Senna italica Mill.

Senna italica Mill.

Botanical Name:   Senna italica Mill.Sennaitalica Mill.

Kingdom:               Plantae

Family:                   Fabaceae

Order:                    Fabales

Genus:                    Senna

Sindhi Name:         Dadhwalh, son makai

Local Name:          Sana Makkah

English Name:       Sudan senna

Part Used:              Fruits, pods, seeds, root, and leaves


Description a small shrub which grows up to 65-90 cm in height. Stem is solid and 2 m tall. Leaves are paripinnate while leaflets are in 7-8 pairs, glabrous, and yellowish-green. Flowers are yellow pods; fruits are greenish-brown to dark brown in color. Seeds are 5-7 in number, obovate, smooth, and dark brown1,2.


S. italicais native to African, Asia, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran, Sri Lanka, India, Iraq, and Africa2,3,4.

 Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases

 Paste of Senna italic Mill.(Senegal senna) leaves is applied on affected area for curing fungal infection.

 Chemical Constituents

Major constituents of S. italicaare anthracene derivatives, sennoside A, B, C, and D, rhein, alol- emodin, and aloe emodin5. Leaves and pods contain anthrone glycosides,sennosides, and 6-hydroxymusizin glycoside, while seeds contain pipecolic acid. Flavonoids isolated from the aerial parts are tamarixetin,β-sitosterol, 1,5-dihydroxy-3-methyl anthraquinone, stigmasterol, α-amyrin, and anthraquinone6.

Chemical Structure:


Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/Scientific Studies:

Leaves, pods, and seeds of S. italicaare mostly used in traditional medicine in the form of decoction and maceration. Decoction is used against stomach complaints, pyrexia, liver disease, venereal diseases, and biliousness. Leaves and seeds act as purgative and anthelmintic3. Powder of its leaves is mixed with vinegar and applied externally for the treatment of skin diseases1.S. italicais useful in constipation, anemia, and leprosy diseases. Its leaves are also used to prepare tinctures4.Infusion of root is used by Malawi against diarrhea in infants7.It is used for sore eyesas eye drops and for liver and gall bladder disorders, nausea, vomiting, and dysmenorrhoea8.

S. italicaexhibited potent antimicrobial, insecticidal, antifouling, larvicidal, and antiplasmodial activities9.


  1. Dhiman, A. K. (2006).Ayurvedic Drug Plants, p. 254-255, Daya Publishers, Delhi-110 035, India.
  2. Ali, S. I. (2008). Flora of Karachi, Pakistan Journal of Botany, 40(3), 967-971.
  3. Khare, C. P. (2007).Indian Medicinal plants, p. 128-129, Springer Publishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
  4. Joshi, S. G. (2000).Medicinal Plants, 118, Mohan Primlani Oxford & IBH Publishers Co., Pvt.Ltd.66 Janpath, New Delhi 110001, India.
  5. Bruneton,J. (1999).Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry Medicinal Plants, 2nd, 427-430, Intercept Ltd., Paris, London.
  6. Rizk, A. M. (1986). The Phytochemistry of the Flora of Qater,Scientific and Applied Research Center, Uninversity of Qatar, Qatar.
  8. Lardinois, P., Duez, P., Chamart, S., Lejoly, J., Hanocq, M., Zeba, B., Sawadogo, M., andMolle, L. (1987). Etude Des Conditions D’optimalisationD’une Culture De Cassia italica Au Burkina Faso Destinée A La Production De Sennosides. MédecineTraditionnelleetPharmacopée,1(1), 5-27.
  9. Obeng‐Ofori, D., Reichmuth, C. H., Bekele, J., andHassanali, A. (1997). Biological activity of 1, 8 cineole, a major component of essential oil of Ocimumkenyense (Ayobangira) against stored product beetles. Journal of Applied Entomology, 121(1‐5), 237-243.