Senna Tea Benefits, Uses, Risks and Interactions

Senna tea is a natural remedy that can help weight loss, soothe digestion and reduce bloating. Different senna teas have different combinations of ingredients from the plant.
The herb has been widely used for centuries as an herbal pain reliever and antimicrobial agent, among many other benefits.

Senna is a plant that grows in a range of blooming Cassia species and is used to manufacture senna tea. For millennia, senna leaf, fruit, and pods have been used as a purgative or natural laxative in tea form. Arabian doctors are known to have discussed the therapeutic properties of senna as early as the 9th century A.D.

Senna is most known for its laxative tea, and the FDA has certified it as a nonprescription laxative. But, is senna good for weight loss? Although there are many weight reduction claims for senna tea, it is generally not advised as a weight-loss treatment. Using laxatives to aid weight reduction, whether natural or synthetic, is not a healthy approach and may even be deadly.

Senna is recommended for relieving transient constipation. It’s also used to flush the system before some medical procedures, like a colonoscopy. One of the most common forms of this herbal laxative is senna tea; however, it’s critical not to misuse it or any other senna product. I will tell you all there is to know about senna tea’s potential advantages and drawbacks.

What Is Senna Tea?

Senna is a plant that belongs to the genus Cassia, which is part of the pea or legume family (Fabaceae). Senna plants are prevalent in subtropical and tropical locations like Africa and India. In the eastern United States, wild sennas (Cassia hebecarpa and Cassi marilandica) may be seen growing.

Senna tea and senna supplements are made from the plant’s leaves, fruit, and pods. Cassia acutifolia or Cassia angustifolia is the most common senna plant used to make tea. Is senna a stool softener or a laxative? It’s classified as a laxative, implying it’s a drug or substance that relieves constipation. Another meaning of laxative is “anything that facilitates intestinal evacuation.”

Senna acts as a laxative, stimulating intestinal spasms that result in bowel movement. Senna contains active chemical components called anthraquinone glycosides, often known as sennosides, which produce contractions. Senna’s sennosides are only efficient as a laxative if good bacteria in the colon convert them to rheinanthrones.

What are the senna side effects? GGI upset is the most prevalent possible side effect. However, it can typically be prevented by not exceeding the appropriate amount and not using any senna medication for more than a week at a time.

Benefits and Applications

  1. Relief from Constipation
  2. Treatment for Hemorrhoids
  3. IBS Help
  4. Colonoscopy Preparation

1. Relief from Constipation

Constipation, a prevalent health issue, is one of the most common reasons individuals seek out this herbal cure. Senna tea is a nonprescription laxative that the FDA has authorized. So how can it be of assistance? In controlled experiments, Senna has been demonstrated to soften stools while simultaneously increasing stool frequency and weight.

How long does a senna laxative take to work? It takes roughly eight hours on average, but it may take anywhere from six to twelve hours. Senna tea before the night is a typical prescription for constipation relief the following morning. It may be used as a temporary constipation cure, but it should not be utilized as a long-term therapy.

2. Treatment for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are bulging veins in the lower rectum and anus. Constipation and straining to pass a bowel movement are often the cause. Hemorrhoids may be extremely inconvenient and unpleasant; thus, many individuals seek natural hemorrhoid relief. Senna tea may help prevent constipation and straining, so it’s no surprise that some individuals use it to prevent and heal from hemorrhoids. What is the mechanism of senna? Its sennosides are reported to irritate the intestinal lining, resulting in a laxative effect.

3. Support for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Changes in bowel motions, such as diarrhea or constipation, are among the most prevalent IBS symptoms. Senna, a stimulant laxative, is occasionally advised when constipation is an issue. When lactulose fails to treat constipation, traditional physicians may prescribe senna. More research is needed to back up the usage of senna to treat IBS symptoms. Don’t take senna without first seeing your doctor if you have IBS.

