Is Senna safe?

Senna is a plant, so it’s completely natural and has been used for its laxative properties all around the world for thousands of years. It started in the Middle East and Egypt and quickly became a part of the traditional herbal system in the Western cultures. The leaves are the most potent part of the plant, which is what is typically used in teas, but it can also be in capsule or tablet form or even as a liquid extract. There are a lot of different forms of senna, and most health food stores and pharmacies will have it one form or another. It is a widely used ingredient that has been deemed to be well tolerated to treat constipation, help irritable bowel syndrome, cleanse the colon before surgery, and aid in weight loss.

Senna is an ingredient present in many well-known laxative products sold in supermarket and pharmacies. There are quite a number of clinical studies that have used senna used as a laxative or colon cleanse. There has also been a wide variety of participants in the different studies as well.  Healthy adults suffering from constipation, as well as those suffering from serious disease, and postpartum patients have all been part of successful senna studies, which have all concluded that when senna is used as directed it is a well-tolerated and efficacious medicine.  Some minor abdominal cramping is sometimes experienced, but in every study, it is the minority of people who experience this.

The idea behind our SkinnyMeTea Evening cleanse, which uses senna as one of the main ingredients, is to encourage your body’s natural detoxification process by eliminating the waste through the bowel. It has been used as a colon cleanse for years in the medical setting as well, and that is essentially what you’re doing at home. You are cleansing your colon and detoxifying your body through the colon. By doing this it gets rid of excess fluid and excess waste that might be the cause of bloating.

Good quality senna is completely natural and has excellent tolerability if used correctly. It has has been in use for thousands of years, but there are still some things to keep in mind while using it. Hydration is key. It is very important to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water while taking senna. Your body is flushing out a lot of excess fluid as waste, so it could be easy to get dehydrated if you’re not mindful of that. Drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in water content.

How long you use the product is also important. Senna is a great cleansing ingredient, but you’re not meant to be on a cleanse forever. It is best used as a kick-start to your new lifestyle or as a periodic cleanse or detox. Our SkinnyMe Tea Evening Cleanse label recommends you use the tea every other night for 14 to 28 days to avoid becoming dependent on the product and to promote a healthier way to cleanse.

We also advocate and stress the importance of diet and lifestyle change. The only way to make these effects long term is to change your lifestyle, which means regular exercise and a healthy meal plan. Continuing to feed your body exactly what you want to be cleansed isn’t what you’re supposed to do.

Further, our Evening Cleanse is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). That means that our product is manufactured in a facility that is required to follow Good Manufacturing Practice and testing for the identity of all ingredients in the formulation as well as for heavy metal and other potential toxins. Beware of imitations that are not listed on the ARTG. Senna is a therapeutic herb and therefore it is regulated as a medicine. It is essential that products containing this ingredient are entered on the ARTG and due to the known adulteration of many herbal weight and cleanse products I wouldn’t take any senna product or weight loss/cleanse product that wasn’t on the ARTG.

Many of our competitors are trying to pass off their products as being within the food regulatory category (ie as teas or herbal infusions). Any product containing senna is not compliant if it is not on the ARTG. Senna is not permissible in foods. Make sure you look for the AUST L number which should be on the front of the packaging of products containing senna. You should also look for the mandatory warning statements required on be on the packaging as follows:

WARINING: Contains senna which contains hydroxyanthracene glycosides. Prolong use may cause serious bowel problems. Do not use if you have abdominal pain nausea or vomiting or if you develop diarrhea. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, seek medical advice before using this product.

The following warning should appear on all products making claims that it will help reduce the symptoms of a condition. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.

 If the product does not contain the AUST L and the mandatory warning statements, we highly recommend that you do not purchase these products or contact the Therapeutic Goods Administration for advice before purchasing the product.

Senna is not safe to use is if you are experiencing abdominal pain or nausea or vomiting because these are signs of a potential or existing intestinal blockage.  In these instances, you should refer to a healthcare professional.

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