Sennatora is an annual under-shrub with a height of 30 to 90 cm, which grows in warm moist soils. The leaves are pungent, pinnate and hairy, and are about 10 cm long. Flowers are yellow and comprise of five petals, each about half inch in diameter.
Phytochemical analysis has shown that the plant contains aloe-emodin, chrysophanol, resins, cathatrine, calcium, iron, phosphorus, 1,3,5-trihydroxy-6-7-dimethoxy-2-methylanthroquinone, beta-sitosterol, naptho-alpha-pyrone-toralactune, chrysophanol, physcion, emodin, rubrofusarin, cchrysophonicacid-9-anthrone, tricontan-1-0l, stigmasterol, b-sitosteral-b-D-glucoside, palmitic, stearic, succinic and d-tartaric acids uridine, quercitrin, isoquercitrin. These chemicals attribute to its anti-oxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-poison, anti-spasmodic, hyperglycemic, emollient, anticonvulsant, anthelmintic, anti-fungal, antiviral, diuretic, carminative, laxative and expectorant properties, and thus Senna tora is said to be a panacea for many ailments.
Some of these ailments include:
Arthritis/Rheumatism: Dried or fresh leaves are infused for 15 minutes and taken 2x daily. For better results, tender leaves of cashew, Moringa and common club moss are added and also boiled for 45 minutes; allowed to cool then taken 2x daily. Leaves of Senna tora have been noted to be a very effective component in production of balm for arthritis. The juice from the leaves and the roots of Moringa extract can be mixed with Shea butter and little potash for external application on the affected parts.
Skin glow and complexion: The first step towards having a beautiful skin is to get rid of the skin diseases, that may end up being a cosmetic problem. Taking senna internally as well as externally will help you achieve that. Take a teacup daily for blood cleansing while herbal body wash prepared with fresh or dried leaves and flowers would make a great complexion enhancer. Also bathing powder can be made into paste with water, applied gently for about two minutes and washed off. Do this weekly for improved skin softness and youthfulness.
Allergies, skin diseases/sores: Due to its germicidal and anti parasitic character, it has been used for treating skin conditions, such as leprosy, ringworm, sores and itching. Decoction of tender leaves of Senna tora singly or in combination with other herbs like Sennaalata, Soccidentalis and stinging nettle is given in cases of eczema, dandruff, rashes, allergies and skin eruptions. Poultice of fresh leaves is also applied directly on affected areas. This is very effective even in chronic conditions. A paste made of the seeds is applied topically on ringworms and scabies. The seeds can also be mashed in vinegar and applied on skin conditions or the seed paste with turmeric and mustard oil is applied topically.
Indigestion, constipation and piles: Seeds are mildly purgative and help loosen the bowels to relieve habitual constipation and piles. The powdered leaves and flowers are also often used as laxative agent and are very helpful in alleviating indigestion. Take 1 Tbs as infusion or together with plain pap and you would soon be waving good bye to hard stools, painful bowel movement, bleedingand stomach bloating.
Weak muscles and impure blood: Its powder proves useful in toning up heart muscles, nerves and purifying blood. The juice from the leaves is also used as antidotes in various poisoning and in maintaining the normal cholesterol levels in the blood.
This herb is very popular in Ayurveda treatment for swelling and inflammations. Sennatora is also used in the treatment of various other ailments, including liver disorder, fever, hepatitis, urinary tract infections, venereal diseases, worm infestation, cough, hypertension, constant headaches, conjunctivitis, obesity, oedema, flatulence, bronchitis and also cardiac problems.
The paste and decoction of the ground, dried/fresh root is used in snakebite and if sprinkled around the compound kills snakes on contact. It also acts as a snake repellent if planted around the house.
Senna tea is prepared by infusing one teaspoon of dried leaves in 150 mls of freshly boiled water for 15 minutes. A cup per day is consumed slowly in the morning and night after food.
The roasted seeds can be used as coffee substitute. A quarter teaspoon should be stirred in a tea cup of boiled water and consumed once a day, preferably in the evening.
Equal amounts of Senna can also be combined with other plants, like dandelion, ginger, corn (styles) and panax. A quantity of 200 ml of the mixture is consumed two times per day, after meals, sweetened with honey, if desired.