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When the wind blows, the pods of the bladder senna plant move and clink, producing a metallic sound that is believed to frighten wolves. Great botanists of ancient times forgot this plant, which does not encourage its use because of its disgusting smell and bitter flavor. Today, it is still seldom used, despite having some usefulness as a mild laxative.

bladder senna plant health benefits
Bladder senna plant pods

Healing Properties and Warning

Its leaves contain an essential oil, coluteic acid, mineral salts, and vitamins. They have laxative and mildly diuretic properties, being sometimes employed as a substitute for tinnevelly senna. The laxative property of bladder senna leaves is mild, less intense than that of some other laxative plants. However, they have diuretic and depurative properties, making them recommended for people suffering from constipation and excess uric acid.

WARNING! The seeds of this plant, which grow inside the pods, look like lentils. These seeds are mildly toxic and may produce vomiting.

Bladder Senna Plant Scientific Facts

colutea arborescens
  1. Scientific synonym: Colutea aborescens L.
  2. French: Baguenaudier arborescent.
  3. Spanish: Espantalobos.
  4. Environment: It grows in calcareous and mountainous soils in Europe and Western Asia. It has been naturalized to America.
  5. Description: Shrub of the Leguminosae family, growing from 1 to 3 m high, with yellow, red-spotted flowers and hollow pods in which the seeds grow. The pods are from 6 to 8 cm large.
  6. Parts of the plant used medicinally: The leaves.
colutea arborescens medicinal uses

How to use Bladder Senna

  1. Infusion with 100 g of leaves per liter of water. Sweeten with honey, and drink three or four cups daily, better before meals.


George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 498. Print.[bladder senna plant]

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