Henna has been used as a cosmetic, as well as for its supposed healing properties for at least 5000 years. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, and northern Australasia in semi-arid zones. Henna was regarded as having "Barakah," blessings, and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty.
People keep mehandi in hands and foot as tatoo for its bright red color. Often, mehandi keeping is celebrated as a function in Indian marriages before the day of marriage. Lawsonia Enermis , henna contains lawsone (a chemical molecule), which brings the color after exposed to air and sunlight. Henna excellence and color depends on which country it is grown in, how fresh the powder is and what is added to it.
How to prepare henna paste:
- Take a cup of henna powder.
- Add 2-3 drops essential oil of eucalyptus
- Add 2 teaspoons of strong black tea. Add sufficient water.
- Now stir it well in one direction making its consistency like toothpaste.
- A polythene sheet is folded into a cone shape with its edge having a tiny hole.
- Put the paste into the cone as much as needed and paste the opening with a thick tape.
- Pressure is given smoothly and suitable design is drawn on hands.
- Sugar water can be applied on the design with a cotton piece once when henna has completely dried.
Henna is not only used for decorative purpose, but also as a hair conditioner, treats dandruff , to cool scalp and skin and in reducing temperature , to ease the burn pains and preventing from any infections and on the nails to mummify the pharaohs.