Herb: Wild Senna


Latin name: Senna marilandica


Synonyms: Cassia marylandica, Cassia medsgeri, Senna marylandica


Family: Leguminosae



Medicinal use of Wild Senna:

The leaves and seedpods are cathartic, diuretic and vermifuge. The leaves are harvested before and during flowering, the pods are harvested when fully ripe in the autumn. Both are dried for later use. The leaves are a safe and effective cathartic. They are best used with Foeniculum vulgare seeds in order to counteract a tendency to cause gripe. The seedpods can also be used and are milder but slower in their action. The seeds have been soaked in water until they are mucilaginous and then swallowed as a treatment for sore throats. The root is cardiac and febrifuge. An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers and heart problems. A poultice of the root has been used in treating sores.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
July to
October

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets and dry roadsides. Disturbed areas, sandy fields and open woods in Texas.

Propagation of Wild Senna:

Seed - scarify and then pre-soak the seed for 2 - 3 hours in warm water before sowing it from early spring to early summer in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 12 weeks at 23C. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse. Do not plant them out until the following spring. Division as growth commences in spring. Cuttings of moderately ripe wood, July in a frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets and dry roadsides. Disturbed areas, sandy fields and open woods in Texas.

Known hazards of Senna marilandica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.