Henna is the common name for the shrub Lawsonia inermsis. The plant is best known for its green leaves, which when dried, powdered, and mixed into a paste, are used for skin and hair dying. Other common names for the plant are the Mignonette tree, Egyptian privet and Mehndi. This plant grows as a native shrub in Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Palestine and Syria. There plants may reach 8 to 10 feet high or more. The henna plant can also be grown in the United States in USDA growing zones 9b, 10a, 10b, and 11. The plant likes full sun and needs to be taken inside when the weather gets cold. I grew this plant in Daytona Beach for a while. It was growing really well for a while, but if I recall right I did not give it enough water. The plant can also be grown indoors. Cultivation is possible from cuttings or seeds.
Henna is used decoratively and medicinally in India. As a skin dye henna is popular as a wedding body decoration particularly for brides. The bride's hands and soles of her feet are painted in elaborate fertility and floral designs. This plant is also used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of skin irritations such as heat rash. Henna leaves and flowers may be applied in external preparations to inflamed skin conditions including burns, boils and sores.
The henna powder was used in ancient times is a hair dye in countries where it grew natively. In the late 1800's it also became popular as a hair colorant in Europe. By mixing the henna with other herbs different shades of color can be achieved, for example Indigo powder can be added to darken the color. You can check out our latest blog post to learn how to dye hair red naturally with henna. As an additive in our unscented Henna shampoo bars, the henna provides added conditioning, but it does not deposit color into the hair. You need the raw henna made into a paste that stays in the hair for 30 minutes or longer in order to dye the hair. We are now offering red henna powder in biodegradable compostable cellophane bags at Aquarian Bath.
We use henna powder as a natural hair dye and also to make a strong tea for our henna shampoo bars. Our bars are hand stamped with a wooden hand-carved leaf stamp from India. Our henna shampoo bars are on sale until February 1st for 25% off. Also, our Henna powder will be offered at an introductory lower price through February 1.
Enter to win one of our henna shampoo bars using the rafflecopter widget below. Open to adults 18 and over. Sweepstakes ends February 11th.
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