When your digestive system
isn't on track, your entire body may feel "off." If you suffer from occasional or frequent constipation, maybe it's time you consider giving senna a try.
What Is Senna?
Senna (S. alexandrina
) is an herb
whose leaves and fruit are used to produce tea
as well as medicines. A popular remedy throughout Asia and Europe as well as in Egypt, senna has long been relied upon for its quick results in regulating the digestive system.
Uses for Senna
What makes senna so effective for constipation
? The answer is sennosides. Sennosides are naturally occurring chemical compounds within senna that effect the lining of the intestines, resulting in a laxative action. This irritation of the intestines helps clear out the bowels quickly to reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of constipation including bloating. Senna is sometimes recommended by doctors before medical procedures like a colonoscopy to clean the body out.
How to Take Senna
The most common way to take senna is in tea form. Drinking a cup of senna tea before bed can help reset your digestive system overnight. Based on the strength of the individual product, senna works best when used regularly for a short period of time, typically less than two weeks. Senna can be too harsh on the system if taken for longer than that. If you experience any abdominal pain or diarrhea while taking senna, stop taking it immediately. Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn't take senna unless advised to by a medical professional.
Here are some other tips to promote digestive regularity:
- Drink plenty of water all day long.
- Make sure your diet includes enough fiber to move the bowels along.
- Eat at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Pay attention to which foods seem to irritate your digestive system.
- Try stretching, especially gently twisting the abdomen.
Check back regularly for more information on herbal supplements and how to use them. Stay well!