When taking any form of diet aid while using birth control, it is important to check with your gynecologist or health practitioner to ensure that these products are not interfering with the absorption of your birth control. The use of senna is no exception to this rule, and should be approached with caution.
Senna (Senna Alexandrina) is a large flowering plant native to Eurasia, and now cultivated commercially in the Middle East and India. The pods and leaves of the senna plant contain anthranoid, and can be dried and used for medical purposes.
Senna has been used in both Eastern and Western traditional medicine for centuries, most commonly as a purgative to relieve occasional constipation. The anthranoid compounds found in senna act as a stimulant laxative when taken internally. As such, senna can provide the short-term relief of constipation by inducing bowel movement through the stimulation of the large intestines.
Senna can be taken in tea, pill, or extract format. It is often found in diet teas and can be easily purchased at a health food store or pharmacy for a very reasonable price. Only use senna in the amounts specified in the accompanying instructions. Senna leaf can even be purchased in bulk at health food stores and steeped in hot water to make a home-made laxative tea.
Senna and Birth Control
For birth control to be effective, it must be properly absorbed through your small intestinal track to ensure that the necessary hormones travel through your blood stream to regulate your cycle and prevent pregnancy. The use of senna can pose a danger to this, as it can move matter quickly through your intestinal track, preventing proper absorption from taking place. The overuse of senna can aggravate this danger.
Not all forms of senna have been approved by the FDA, and as such it is important to consult your doctor, pharmacist, or other medical practitioner to ensure that any use of senna will not be harmful to your health. Overuse of senna can lead to laxative dependence.