Sennae Fructus. Br. Senna Pods.
Related entry: Senna
"Senna Pods are the dried ripe fruits of Cassia acutifolia, Delile, and of Cassia angustifolia, Vahl." Br.
Senna pods, while regarded as an adulterant in the U. S. P. IX in that the quantity is restricted, are official in the Br. Pharm. They are described as follows: " About five centimetres long, and from two to two and a half centimetres wide; broadly oblong or somewhat rent-form; pale green; brownish in the centre above the seeds; very flat; rounded at the base, slightly mucronate at the apex. Pericarp papery. Seeds obovate-cuneate, flattened. Odor and taste slight." Br.
Uses.—They were preferred by the Arabian and mediaeval physicians of Europe to the leaves, while Pereira states that they are much milder in their operation than the leaflets. This has been explained by the researches of E. F. Salmon, who has found that they contain about 25 per cent. more cathartic acid and emodin than the leaves, but no resinous principle or volatile oil. (P. J., Oct.. 1889.) The griping of senna being largely due to the resin, it is a priori to be expected that the pods would act more kindly than the leaves. A. W. Macfarlane has found this to be actually the case. From six to twelve pods for the adult, or from three to six for the young or very aged, infused in a claret-glass of cold water, in his experience, act very mildly but very thoroughly upon the whole intestine.
Dose, from one-half to one drachm (2.0-3.9 Gm.).