Sonamukhi
1293442058HB23_ads_image_.jpg Botanical Name: Cassia Acutifolia (DELL.) Family: N.O. Leguminosae Scientific Name: Senna Names: Cassia Angustifolia, Cassia Senna Senna is a small shrub growing to a height of 2 feet. The plant possesses erect stem, pale green colour and long, spreading branches. The branches bear leaflets which occur in four or five pairs with an average length of an inch. The flowers are small and yellow in colour. The pods are broadly oblong with a length of 2 inch and breadth of 7/8 inch. It contains about six seeds. OTHER NAMES English-Senna Sanskrit-Svarnapatri Hindi-Sanay Sana Ka Patt Tamil-Nilavirai, Nelavakai Alexandrian- Senna Nubian- Senna, Cassia Senna Egyptian –Senna, Sene de la Palthe Tinnevelly Senna. Cassia Angustifolia
 




Botanical Name:
Cassia Acutifolia (DELL.)

 
Family: N.O.
Leguminosae
 
Scientific Name: Senna
 
Names:
Cassia Angustifolia, Cassia Senna
     
           

 
     
           

Senna is a small shrub growing to a height of 2 feet. The plant possesses erect stem, pale green colour and long, spreading branches. The branches bear leaflets which occur in four or five pairs with an average length of an inch. The flowers are small and yellow in colour. The pods are broadly oblong with a length of 2 inch and breadth of 7/8 inch. It contains about six seeds.
     
                   
OTHER NAMES
           
English-Senna
Sanskrit-Svarnapatri
Hindi-Sanay Sana Ka Patt
Tamil-Nilavirai, Nelavakai
Alexandrian- Senna
Nubian- Senna, Cassia Senna
Egyptian –Senna, Sene de la Palthe
Tinnevelly Senna. Cassia Angustifolia
     
                   
Parts Used---Dried leaflets, pods      
           

DISTRIBUTION

Egypt, Nubia, Sennar, India, Southern Arabia, Yemen

     
                   
           

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES AND USES


Senna is an ingredient in several commercial laxative products. It contains chemicals that belong to the class known as anthraquinones, which are further categorized as stimulant laxatives. They work by irritating the lining of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The resulting contractions act to push material out of the lower intestines. Anthraquinones may also keep more water in intestinal contents, thereby producing a softer stool that is usually easier to pass. Senna laxatives may take 8 hours to 12 hours to produce results.

In animal studies, senna has not shown negative effects on pregnant animals or their offspring. Although a very small amount of senna passes into human breast milk, the amounts are not enough to cause diarrhea in infants. Senna-containing laxatives are often given to relieve constipation for pregnant and breast-feeding women, the elderly, surgery patients, and individuals who are taking narcotic pain medications which frequently cause constipation as a side effect. Children under the age of 5 should not be given senna, however, due to the possibility that it may cause a skin rash.

The addition of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, or other aromatics are excellent correctives of the nauseous effects. A teaspoonful of cream of tartar to a teacupful of the decoction of infusion of Senna is a mild and pleasant cathartic, well suited for women if required soon after delivery. Some practitioners add neutral laxative salts, or saccharine and aromatic substances. The purgative effect is increased by the addition of pure bitters; the decoction of guaiacum is said to answer a similar purpose. Senna is contraindicated in an inflammatory condition of the alimentary canal, hemorrhoids, prolapsus, ani, etc. The well-known 'black draught' is a combination of Senna and Gentian, with any aromatic, as cardamom or coriander seeds, or the rind of the Seville orange. The term 'black draught,' it is stated, should never be used, as mistakes have been made in reading the prescriptions, and 'black drop' or vinegar of opium has been given instead, several deaths having been caused in this way.
     
