Henna has been used in medicine and in cosmetics for over 9000 years, it is used for hair and skin disorders and the paste of henna is used for body art as adornment for weddings and other celebrations in India.
The henna botanical name is Lawsonia Inermis, some other common names are mehndi, hina, madayanti, mignonette tree, and the Egyptian privet.
Morphology and Chemical Constituent
Henna is a middle-sized shrub with many branches, the name Heena is based on the word Hina, which is the Arabic name of the drug. It is a plant having small opposite leaves and axillary panicles of white flowers. The leaves contain a glucoside coloring matter and hennotanic acid, on petroleum ether extraction, the seeds of the plant yield a viscous oil containing behenic, arachidic, stearic, palmitic, oletic, and linoleic acids.
The plant occurs chiefly in the drier parts of the Indian peninsula and is usually cultivated in hedges, it is cultivated for commercial purposes in Punjab, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Henna grows in arid subtropical areas, where night temperatures do not fall beneath 11 degrees C.
Properties of Henna
Henna has hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antioxidant21, antipyretic, and analgesic properties. Henna contains carbohydrates, proteins, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, terpenoids, quinones, coumarins, xanthones, and fatty acids.
Benefits and Uses of Henna
Medicinal Benefits & Uses
Henna leaves, flowers, seeds, stem bark, and roots are used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments like baldness, liver and skin disorder, sore throat, headache, dysentery, leucorrhea, rheumatoid and arthritis.
The leaves of henna have medicinal properties like arresting secretion or bleeding and preventing skin diseases, henna flowers are fragrant, and the perfume extracted was used in scents, seeds in powdered form are good medicine for liver disorders and associated problems, and bark is applied in the form of a decoction to burns and scalds.
Henna flowers are fragrant, and the perfume extracted was used in scents. In addition, the flowers were used in topical applications to bruises and the decoction was used to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus and stimulate menstruation in treating hormonal disorders or conditions such as infrequent or light menses. Powered seeds with clarified butter are effective against dysentery.
Seeds in powdered form are good medicine for liver disorders and associated problems. The bark is applied in the form of a decoction to burns and scalds. It is given internally in a variety of affections, such as jaundice, enlargement of the spleen, and calculus, as the alternative to leprosy and obstinate skin affection.
The root is considered a medicine for boils, gonorrhea, herpes, and sore eyes. Cambodians drink a decoction made from the henna root as a diuretic. Decoction of the root generally in combination with indigo is considered an abortifacient. The root is supposed to be useful in the treatment of hysteria and nervous disorders.
Here are some health benefits and uses of Henna
Henna helps in the treatment of baldness, and mustard oil boiled with henna leaves promotes the healthy growth of hair. Sixty grams of henna leaves are gradually added to two hundred and fifty grams of boiled mustard, and heated the oil again, filtered through cloth, and stored in a bottle. Regular massage with his oil produces abundant hair.
Burning Sensation on the Feet
A paste of the leaves is applied to the soles gives relieves the burning sensation.
The seeds of the henna plant are effective in treating dysentery, powdered seeds mixed with ghee and made into small-sized pills (size should be betel nut) taken with hot water are helpful in this condition.
Henna flowers cure headaches caused by the heat of the sun, the headache is relieved by plaster of henna flowers in vinegar and applied over the forehead.
The bark of the plant is effective in treating disorders like jaundice and enlargement of the liver, make a decoction of bark powder with ginger and taking 30–60-gram doses is the recommended treatment of these disorders.
Henna leaves ground with water applied over the affected area are beneficial in treating prickly heat.
Henna leaves are effective in treating skin problems like boils and burns, leaves are applied locally on the affected area, and bruised leaves can be applied beneficially on rheumatic joints, inflammatory swellings, bruises, and leprosy.
For sore throat, a decoction of the leaves can be used as a gargle with beneficial results.
Pessaries or vaginal suppositories made of leaves and seeds can be used beneficially in treating excessive menstruation, vaginal discharges, and leucorrhea or excessive white discharge.
Traditional and Cultural Uses
Henna is a tradition that transcends time, religion, and region, nowadays, the Indian bride's feet and hands are decorated with beautiful, intricate henna designs. Heena mixed with other natural dyes is commonly used as a hair dye and for dying textiles. The oil obtained from flowers is sued in perfumery. Henna has become a livelihood for many artists.
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Side Effects of Lawsonia Inermis
All Ayurveda herbs are plant-based, and they don’t have any side effects, but they may react with some allopathy or homeopathy medicine. It is better to consult the doctor if you are on any medications or have unique health issues.
Some side effects while mixing henna with other chemicals.
Neutral henna, red henna, and black henna are widely sold for blonde, red, and black hair. The only red henna is Lawsonia inermis. Neutral henna is cassia obovata, and black henna is Indigofera tinctoria. The dried powdered leaves of all these plants appear very similar. The henna leaf is harmless, but when mixed with poisons, it becomes poisonous.
Because henna typically produces a brown, orange-brown, or reddish-brown tint, other ingredients must be added to produce other colors, such as those marketed as "black henna" and "blue henna.
Indian Henna Designs / Mehandi Art
Here are some awesome designs of Henna which has been created by our local artisans, you can use these design on occasion.
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