Senna alexandrina syn. Cassia angustifolia p,-,n l Leaves, pods
Senna's purgative action is due to its content of anthraquinone glycosides, which stimulate intestinal peristalsis, triggering a bowel movement some 12 hours later. Probably the most popular laxative herb, senna has an effect that is strong and reliable, if a little drastic. Habitual use may lead to "lazy bowel syndrome," in which the colon becomes unable to function without the laxative.
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Pi't used Leaves
Uva-ursi's antimicrobial properties are specifically indicated for urinary tract infections, and seem to be more effective when the urine is alkaline. Since many urinary tract infections acidify the urine, the herb is sometimes prescribed with an alkalizing substance (such as bicarbonate of soda) to maximize its effects. The compounds that are responsible for the antibiotic action are not present in uva-ursi itself, but are formed from its content of phenolic glycosides after the herb is ingested.
• Do not take the herbs on these pages if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, except under the advice of a healthcare professional.
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