Compilation of herbal plants (description, geographical distribution, taxonomy, line drawings), biodiversity and herbarium.

Read More
Research & Publication

Description of herbal and T&CM research, searchable publication and process from medicinal plant discovery to clinical trial in producing a high-quality registered herbal drug.

Read More
Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM)


Definition and description of therapies, policy, training and education, research in the practise of (T&CM) and integrated medicine system.           

Read More


News Update

Announcement & Advertisement

Forthcoming Events

International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry 2021

From Mon, 12. July 2021 Until Wed, 14. July 2021

Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Spices XVII (2020)

From Tue, 17. August 2021 Until Thu, 19. August 2021

Senna occidentalis (L.) Link

Botanical Name

Senna occidentalis (L.) Link.


Cassia caroliniana Walter, Cassia ciliata Raf., Cassia falcata L., Cassia foetida Pers., Cassia macradenia Collad., Cassia obliquifolia Schrank, Cassia occidentalis L., Cassia occidentalis (L.) Rose, Cassia planisiliqua L., Ditramexa occidentalis Britton & Rose, Ditremexa occidentalis (L.) Britton & Wilson, Cassia laevigata sensu auct. (misapplied) [8]



Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kachang kota, ketepeng hutan [4]
English Coffee senna, negro coffee [4], antbrush [5], stinking weed, styptic weed, wild coffee [6]
China Jue ming zi [4]
India Kasamarda (Sanskrit); gajarság, kasondi [4], kassauimdhi, barrikassaumdhi (Hindi); doddaagace (Kannada); panniviram, ponnaniviram (Malayam); ponnavirai, peravirai, nattam takarai (Tamil); kasinda (Telagu)[5]
Indonesia Menting (Javanese); kopi andelan (Sumatra) [4]
Thailand Chum het tet [4]
Korea Soggjolmjong [4]
Japan Habuso [4]
Argentina Cafelilo, cafetón [4]
Brazil Fedegoso, mata pasta, paramarioba [4]
Mexico Vainillo [4]
France Herbe puante, café des noirs [4].


Senna occidentalis is a member of the Leguminosae family. It is an annual herb of about 1 m high. The leaves are pinnately compound with leaflets oppositely placed and even in number. The flowers are yellow. The fruits are about 10-12 cm long and about 0.7 cm wide. The seeds are dark olive green [6].


The plant is a common waste ground weed originating from the West Indies but is now pantropical [6].

Plant Use

Essentially S. occidentalis is used in traditional medicine to treat many conditions. It is considered bitter, sweet and acrid with purgative, laxative, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, hepatoprotective, antimalarial, vermifuge and febrifuge properties [7].

Toxic Parts

Whole plant, seeds [1] [6].


The seeds are believed to contain two forms of toxins which are on heat stable and on heat labile. Earlier records indicated the presence of a toxalbumin and chrysarobin which can cause kidney and liver damage, however the toxicity can be removed by heat. More works identified a volatile toxic alkaloid or oxymethylanthraquinone in the fruit, leaf and root. Another study identified dianthrone, anthraquinone-derived compound being responsible for the characteristic mitochondrial myopathy. Dianthrone causes disruption of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation leading to death of the organelle, resulting in tissue necrosis in skeletal and cardiac muscles [1] [2] [3] [6].

Risk Management

S. occidentalis is not used in landscaping and thus, does not pose danger to humans. It is of importance to the livestock industry where there exist dangers of these animals consuming it and resulting in poisoning. It is best to avoid animals grazing in waste areas where this may be found growing [1] [2] [6].

Clinical Findings

The symptoms recorded here are those of livestock being fed with feed contaminated with seeds of C. occidentalis. Ingestion of large amounts of the plant causes incoordination, recumbency, reluctance to move, anorexia, muscle weakness, ataxia, diarrhoea, muscle tremors, stubbing, body weight loss and death [6].

Autopsy showed skeletal muscle degeneration, degenerative myopathy of myocardial muscle, congestion and pulmonary oedema, hepatic cell hypertrophy and necrosis [1].


The treatment of poisoning is mainly supportive. In cases with severe gastrointestinal symptoms would require intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement therapy and antiemetics [6].


  1. Acamovic T, Stewart S, Colin S, Pennyworth TW. Poisonous plants and related toxins. Oxford: CABI Publishings; 2001. p. 269-275.
  2. Riet-Correa F. Poisoning by plants, mycotoxins, and related toxins. Oxford: CABI Publishings; 2011. p. 264-269.
  3. Nellis DW. Poisonous plants and animals of Florida and the Caribbean. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press; 1997. p. 192.
  4. Hanelt P, Mansfeld R, Buttner R. Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops 4. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 1986. p. 563-564.
  5. Warrier PK. Indian Medicinal Plants: A compendium of 500 species 2. Chennai: Orient Longmans; 1994. p. 19.
  6. Nelson LS, Shih RD, Balick MJ. Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. Berlin: Springer-Verlag; 2007. p. 112 – 113
  7. Mother Herbs and Agro Products. [cited 2013 August 3]. Available from:
  8. The Plant List. Senna occidentalis (L.) Link. Ver1.1. c2013. [cited 2013 August 3] Available from:

Explore Further

Consumer Data

Consumer data including medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs and interactions and depletions.                                    

Read More
Professional Data

Professional data organized into medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs, T&CM herbs, formulas, health conditions, interactions and depletions.

Read More
International Data

We offer International linkages to provide extensive content pertaining to many facets of T&CM as well as Integrated Medicine. Please register for access.    

Read More