Cassia seed health benefit, Cassia obtusifolia
February 1 2017 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Cassia is ancient Greek for an aromatic plant. The Latin word obtusifolia means obtuse leaved and refers to the leaf shape. It is a Chinese herb that has been used for healthy vision. For more information regarding the benefits of seed products and another species called cassia fistula.

Colitis protection
Am J Chin Med. 2011. The protective effect of Cassia obtusifolia on DSS-induced colitis.

Cholesterol benefit
Effects of Cassia tora fiber supplement on serum lipids in Korean diabetic patients.
J Med Food. 2005.
Cassia tora fiber supplement consisting of 2 g of soluble fiber extracted from Cassia semen (C. tora L.), 200 mg of alpha-tocopherol, 500 mg of ascorbic acid, and 300 mg of maltodextrin was formulated in a pack, and given to 15 type II diabetic subjects (seven men and eight women) with instructions to take two packs per day for 2 months. Placebo contained maltodextrin only with a little brown caramel color. Levels of serum triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol tended to decrease more in the Cassia tora-supplemented group than in the placebo group. Serum alpha-tocopherol was increased but lipid peroxides were not significantly lower in the Cassia tora group. Fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and activities of serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase were not changed by the fiber supplement. We concluded that Cassia tora supplements can help improve serum lipid status in type II diabetic subjects without serious adverse effects.

Toxicological and hematological effects of sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia) seeds in Sprague-Dawley rats: a subchronic feeding study.
Toxicon. 1991.
Cassia obtusifolia and its seeds, common contaminants of agricultural commodities, are toxic to cattle and poultry. Toxicity has been attributed to anthraquinones which are major constituents of C. obtusifolia, but studies of the subchronic and chronic toxicity of naturally occurring anthraquinones are limited. To investigate the subchronic (greater than 30 days) toxicity of C. obtusifolia seed, ten rats/sex were fed diets containing 0, 0.15, 0.50, 1.5 or 5.0% C. obtusifolia seed for 13 weeks. Intermittent mild diarrhea was found in high-dose animals and body weights of high-dose males were decreased to week 10. Myeloid hyperplasia with peripheral leukocytosis, thrombocytosis and mild anemia were found in males and females fed diets containing greater than or equal to 0.50% C. obtusifolia seed. Leukocytosis resulted from neutrophilia, whereas peripheral lymphocyte counts were unaffected. Lymphoid hyperplasia and/or histiocytosis were found in the mesenteric lymph nodes in groups fed C. obtusifolia seed. Thus, a dietary 'no observable effect level' for subchronic ingestion of C. obtusifolia seed in rats was less than 0.15%.

Determination of the oral toxicity of Cassia obtusifolia seeds in chickens.
Vet Hum Toxicol. 1983.
Chickens were fed dried seeds of Cassia obtusifolia, either whole or ground, mixed in with regular chicken ration. Other chickens were dosed at 2% of body weight with either an aqueous extract of seeds, or the pellet or supernatant from an 18,000 X g centrifugation of the extract. Weight gains were only slightly lower in chickens treated with up to 10% seeds in the feed. This was attributed to reduced food intake rather than to toxic effects of the plant. Necropsy examinations of chickens from all groups revealed none of the lesions typical of intoxication with Cassia. Histologic examinations revealed no lesions.

Blood thinning
Potential inhibitors of platelet aggregation from plant sources, V. Anthraquinones from seeds of Cassia obtusifolia and related compounds.
J Nat Prod. 1990.
Three anthraquinone glycosides, gluco-obtusifolin, gluco-chryso-obtusin, and gluco-aurantioobtusin, were found to be platelet anti-aggregatory constituents of seeds of Cassia obtusifolia.

Cassia Seed research
Effects on feed consumption and egg production of coffee bean seed (Cassia obtusifolia) fed to White Leghorn hens.
Avian Dis. 1977.
Coffee bean seed was ground and mixed in the feed at levels of 2,5, and 10% and fed to White Leghorn hens. Feed consumption and egg production were reduced by all three although more so at 5 and 10%. Feed consumption and egg production had not returned to control levels four weeks after the adulterated feed was suspended, though the response was more pronounced in the younger birds. The semitendinosus and pectoralis superficialis muscles were pale and edematous at postmortem examination of the birds, being most pronounced at the 5 and 10% levels.