Senna (Sanna Makki), a herb often used to treat constipation, has recently been touted as the latest cure of COVID-19 infection on social media platforms in general and WhatsApp in particular.
A claim made by Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail, after recovering from Coronavirus, about Sanna Makki’s efficacy in treating COVID-19 also lent credence to the unverified and unvetted messages shared fervently on social networking sites.
While the internet remains bombarded with fabricated reports asserting Sanna Makki’s benefits, the price of the medicinal plant has skyrocketed after a sudden increase in demand.
However, if you rank among those who are consuming Sanna Makki without prescription, it is advisable to cease this practice immediately, according to Dr. Faheem Younus, the Chief of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.
Myth: Herbs, supplements, sanna makki, special diets and vitamins are harmless. Take them to boost your immunity against CIVID. What’s the downside?
Fact: The benefits of these substances are unclear; their occasional side effects are well documented
This thread explains…
— Faheem Younus, MD (@FaheemYounus) June 8, 2020
In a Twitter thread, Dr. Younus penned that while the benefits of Asian/Chinese herbs are unclear, their side effects are well documented. High concentrations of cadmium, lead, and arsenic are found in 61% of the traditional Asian/Chinese herbs that can cause kidney or liver damage.
Regarding Sanna Makki, Dr. Younus said that the herb can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, pain, nausea, and electrolyte imbalance.
Consumption of vitamins and essential minerals is beneficial only when an individual experiences their deficiency. However, taking them blindly and without prescription warrants an overdose and a negative impact on health.
For instance, an overdose of Vitamins A, D, E, and K could result in nausea, irregular heartbeat, and stroke while an overdose of Vitamin B or Vitamin C could lead to nerve or liver damage. Similarly, an overdose of Zinc not only results in nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain but it also diminishes bone density and immunity over time.
Lastly, Dr. Younus urged his followers to consume nutrients only in case of deficiency. Otherwise, one would incur financial losses and experience adverse medical effects.
Dr. Younus has suggested people should maintain a 6-feet distance from each other and avoid crowds, wash hands, and wear face masks to avoid contracting the Coronavirus and help slow the spread of the disease.