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Coffee Senna/ Cassia Occidentalis

Benefits of Coffee Senna (Cassia Occidentalis), Medicinal Uses, dosage, and side effects

Since ancient times, several herbs have been used in the traditional system of medicine and these herbs have a variety of phytopharmaceuticals that plays a major role in human health. Among all these herbs, coffee senna is the best-known plant that has great medicinal value and is considered the most effective herb in the world of traditional medicine.

This herb is also known as negro coffee and coffee weed because its seeds are used in place of coffee in various regions. The leaves are considered poisonous but despite this, it is used in the diet in South India and Maldives. As per Ayurveda it balances all the three doshas and is useful for indigestion and cough.


Coffee Senna/ Cassia Occidentalis Shloka

Meaning of this shloka

This shloka means that synonyms of Coffee Seena are kasamard, arimard, kasari, and karkash. Its leaves are sweet, improve taste, aphrodisiac, digestive, clean throat, light, treat constipation, cough, poison, blood disorders, pacifies kapha and vata dosha. It mainly treats cough and balances pitta dosha.

(Reference- Bhavaprakasha nighantu- Shaka varga, page no. 663 and shloka no. 43-44)

Botanical name- Cassia occidentalis

Family – Caesalpiniaceae

Coffee Senna (Cassia occidentalis) Names in different languages

English name – Coffee senna, Coffee Weed, septic weed, Stinking Weed, Foetid Cassia, stinking weed, Mogdad coffee, Stephanie coffee, Negro Coffee, senna coffee, or styptic weed.

  • Hindi name- Kasoundi
  • Urdu name- Kasonji
  • Gujarati name- Kasondari
  • Telugu name- Kasind, Kasavinda
  • Bengali name- Kesenda
  • Marathi name- Kasvida
  • Tamil name- Peyaveri
  • Kannada name- Kasamarada Gida, Elemuri soppu
  • Assamese name- Hant theng

Synonyms in the Sanskrit language

  • Kasaghna- helps to relieve cough
  • Arimarda- treats pain
  • Other synonyms are Kataka, Karkasha, Kasamarda, Kasari, Kasamardika, and Kasamard.

Categorization according to classical books

According to-

Acharya Vagbhata- Sarasadi Gana

Acharya Susruta- Sarasadi Gana

Dhanvantari Nighantu- Karaveeradi Varga and Mishraka Varga

Kaiyadeva Nighantu- Oshadhi Varga

Bhavaprakasha- Shakavarga (Vegetable group (leaves))

Morphological characteristics of Coffee Seena (Cassia occidentalis)

Coffee Seena (Cassia occidentalis) is an herb that grows up to the height of 1 to 1.25 m. Its stem is blue and its leaves have small glands present on its base. The flowers are yellow and have long legumes.


It is found in a wide range from the sub tropics of South America through to southern North America and the Caribbean.

Chemical constituents

Phytosphanol, Cassiollin, Physcion, tannic acid, Occidentol I, II, mucilage, and Emodin

Medicinal Properties of Cassia occidentalis

  • Rasa (taste)- Madhura (sweet) and Tikta (Bitter)
  • Guna (qualities)- Rooksha (Dryness) and Laghu (light)
  • Vipaka (Undergoes taste conversion after digestion)- Katu (Pungent)
  • Veerya (Potency)- Ushna (Hot)
  • Effect on Tridosha – Tridoshahara (Balances all the three Doshas)
  • Prabhava- Vrushya (works as an aphrodisiac and improves vigor)

Medicinal uses as per Ayurveda

  • Tikta- it is bitter
  • Madhura- sweet
  • Kanthashodhana- helps to clean throat and treats sore throat
  • Pachana- Works as digestive and relieves Ama Dosha
  • Rochana- improves taste and treats anorexia

Indicated in

  • Visha- Helps to treat toxic conditions, poisoning
  • Kasa- Relieves cough and cold
  • Krumi- Treats worm infestation
  • Aruchi- Helps to treat anorexia

Therapeutic uses Cassia occidentalis


Seeds of Coffee Senna are useful for various therapeutic purposes like constipation. The anthraquinone present in it has the purgative property that loosens the stool and increases bowel moments. Drinking tea prepared with its seeds helps to keep the intestinal wall hydrated and facilitates bowel movement naturally.


As per Ayurveda, coffee Senna manages cough because of its Kapha balancing property. This herb also helps in the easy expulsion of thick mucus from the respiratory tract and facilitates breathing. Its Ushan (hot) property keeps the respiratory passage clean and prevents infections.


Asthma is caused due to vata and Kapha dosha. When these two doshas combine, an obstruction is caused in the respiratory passage that creates difficulty in breathing. This herb manages asthma-associated symptoms because of Kapha and vata balancing properties. It removes the obstruction from passage and aids breathing.


In anorexia, there is a loss of desire to have food and in Ayurveda, it is known as aruchi. This condition is caused due to accumulation of toxins (ama) in the gastrointestinal tract that blocks the intestinal channels. Due to its ushna and panchana properties, it improves digestion and prevents the formation of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract.


Indigestion is caused due to incomplete process of digestion of food and it is due to low digestive fire i.e., agnimandta. Coffee Seena helps to manage digestion because of ushna (hot) and pachan (digestive) properties. It also increases digestive fire and improves the digestion process.

Other uses of Cassia occidentalis

  • Its roots are used as diuretic and body tonic that works in intermittent fevers.
  • The infusion of its bark is used in diabetes mellitus.
  • Seeds of coffee Senna help to treat whooping cough and various heart-related disorders.
  • The paste of its leaves helps in relieving colic pain and should be taken in the dose of 1 gram 2 times a day.
  • Its seed powder is also used in piles.
  • You can use its root powder in case of a snake bite.

Part used- Root, seed, Leaf


3-6 gm (Seed powder)

40-80 ml (Root decoction)

10-20 ml (Leaf juice extract)

Side effects Cassia occidentalis

It should be contraindicated in people who are suffering from diarrhea. It is also avoided during pregnancy, in lactating mothers, and in small children.


From this article, it is concluded that Coffee Senna works as a diuretic, digestive, purgative, etc. Its seeds, leaves, and roots are very useful in a variety of diseases. It should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation and in patients who are suffering from diarrhea.

Some FAQs

Ques: How to take coffee Senna in case of colic pain?

Its leaves paste helps in relieving colic pain and should be taken in the dose of 1 gram 2 times a day.

Ques : How do Coffee Senna seeds work in constipation?

The anthraquinone present in its seeds has purgative properties that loosen the stool and increase bowel moments.

Ques: In what does its Seed power is to be taken?

Its seed powder should be taken in the dose of 3-6 gram

Ques: In what dose its leaf juice extract is to be taken?

Its leaf juice extract should be taken in the dose of 10-20 ml

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to Cassia occidentaliss benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume it on the basis of this information. Before taking this as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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