The scientific name of coffee senna is Senna occidentalis. It is a smooth annual plant that belongs to the Fabaceae/Leguminosae family. The coffee senna is native to Mexico, Cayman Islands, Belize, Barbados, and other regions of the North American continent. Also, it is found in the South American subcontinent and it is indigenous to Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, and other regions. It is invasive in parts of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. The color of coffee senna is dark brown.
It has a bitter and sweet taste. The flowering season is from April to October. The root of coffee senna is a robust primary root with several laterals. In Zambia, traditional healers have used the roots of coffee senna for the treatment of gonorrhea. In Indonesia, young leaves and fruits of coffee senna are eaten steamed as a vegetable. The coffee senna has been used due to its antifungal, antibacterial, blood purifying, laxative, and diuretic properties. The leaves, fruits, and flowers of coffee senna are consumed as a vegetable, to accompany rice or added to soups. The coffee senna is also known as Negro coffee or Monday.
The seeds of coffee senna are dried, roasted and then they are ground into a powder and used as a coffee substitute. In some cases, people have reported poisoning from the usage of coffee senna. Some symptoms of poisoning include pulmonary emphysema, diarrhea, dyspnea, tachycardia, uncoordinated gait, muscle tremors, and myopathy. The immature seedpods are steamed and eaten as a vegetable.
The coffee senna can interfere with the growth of the fetus during pregnancy and it can lead to miscarriage. You should avoid the coffee senna during the period of lactation as it has the ability to increase milk production. Here are some health benefits of coffee senna:
Health Benefits of Coffee Senna
- Treats many skin issues: The coffee senna can be turned into a poultice, paste, or infusion which can be used for dealing with a host of skin problems. Some of them include eczema, psoriasis, acne, insect bites, and rash.
- Controls inflammation: The traditional healers have used the coffee senna for the management of many health problems which are inflammatory in nature. It has the ability to control the inflammation in the body, so it is commonly used for lowering a person’s risk of cancer and heart disease. It is known that the coffee senna is very good against joint pain and swelling.
- Deal with anemia: The coffee senna is supplying the body with iron, which is a mineral that is needed for the production of red blood cells. This is a reason why the invasive weed is regarded traditionally as a remedy for iron – deficiency anemia.
- Kills off parasites: The perks of drinking coffee senna the digestive system do not begin and end with controlling acid reflux and constipation. People, who believe that they have parasitic worms in the intestines can also benefit from the intake of coffee senna. Also, it is known that coffee senna can put abdominal cramping and distention under control.
- Promotes good digestion: A cup of coffee senna can be taken after meals. This can help to facilitate the proper digestion of food and at the same time, it will keep the upset stomach at bay. Also, the consumption of coffee senna is recommended for people who are prone to constipation.
- Relieves acid reflux: Every single person who suffers from acid reflux knows that a cup of coffee can be a big problem for them. If you miss drinking a cup of morning coffee or coffee throughout the day, then you can replace it with drinking coffee senna. You can consume it if you suffer from acid reflux because it can help to neutralize the excess stomach acid.
- Treats cough: The coffee senna has been used as a natural remedy for many different types of coughs. The leaves of coffee senna are mixed with honey for alleviating cough where Kapha dosha is predominant. The coffee senna can be used as a decoction for treating cough. You can make a decoction of the flowers of coffee senna in a dose of 20 ml and you can use it once or twice a day for treating asthma.