4. Preparation for Colonoscopy

Senna tea is sometimes prescribed as a technique to cleanse the colon before a colonoscopy. What is the purpose of a colonoscopy? It’s a medical treatment that examines the inside of the colon, also known as the large intestine, the final component of the digestive system. The colon must be entirely free of accumulated trash before this treatment. Senna has been demonstrated to be equally helpful for bowel preparation before a colonoscopy as castor oil and standard medications like bisocodyl (Dulcolax).

Castor Oil vs. Senna Tea

Castor oil, like senna, is a natural ingredient used by the mouth to relieve constipation. In addition, Senna and castor oil are both natural laxatives that may aid with defecation straining and a sensation of full evacuation following a bowel movement.

Castor oil is more effective than senna preparations. While senna might take six to twelve hours to act, castor oil can work in as little as two hours or as long as six hours after being consumed. So while senna tea may be taken before sleep to help you have a bowel movement the next morning, castor oil isn’t suggested before bedtime since it acts so quickly.

Castor oil, like senna tea, may produce cramping and diarrhea. Furthermore, castor oil has been linked to symptoms of nausea. Castor oil is thick and rich, making it more difficult to swallow than senna tea. Pregnant women should not use this oil without first consulting their physicians since it has the potential to induce labor.

Senna tea and castor oil are both stimulant laxatives that should not be used for an extended period since long-term usage or misuse might cause further health concerns.

Green Tea vs. Senna Tea

Although senna and sencha seem similar, senna is a herbal tea, and sencha is a sort of green tea. Senna tea has a tiny sweetness to it, but it also has a strong bitter undertone, which is why some people prefer to blend it with green tea. In addition, green tea (in lower proportions than black tea but more than white tea) contains caffeine, but senna tea does not.

As you can see from the preceding section, senna tea’s advantages are primarily centered on the digestive tract, particularly colon cleansing. However, green tea provides a far broader range of potential health advantages, including a lower risk of some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

While senna tea isn’t suggested for weight reduction, green tea may be a good daily beverage to help with weight loss. In addition, in studies, catechins, a natural component of green tea, have been associated with lower body fat, weight reduction, and obesity prevention.

Most individuals may safely drink green tea regularly, and drinking numerous cups per day is usually not an issue. However, the same cannot be true about senna tea, which should only be used for brief periods and in quantities of no more than one cup each day.

How to Make It

You may get it at your local health food shop or order it online if you’re looking for senna tea. Senna supplements are available in various formats, including tea, liquid, powder, and tablet.

Senna tea bags may be purchased, or dried senna can be used to brew senna tea. In addition, Senna leaves, or senna pods are available for use as laxative tea. On the other hand, Senna pods are reported to have a milder impact than the senna leaf.

It’s simple to create senna tea from dried, uncooked senna. To make senna tea, add one to two teaspoons of senna powder with one cup of boiling water. Allow 10 minutes for the senna tea to steep. The stronger the tea becomes, the longer it sits, and you certainly don’t want to make it too strong. This is why some individuals choose different senna pills with a more regulated amount of senna.

Other teas, such as chamomile or peppermint, are occasionally added to senna tea to improve the flavor and reduce the risk of flatulence or cramps.


How long does it take for senna tea to work? Senna normally starts working six to twelve hours after drinking senna tea or taking a senna supplement orally. The length of time depends on the product. Senna leaf tea and other senna supplements are often used before bedtime to aid with bowel movement the next morning.

Because the potency of senna tea is varied by the amount of time it is brewed, it is more difficult to manage the dose than a supplement. In addition, Senna teas vary in strength according to the manufacturer; therefore, the quantity of senna in senna tea bags may vary, and many companies also include additional stimulant laxative herbs like cascara in their goods. Therefore, before deciding on the finest senna tea for your requirements, it’s good to read senna tea reviews.

Dosing (by mouth) that has been researched scientifically:

  • For constipation, adults and children aged 12 and above should take 17.2 milligrams per day, not to exceed 34.4 milligrams per day.
  • For constipation in children above the age of two but under the age of twelve, start with 8.5 milligrams per day and gradually increase to one bowel movement per day.
  • 17 mg per day for constipation in the elderly.
  • 28 milligrams in two split doses for constipation caused by pregnancy.

