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Sen; al. Alexandriner, Tinnevelly) Senna; English. Alexandrian, Tinnevelly) Senna.

Leaf, fruit.

The Senes are subshrub with compound leaves paripinnadas 5 to 8 pairs of leaflets in C. angustifolia. The flowers pentámeras tetracíclicas, zigomorfas, grouped in clusters axillary petals are yellow, 10 stamens free, 3 of which are sterile. The fruit is a legume flat and membranous dehiscent which contains between 6 and 8 seeds.


Sen. Alexandria (C. L. senna) or in Khartoum is spontaneous in the northeast of the African continent: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt. The other kind officinal (C. angustifolia Vahl. Or sen from India or Tinnevelly is spontaneous in Somalia in the Arabian peninsula and is grown widely in India.

Chemical composition.

The drug owes its biological properties to the derivatives of the 1, 8 - dihydroxy anthraquinone: the anthracene. In the case of Senes, the main components of the drug are dried senósidos ones, heterósidos of dimeric Genina, diantrónicas: the senidinas. These senidinas come from the union of two monomers which may be identical or different. If they are identical, leading to the homodiantronas: the senidinas A, A1 and B are dimers return Antrona. If they are different, leading to the heterodiantronas: senidinas the C and D dimers of the queen and the aloe - emodol Antrona. The heterósidos are as diglucósidos at 1 and 1 '. In the fresh plant are not more than glycosides of monomers: the dimerization takes place during the drying. Along with the AD senósidos ones are isolated small amounts of anthraquinone free and glycosylated. The other ingredients are known flavonoids, pinitol, sugar, a polysaccharide galacturonic, and phytosterols derived naphthalenes specific to each species: tinevelina glucoside and 6 - hydroxy - musicina [586]

Pharmacological data.

The senósidos ones can be considered as inactive for drugs in which the component osídico allows, for the water solubility that gives the molecule, transporting it to the colon. Glycosides is hydrolyzed and reduced to re - Antrona under the influence of the enzymes of the bacteria in the gut: this has been confirmed in vitro with bacterial strains isolated from the intestines of humans and rats.

The re - Antrona is a laxative. It seems to be serving - after a period of dormancy for the transport and metabolism - on intestinal motility (increase) and then on the mobilization of water and electrolytes. Inhibiting the absorption of water, sodium and chlorine level of the intestinal mucosa and increased secretion of potassium is due, among other things, inhibits the activity of Na + K + ATP - Core decreases absorption. You can also think - to be inhibited the action of sin, rat, by prior treatment with indomethacin - which produces a stimulating secretion via the synthesis of PGE2.

Observations on the Man.

The effectiveness of sin is amply demonstrated, their safety is still under investigation. Work on the alteration of biological parameters or lesions cellular level intestinal both in rats as in humans, are rich in contradictions attributable to the diversity of the preparations tested. It is known that prolonged administration of senósidos ones did not induce any change histological colon, rat or mousebut have been discovered ultrastructural changes after administration of anthraquinone. It has also been shown to senósidos ones are eliminated, in part, in milk, but in an amount sufficient to produce effect on the child.


The sen and its preparations, properly used, are a classic treatment of constipation, when the aetiology of these symptoms could be determined, or at least, have ruled out metabolic causes, functional, obstructive, or medicated. It is used traditionally sen, in infusion (often associated with other plants) and in the form of capsule, tablet, and so on. And also prescribes senósidos ones cigars (10 - 30 mg / day) The sen and senósidos ones are also used for the preparation of the exploration of the digestive tract (eg, radiographic examination, colonoscopy) and post - surgical intervention after a year - rectal or where any effort must be avoided. Prolonged use can cause major disruptions.

In Spain authorizing the use of this plant for the symptomatic treatment of constipation.


When the existence of suspected intestinal blockage. Water and electrolyte disorders. Inflammatory diseases of the stomach or intestine. Lactating and pregnant in the last third. No longer treatment more than 7 to 10 days.

The drug.

The leaflets, lanceolate, more or less asymmetrical at the base, they differ slightly, depending on the species: C. senna: 15 to 40 mm long x 1 to 15 mm wide, pubescent, stomata index of 12. 5, C. angustifolia: 7 - 20 x 20 - 50 mm, smooth, stomata index of 17. 5, epidermal cells with mucilages (ruthenium red) hair TECTOR of thick wall and warty. The fruits, more or less kidney - shaped, do not differ significantly higher than for the size and appearance of the seed coat. All drugs give a reaction (in decoction acid) from Bornträger positive. The anthracene, identifiable by C. C. F. a hydroalcoholic extract (KOH revealed after the action of HNO3 with heat) are valued by colorimetry (magnesium acetate) after hydrolysis oxidant fruit> 2. 2% (C. angustifolia) > 3. 4% (C. senna) leaf> 2. 5% (as sennoside B)


The composition of the drug is detailed in the classic works of Pharmacognosy, also appears in magazines, including:

a) J. Lemli.

The chemistry of senna.

Phytotherapy, 57, 33 - 40, 1986.

By the same author is also available:

b) Senna - An old drug in modern research.

Introduction au 1st International Symposium in Senna, J. Lemli, E. LENG - PSCHLOW K. F. SEWING, eds. Rottach - Egern (RFA) 22 - 23 May 1987, in: Pharmacology, 36, supp. 1, 240 p. 1988.


Isolation and structural investigation of a polysaccharide from Cassia angustifolia leaves.

Planta Med. 55, 99 - 100, 1989.

J. Lemli, J. CUVEELE and E. Verhaeren.

Chemical identification of Alexandrian and Tinnevelly senna.

Planta Med. 49, 36 - 37, 1983.

J. Lemli and L. Lemmens.

Metabolism of sennosides and Rhein in the rat.

Pharmacology, 20, 50 - 57, 1980.

M. Dresser, H. EYSSEN and J. Lemli.

The metabolism of sennosides A and B by the gut microflora: in vitro and in vivo studies on the Rat and the Mouse.

J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 33, 679 - 681, 1981.


Metabolism of sennosides by human intestinal bacteria.

Pharmacology, 36, supp. 1, 172 - 179, 1988.


Dual Effect of orally administered sennosides on large intestine transit and fluid absorption in the Rat.

J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 38, 606 - 610, 1986.


Stimulation of PGE2 synthesis and water and electrolyte secretion by senna anthraquinones is INHIBIT by indomethacin.

J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 37, 248 - 251, 1985.


Evidence against a dependence of the senna effect on prostaglandin formation.

Pharmacology, 36, supp. 1, 92 - 97, 1988.


Effect of Senokot on rat intestinal electrolyte transport. Evidence of Ca + dependence.

Gastroenterology, 87, 503 - 512, 1984; see also: M. DONOWITZ, Ca2 + in the control of active intestinal Na + and Cl - transport: involvement in Neurohumoral action, Am, J. Physiol. 245, 165 - 177, 1983.


Tolerance of intestinal muqueuse of Souris à l'une d'prolongée ingestion of powder Sene.

Ann. Pharm, Fr. 41, 571 - 578, 1983.

R. L. RUDOL and U. Mengs.

Electron microscopical studies on rat intestine after long - term treatment with sennosides.

Pharmacology, 36, supp. 1, 188 - 193, 1988.

P. DUFOUR and P. Gendre.

Long - term mucosal alterations by sennosides and related compounds.

Pharmacology, 36, supp. 1, 194 - 202, 1988.

Diseases whose treatment is appropriate in this plant.


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