A small (60-90 cm tall) sprawling shrub of the Cesalpinia family. The lower stem branches are long, almost creeping along the ground. The leaves are alternate, pinnate, with 4-5 pairs of bluish-green lanceolate leaflets 2-3 long and 0.5-1 cm wide. The flowers are medium-sized (7-8 mm long), zygomorphic, yellow, collected in axillary racemes. The fruit is a bean 3-5 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide, slightly bent, greenish-brown. Blooms from July to autumn. The seeds ripen from September.
Spread. Cassia spp. grows wild in Africa. On the territory of the former USSR, it is grown in Central Asia and Azerbaijan as an annual plant.
Procurement and storage . Leaves (Folium Sennae), known as Alexandrian leaves, and fruits (Folliculi Sennae), known as Alexandrian pods, are used to make medicines. Leaves are collected 2-3 times during the growing season, plucking them from the shoots: the first time – when the lower leaves turn yellow, the second time – after 1-1.5 months, the third time they collect leaves that had time to grow after the second collection before frost. Fruits are collected as they ripen, a sign of which is their browning and cracking. The collected raw materials are immediately dried in the open air, spreading them in a thin layer on the fabric. The shelf life is 3 years. Pharmacies release raw materials.
Chemical composition. Cassia fruits and leaves contain anthraglycosides (senosides A and B, rhein, aloe-emodin), flavonoids, sterols, organic acids (palmitic, linoleic, stearic, and others), traces of alkaloids. In addition, there are resinous substances in the leaves.
Pharmacological properties and use. Cassia has laxative properties. It has a positive effect on the biliary and antitoxic functions of the liver. The laxative effect of the plant is due to anthraglycosides, which increase the motor function of the intestine, especially the colon. The laxative effect occurs 6-10 hours after taking cassia preparations. Unlike aloe preparations, which act only in the presence of bile in the intestines, cassia products are also effective in the event of a violation of the flow of bile into the intestines. They do not change the normal function of the small intestines (unlike castor oil), do not cause constipation after a laxative effect (unlike rhubarb), liquid stools and pain in the intestines, as is observed when using other laxatives (buckthorn bark, rhubarb root, magnesium sulfate). Cassia preparations are used to regulate bowel function (chronic atonic constipation, constipation in pregnant and lactating mothers and in case of impaired intestinal motility in women in the climacteric period, to soften bowel movements in case of anal fissures and hemorrhoids). In surgical practice, cassia is used before operations and for postoperative intestinal atony. Cassia is part of laxative teas and anti-hemorrhoidal teas. The strength of the laxative effect depends on the selected dose: small doses (2-4 g) cause a slight relaxation, increased (5 g) – a laxative effect. To avoid addiction to cassia products, it is advisable to alternate them with other laxatives. Long-term (up to several years) use of large doses of cassia products (as well as other laxatives) should be avoided, as this can cause atrophy of the smooth muscles of the colon and disruption of its innervation. Side effects (gurgling, flatulence, abdominal pain) are observed very rarely and immediately disappear when the drug is stopped. Resinous substances contained in cassia leaves cause intestinal spasms. To get rid of resinous substances, the infusion is filtered after cooling. There are no resinous substances in the fruits, so the laxative effect of their infusions is gentler. In Chinese medicine, an infusion or decoction of cassia leaves is used as an appetizing agent and to improve digestion. The pharmaceutical industry of India produces Senade and Glaxena products from cassia. In Chinese medicine, an infusion or decoction of cassia leaves is used as an appetizing agent and to improve digestion. The pharmaceutical industry of India produces Senade and Glaxena products from cassia. In Chinese medicine, an infusion or decoction of cassia leaves is used as an appetizing agent and to improve digestion. The pharmaceutical industry of India produces Senade and Glaxena products from cassia.
Medicinal forms and applications.
Internally – infusion of leaves (8 g, or 2 tablespoons of raw materials per 200 ml of boiling water) for half or a third of a glass in the morning and at night;
dry senna extract (Extractum Sennae siccum) 1-2 tablets per intake 2-3 times a day or 1-2 tablets at night and in the morning on an empty stomach;
complex infusion of senna, or Viennese drink (Inftisum Sennae compositum) 1-2 tablespoons per reception – for adults and 1 teaspoon or 1 dessert spoon – for children;
licorice powder (Pulvis Glicirrhizae compositus) is used diluted with water for 1 teaspoon 1-2 times a day (children should be given a quarter of a teaspoon).