Botanical Name: Lawsonia inermis
- English:Henna Leaves
- Ayurvedic: Madayanti, Madayantikaa and Nil Madayantika
- Unani: Hinaa, Mehndi
- Also, known as: Mendika, Ranjaka, Mendika, Ranjaka, Mehandi, Mehendi, Mehndi, Hinna, Hena, Mehedi, Dan, Mignonette tree, Camphire, Egyptian privet, Zanzibar bark, Mehadi, Mendi, Gorinta, Marudum, Mailanelu, Goranta, Korate, Madarangi, Hina,Yoranna, Cinamomo, Jalousie, Fleurs, Reseda de France, Inai, Pakar kuku, Pacar kuku, Krapeen, Sino-Tibetan, Kaaw, Mendika, Ragangi, Raktgarbha, Erip, Reseda, Mkokoa, Mkokoa, Muhina,Muina, Maruthani, Marithondi, Mheni, Mhina, Thian daeng, Thian khaao,Thian king
Habitat: Arabia, Persia, and India
Parts Used: Leaves
Henna leaves consists of dried leaves of Lawsonia inermis. Henna is a tall shrub or small tree, standing 5-30 feet, elegant bush with fragrant flowers. The leaves are simple, grow opposite each other on the stem 2-3 cm in length, 1-2 cm in width, greenish-brown to dull green. Henna leaves smell aromatic when crushed; taste, sweet, mucilaginous, and slightly astringent. Mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word “Mendhika.”
Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin. Henna will not stain skin until the lawsone molecules are made free from the henna leaf. Dried henna leaves will stain the skin if they are mashed into a paste. The lawsone will gradually migrate from the henna paste into the outer layer of the skin and bind to the proteins in it, creating a fast stain. Mehndi or "Mehendi" is a form of body art from Ancient India.
Henna is commonly traded as a powder made of the leaves. The dry powder is mixed with one of many liquids, including water, lemon juice, or strong tea, and other ingredients, depending on the tradition. Many artists use sugar or molasses in the paste to improve consistency and keep it stuck to the skin better. The henna mix must rest for up to 48 hours before use, to release the lawsone from the leaf matter. The timing depends on the quality of henna being used. Essential oils such as tea tree, cajeput, or lavender, will improve skin stain appearances.
The paste can be applied with many traditional and innovative tools, starting with a basic stick or twig such as in India and Western world a plastic cone like those used to pipe icing onto cakes is used, A light stain may be reached within minutes, but the longer the paste is left on the skin, the darker and longer lasting the stain will be, so it needs to be left on as long as possible. Henna stains are orange when the paste is first removed, but darkens over the following three days to a deep reddish brown. There are many variations and types in mehndi designs which are categorized, such as Arabic mehndi designs, Indian mehndi designs, and Pakistani mehndi designs. Women usually apply variations of henna or mehndi design patterns on their hands and feet.
How to use:
There are different ways to use powdered herb.
Food Preparation: You can add powdered herb to any super food herbal smoothie, sauces, spreads and even cookies. Also for children, you can mix powdered herb with honey or glycerin to make paste. The thicker the paste, the more potent and herbal in taste. The sweet taste of honey and glycerin will help medicine go down. This method is also known as "Electuaries".
Capsules: Encapsulating your own powdered herb at home, gives you assurance that the contents of the capsules are pure herb and no filler or any other products. These capsules can be taken with liquid.
Poultice: Poultice can be made with an herbal powder and liquid (mostly water) to form a paste which is then applied to the skin. This method is very helpful for skin conditions.
Herbal shot: Powdered herb can be mixed with water, fruit juice or other liquid to make herbal shot.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.