Senna alata is native to Mexico, and can be found in diverse habitats. In the tropics it grows up to an altitude of 1,200 meters. The shrub stands 3–4 m tall, with leaves 50–80 cm long. The inflorescence looks like a yellow candle. The fruit shaped like a straight pod is up to 25 cm long. Its seed are distributed by water or animals. The leaves close in the dark.
Senna alata is most commonly used in a tisane for cooling or as a laxative. As a bath for itching, crush kasialata and kaka betje leaves (Senna bicapsularis) in water and bathe with the liquid. One herbalist uses kasialata, three to five leaves, with china (Exostema sanctae-luciae), an inch of the bark, when "the blood is dirty, have boils on the skin, have pus." kasialata leaves are boiled and the water used to wash the face or if something "comes up on the skin" A bath made of these leaves makes the skin "come shiny."
It has been observed that the antimicrobial activity of Senna alata is associated with the presence of component such phenols, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids and carbohydrates. The ethanolic and metanolic extract Senna alala L. exhibited very long antimicrobial activity against fungi like Candida albicans, Aspergillus flavus Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis and Blastomyces dermatitidis and some bacteria with maximum activity in the fractions containing alkaloid salts and base.