Henna (scientifically known as Lawsonia Inermis) is well known in the Arab and Muslim world and is mainly used for cosmetic purposes.
In various parts of the world, Henna was and is still used in festivals and ceremonies like the Moroccan weddings. Traditionally, the bride will paint Henna on her hands and feet the day before the wedding.
Women will prepare the Henna paste by crushing dried leaves and adding either hot water or some natural oils. The natural products make is safe for all skin types. The paste is applied to the skin in an ornate pattern and left to dry for a few hours or overnight. After the dried paste is rubbed off, a beautiful orange to dark maroon design emerges on the skin and will gradually fade in 7 to 14 days.
The bride’s design is always the most elaborate one while the other women in the wedding party will have a less ornate design. The belief is that if the women who use the same henna paste as the bride they will find their soul-mate and soon get married.
Henna is used in traditional medicine as well. It is a magical plant because it contains many healing substances like Tannine and it has antimicrobial and anti-viral effects.
BURNS: Henna when applied to a burn area first or second degree it gives excellent results; it decreases the pain and fluid loss from the wound, this is important if the burn area is large. It sticks to the burned site until healing is complete and it is easy to apply to the burned site as paste or powder. Also, the fresh leaves mixed with vinegar or lime juice can be bandaged onto the soles of feet to treat sore or burning feet.
Hair Loss: Using mustard oil boiled with Henna leaves promotes healthy hair growth. Boil 250 grammes of mustard oil in a pan, gradually add 50 to 60 grammes of Henna leaves to the oil and heat. The oil is then filtered through a cloth and stored in a bottle. Regular massage with this oil produces abundant hair.
Headaches: Henna flowers cure headaches caused by the heat of the sun. A plaster made of Henna flowers in vinegar and applied on the forehead relieves the headaches.
Dysentery: The bark of the plant is very useful in the treatment of dysentery. Crush the seeds into a powder, mix with clarified butter and rolled into small balls and then taken with water.
Henna is so important in a various parts of the world. Plus, it is so cheap and always available.