All herbal medicine comes with some side effects and senna is no exceptional to this. Senna is generally safe when taken in recommended amounts. However, when it is misused or taken in large quantity over a prolonged period of time, it can result in serious side effects. Mentioned below are a few side effects that one has to know before using senna.
Side Effects of Senna
Senna can cause urine discoloration. Though it is not dangerous, a change in the color of urine would cause anxiety and make you scared. It can cause yellow- brown discoloration of acidic urine or pinkish-red discoloration of alkaline urine.
Excessive usage of senna leaves might cause electrolyte imbalance as it can deplete potassium ions in the body. Loss of potassium can lead to muscle weakness and fatigue. It can also lead to a condition called melanosis coli, which is characterized by dark pigmentation of colon.
Clubbing Of Fingers
Reversible clubbing of fingers is a common problem caused by misuse of senna. If high doses of senna are taken over a long period of time for weight loss, it might lead to clubbing of fingers. This is commonly found in anorexia patients, who misuse senna for sever weight loss. This condition can be reversed with weight gain.
Senna is safe when used in prescribed quantities. However, when consumed in large amounts it can result in liver toxicity. It can cause severe liver injury and increase the serum enzymes level. The effects can be reduced if senna is discontinued, but it can reoccur rapidly on re-exposure to senna.
GI disorders are common side effects due to the use of senna. Senna can result in abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. One can also experience a gripping pain accompanied with bloating and diarrhea. When the use of senna is minimized, these problems would fade away.
Studies suggest that using senna over a long time can result in cathartic colon. It is a condition in which the anatomy of colon is altered due to the disappearance of haustral folds. This can affect the colon motility and colonic absorption and result in fluid accumulation in the colon.
Senna is found to interact with several drugs. People on medication to lower potassium levels should avoid senna because it might result in dangerously low potassium levels when taken together. Warfarin drug interaction with senna can result in diarrhea and increase bleeding.