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Is Cassia Acutifolia Tea Good for Losing Weight?

by
author image Barbara Perrin
Barbara Perrin has written for publishers in medical and social sciences since 1980, reported on consumer behavior and is managing editor of the "Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art/communications from Hunter College, a Master of Arts in anthropology from Goddard College and a Post-Masters Certificate in gerontology from the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity.
Is Cassia Acutifolia Tea Good for Losing Weight?
Cassia acutifolia is a laxative that may be taken as a tea. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Cassia acutifolia tea is a powerful laxative that can produce side effects including diarrhea, nausea and dehydration when improperly used. Any weight loss that results from drinking this tea will be temporary and will not involve loss of body fat. Consumption of the tea for more than 10 days may endanger the user's health.

Cassia Acutifolia Plant

Cassia acutifolia and Cassia senna are two closely related shrubs often referred to as senna. Cassia acutifolia grows in India and northeastern Africa, while Cassia senna grows along the Nile in northern Africa, according to "The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines." People have used the dried leaves and sometimes the pods of the plant as a laxative since before written records were kept.

Cassia Acutifolia Tea

"A Modern Herbal" recommends making senna tea as follows: Add 100 g of senna leaves and 5 g of sliced ginger or coriander seeds to one liter of distilled water and boil, covered, for 15 minutes. Strain it while it's still hot. People usually add aromatic herbs when preparing senna in order to mask the herb's nauseating smell and taste, advises "The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines."

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Will It Work?

Cassia acutifolia is a powerful, proven laxative, according to "The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines." Its active ingredient, anthraquinones, is secreted into the colon and stimulates the bowel. However, since homemade formulas such as tea have unpredictable side effects due to varying concentrations of the active ingredients, many people prefer to use standardized commercial preparations of the herb, which are available as liquids, powders and tablets.

Side Effects

A very powerful medicine, senna can cause serious reactions if not used properly. Side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, severe cramps and dehydration. Take stimulant laxatives such as this for no longer than 10 days, as longer use may cause chronic diarrhea and cramps, laxative dependence, and loss of critical fluids and salts such as potassium that can lead to other complications. Do not take senna if you have any kind of intestinal obstruction or abdominal pain of unknown origin, and take it only after consulting a medical professional if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease or are pregnant or nursing, states "The American Pharmaceutical Association Practical Guide to Natural Medicines."

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