Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier - The Best Alternative Medicine

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Senna and Other Herbal Laxatives: Herbal Medications, What Does Not Work

Many products labeled as "dieter's teas" contain plant-based laxatives such as senna (Cassia species), aloe, and buckthorn, which can cause uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms when consumed in excessive amounts. Product labels often do not include information about the teas having laxative effects.

Short-term adverse effects of herbal laxative use can include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. With chronic use, laxative dependency can develop, causing sluggish bowel and even loss of colon function, accompanied by severe pain and constipation, which in some cases can require surgical removal of the colon. Severe laxative abuse reactions include fainting, dehydration, and electrolyte disorders, which can lead to death. Four deaths have been reported to the FDA involving women with histories of these medical problems, and the herbal teas may have been a contributing factor in their deaths.

 

 

 

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From THE BEST ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHAT WORKS? WHAT DOES NOT? by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier.

 

Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.

Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

 


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