Herb: Stinking Cassia


Latin name: Senna tora


Synonyms: Cassia tora


Family: Leguminosae



Medicinal use of Stinking Cassia:

The leaves and the seeds are anticholesterolemic, antispasmodic, carminative, emollient, hepatic, ophthalmic and purgative. The powdered leaves are used in the treatment of indigestion and stomach pain.The leaves are used externally in the treatment of skin diseases. The seed contains anthraquinones and naphthopyrones. It is anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal and hepatic. The seed is used in Korea to treat constipation, oedema, glaucoma, nyctalopia and to protect the liver. A paste made from the seed is used externally in Nepal to treat leucoderma, leprosy and itchy skin. A paste made from the roots, mixed with lemon juice (Citrus limon) is applied as a poultice to treat ringworm. A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of fevers.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Wasteland and cultivated areas in the Himalayas. To elevations of 1400 metres in Nepal.

Edible parts of Stinking Cassia:

Young leaves - cooked as a vegetable. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

The seeds (does this mean the pods?) are a source of tannin.

Propagation of Stinking Cassia:

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:

Wasteland and cultivated areas in the Himalayas. To elevations of 1400 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Senna tora:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.