Introduction of Fan Xie Ye:Senna Leaf or Folium Sennae.

TCM Herbalism:Medicinals and Classifications. ✵The article gives records of the herb Senna Leaf, its English name, Latin name, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Cassia Angustifolia Vahl., ②.Cassia acutifolia Delile., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plants, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plants, the features of the herb Senna Leaf, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Folium Sennae(Senna Leaf).

pale green dried herb leaves of Folium Sennae Pin Yin Name: Fān Xiè Yè.
 English Name: Senna Leaf.
 Latin Name: Folium Sennae.
 Property and flavor: cold nature, tastes sweet, bitter.

 Brief introduction: The herb Folium Sennae is the dried leaflet of Cassia angustifolia Vahl, or Cassia acutifolia Delile, used as a purgative for the treatment of constipation, especially habitual constipation. The herb is commonly known as Folium Sennae, Senna Leaf, Fān Xiè Yè.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Senna Leaf(Fan Xie Ye) as the leaves of the plant species (1). Cassia Angustifolia Vahl., or (2). Cassia acutifolia Delile. It is a plant of the Senna Genus, the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) of the Rosales order. These 2 commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Cassia angustifolia Vahl.

 flowering shrubs of Cassia angustifolia Vahl. with many small yellow flowers grow in field Botanical description: The plant, Cassia angustifolia Vahl is a plant of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) and Senna genus, it is commonly known as Narrow Leaf Cassia Senna, or Xiá Yè Fān Xiè (means Narrow-Leaf Cassia Senna), herbaceous semishrub, the plant grows up to about 1 meter high. Stipules (peraphyllum) are ovate-lanceolate, 2~4 mm long; paripinnate compound leaves, alternate; has short petioles; lobules (leaflets) are in 5~8 pairs, leaf blades are ovate-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, length is 2~4 cm, width is 0.7~1.2 cm, front end is sharp-pointed, base is slightly asymmetric, glabrous or glabrate.

 Racemes are axillary or apical; 6~14 flowers, the base of peduncle has oval bracts, easily fall off; 5 sepals, ovate-oblong, sizes are slightly unequal; 5 flower petals, yellow, obovate, two lower petals are bigger; 10 stamens, upper 3 stamens are small, sterile, central 4 stamens are equal length, the lowest 3 stamens are recurved downward, ambilateral stamens are longer, anther is slightly square, the base is arrow-shaped, 4-loculed; pistil is curved and sickle-shaped (falcate), the ovary is petiolate, has sparse hairs.

 Legumes (pods) are rectangular, flat, 4~6 cm long, and 1~1.7 cm wide, front protruding tip is tiny, indistinctive, and piliferous when it is young; 4~7 seeds, the spermoderm (seed coat) is brownish-green, has fine filate seed pedicel (seed stalk), with verrucous wrinkles. Its flowering period is from September to December, and the fruiting period is in March of the following year.

 Ecological environment: Cassia angustifolia grows in wild fields or is cultivated. Geographical distribution: This species is mainly cultivated in southwest areas, and Taiwan of China, it is also distributed in tropical areas, east African offshore, and islands.

 Growth characteristics: The plant was native to xerothermic areas (hot and dry areas). It only takes 3–5 months from sowing to flowering. The average temperature suitable for its growth should be 180~200 days with a temperature of above 10 °C (Celsius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit), the accumulated temperature of this period is not less than 4,000~4,500 °C (Celsius). It is appropriate to choose fields with loose, sandy loam or alluvial soil with good drainage, slightly acidic, or neutral soil for plantation.

 pale green dried leaves of Senna Leaf Characters of herbs: The lobules (leaflets) are mostly intact (complete) and flat, oval-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 1.5~5 cm long, or 2~6 cm long, 0.4~1.5 cm wide, or 0.4~2 cm wide; the major vein is protuberant, the tip of the leaf is protruding to a spike tip, entire, slightly asymmetrical at the base, the upper surface is yellow-green, the undersurface is light yellow-green, there are sparse trichomes on both surfaces, the main vein on the undersurface is protuberant, plumelike retiform veins. The leaves are coriaceous. The herb has a weak and specific odor, it tastes slightly bitter and slightly sticky. The herb of a better grade has large and intact leaves, green color, few petioles, and no sediment impurities.

(2).Cassia acutifolia Delile.

 flowering plants of Cassia acutifolia Delile with small yellow flowers and flower buds grow in a field,and many green leaves Botanical description: The plant, Cassia acutifolia Delile is a plant of the Fabaceae family (Leguminosae, Papilionaceae, legume, pea family) and Senna genus, it is commonly known as Sharp Leaf Cassia Senna, or Jiān Yè Fān Xiè (means Sharp-Leaf Cassia Senna), the leaf is lanceolate or long oval, slightly curly, length is 1.5~5 cm, width is 0.4~2 cm, entire, the front tip is short or slightly protruding, leaf base is asymmetric, both sides are slim and slightly flocculent on raised veins, coriaceous, weak and specific odor, slightly bitter taste.

 The morphological characteristics of this species are different from Cassia angustifolia Vahl., and the main differences are: lobules (leaflets) are in 4–6 pairs, ovate-oblong, the front end is sharp-pointed, the base is asymmetric, the back surface of leaves is celadon (sage green); flowers are smaller; legumes (pods) are elliptic, 2-2.5 cm wide.

 Ecological environment: Cassia acutifolia Delile grows in wild fields or is also cultivated. Geographical distribution: This species is distributed in Hainan, Yunnan, Taiwan of China, Egypt, and the Nile Valley in tropical Africa.

 Characters of herbs: The lobules (leaflets) are broadly lanceolate or ovate-oblong, 2~4 cm long, and 0.7~1.2 cm wide; The tip of the leaf is pointed or emarginate (slightly convex), entire, the leaf base is asymmetrical, the upper surface is pea green (pale green), the under surface is celadon (sage green or grayish-green), slightly pubescent, the texture of the herb is thin and crisp, slightly coriaceous. The herb has a weak and specific odor, it tastes slightly bitter and slightly sticky. The herb of a better grade has large and intact leaves, green color, few petioles, and no sediment impurities.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.purgative effect; ②.antibacterial effect (infusion can inhibit a variety of bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus proteus, Shigella dysenteriae, alpha streptococcus, Monilia albicans, and some pathogenic dermatophytes); ③.antibiotic effect; ④.archery poisoning effects.

 Medicinal efficacy: Purge heat and removing food stagnation, purge heat and relax the bowels, relax the bowels, removing food retention and stagnation, stanch bleeding, alleviate water retention. It is indicated for heat accumulation and food retention in the stomach, heat accumulation and constipation, habitual constipation, constipation, and abdominal pain, food retention in the stomach and abdominal distention, edema and distention fullness, gastric and duodenal ulcer bleeding, etc.

 Administration of Folium Sennae (Fān Xiè Yè): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Folium Sennae (Fān Xiè Yè)
TCM Books: ①.Internally: 2~6 grams, add later for decoction, or brewing with boiling water; ②.Internally:water decoction, add later, 1~2 qian (about 3~6 grams);prepare to finely ground herb powder, 0.5~1 qian (about 1.5~3 grams);or brewing in boiling water and take; ③.Internally:water decoction,3~6 grams, add later;or brewing up and drink;or prepare to finely ground herb powder,1.5~3 grams.
 Contraindications,Precautions and Adverse Reactions:the herb Folium Sennae should be used cautiously or forbidden using during pregnancy.




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