What You Should Know
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.
Senna is a flowering plant found all around the world.
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.
- Does stimulate temporary weight loss by emptying the colon.
- Is inexpensive and commonly found in teas and in capsule form.
- 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.
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.