Senna Review

Editor's Review: 3.2 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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Senna is an herb commonly marketed as a dieting aid in dieting teas, claiming to stimulate the body’s metabolic processes and cause rapid weight loss. It may also be taken in natural or capsule form, but is mainly included in dieting teas so it is more easily absorbed by the body. Numerous diet teas currently include Senna as an ingredient, and Senna-infused teas can be purchased in nearly all drug and retail stores.

Senna’s inclusion in diet teas is a dangerous one, and most diet companies neglect to cover Senna’s other main purpose — to work as a stimulant laxative when digested. Medically, Senna is used for this specific purpose and its diet-related purposes don’t have much scientific backing. This doesn’t stop most companies from including this dangerous ingredient in their products, however.

Ingredients

Senna is a flowering plant found all around the world.

Product Features

Numerous diet companies claim that Senna is a potent diet aid but they often do not explain how or why. Senna itself is recognized as a lethal stimulant laxative that stimulates the colon and causes it to contract and expel any substances inside of it which causes a laxative effect usually a couple of hours after it is absorbed. It is widely regarded as a natural laxative and is easily found in herbal stores. There are numerous side effects from its use including nausea, abdominal cramping, dizziness, and dehydration. Continued use causes more severe side effects including risk of heart attack and colon damage. Its laxative effect is probably the source of where weight loss is experienced due to the body fluids lost when Senna activates the colon. This usually consists of water and fecal matter; once food is digested, the weight is regained. This is the extent of the weight loss claims that are partially true — no other claims are backed by any sort of scientific evidence.

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Advantages

  • Does stimulate temporary weight loss by emptying the colon.
  • Is inexpensive and commonly found in teas and in capsule form.

Disadvantages

  • Is a recognized stimulant laxative and can worsen heart conditions, such as heart murmur.
  • Does not provide substantial weight loss benefits besides emptying the bowels.
  • Has numerous side effects, including nausea and dehydration.

Conclusion

Senna is often claimed to be a diet aid, but these effects are temporary at best and present numerous side effects to dieters. We do not recommend dieters take substances which have numerous side effects, but if dieters wish to try a substance that legitimately does work, Senna may provide temporary (albeit dangerous) benefits. This stimulant is not advised for consumption by dieters suffering with heart-related problems, however, and it will worsen those conditions.

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12 User Reviews about Senna

  • 1
    Kat

    I have used teas containing Senna and lost a lot of weight. If used in moderation, it could help losing weight. Don’t use it more than one week at the time. Take a lot of water and don’t resist going to the bathroom. There is no support to this allegation that it causes Colon damage.

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  • 2
    janai jarlen

    I have had two open heart surgeres. a triple and a quadruple of the arteries, no heart mumur. what do u think?

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  • 3
    mark

    Oh my life, took this for 3 days with no effect, on the 3rd day I had pain that I’ve never experienced in my life. Was sat on the toilet for over an hour cause I couldn’t take it, was sweating profusely and nearly fainted numerous times the pain was so bad. Finally managed a bowel movement that all I can say was like a plug made of granite then (sorry to sound disgusting) it was like a river of all my insides gushing out. Without a doubt its effective but being in so much pain you’ve actively got to try not to black out really isn’t worth it AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.

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  • 4
    OC19

    Someone brought me back Ngamrahong Brand Tablets from Thailand and I am wondering has anyone else heard or taken these! The main ingredient on the box is senna leaves and senna pods. I see the side affects listed above but I only wish to take them for 3 days? Culd any harm be done?

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  • 5
    Leta Edge

    I have used senna for years, but I am having trouble finding a supply.

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  • 6
    Anonymous

    I have been taking herb lax by shaklee every day for over 30 years and have had none of the side effects mentioned in any of this testimony. I am 65 years old and very healthy. I had a heart murmur most of my life but the doctors have said that it is nothing to worry about and it hasn’t changed or worsened over the years. I have chronic constipation and herb lax is the only remedy that has worked — and believe me I have tried EVERYTHING!

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  • 7
    Jeff Scott

    This drug senna is dangerous! do not take it. i took and an became extremely ill vomiting and diarrhea. this started 4 hours after taking it. Lasted for 48 hours. thought i was going to die. cramping pain, totally dehydrated not being able keep anything down. Anyone else had this happen?

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  • 8
    keith

    i was having chest pain, weakness and what felt like a heart murmer after being on shaklee herblax for 5 months or so, so i went looking for pros and cons of senna and found this page. looks like todays my last day taking it.

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  • 9
    danielle

    hi, my 22month old daughter has been constipated for 4days now i took her to the doctors yesterday and he put her on lactulose and also senna, dose 2.5mg/ml oral solution so is to take 1 5ml spoonful daily when required she still hasn’t had a movement and i am getting worried now could you please teell me how long it should take to work as she is in much pain and very uncomfortable she is unable to sleep so i have to stay up with her all night massaging her stomach i just need some advice thank you. Danielle

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    Paula

    Warm prune juice and warm water mixed and sipped over a few minutes did it for my kids. Old remedy from my granny. Hope it works

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  • 10
    Susan

    Just needed to know why such a risky derivative of an herb is sold like this at all? Who wants to have colon problems? Thanks! Susan PS I thought it could help me lose weight but with this disavantage of me having a heart murmur I will have to discontinue it altogether.

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    Anonymous

    it does not give heart murmur “can worsen heart conditions, such as heart murmur”…as per the disadvantages above

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