Below is information on Senna laxative which is usually called senna tea and is, as you can guess, made by infusing senna leaves. This website also has information on many other other remedies for constipation such as laxative foods and colon cleansing herbs because this laxative tea is not necessarily for everyone because as with many other medical solution our bodies respond uniquely to each treatment and the same goes for senna tea which might work perfectly for you or could bring mild side effects in which case you should look for other constipation remedies.
The senna plant is native to most tropical countries. The leaves and pods which contain the active ingredients are used in herbal remedies and as a laxative and have been for well over a thousand years dating back to ancient Egyptian times.
You can buy senna laxative tea commercially or brew it yourself at home by steeping the leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Strain it and drink while still warm. Another option is to steep the senna leaves in cold water for 10 to 12 hours and strain. This method leaves less resin which is responsible for abdominal cramping. Once you drink the tea it is important to understand it will take 10 to 12 hours to see any results.
While trying to answer the question on how to relieve constipation you will be pleased to hear that senna leaf tea is very effective and powerful as a laxative but has many warnings that you should consider before starting to use senna leaves. You should not use it for more than 7 consecutive days without first discussing it with your physician. It also should not be used if you are pregnant or nursing a baby, if you are suffering from appendicitis, intestinal blockage, inflammatory intestinal orders such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids or ulcers. If you are taking heart medication such as digitalis or lanoxin you need to discuss this with your MD, as Senna can interfere with their action causing irregularities of the heart. Senna laxative should not be used in conjunction with diuretics as this will contribute to an excessive depletion of potassium from your system. Children under the age of 12 should not be given senna leaf treatments.
Senna tea acts in the lower bowels increasing peristaltic movement leaving less time for fluids to be absorbed from the food through the walls of the colon thus maintaining softened stools and relieving constipation.
Side effects may include mild to severe stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea and can also cause liver damage with extended periods of use.
Herbalists do agree that using senna tea for a maximum of 7 days is safe. However if you have any concerns prior to using it, you should consult your physician. Also check with your pharmacist if you are taking prescription drugs to rule out any drug interactions.