Henna or Mehndi plant is a small evergreen bush that grows well in hot and dry conditions. IT grows up to 20 feet in height with plenty of lateral branches. The leaves grow in pairs, each 2-4 cm long.
The plant remains a juvenile for the first two years. During this phase, it does not have good lawsone content. Nor do they have the thorns. The thorns grow to protect the plant against foraging animals. The Henna plant has a reddish dye that is concentrated in the central vein, the petiole. We find the highest dye content in the young leaves of the plant. The plant prefers temperatures greater than 50 degrees Fahrenheit and alluvial soil. The precipitation should be between 0.2-4.2 metres, and pH is 4.3-8.0 and is cultivated as a flowering shrub for the hedgerow.
Common names for this plant are henna and hina. In Hindi it is known as Mehndi.
Botanical name and Family
The botanical name is Lawsonia Inermis, and the family is Lythraceae.
Geographical places where Mehndi plant grows
The plant is native to northern Africa, western and southern Asia and northern Australasia.
Henna Medicinal uses for curing diseases
The lawsone content in the Mehndi plant is responsible for the red colour it produces. But, unless this dye is released, it will not stain the skin. The bark and seeds find use in Unani and Ayurvedic medicine. Henna oil is used to cure a variety of ailments.
Henna finds extensive use in the treatment of skin disorders. People also use the henna paste to heal the burns and boils. The Mehndi paste gives health to the skin and makes them youthful. In Ayurveda, the henna paste is used to treat vitiligo, which is a skin condition where white patches appear due to the pigment that is lost. Henna contains the nutrients that are essential for the skin and hair. It is a natural cleanser and conditioner of the skin and hair. You can use the Mehndi paste for treating prickly heat. Apply the paste to the regions where you see prickly heat patches for good relief. You can use the henna oil for curing leprosy.
Relief from the heat
You can relieve the symptoms of extreme heat with the use of henna. Grind the leaves of the henna plant and mix it with vinegar. Apply this poultice to the forehead and back. This will cool the body and give you relief from the headaches you get from exposure to the heat. For better result, use the flowers of the Mehndi plant.
Cures burning feet sensation
This condition occurs to some people, and they cure it by using henna leaves. The leaves are crushed, and the juice is mixed with vinegar or lime juice. This will help cure the burning sensation of the feet.
Cure for baldness
You can stimulate hair growth with Mehndi. Boil the henna leaves in mustard oil or gingelly oil. The amount of oil to take is about 200 grams. Use 50-60 grams of henna leaves. You can add one or two hibiscus leaves. Once the oil boils, filter it and store in bottles. Regular application of this oil will help hair to grow. People are using henna for hair from ancient time.
Cure for liver disorders
The bark of the Mehndi plant is effective in treating conditions of the liver such as jaundice and liver enlargement. People take the henna powder along with honey. Alternatively, you can take the juice of the Mehndi plant as a decoction in 30-40 milliliters at a time.
Relief from dysentery
The henna plant has the power to relieve the symptoms of dysentery. Crush the bark of the plant with ghee and roll it into balls. These should be stored and taken as often as needed.
Other medicinal properties
The Mehndi plant has anti-haemorrhagic property. It is useful for treating inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. The anti-neoplastic nature helps us fight cancer and other invasive diseases. It is an astringent and helps tighten the pores of the skin.
It has cardioinhibitory nature that is useful for decreasing the arterial pressure. This helps reduce the work of the heart and the myocardial oxygen consumption. This is used for treating hypertension and angina caused by coronary artery disease.
Treat mental disorders
The effect on the Central Nervous system is pronounced in the case of henna. You can use 3 grams of the seeds of the henna plant with honey. Or, make a decoction of the flowers and give it to the patient. After that, give them chapattis or rotis made of wheat flour along with sugar and clarified butter. This will get rid of the giddiness and make the person sober.
Cure for Dermatosis
Dermatosis is a condition that affects the integumentary system of the body. You could also classify the conditions of the skin under this category. Mehndi serves as a treatment option for maculae, lesion, papule, rash, vesicles, and bullae. Sweet’s syndrome and Grover’s disease are two more instances of dermatosis.
Crush and get the juice of the leaves and flowers of the Mehndi plant. Drink half-a-teaspoon of the juice twice a day. Continue this for seven days. Or you could boil the 50 grams of the bark of the plant in 100 milliliters of water. When the water reduces, filter the decoction and cool. Give this to the person twice a day. The third option is to soak the leaves overnight in water. The next morning, crush the leaves coarsely and filter. Give this juice to the patient.
Other uses of Henna
People suffering from high blood pressure get relief by having the Henna juice. It has a sedative effect too. This helps them sleep properly. It inhibits the growth of microbes. It does not allow the growth of bacteria and fungus. Take the juice of Mehndi with honey twice a day and see the improvement in your health.
You can apply the henna on the skin to ward off the bad effects of the ultraviolet rays. Your skin remains protected from the harmful UV rays, and so it remains youthful and bouncy.
Since the Mehndi exhibits pain-relieving properties, you can use the oil to get relief from pain in the muscles. Apply the oil on the affected part before going to bed. It acts in the night, and when you wake up, the pain will be gone. Another use is to treat menstruation problems. You can have the henna juice with fruit juice twice daily. Mix only 2 teaspoons in one glass of juice.