Henna (Mehendi)


Henna Scientific Name

Lawsonia inermis

Henna Other Names

English: Heena, Mignonette, Indian Privet
Hindi: Mehandi
Chinese: Hǎi nà
French: Henné
Spanish: Alheña
Sanskrit: Nil Madayantika, Mendika, Madayanti, Ranjaka

What is Henna?

Henna, popularly known for the temporary tattoos is obtained from an evergreen plant known as Madayantika. It is widely used in Ayurveda for it’s ropan i.e healing and sita i.e soothing property. The leaves of this tree are dried, crushed and made into a powder for use. This powder is then mixed with water to make a paste that is used to draw designs on the human hand or body. The red-orange dye molecule called Lawson present in the herb, leaves the imprint on the skin.
The Henna powder is also applied to the scalp and used as a natural hair pack, it imparts luster, conditioning and healthy texture to the hair. Henna keeps the hair dry and prevents excessive oil production on the scalp due to it’s Kashaya (astringent) and Ruksha (dry) properties.
Henna is known for its cooling effect and is often used in Ayurveda to soothe the burning feet and eyes especially during summers. Applying henna paste to feet helps in promoting balanced sleep. It is also used to promote healthy eyes.
Henna has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and is often used in treating itching, skin rashes, abrasions and wounds.

Common forms of Henna

Leaves, Flowers, Seeds, Powder

Henna is commonly used for:

  • Relieving headaches
  • Easing arthritis pain
  • Treating skin conditions
  • Promoting healthy hair
  • Curing fevers
  • Promoting healthy gums
  • Reducing pitta
  • Treating diaper rash
  • Curing dysentery
  • Detoxifying
  • Regulating blood pressure

Henna Dosage

Powder: ¼-½ teaspoon
Fresh Juice: 1-2 teaspoon

Henna Side-effects and Warnings

Common side-effects: Can cause, redness, itching, burning sensation especially if accidentally applied around eyes. It is also found to cause runny nose and wheezing.
Not so common side-effects: Not known.
Pregnant and Nursing Mothers: Avoid.
Children: Not known.

Where to Buy Henna in US?

Chinmayi Kulkarni

Chinmayi is a Nutritionist turned Marketer, with Masters in both Marketing and Nutrition. Her focus is to combine her knowledge to understand and evangelize Ayurveda.

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