Numerous, see text
Senna obtusifolia, the Chinese senna, American sicklepod or sicklepod, is a plant in the genus Senna, sometimes separated in the monotypic genus Diallobus. It grows wild in North, Central, and South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, and is considered a particularly serious weed in many places. It has a long-standing history of confusion with Senna tora and that taxon in many sources actually refers to the present species.
The green leaves of the plant are fermented to produce a high-protein food product called "kawal" which is eaten by many people in Sudan as a meat substitute. Its leaves, seeds, and root are also used in folk medicine, primarily in Asia. It is believed to possess a laxative effect, as well as to be beneficial for the eyes. As a folk remedy, the seeds are often roasted, then boiled in water to produce a tea. The plant's seeds are a commercial source of cassia gum, a food additive usually used as a thickener and named for the Chinese Senna's former placement in the genus Cassia. Roasted and ground, the seeds have also been used as a substitute for coffee.
From Arabic سَنَا (sanā, “senna”)
senna (countable and uncountable, plural sennas)
- (countable) Any of several plants of the tribe Cassieae, especially those of the genera Cassia and Senna, whose leaves and pods are used as a purgative and laxative.
- (uncountable) The dried leaves or pods of these plants (especially of Senna alexandrina, syn. Cassia angustifolia or Cassia acutifolia), used medicinally.
- (medicine) Senna glycoside, a laxative.
- American senna