What Is Senna Tea?

What is senna tea? Senna tea comes from the crushed leaves, flowers, and pods of the Cassia plant. Read on to learn the benefits of senna tea, as well as how to brew it!

Dried Senna Alexandrina (also called daun jati tiongkok, daun jati china) leaves - What is Senna tea
Senna tea is a herbal remedy

Tea drinkers have turned to various herbal remedies for centuries in search of certain health benefits. Some teas help curb anxiety, help you fall asleep, and aid in certain bodily functions. 

Senna tea is no exception. It’s a popular herbal remedy commonly sought after as a laxative and weight loss supplement. 

So, if you want to learn more about this tasty tea, you’re in the right place. I’m going to lay out everything you need to know about this natural herbal remedy. 

What Is Senna tea?

Most basic teas you find will come from a specific leaf combined with different flavors to give each tea a unique taste. Senna comes from a group of flowering plants in the Cassia family. Senna tea comes from the crushed leaves, flowers, and pods of the dried Cassia plants.

You’ll find a lot of uses listed for senna, but the bulk of them focus on your digestive tract. However, the only use it’s FDA-approved for is as a laxative.

You might also be interested in our round-up of the best green tea alternatives.


The most common reason people seek out senna tea is for use as a stimulant laxative. You’ll find senna on the ingredient list for many over-the-counter laxatives at your local drug store. However, many people looking for herbal remedies usually prefer to take their senna in tea form.

Senna’s main active compounds are sennosides. Your gut can’t absorb sennosides, but the bacteria in your gut can break them down. When your gut biome gets to work breaking down sennosides, it stimulates your intestines, which causes a laxative effect. 

Since senna does such a great job of loosening stool, it’s also often used to ease hemorrhoid discomfort. To be clear: senna tea is not approved to treat hemorrhoids. However, since they can be irritated or made worse by hard stool, senna’s laxative effects can provide a small level of pain relief.

Can Senna Tea Help You Lose Weight?

As an herbal laxative, senna tea has also found its way into the diet industry. In many instances, senna’s marketed as a weight loss or detox supplement that can help dieters slim down.

However, I’m going to caution you to be wary if you come across these products because they won’t be FDA-approved as weight loss supplements and laxatives for weight loss can be dangerous.

unidentified woman measuring her waist
There’s no scientific evidence that Senna can help you lose weight

Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that senna can help with weight loss. Using senna tea over the long term can be quite dangerous. Anything that alters how your digestive tract functions could damage your bowels and cause a dependence that can be tough to break.

So, if you come across teas marketed for weight loss, skinny teas, or “teatoxes,” double-check they don’t contain senna before you take them, especially if you plan to take them for an extended period. 

How To Make Senna Tea

Since senna has a direct effect on your digestive tract, you don’t want to drink it too often or for too long. In other words, it shouldn’t be your standard morning tea indefinitely. 

Also, take care not to go over the daily recommended dosage of 17-28 mg. If you purchase a tea containing senna, such as a skinny tea, check how many milligrams of senna it has to ensure you aren’t going past the limit. 

To make a steaming cup of senna tea, simply follow these steps:

  1. Measure out 1-2 grams of dried senna tea leaves.
  2. Using a tea strainer, steep the leaves in hot water for no more than 10 minutes. 
  3. Strain the leaves and enjoy your tea.

Although senna tea has a unique flavor on its own, you can add a sweetener to it if you’d like. However, if you’re taking it for digestive reasons, skip adding any milk, as that could have the opposite effect of what you want.

Who Should Avoid Senna Tea?

Senna tea is safe for most people to use for short periods as a laxative. However, some people might want to consider skipping it entirely. If you have suffered from any of the following health issues, ask your doctor before consuming anything with senna:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart disease
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Chronic constipation
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Abdominal pain
cute multicultural children looking at green grass
Children under 2-yrs-old should not drink Senna

In addition, children under the age of two shouldn’t consume senna in any form. 

If you liked this article check out What Are The Best Teas To Help Me Relax?


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.