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Why Is Senna Leaf Banned in Some Countries?

Updated July 19, 2017

Senna Leaf, or the leaves of any plant of the senna species, are a commodity that is traded worldwide. Senna has been used in traditional medicine for centuries as a purgative, or substance that purges the body of unwanted toxins, usually by causing diarrhoea.

History of Senna

Senna has been used for centuries and traded throughout north Africa, Asia and Europe for its stimulant and laxative properties. Today it is a common ingredient in herbal diet formulas.

Properties of Senna

Senna is rich in a number of substances, some of which are stimulants much like caffeine, and others that irritate in the intestinal walls. The irritant properties of senna after consumed are what lead to diarrhoea and hence its laxative properties. Since senna is a stimulant, it effectively suppresses the appetite. Laxatives do not allow the body to absorb food as completely as they normally would be absorbed, and this is why senna is a particularly effective substance for weight loss.

Why is Senna Controlled

Senna is rich in substances that are common ingredients in drugs that are produced in the far east. These chemicals include sennosides A and B. Because the chemicals found in high concentration in senna are used for making drugs, it is no surprise that senna is illegal in countries where these drugs are commonly produced. In those countries, senna is only available as an ingredient in prescription drugs.

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About the Author

Ayub Suleiman has been writing professionally since 2006. His areas of concentration are in private research, health, information and energy. He is a medical student at Jordan University of Science and Technology.