Senna tea dosage: For constipation relief, one cup of senna tea per day is usually advised; however, it should not be used for more than one week unless instructed by a doctor.

Is there a distinction between the terms senna and Senokot? Yes, Senokot is a senna drug that also includes docusate in addition to sennosides. Is Senokot a stool softener or a laxative? It’s truly both since the sennosides produced from senna have laxative properties, and the docusate is a stool softener.

Interactions, Side Effects, and Risks

Senna is an FDA-approved nonprescription medication. When taken by mouth by most people and children over the age of two for a short period, it is usually regarded safe. So what are the negative consequences of senna tea consumption? Stomach pain, cramps, or diarrhea are common senna side effects.

If used in large dosages or over a long period, senna is thought to be potentially dangerous. Senna in any form should not be used for more than one to two weeks at a time. Senna’s concerns include irregular bowel function and laxative dependency when taken long-term. Long-term senna use may cause electrolyte imbalances, leading to muscular weakness, abnormal cardiac function, liver damage, and other dangerous side effects. If you get diarrhea or have watery stools, you should stop using senna laxatives.

Is it safe to drink senna tea when pregnant or breastfeeding? Consult your doctor beforehand, but if you take the herb by mouth and consume it for a short period, it’s usually regarded safe. When administered as advised, Senna does not seem to cause stool alterations in nursing mothers’ newborns.

It’s vital to remember that if senna tea isn’t taken appropriately, it might cause laxative dependency and liver damage. Therefore, using senna tea or any other senna product in heavy dosages, over a long period, or too often is considered improper. Many detox beverages and teas on the market now include senna, but it’s critical not to abuse them by consuming too many of these drinks and teas.

Anyone suffering from an electrolyte disruption, such as a potassium deficit, dehydration, diarrhea, or loose/watery stools, should avoid using senna.

If you have a heart condition or gastrointestinal condition, such as abdominal pain (diagnosed or undiagnosed), intestinal blockage, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, stomach inflammation, anal prolapse, or hemorrhoids, consult your doctor before using senna.

Senna has a few recognized medication interactions. For example, digoxin (Lanoxin), warfarin (Coumadin), diuretic medications (water pillows), and contraceptive pills may interact with senna.

In terms of interactions with other herbs/supplements, there is a worry that combining senna with horsetail or licorice might raise the risk of potassium levels in the body being too low.

While using senna, your urine may have a reddish-brown hue. This is usually considered harmless, and once you stop taking senna, your color should return to normal. However, please keep in mind that senna is not a long-term constipation remedy. Senna may really stop your intestines from operating correctly on their own if you use it for too long.

An allergic response to senna is uncommon, although it is conceivable. If you suspect you’re experiencing a severe allergic response to senna, get medical help right once. A severe raised, red, itchy skin rash on any region or all of your body is a very unusual but significant probable senna side effect.

Last Thoughts

  • What exactly is senna? Senna is a medicinal plant that has been used for ages as a natural laxative.
  • Is senna an effective laxative? Yes, however, it should never be used as a substitute for good behaviors such as drinking lots of water each day, eating a diet high in nutritious fiber, and exercising regularly.
  • To be safe and prevent undesired side effects, limit yourself to one cup of senna tea per day and don’t take senna products for more than one week at a time.
  • Senna tea has a reputation for naturally relieving constipation and clearing the intestines before a colonoscopy. Senna is sometimes used for hemorrhoids and IBS with constipation but sees your doctor first.
  • Abusing senna tea or any other senna product has dangerous consequences that should not be overlooked. Long-term use of senna may change electrolyte balance, resulting in muscular weakness, abnormal cardiac function, and liver damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of senna tea?

A: Side effects of senna tea can include drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, and headache. Please consult your doctor for more information on any other possible side effects that may occur in specific individuals.

Can senna be harmful?

A: Senna is a natural supplement that can be found in many different types of foods and beverages. It is used to help the body eliminate unwanted water weight, which means it helps with losing those extra pounds. However, you should talk to your doctor before taking senna if you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding because there might be some side effects associated with senna use for these groups of people

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


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