As early as the 9th Century, Senna leaves were used in several areas across Arabia, Europe and China in the production of laxative products to relieve constipation. With hundreds of clinical studies proving efficiency and safety completed since the beginning of its use, Senna Leaf extract has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association as a non-presciption laxative. Many other benefits including treatment for various gastrointestinal disorders has been associated with Senna Leaf extract use but there are no approvals under recognized standards of practice for use of the extract for these benefits as no concrete evidences to proof efficiency have yet been established. Senna Leaf extract is nonetheless included in health supplement formulations as many experts recommend its use.
What is Senna Leaf extract?
Senna Leaf extract is a useful health supplement ingredient taken from the leaves of the Senna plant. It is usually included with other herbal laxative compounds and extracts for purposes of digestive cleansing. Experts say that Senna Leaf extract effectively stimulates bowel movement to facilitate laxative effect by irritating the gastrointestinal lining through its active component sennosides. It also contains high amounts of essential compounds which enhance digestive health. Most formulations for Senna Leaf extract are in suppository forms to provide immediate laxative effects but health supplement formulations for long-term effects are in oral forms.
Other health benefits of using Senna Leaf extract
While Senna Leaf extract is typically included in formulations for laxative effects, it is also believed to provide other health benefits, especially when taken for long periods of time within recommended doses. The following are other health benefits of Senna Leaf extract use:
- It may enhance weight loss effects
Very little qualitative studies are available to prove the weight loss effects of Senna Leaf extract but in many quantitative studies conducted on animal subjects, the active components of Senna Leaf extract are shown to enhance fat loss. Some experts say that the laxative effects of Senna Leaf extract directly enhance weight loss by fully eliminating stool which is not completely evacuated in the normal digestive process. Long-term Senna Leaf extract use is necessary, however, to provide this benefit.
- It may treat hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are inflammations in the rectal blood vessels brought about by increased pressure. There are several treatments available for treatment of the condition but for acute inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs are necessary. Studies show that Senna Leaf extract has long-term anti-inflammatory effects which can treat hemorrhoids. It does not, however, provide immediate benefits except when taken in higher doses as prescribed by physicians.
- It may control parasite growth
Unusual growth of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract can cause a lot of disorders. It can be controlled, according to experts, through the use of Senna Leaf extract as the active components of the extract stop parasitic mobility.
Although considered generally safe within recommended doses, Senna Leaf extract can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration when overdosed. For individuals with metabolic conditions, consulting physicians prior to Senna Leaf extract use is necessary.