Home Herbal Monograph Coffee Senna, Foetid Cassia, Negro Coffee, Rubbish Cassia, Stinking Weed
Habitat

Found throughout India up to an altitude of 1,500 m.

Morphology Description (Habit)

C.occidentalis is an erect, annual herb or undershrub. The leaves are lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, the leaflets, 3-paired, membranous, glaucous, ovate or lanceolate; the flowers, yellow, in short racemes; the pods, recurved, glabrous and compressed; the seeds, dark olive green, ovoid, compressed, hard, smooth and shining.

Principal Constituents

The seeds yield an oil. They also contain 1, 8-dihydroxy-2- methylanthraquinone, 1, 4, 5-trihydroxy-7-methoxy-3- methylanthraquinone, physcion, its glucoside, rhein, aloe-emodin, chrysophanol, its glycoside, N-methylmorpholine, glucosides of campesterol and ß-sitosterol, and a galactomannan1.

Pharmacology

The seed powder is externally applied in cutaneous diseases and eruptions. The extracts showed positive response on guinea pig-ileum, rat-uterus, rabbit-heart, and a depressor-effect on the blood-pressure of dogs2.

Indications
The seed is bitter and has tonic, febrifugal and purgative properties. It is considered to be a blood tonic and excellent diuretic. The seeds are useful in cough and whooping cough, convulsions and in heart diseases.

References
  1. Kirtikar & Basu, II, 861; Budhiraja & Garg, loc. cit.; Watt & Breyer- Brandwijk, 572; Stewart, 62; Haines, Pt III, 305; Feng et. al. , J Pharm Pharmacol, 1962, 14, 556; Durand et. al., ibid, 1962, 14, 562; Dixit & Tripathi, Curr Sci, 1975, 44, 279; Farooq et. al., J Amer Oil Chem Soc, 1956, 33, 21; Lal & Gupta, Experientia, 1974, 30, 850; 1973, 29, 141; Shah & Shinde, Indian J Pharm, 1967, 29, 342; Kim et. al., J agric Fd Chem, 1971, 19, 198; Rizvi et al, Phytochemistry, 1971, 10, 670; Rai & Shok, loc.cit.; Gupta & Mukherjee, Indian J Chem, 1973, 11, 505; 1975, 13, 1152.
  2. Kirtikar & Basu, II, 861; Budhiraja & Garg, loc. cit.; Watt & Breyer- Brandwijk, 572; Stewart, 62; Haines, Pt III, 305; Feng et. al., J Pharm Pharmacol, 1962, 14, 556; Durand et. al., ibid, 1962, 14, 562.