Senna and many other preparations containing it are therefore used as a laxative.

The leaflets and dry pods (without the seeds) can be used as an infusion: 5 to 20 g per liter, one cup at night.

There are also senna powder and extracts (sennosides A and B, calcium sennosides).

The daily effective dose is estimated at 25 mg per day calculated as sennosides .

There is an ethanolic tincture of Cassia (Senna) angustifolia, 50 drops a day.

There is always a lag time of several hours between the absorption of senna and its laxative effect.

It is of course due to the time necessary for it to arrive into the colon and to be transformed by the bacteria before acting really on intestinal transit ..




CAUTION

Laxatives, and senna extracts especially, are not without dangers and without inconvenience.

Their use must be short, not more than 10 days, and motivated: ineffectiveness of other laxatives (mucilaginous, saline, choleretic) or proper dietetic .
Senna is contraindicated in children under 12 years of age.

Prolonged laxative intake causes "laxative disease" and a situation of dependence with the need to increase doses, the opposite of the desired effect.

Finally, this type of laxative modifies the composition of electrolytes in the colon with, in particular, excretion and therefore leakage of potassium (K), hence the risk of drug interaction with hypokalemic products or whose action is modified by hypokalemia: digitalis, diuretics, corticosteroids, certain antibiotics, anti-arrhythmics.

Nevertheless, senna is widely used worldwide.

CASSIA OCCIDENTALIS = SENNA OCCIDENTALIS
COFFE SENNA


phytothérapie




It is a small shrub probably
native to tropical America,
but widespread in many tropical countries (inclusing India),
with bipinnate compound leaves
(4 to 6 pairs of leaflets),
with yellow flowers
and pods at the sharp apex,
the seeds are brown.

Very common (in the West Indies)
in uncultivated places, along roads, around fences.





Resistant to drought, it is not consumed by animals and it is sometimes one of the rare plants surviving in hyper-grazed places. It bears various vernacular names: stinking casse, bastard coffee, false kinkeliba.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES

Leaves contain few anthracene derivatives but flavonoids in abundance (vitexin).

A Toxalbumin is present in fresh seeds; in the roots , there are anthronic derivatives of the chrysophanol type, or anthraquinone in the oldest roots.

Leaves are febrifuges and cause abundant perspiration; they also increase diuresis and are slightly laxative.

The root is also diuretic and a little more laxative than the leaves.

Once roasted seeds are a substitute for coffee, the toxic components are destroyed by roasting, but there is no caffeine or stimulant in this "bastard coffee".

USES

C. occidentalis is not included in the European Pharmacopoeia.

In Africa ,the West Indies, India it is considered a good febrifuge and sudorific:

• infusion of leaves, 60 g of leaves in a liter of boiling water,
10 minutes of infusion, a cup morning and evening,

• decoction of leaves, 60 g of leaves in a liter of boiling water, 20 minutes of cooking; two cups at bedtime for a laxative effect; a cup morning and evening for a diuretic and anti-inflammatory urinary effect,

• in external use, the decoction is antipruriginous and root tincture useful in friction to calm rheumatic pains.



CASSIA ALATA = SENNA ALATA
CANDLE BUSH


phytothérapie


It is a small ornamental shrub recognizable by its pretty yellow flowers , inflorescence looks like a yellow candle, it can reach 30 cm long.

 

Native to tropical America,
it has been spread in all hot regions of the world.
It has become subspontaneous in many places, easily developing in wastelands and open areas.





CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES

All parts contain anthracenosides (rhein and anthraquinone derivatives) even in greater quantity than true senna .

Therefore it is potentially an energetic purgative but it is rather its antibiotic-antimycotic and antiparasitic properties that have been recognized.

USES

It is a universal remedy, in poor countries, to cure various dermatoses (skin diseases) : eczema with infection; tropical ulcers, circulatory herpes (cutaneous mycosis), infected skin parasitosis.

Apply on the lesions:

• the juice of chopped and pressed leaves with or without lemon juice,

• a paste prepared by mixing dried leaf powder with water , fat, oil or petroleum jelly.

Traditional practitioners recommend rubbing mycotic lesions with this paste.

An infusion of leaf is laxative: 8 leaves in a liter of boiling water, one to two cups a day.

 



CASSIA FISTULA
GOLDEN RAIN TREE


phytothérapie


This tree is native to India;
the yellow flowers are large , very decorative.

 

Cassia fistula has been introduced in many countries as a medicinal tree
as well as ornamental tree .
The gentle laxative properties of the sweet pulp that surrounds the seeds in long hanging pods (50 cm to 1 m) is well known.






CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES

The pod is like a cylinder 2 to 4 cm in diameter, the seeds are flattened and the yellow-brown to blackish pulp at maturity, rich in pectin and mucilage , contains 0.2 to 3% of anthracene derivatives and of components similar to sennosides A and B of senna.

The pulp is therefore laxative but less than the true senna.

All the other parts contain anthracenosides (rhein and anthraquinone derivatives) in greater quantity than in true senna.

USES


• in infusion: 40 g of pulp in 1/2 l of boiling water for 10 minutes; two cups in the morning or in the evening according to the people (according to the speed of reaction of the digestive system),

• in jam: A tablespoon in the morning; it can be associated with tamarind in the same jam.

CAUTION, remarks on the use of anthracenic laxatives are also valid for the Golden Rain Tree although the effect is softer (low concentration of active substances and presence of mucilage).


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ABSTRACT

TO FIGHT CONSTIPATION
Senna and Cassia species contain compounds in their leaves or fruits that increase the amount of water in the large intestine and cause contractions
promoting the expulsion of feces.
However, be careful not to abuse, it is always better to find a balanced diet (fiber, mucilage) toregulate the intestinal activity.

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