Cassia acutifolia. N.O. Leguminosae.
Synonym ► Alexandrian Senna, Cassia, East Indian Senna, Tinnevelly Senna. Habitat ► Imported from Alexandria, East Indies, and the Near East.
Features ► Leaves, grey-green, lanceolate, unequal and varying at the base, between half an inch and one and a half inches long, and about a third of an inch across. Tinnevelly Senna leaves are broader near the middle and proportionately longer than the Alexandrian leaves. The commercial “Mecca Senna” is usually badly picked, and of poor quality generally. Pods (Alexandrian) green, about two inches by a quarter-inch ; East Indian narrower and darker coloured. Taste, sickly sweet.
Part used ► Leaves, pods. Action ► Laxative, cathartic.
For occasional and chronic constipation, dyspepsia, and disordered stomach. Two ounces of the leaves may be infused in 1 pint of boiling water and allowed to stand for an hour before use in wineglass doses. Any possibility of griping will be avoided if 1 drachm of Ginger is added to the Senna leaves before infusing.
The Alexandrian leaves and pods are considered superior to the East Indian kind as, with most people, they act more mildly, but with equal certainty.