Herbs & Prunes Herbal Digestive Formula by Nature's Life
Nature's Life - Herbs & Prunes Herbal Digestive Formula - 100 Vegetarian Tablets
Nature's Life Herbs & Prunes Herbal Digestive Formula is intended to provide nutritive support for healthy bowel movements. Senna leaf has been used for centuries to promote regularity and help maintain a clean colon.
Parts used and where grown
The senna shrub grows in India, Pakistan, and China. The leaves and pods are used medicinally.
Historical or Traditional Use
People in northern Africa and southwestern Asia have used senna as a laxative for centuries. It was considered a “cleansing” herb because of its cathartic effect. In addition, the leaves were sometimes made into a paste and applied to various skin diseases. Ringworm and acne were both treated in this way.
Senna contains hydroxyanthracene glycosides known as sennosides. These glycosides stimulate colon activity and thus have a laxative effect. Also, these glycosides increase fluid secretion by the colon, with the effect of softening the stool and increasing its bulk. Double-blind trials have confirmed the benefit of senna in treating constipation. Constipation induced by drugs such as the anti-diarrhea medicine loperamide (Imodium) has also been shown to be improved by senna in a clinical trial.
A double-blind trial showed that senna was more effective as a preparatory agent for bowel surgery than the commonly used polyethylene glycol (PEG). Patients scheduled to undergo bowel surgery received either 120 mg of senna in a glass of water or 118 mg of PEG in about 2–3 quarts of water the night before surgery. Surgeons rated the efficacy of senna at clearing the bowels at 70%, compared to 58% efficacy for PEG. Supplementation with senna for this purpose should always be supervised by the surgeon.
How much is usually taken?
People using over-the-counter senna products should carefully follow label instructions. An extract in capsules or tablets providing 20–60 mg of sennosides per day is sometimes recommended. This can be continued for a maximum of ten days. Use beyond ten days is strongly discouraged. If constipation is not alleviated within ten days, people should seek the help of a healthcare professional.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Some people may develop a dependency on senna for normal bowel movements. Therefore, senna must not be used for more than ten consecutive days. Chronic senna use can also cause loss of fluids, low potassium levels and diarrhea, all of which can lead to dehydration and potentially negative effects on the heart and muscles. The safety of senna during pregnancy and breast-feeding is controversial. Most guidelines suggest avoiding senna during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is best to consult a physician. Senna is not recommended for children under the age of ten years. People with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, intestinal obstructions, and abdominal pain should not supplement with senna.
There is one case report of a woman who developed liver failure after ingesting a large amount of senna (1 liter of a tea containing 70 grams of dried herb) daily for more than three years. Senna was suspected, though not proven, to be the cause of the liver failure.
Are there any drug interactions?
Certain medicines may interact with senna.
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Use only as directed. Take one tablet daily with food. Store in a cool, dry place.
Do not use if safety seal is broken or missing. Keep out of reach of children. Keep your licensed health care practitioner informed when using this product especially if you have frequent diarrhea, are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition. Do not take this product for more than seven consecutive days. This product is not for children under 12 years of age. Do not use if you have or develop diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal pain or hemorrhoids.
About Nature's Life
Nature’s Life supplements are formulated by specialists in the health and natural foods industry and backed by scientific research. Nature's Life only offers nutritional supplements and formulas that are supported with valid, published peer reviewed research. All of their brochures and other educational materials list the published references that support their claims and statements. Customer satisfaction through product effectiveness is Nature’s Life’s paramount goal.
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