Botanical name-

Cassia angustifolia




Sanskrit : Madani
Assamese : Sonamukhi
Bengali : Svamamukhi, Sonapata
English : Indian Senna. Tinnevelly Senna
Gujrati : Mindhiaval, Sonamukhi
Hindi : Sanaya, Hindisana
Kannada : Nelavarika, Sonamukhi, Nelaavare, Nelavarike, Nela Aanriake
Kashmiri : Sna
Malayalam : Sunnamukhi, Nilavaka, Chinnukki, Adapatiyan
Marathi : Sonamukhi
Oriya : Sunamukhi
Tamil : Nilapponnai, Avarai
Telugu : Sunamukhi
Urdu : Sena, Barg-e-Sana

Geographical distribution

   It is found throughout the year, cultivated largely in Southern India, especially in districts of Tinnevelly, Madurai and Tiruchirapally of Tamil Nadu and also cultivated in Mysore, Cudappa district of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat state and Rajasthan. Native to Sudan and Arabia.

Historical or Traditional Use:

   Senna was included in Unani medicine and also known to physicians from many years. About 26 species of genus Cassia have reported to contain anthracene derivatives. Out of them, Cassia angustifolia (Indian Senna), and Cassia acutifolia (Alexandrian Senna) are official in different pharmacopoeias because of cathartic activity. The other species with known cathartic activity are C. alata, C. fistula, C. obovata, C. podocarpa, C. sieberiana, C. sofora, C. dentata, C. javanica etc. .

Plant Facts:

   It is a small shrub, 60-75 cm high and has fully grown; thick bluish colour leaves stripped off by hand, collected and dried in shade for 7-10 days, till assume a yellowish-green colour, graded and then packed into large bales.

Parts Used:

Dried Leaves and Pod

Chemical Constituents:

   Senna contains mainly two anthraquinone glycosides such as sennoside A and sennoside B (not less than 2%). Some other compounds available in Senna are sennoside C & D, rhein-8-glucoside, aloe-emodin, 8-glucoside, anthrone diglucoside, rhein, kaemferol, isohamnetin, phytosterol, mucilage, resin, myricyl alcohol, salicylic acid, chrysophanic acid and calcium oxalate. Two naphthalene glycoside such as Tinnevellin glycoside and 6-hydroxy musizin glycosid are also present in Senna.



  • Biological source of Bromelain enzyme is – Ananas comosus (Sources of Bromelain)
  • Family- Bromeliaceae


Historical or Traditional Use:

   The first isolation of Bromelain was recorded by the Venezuelan chemist Vicente Marcano in 1891 from the fruit of pineapple. In 1892, Chittenden, assisted by Joslin and Meara, investigated the matter fully and called it ‘bromelin’. Later the term ‘Bromelain’ was introduced. Bromelain was first introduced as a therapeutic supplement in 1957. Research on Bromelain was first conducted in Hawaii but more recently has been conducted in countries such as Asia, Europe and Latin America. Germany has recently taken a great interest in Bromelain research; Bromelain is currently the 13th most widely used herbal medicine in Germany. Bromelain is present in all parts of the pineapple plant, but the stem is the most common commercial source, presumably because it is readily available after the fruit has been harvested.


   Bromelain is prepared from the stem part of the pineapple plant after harvesting the fruit. This stem part is peeled, crushed and pressed to get the juice containing the soluble Bromelain enzyme. Then the concentrated juice is purified to get the enzyme. The Bromelain products are all supplied as powder.