Scientific name: Lawsonia inermis.
Commonly known as Henna, Mehandi.
Sanskrit name: Madyantika.
Mehandi, commonly known as henna, is a tall shrub. It is a flowering plant and is also known as the mignonette tree.
Lawsonia inermis is the source of the due henna which traces its well-known use for dying hair, fingernails, and skin.
The leaves, bark, flowers, and seeds of the henna plant are used.
For instance, let's talk about preparing the henna dye.
The henna leaves are dried and mashed and then turned into a paste. The application of that paste on skin or hair dyes them in a reddish-brown shade. However, it is necessary to rest the henna mix for 1-48 hours before application. Sometimes, essential oils, sugars, or molasses are also added for enhancing dyeing properties.
The henna plant typically grows in the drier climates of India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East.
In India, Mehandi plants are planted on a commercial basis.
Medicinal and Ayurvedic properties :
Henna contains anti-oxidant properties. As well as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and hepatoprotective properties.
In addition to that, it has tuberculostatic and anti-viral activities.
It is of Tikhta (Bitter) and Kashaya (astringent) Ras (taste). The vipak of Mehandi is Katu (bitter). It is light(Laghu) and dry(Ruksha) in nature.
Mehandi reduces Kapha and Pitta dosha.
Uses of Mehandi :
Lawsonia inermis acts as a painkiller (Vedanastyapan) due to its anti-inflammatory (Shotahar) property. Mehendi helps in the growth of hair, a property known as keshya, and improves complexion (Varnya).
The Mehandi paste is useful in relieving the burning sensation of arms and legs.
Throat and mouth infections can be cured by gargling with water containing the extracts of Mehandi.
The well-known use of Mehandi is dyeing of hair. Mixing it with Bringhraj can be more helpful. Kuntal Care Herbal Shampoo-Healthy, Natural & Dynamic Hair | 30ml travel pack has Mehandi in its basic formulation, which helps rejuvenate your hair.
Kuntal Care Hair Spa & Oil Combo at amrutam contains Kuntal care shampoo, kuntal care herbal oil and kuntal care spa.
You can use henna to cure skin diseases too! Cleansing of wounds is an important use of Mehandi. Also, it helps in healing the wounds.
- Henna is useful in treating dysentery, diarrhea, and jaundice. You can consume the juice of henna leaves which enhances its properties.
- The flowers of Lawsonia inermis are used for treating insomnia. Some books trace the use of henna flower juice for improving brain functions.
- Mehandi also relieves you from a headache!
- Henna also traces its use in curing urinary tract infections. You can consume the juice of leaves of Lawsonia mixed with sugar.
- Henna also works on skin infections. Consumption of the leaf extract of henna is useful.
Dosage of Leaf juice: 5 to 10 ml, twice a day.
Dosage of Powder of seeds: 1 to 3 gram, daily.
Lawsonia is available in the markets as a medicine by the name Madyantyadi churna.
Isn't it amazing that henna is the multi-use boss?
And who isn't aware of the wide use of henna in Indian weddings. Indian culture is incomplete without Mehandi or I must say henna is the unsaid hero of the Indian festive.
So go ahead and use henna.
You can avail more information about Mehandi and other Dravyagun from the books Dravyagun Vidnyan and Charak Sanhita.