Senna Tea Benefits

Senna Tea Health & Weight Loss Benefits and Risks

5 min read


29 Apr 2019

  • What Is senna tea?
  • How does it work?
  • Senna tea benefits
  • Senna tea review
  • Side effects of senna tea
  • Interactions
  • Conclusion

What is senna tea?

Senna tea is a herbal tea containing compounds called anthraquinones – which act as a natural laxative. It gets its active compounds from the senna plant, otherwise known as ‘Cassia Acutifolia’ or ‘Cassia Angustifolia’ and is available as either senna leaf tea, or in a capsule format.

The tea’s laxative properties are so effective, even doctors use it prior to colonoscopy procedures or when trying to counteract the effect of other medicines which cause constipation – yet it’s available without a prescription as an over the counter remedy throughout the world.

There’s no doubting that it works to relieve constipation. Such are it’s laxative effects and ease of acquisition, it’s also become a popular product with those looking to lose weight – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it works in the way they’d hoped.

How does it work?

Senna tea causes a laxative effect in two ways. Firstly, due to the active components in the tea ‘irritating’ the lining of the colon, causing it to contract and creating bowel movements, and secondly by preventing water and electrolytes from being reabsorbed by the colon – effectively allowing there to be more water in the stools and making it easier to go to the toilet.

This can, of course, cause dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance if used long-term, which is just one reason why it’s not necessarily a good idea to rely on it as a weight loss method.

If you’re wondering ‘how long does senna tea take to work?’, well, you may just be surprised at the answer. The laxative effects of senna tea are not as instantaneous as perhaps they would be from a prescribed pill. You can expect the laxative effect to take hold approximately 6 – 12 hours after drinking it – which is why most people will time their senna tea drink before bedtime so that they can have a bowel movement with ease in the morning.

Senna tea benefits

senna tea

While there are obvious benefits to drinking senna tea if your goal is to stop constipation without resorting to prescribed drugs, the benefits of senna tea for weight loss are not so clear-cut.

Some dieters firmly believe that senna tea helps them with both weight loss and detoxification, such as Lwando:

Videos like this can be very convincing, and while you may find that you lose a lot of weight quite quickly when introducing senna tea into your diet, it’s most likely that this weight is mainly water, as you will be naturally losing much more of that in each bowel movement because of its laxative effect. That means not only will you not actually see any reduction in your waist-size, you’ll also regain it all back as soon as you begin to rehydrate yourself.

Not only is this not a ‘real’ way to lose weight, it’s not a safe way either. Promoting diarrhea in yourself will only serve to rob your body of vital nutrients and make it more likely to cling on to any fat from any food you do eat as a result. In short, you could end up dehydrated, malnourished, and fatter in the long term!

Senna tea review

Some people trying out senna tea have actually found that they’ve gained weight while drinking it. Amella explains why this happens brilliantly in her senna tea review video below:

Senna tea side effects

The side effects of using senna tea to relieve constipation are usually much milder than those you’d experience if you used prescription drugs to get the effect instead. Having said this, some senna tea side effects do still exist, such as:

1 – Dependency

The more you rely on senna tea to keep your bowel movements regular, the more you may become ‘dependent’ on using artificial means to do so. Similarly, if you decide that senna tea is somehow causing you to lose weight (whether rightly or wrongly informed of the true impact it’s really having on your body fat levels), you may decide that you simply cannot cope without it each day. It’s inevitable that as soon as you stop using senna tea, you will regain lost water weight. Some people have a hard time believing that’s just what it really is, so they continue to drink it.

2 – Dehydration and malnourishment

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s never good to have constant diarrhea, or for your bowels not to be absorbing all the nutrients they should from the food you eat, no matter what the reason for that happening. The result long term can be dehydration or malnourishment.

3 – Weight gain

Due to the dehydration and malnourishment mentioned in point number 2, you could actually find that your body begins to hold on to its fat reserves even more in an effort to keep the body safe in what it sees as a time of trouble or ill-health.

4 – Diarrhea and bloody stools

Obviously, taking too much senna tea could lead to diarrhea, which is something most people like to avoid of course. Chronic diarrhea could lead to bloody stools, which can be a sign that you really need to stop urgently. Failure to do so could lead to anemia.


detox tea

Although senna tea is a natural product, the very fact that it interferes with your digestive system and can cause diarrhea means that it could impact things such as birth control pills – and that’s just the start of it.

Some other medications, such as blood thinners, estrogen pills, and diuretics can be affected too. Because of the potential risks and interactions with other medications, pregnant women should never take senna tea supplements, and nobody should use it for longer than 2 weeks at a time.


Senna tea certainly has its uses, but as a weight loss aid? We wouldn’t recommend it.

So, what’s a better alternative? Well if it’s tea you like, then try out green tea instead. Several studies have shown that green tea can actually slightly promote weight loss when drank on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, you want something which really helps to curb your appetite and boosts your metabolism without using prescription drugs, you can’t go wrong with PhenQ. It’s natural ingredients gently suppress your appetite at the same time as boosting the number of calories you burn on a daily basis. The best part? There are no side effects and no risk of diarrhea!