Henna – A Medicinal Plant!
Henna or Mehandi is a medicinal plant. Its bark and seeds are used in Unani and Ayurvedic medicines. Henna is a middle-sized shrub with many branches. It yields small white or pinkish fragrant flowers in large terminal bunches and small round fruits. This fascinating plant is known worldwide for the beautiful coloring dye used by the orientals to color their hands and body.
Henna oil is used for the medicinal treatment of a wide range of ailments ranging from headaches to leprosy and other skin disorders. As medicinal plant henna is used as an astringent, anti-hemorrhagic intestinal anti-neoplastic, cardio-inhibitory, hypotensive, and sedative. The Henna extracts exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and ultraviolet light screening activity.
The oil of its flower relieves muscular pains, while its seeds are used to regulate menstruation. Henna oil induces sleep, and cures headaches, and bruises. The bark is also used to treat symptoms of jaundice and enlargement of the liver and spleen. Henna oil can be applied to the skin to treat eczema, scabies, fungal infections, and burns.
Henna Medicinal Benefits
Arthritis: Henna oil is used for rheumatic and arthritic pains. Ground leaves are applied to sore flints to ease rheumatism. The juice of the medicinal plant can be applied to the skin for headaches, and the henna oil is applied to hair to prevent it from graying.
Dysentery: The bark of the plant is very effective in the treatment of dysentery. The seeds are powdered, mixed with ghee and rolled into small balls, and then taken with water.
Liver Disorders: The bark of the plant is very effective in the treatment of liver disorders like Jaundice and enlargement of the liver. Henna can be consumed in the form of powder from 1 to 5 decigram doses or it can be taken in decoction from 30 to 50 grams doses to cure liver disorders.
Baldness: Using mustard oil boiled with Henna leaves promotes healthy hair growth. 250 grams of mustard oil is boiled in a pan. Some 50 to 60 grams of Henna leaves are added gradually to the oil and heated. The oil is then filtered through a cloth and stored in a bottle. Regular massage with this oil produces abundant hair.
Prickly Heat: Henna leaves are beneficial in the treatment of prickly heat. The leaves ground with water is applied over the affected area.
Headaches: Henna flowers cure headaches caused by the heat of the sun. A plaster made of Henna, flowers in vinegar, and applied over the forehead relieves the headaches.
Feet Burning Sensation: Fresh leaves mixed with vinegar or lime juice are bandaged onto the soles to treat burning feet.
Skin Disease: Henna leaves are very effective in the treatment of skin disorders like boils & burns. Coarsely ground Henna leaves applied to the affected parts cure the disorders. It can be applied beneficially in rheumatic joints, inflammatory swelling, bruises & leprosy. The Ayurvedic system uses thy henna leaves to treat vitiligo (pale patches on the skin where pigment is lost). And the seeds are also used for fever.
Henna Benefits of Hair: Henna contains natural ingredients which are vital for the nourishment of hair. It has a bond with the hair structure as it serves to penetrate, cleanse and thicken the hair shafts thus improving its quality. It also has great dandruff fighting ability.
Henna as Coloring Agent: Henna is mainly used as a coloring agent. It is mixed with other natural dyes and is largely used as a hair dye and in textiles. The henna oil obtained from its flower is used in perfumery. In India, Henna paste is applied to decorate palms & heels on special occasions. Especially in marriages the bride’s palms & legs are decorated with henna paste as a customary ritual.
Traditional Uses of Henna
- Applied henna powder to decorate feet and hands for its cooling properties
- Henna powder with water mixed as part of marriage rituals for decorating the bride
- Henna is used in medications for its healing properties as a skin healer and cleanser
- It is used on hair as a natural conditioner and colorant and permanent dye on the fingers.
- Applied henna by persons to be in compliance with religion because it makes the individual more conscious of the Earth’s energies.
Henna Benefits for Skin and Hair
- Temporary tattoos
- Henna Nourisher or hair conditioner as shampoo
- Skincare products
- Natural hair dyes
- Body decoration
- Henna Hair tonic
- Henna Essential Oils