To help with constipation, products containing Senna or Aloe are widely used. It must be pointed out that using these products as laxatives regularly can be dangerous.
Both, Senna and Aloe, work as irritants on the linings of the lower bowel. This leads to a reabsorption blockage of fluid and electrolytes. Due to increased fluid volume in the bowel, which exerts pressure on the colon wall, peristalsis increases and the colon moves. However, water and electrolytes will be absorbed to a much lesser degree and may lead to an electrolyte imbalance.
Besides this interference with the body’s electrolyte metabolism, Aloe and Senna are irritants and may cause, if used continuously, inflammation of the colon with serious consequences.
David G. Spoerke of the Utah School of Pharmacy writes, that continuous use of Aloe or Senna may lead to cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, red discolouring of urine and kidney inflammation. What’s the alternative? Besides eating healthy food, the best choice is a Magnesium supplement. Magnesium relaxes the autonomic nervous system, which includes the muscles of the large bowel. A relaxed colon increases its peristalsis and moves.