                   
           

INTRODUCTION


Cassia Angustifolia (2n= 28), belonging to the family Leguminosae, is a small perennial undershrub, below 1 m in height with ascending branches. The leaves are large, compound and pinnate. The full-grown leaflets are bluish-green to pale-green in colour and emit a characteristic fetid smell when crushed. The flowers are bright yellow in colour, arranged in axillary, (on sub terminal) erect, many-flowered racemes. The flowers are not season-bound and are borne between 35 to 70 days of age, depending upon the time of sowing, and its season of cultivation. The pods appear immediately after flowering, is slightly curved, 3.5 to 6.5 cm long and up to 1.5 cm broad, green in the beginning changing to greenish – brown to dark brown on maturity and drying. Each pod has 5 to 7 ovate, compressed, smooth, dark-brown seeds.

The other species is very similar to C. Angustifolia in morphology and growth, except in the dimension of its leaflets and pods. The leaflets are shorter and narrow. The pods are distinctly short, flat and broad, oblong but slightly curved upwards and are broadly rounded at the two ends. Further, surface making on the testa (seed) and stomatal index (leaves) are, remarkably, considered to distinguish between the two species. It has been found that cassia obovata and C. italic also possess a fair to good percentage of anthraquinone compounds; C. obovata is common all over India. C.italica grows on sandy, saline soils in west Rajasthan and Saurashtra (Gujarat) and is a potential new source of the senna drug. Several species of Cassia contribute to the drug of commerce, and were comprised in a single species by Linnaeus under the name of Cassia Senna. Since his day, the subject has been more fully investigated, and it is known that several countries utilize the leaves of their own indigenous varieties in the same way. The two most widely exported and officially recognized are C. Acutifolia and C. Angustifolia (India or Tinnevelly Senna).

C. Acutifolia, yielding the finest and most valuable variety of the drug is a small shrub about 2 feet high. The stem is erect, smooth, and pale green, with long, spreading branches, bearing leaflets in four or five pairs, averaging an inch long, lanceolate or obovate, unequally oblique at the base, veins distinct on the under surface, brittle, greyish-green, of a faint, peculiar odour, and mucilaginous, sweetish taste. The form of the base, and freedom from bitterness, distinguish the Senna from the Argel leaves, which are also thicker and stiffer. The flowers are small and yellow. The pods are broadly oblong; about 2 inches long by 7/8 inch broad, and contain about six seeds.

Senna is an Arabian name, and the drug was first brought into use by the Arabian physicians Serapion and Mesue, and Achiarius was the first of the Greeks to notice it. He recommends not the leaves but the fruit, and Mesue also prefers the pods to the leaves, thinking them more powerful, though they are actually less so, but they do not cause griping. Commercial Senna is prepared for use by garbling, or picking out the leaflets and rejecting the lead-stalks, impurities, and leaves of other plants. The amount annually exported is about 8,000 bales of each of the varieties, and the price is high, owing to the failure of the crops at certain seasons. Good Senna may be known by the bright, fresh, yellowish green colour of the leaves, with a faint and peculiar odour rather like green tea, and a nauseous, mucilaginous, sweetish, slightly bitter taste. It should be powdered only as wanted, because the powder absorbs moisture, becomes mouldy, and loses its value. Boiling destroys its virtues, unless it is in vacuum, or in a covered vessel.
     
                   


           

CULTIVATION AND PROPAGATION :

SOIL AND CLIMATE


 •  The crop can thrive on a variety of soils, but is largely grown on red loams, on alluvial loams. The texture of the soil which account for the major hectarage under Senna crop varies from sandy loam to loam, while the black cotton soils are heavier and more fertile. The average pH ranges from 7 to 8.5. It is very sensitive to water logging. Hence, grown only on well-drained soils.

 •  Senna is a warmth-loving crop and required bright sunshine for its successful growth. It can be grown in early summer (February–March) or in winter (October–November) crop. Whereas under North Indian conditions like Delhi and Gujarat, where the rainy season is short, it is reported to be the ideal time as the plants put on luxuriant growth and give the maximum growth. Heavy rains and cloudy weather during growth are harmful to the crop. An average rainfall of 25-40 cm. distributed from June to October is sufficient to produce well.
     
