What is Henna
Henna is a plant used since ages for dyeing hair and making temporary tattoos on skin. Moreover, it can be used to dye leather, wool and to beautify fingernails. The color is entirely temporary, on hair it lasts for nearly six weeks but on hands its duration is approximately one week. Reason being for this as the dead skin starts exfoliating naturally and a new layer covers the skin, colors vanishes from the skin altogether as old skin flakes off. Apart from that there are varieties of henna called black henna or neutral henna (used for dyeing hair and skin) are not derivatives of the same plant.
In India it is known as “Mehndi” and being used by Indians in rituals related to marriage and birth of a child since olden times. When dried leaves are grinded and sifted into a powder of green color and when this powder mixed with mild acidic liquid or lemon juice, it works on making temporary tattoos of orangey, red, brown color on the absorbent surface and also used for dyeing hair with all natural ingredients. It is used in honey like consistency and used in the cones in a way similar to icing cakes. Mixed henna must have kept aside for 6 to 12 hours before use. After that time when it will be used on the skin, Orangey mark can be got in seconds. The longer it will be applied on skin the darker it will get. To avoid it falling off the skin when it is dried some mixture of lemon/sugar dabbed on the skin to preserve it longer. After that paste can be scraped away. Avoid using Chlorinated water and soaps; they may spoil the color getting darkened. Use of steam and warming the henna pattern when it’s on the skin or even when it is removed can help in darkening process or mustard oil can be rubbed on skin after scraping it away to get the desired color.
However, apart from its aesthetic use it is used for medicinal properties as well. It can be used to treat small pox in its initial stages. Effect can be got by applying it on child’s feet as it can prevent It’s attack on child’s eyes. It is a proved fact and quite commonly used by people. Henna is also effective in treating burns, treating the ulcers of the mouth, stomach, bums, and hot swellings.Drinking the water of soaked henna leaves for ten days can benefit in the treatment of the cracking nails. Henna mixed with butter also helps in hot swellings that produce yellow puss and can cure scabies and itch. Henna also when applied on the hair helps hair to grow all naturally and give them lively shine.