The most frequently used laxatives around the world are made from herbs, and senna extract is the most popular one. Senna, also known by the botanical names Cassia angustifolia and Cassia senna, has been used as a laxative for centuries. Side effects are possible, and there are guidelines and warnings related to its use.
How Senna Works
Senna extract is used to relieve constipation. Senna is classified as a stimulant laxative because it works by stimulating muscle contractions in the bowels. The substances in senna that cause bowel contractions are known as sennosides. Senna also causes the bowel to secrete fluid that softens stool, which contributes to its laxative effect. Senna is considered reliable and effective. It is available by prescription and over the counter.
For relief of constipation, 20 to 60 mg of sennosides per day for no longer than 10 days is recommended, according to PeaceHealth. When using over-the-counter products containing senna extract, carefully follow the instructions on the label. If you use a prescription formula, follow your doctor’s instructions. If senna fails to relieve your constipation, notify a medical professional.