Cassia occidentalis (Senna), Mogdad-coffee
Cassia occidentalis or Senna occidentalis is an annual to perennial plant with ayurvedic facilities. It is indigenous to Brazil, today also found in warmer areas of South, North and Middle America. Common names are Mogdad coffee or Fedegoso. Because of its strong smell it is also called stinking weed or rubbish cassia belonging to the family of Leguminosae and genus Cassia.
It is a small tree with five to eight meters in size and leathery compounded leaves. The seed pods have a smooth green color and grow slightly curved upward on the tree. Seeds are olive-brown. The stem of this tree is ribbed and has a conspicuous green color and a most unpleasant smell. The leaves are compound pinnate with three to six pairs of leaflets. Yellow flowers grow in a very short few-flowered raceme.
Within cold or dry areas, Senna plants have a life cycle of just six to nine months. In warm regions they can grow during the whole year or even a second year.
It is often used against different kinds of diseases and pain, because it has strong medical effects within its roots, leaves, seeds and flowers. Roots have some diuretic effect and a decoction of it leads to decreasing fever and helps with menstrual problems, weakness and liver complaints. Seeds are roasted and brewed into a coffee-like beverage, which also helps against asthma. Flower infusions are used for bronchitis and leaves are cut or pounded or boiled to use the brew of it against fever, urinary tract disorders, menstrual problems, stomach colic or worms. Coating the skin will enhance skin irritation and disorders. Generally it has beneficial effects on liver and immune system, because leaf extracts protect the liver from various chemical toxins, normalize liver enzymes and repair liver damage.