Henna Medicinal benefits and Geological distribution
Henna or Mehndi (Indian name) is a traditional medicinal plant. It is a middle-sized shrub with many branches with a height of 1.8-7.6m. The flowers have fragrance and are small in white or pinkish colour. This plant is a gift of nature for fashion in the eastern and western countries to colour their bodies and hair as well. The leaves are 1.3 -3.2 cm and numerous flowers of Henna are less than 1.2 cm. The capsule contains many seeds. Indian women use it as a fashion in every occasion to dye the hair, decorate the palms, nail and feet. Men also use to dye their hair, beard, etc.
Henna / Mehndi
Botanical name and family
Botanical name- Lawsonia inermis
Geological distribution of Henna (Mehendi)
Lawsonia inermis is found in Asia, Australia, South-East Africa, Middle East, and Arab and in many other parts of the world. In India, it is cultivated in South Indian states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. It is traditionally used in countries like Algeria, India, Saudi- Arabia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Israel, Somalia, Tunisia and Turkey. It grows mostly in 35-45 degree centigrade. Below 5-degree centigrade kills mehndi.
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Medicinal value of Lawsonia inermis
The plant is famous for its anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Its bark and seeds are used in the Unani and Ayurveda. The health benefits of Henna are described below:
- The mehndi plant adds nutrition to the hair and clears dandruff.
- Lawsonia inermis is useful against heat stroke and used against a headache.
- Henna bark and root are used for the treatment of liver enlargement and jaundice.
- Mehndi leaves are soaked in water and drunken to cure cracking of nails and adds nutrition to the body.
- Lawsonia inermis powder with butter cures scabies, mange and swelling.
- It acts against hair loss and strengthens hair. Hence, henna is used as a natural agent for baldness.
- Because of the astringent nature of mehndi leaves, it is used to cure sunburn and other rashes in the body.
- People suffering from fever or high-temperature use as a home remedy for the treatment.
- It acts as a cooling agent when applied on the burns and wounds. It is also an effective sun block.
- It is used for treatment of arthritis. Massage of Lawsonia inermis oil for a month can give relief.
- The bark can help in the treatment of skin diseases.
- It is useful for the treatment of hemorrhoids or piles.
- It also used against a sore throat.
- Boiled mehndi is useful for boiling stones.
- It used as a useful agent for leucodermia.
- Leprosy in early stages can be treated by Lawsonia inermis.
- It clears eczema and also kills ringworm.
- It used for the treatment of some fungal infection, i.e., athlete’s foot.
While using Lawsonia inermis, we must consult a doctor to know the side effects. Sometimes it causes allergies on the body leaving rashes or swelling. Before using black henna, one must consult a health specialist. It is also used as a fabric dyer including silk, wool and leather.