Henna: The Healing Plant
By: Krysteen Lomonaco ~
Henna has been used as a healing herb in folk medicine for as long as it was used as a dye. One of the major health benefits of henna is as a Sun Screen. During the summer, hundreds of people are tattooed with henna paste at fairs, festivals, traditional celebrations and more. Whilst out in the sun, they also tan only to find, a few weeks later that the area hennaed did not tan and has left a light design, while the rest of the skin is darker. Henna paste is a natural mixture of henna, lemon juice and sugar, which is a natural and healthier alternative to chemical laden sun screens plus it has the unique ability to temporarily tattoo skin.
Another major benefit of henna is its ability to condition and rejuvenate Hair and Nails naturally. When dyeing hair and nails with henna paste, the tannins and other Lawsona molecules bind with the keratin in the hair and nail. Henna is known to strengthen hair and nails, prevent fungus in the nail beds, and heal split ends and cracked cuticles.
Other medicinal uses for henna include:
Baldness when mixed with mustard seed oil,
Dysentery when mixed with ghee.
Liver Disorders, specifically the bark of the henna plant.
Headaches specifically the flowers of the plant mixed with vinegar.
Sore Throat when the leaves are used as a gargle.
Boils, Burns and Bruises specifically a poultice of the leaves.
Arthritis, Inflammation and Leprosy when the leaves are soaked in decanted water and drank for 40 days, they heal the wounds of leprosy.
It is clinically tested that if Mehndi paste is applied on the soles of the feet of patients with Small Pox and Chicken Pox, the eyes remain unaffected with the disease and the pox become dry very soon. Henna is also good for Ulcers, expulsion of fluids from wounds and the cessation of production of more fluid as well as promoting healthy flesh to fill the gap. Dry leaves of Henna if kept in clothes; serve the purpose of Insect Repellant.
One exception is using henna on people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. This will be explored in the next blog!