Cultivation of Senna plant: Complete guide on senna plant farming involves in seed treatment, Planting, Pest control, irrigation, harvesting and yield.
Scientific name of Senna – Cassia angustifolia Vahl. Leguminosae:
Senna alexandrina is an ornamental plant in the genus Senna. It grows natively in upper Egypt, especially in the Nubian region, and near Khartoum (Sudan), where it is cultivated commercially. It is also grown elsewhere, notably in India and Somalia.
Alexandrian Senna is a shrubby plant that reaches 0.5–1, rarely two, metres in height with a branched, pale-green erect stem and long spreading branches bearing four or five pairs of leaves. These leaves form complex, feathery, mutual pairs. The leaflets vary from 4 to 6 pairs, fully edged, with a sharp top. The flowers are in a raceme interior blossoms, big in size, coloured yellow that tends to brown. Its legume fruit are horned, broadly oblong, compressed and flat and contain about six seeds.
Cassia angustifolia Leaves, Flowers
Modern medicine has used extracts since at least the 1950s as a laxative. If accidentally ingested by infants, it can cause side effects such as severe diaper rash. The active ingredients are several senna glycosides which interact with immune cells in the colon.
Economic parts– Leaves and pods are the economical parts in this plant.
Major constituents– Sennoside A, B, C, D
It uses for Laxative
Some of the Major varieties are KKM (Se) 1, ALFT-2 sona for cultivation. KKM (Se) 1, is suitable for cultivation under rainfed conditions.
Sona & KKM (Se) 1
Soil and climate:
This crop can be grown in well drained sandy or sandy loam or laterite soils. It is a hardy warm weather plant grown under rainfed conditions. The soil which have pH 7.0 – 8.5 is very much suited for cultivation.
For every hectare land about 15 – 20 kg of seeds is required.
First seeds should be scarified with sand or can be soaked in water overnight. Later seeds sown in beds at a spacing 45 x 30 cm.
Cassia Angustifolia Seeds
Best season for sowing is during February – March month or June – July months.
After sowing and completion of 40 days apply FYM 10 – 15 t/ha and N, P and K at 40:40:40 kg/ha as basal.
After cultivation one or two weedings is required based on the crop stage and land condition.
Usually some of the pests like Aphids, Leaf spot and Damping off will damage the plant.
To prevent aphids, spray dimethoate 30 EC or methyl demeton 25 EC at 1 ml/lit of water to control the pest.
To control leaf spot, spray 0.50 % of Carbendazim at fortnight interval basis.
To control damping off, seed treatment with Carbendazim (1 g/kg of seed)
After cultivation the first harvest will come after 2 months. And later on every 30 days interval we can harvest leaves and pods.
Harvested and cleaned Cassia Angustifolia Pods & Harvested Leaves
Post harvest handling:
After harvesting leaves and pods are spread in a ventilated room and allow it dry for around 7 – 10 days until it reaches 10 % moisture. Sun drying is avoided to prevent the loss of Sennosides.
Generally in market, three or four grades of senna are recognized based upon size and colour
Grade A / first grade: The extra large and bold leaves and pods having yellowish green colour
Grade B /second grade: Produce having brownish leaves and pods
Grade C /lower grade: Smaller and broken leaves and pods
The yield of the crop generally will be 2t of dried leaves and 150-200kg of dried pods for every hectare.
Indian senna purifies blood and restores the metabolic imbalance lost due to indigestion. The herb is used as an expectorant, wound dresser, antidysentric, carminative and laxative. Indian senna is handy in treating loss of appetite, hepatomegaly, spleenomegaly, malaria, skin diseases, jaundice and anemia.
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