                   
           

LAND PREPARATION

The land is prepared deep and exposed to the sun for 110-115 days to dry out the roots of perennial weeds, followed by two cross ploughings, harrowing and leveling. FYM is incorporated into the soil at the time of the final cross-ploughing. Then the land is laid out into plots of convenient sizes with irrigation channels.
     
                   
           

PROPAGATION


The crop is raised from seeds. Since the seeds have a hard and tough seed – coat, a certain amount of abrading of its surface is necessary to induce quick germination. This is achieved by pounding the seeds lightly with coarse sand in a mortar. Soaking the seeds for 10-12 hours before sowing is reported not only to give 100% germination, but also the stand of the plants grown is even. About 20 kg of seeds are required to cover a hectare of land.
     
                   
           

SOWING

The seeds are broadcast or, more preferably, drilled at a distance of 30 cm in lines made at 30 cm apart at 1.5 to 2.5 cm depth on well prepared land. The germination commences on the third day and is completed within a fortnight. Before sowing, the field should be perfectly leveled, lest it hamper uniform seed germination. It is found that treating the seeds with Thiram, Captan or Agroson G.N. at 2.5 g/kg protects the seedlings from damping- off and seedling blight diseases which are common occurrences.

The seeds can also be dibbled on the inner sides of the ridges opened at 45 cm distance, maintaining a plant- to- plant spacing of 30 cm. Only about 5 kg of seeds are required for this method of sowing.

     
                   
           

MANURE AND FERTILIZERS


Farmer in Tamil Nadu use 4-5 cartload (5-10 t/ha) of well- rotted FYM at the time of sowing. In most cases, it fully utilizes any leftover nutrient from the previous crop and, therefore, the nutrient requirement of senna is variable. However, trials in India have shown that the crop in all, takes 50-100 kg of N, 20-50 kg of P2 O5 and about 30 kg of K 2 O/ha in a growing period of 130- 150 days, depending upon the growth and number of pickings. In general, where specific soil nutrient status of the field is not readily found, 80 kg of N and 40 kg each of P2O5 and k2 O/ha may be applied for the optimum production of leaf, pod and total alkaloids. Of these, the entire dose of P and K and 50% of N should be applied at the time of sowing, and the remaining 50% of N is to be applied 90 days after sowing.

     
                   
           

CROP ROTATION AND INTERCROPPING

In Tamil Nadu, senna is grown after the paddy and intercrop cultivation in between rows of cotton, sesamum, chilies, brinjal, okra and tomatoes is popular. Studies conducted at Delhi showed that senna mustard and senna – coriander rotations gave higher profits and these rotations have proved superior.
     
                   
           

IRRIGATION

Senna could be economically grown under rainfed conditions. In most years, the crop needs no irrigations except under the conditions of prolonged drought. However, when it is grown as a semi-irrigated crop, the yield increased considerably. About 5-8 light irrigations are enough to raise a good crop of Senna, however, heavy irrigations are injurious to the crop.
     
                   
           

WEEDING AND INTERCULTURE

When the plants begin to grow, once or twice interculturing is given after which the rows close up. The first weeding-cum- hoeing is done at 25-30 days, a second at 75-80 days and a third at 110 days, to keep the soil free from weeds. The use of Teeflan herbicide as a pre- emergent spray at the rate of 4 kg/ha has been reported not only to increase the yield, but also the anthraquinone content.
     
                   
           

HARVESTING

Senna plant produces foliage containing higher sennosides between 5-90 days age, depending upon the total plant growth. The picking of leaves is done by hand so that most of the growing tops are removed at harvest. This also induces the plants to produce more of branching which otherwise reduce foliage growth considerably. A second picking is taken at 90-100 days and the third picking between 130-150 days when the entire plants are removed so that the harvested material includes both leaves and pods together.

