This section is from the book "A Text Book Of Materia Medica, Being An Account Of The More Important Crude Drugs Of Vegetable And Animal Origin", by Henry G. Greenish. Also available from Amazon: A Text Book of Materia Medica : Being an Account of the More Important Crude Drugs of Vegetable and Animal Origin.
Senna pods are the dried ripe fruits of Cassia acutifolia, Delile (Alexandrian senna pods), and of C. angustifolia, Vahl (Indian senna pods) (see " Senna ").
The pods are brown or greenish brown or pale green and brownish in the centre over the seeds, broadly oblong, very flat and rounded at each extremity and very slightly mucronate at the apex. They are about 5 cm. long and 2 to 2.5 cm. wide and contain several pale greyish green, hard, flat, irregularly reticulated, obovate-cuneate seeds. Indian senna pods are usually rather darker than Alexandrian and slightly narrower and the remains of the base of the style are rather more distinct.
The constituents are presumably the same as those of senna.
Senna pods are used as a laxative and are considered to be more certain than the leaves and to cause less griping. The liquid extract made from the fruits (with seeds) appears to cause more pain than one made from the pericarps alone; the reason for this is not known.