• acute constipation
• laxative (stimulating)
• Anthraquinone (e.g. emodin)
• Infusion (Alexandrian seed pods): 3-6 per cup of water
• Infusion (Tinnevelly seed pods): 4-12 per cup of water
Contraindications: Use > 10 consecutive days, bulimia, intestinal obstruction, spastic constipation, acute intestinal inflammation, abdominal pain of unknown origin, children <12 years old, pregnancy, lactation.
Side-effects: Red urine (benign), hypokalemia, colic; common with anthraquinones due to increased parastalsis and smooth muscle spasms. Carminatives decrease side-effects.
Warning: Discontinue use after 7-10 days.
Long-term use: Hypokalemia, dependency, intestinal paralysis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), pancreatitis, renal failure, melanosis coli.
• Hypokalemic agents - caution taken it concomitantly with drugs and herbs that depleted potassium: antiarrhythmic drugs (e.g. quinine), cardiac glycoside (e.g. digitallis), diuretics, corticosteroids and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
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