zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Bekunis Tea Side Effects

by
author image Linda Tarr Kent
Linda Tarr Kent is a reporter and editor with more than 20 years experience at Gannett Company Inc., The McClatchy Company, Sound Publishing Inc., Mach Publishing, MomFit The Movement and other companies. Her area of expertise is health and fitness. She is a Bosu fitness and stand-up paddle surfing instructor. Kent holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Washington State University.
Bekunis Tea Side Effects
Bekunis tea can help if you are constipated, but it is recommended only for short-term use. Photo Credit logdog7/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Bekunis tea is sold as a natural laxative. The active ingredient in it is senna, which is a member of the pea family that is cultivated in the Middle East and Europe. It has substances in it called anthranoids, sometimes referred to as vegetable laxatives, because these substances stimulate contractions of the colon. It’s best to consult a doctor before using any laxative products.

Atonic colon

Long-term use of Bekunis tea can lead to an atonic colon, meaning your colon will lack strength and muscle tone, and thus will develop impaired function according to the European Medicines Agency. This can lead to aggravation of your constipation and dependence on the tea, with need for increasing quantities to produce an effect. Stimulant laxatives like senna should not be used for more than one to two weeks. If you want to use them for a longer time frame, you must have medical supervision advises the EMA.

Allergic Reactions

You may suffer an allergic reaction to senna according to Drugs.com. Get medical aid immediately if you have severe reactions, which can include itching, a rash, hives, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, or facial, mouth tongue or lip swelling.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Bekunis tea may cause cramping, vomiting, nausea, flatulence and diarrhea according to George T Grossberg and Barry Fox in “The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide.” If you experience black, tarry stools or severe stomach pain you need to get immediate medical attention.

Worsening of Conditions

EMA advises that Bekunis tea can worsen your condition or be dangerous to use if you have intestinal obstructions, appendicitis, inflammatory colon disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, lack of muscle strength in your colon, abdominal pain of unknown origin, are dehydrated or have electrolyte depletion. Using senna with other products that can induce hypokalaemia, meaning potassium depletion, can also lead to or worsen an electrolyte imbalance. Such products include diuretics, licorice root, adrenocorticosteroids, horsetail, cascara sagrada, castor oil, black root and insulin. You should consult a doctor before taking the herb if you take medicines that can cause dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. This is especially important for people who are either young or elderly.

Irregular Heartbeat

You may experience an irregular heartbeat when using Bekunis tea according to Grossberg and Fox. It can worsen heart ailments by leading to an electrolyte imbalance. Taking it with certain medicines, for example acebutolol, digitalis, ibutilide, insulin, propranolol and verapamil, can increase the risk of irregular heartbeat .

Estrogen Rise

Your blood levels of estrogen may increase if you drink Bekunis tea and take birth control pills simultaneously according to Grossberg and Fox.

Possible Cancer and Melanosis Coli Link

Anthranoid laxatives like senna may be associated with colon cancer according to a study by Riccardo Nascimbeni et al in “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.” However, the association between anthranoid laxative use and colon cancer is supported mostly via data collected through interviews, and results of studies are not consistent. Thus, definite conclusions cannot be drawn about the relationship between laxative use in and of itself as a possible colon cancer cause according to Nascimbeni. He notes anthranoids do show mutagenic and carcinogenic effects in lab and animal studies.

There’s also a possible link between senna and melanosis coli. According to the Medterms website, melanosis coli is usually a reversible condition that does not cause symptoms in which pigment in the mucous lining of the large intestine becomes discolored to brown or black.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Demand Media

Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please take a moment and read it here.