The harvested crop should be spread over open field area in a thin layer to reduce its moisture. Further drying of produce is done in well-ventilated drying sheds. It takes 10-12 days to dry completely in well-ventilated drying sheds. The dried leaves and pods should have light green to greenish yellow color. A rapid mechanical drying at 400 C could also be attempted. The produce is baled under hydraulic pressure and wrapped in gunny bags, for export or domestic consumption.
     
                   
           

HARVESTING, PROCESSING AND STORAGE

It has been found that young senna leaves and pods contain a high Sennoside content but since the produce is sold on the basis of weight, a balance between weight and content has to be made, to choose the right stage for harvest. It is also found that senna plants produce foliage containing higher sennosides between 50-90 days of sowing. The first picking of the foliage crop should be done at 50-70 days’ age, depending upon the total plant growth. The picking of leaves is done by hand so that most of the growing tops are removed at harvest; this also induces more branching which, otherwise, reduces the foliage growth considerably. A second picking is taken at 90-100 days and the third picking between 130-150 days, when the entire plants are removed, so that the harvested material includes both leaves and pods together.

The harvested crop should be spread in a thin layer in an open field to reduce its moisture. Further drying of the produce is done in well- ventilated drying sheds. It takes 10-12 days to dry completely. The dry leaves and pods should have a light green to greenish-yellow colour. Improper and delayed drying changes the colour to black or brown which lowers the sennoside content and it fetches a lower price. A rapid mechanical drying at 40o C could also be attempted. The seeds contain no sennosides and only add weight to the produce. The pods are threshed during drying to remove the seeds. The produce is baled under hydraulic pressure and wrapped in gunny bags for export.
     
                   
           

YIELD

A good crop of senna can give 15 q/ha of dry leaves and 7 q/ha of pods, under irrigated and good management conditions. The yield, under rainfed conditions, is about 10 q/ha of leaves and 4 q/ha of pods.
     
                   
           

CONSTITUENTS

Water and diluted alcohol extract the active principles of Senna. Pure alcohol only extracts them imperfectly. The leaves yield about one-third of their weight to boiling water. The purgative constituents are closely allied to those of Aloes and Rhubarb, the activities of the drug being largely due to anthraquinone derivatives and their glucosides. It contains rhein, aloe-emedin, kaempferol, isormamnetin, both free and as glucosides together with myricyl alcohol, etc. The ash amounts to about 8 per cent, consisting chiefly of earthy and ashy carbonates.
     
                   
           

THE ACTIVE PURGATIVE PRINCIPLE

A glucoside of weak acid character, and was named Cathartic Acid. By boiling its alcoholic solution with acids it yields Cathartogenic Acid and sugar. There were also found Chrysophanic Acid, Sennacrol and Sennapicrin, and a peculiar non-fermentable saccharine principle which was named Cathartomannite or Sennit.
     
                   
           

DOSAGES

Powdered leaves, 1 drachm. Conct. solution, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm of compound or aromatic syrup, 2 fluid drachms. Of U.S.P. syrup, for an adult, 1 to 4 fluid drachms. Of B.P. syrup, 1 to 2 fluid drachms. Of Senna, 1/2 to 2 drachms. Of compound mixture, B.P., 4 to 16 drachms. Of infusion, B.P., 1/2 to 2 fluid ounces. Of fluid extract, for an adult, 1/2 to 2 fluid drachms. Of confection, B.P., 1 to 2 drachms.

Cultivation Cost:

Important Information About The Plants

Varity of Plant

Sonal and A.L.F.T-2

No. of  Plants

5 Kg. Seeds

Sowing Time

Whole Year(In Irrigated Land)

Rainy Season ( Inirrigated)

Soil

Any Land Where Water Can Flow Without Hurdle

Total Plantation Time

Till 5 Years

Irrigation System

Rainy Water

`Production Product

Green Leaves and Seeds

 

 

 

 

Cost of Cultivation

5000 INR ( One Time Investment )

 
 
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