Henna, which is known as mehendi or Lawsonia inermis has many medicinal uses. We know that henna is applied on hands for any special occasions and also for hair to nourish the hair. Check out henna medicinal uses, properties, chemical constituents & synonyms in this post.
Henna: Binomial Name, Morphology and Properties
The botanical name of Henna is Lawsonia inermis, belonging to the family Lyrthaceae. Henna is a medium sized herb with many branches. Henna consists of white fragrant flowers.
The leaves of Henna are greenish brown in colour with a characteristic odour and a bitter and astringent taste.
The leaves, bark, roots and fruits are the useful parts of the Henna plant.
Henna can be used in the form of paste, decoction and powder.
Cultivation and Distribution of Henna:
Henna is grown throughout the India. Henna is also cultivated in many other countries like Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Caribbean islands, Florida and China.
Common Names of Henna:
Henna is also known by other names such as Egyptian Privet and Lawsonia Alba.
Henna has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also has Astringent, Aromatic and Cooling properties.
Chemical Constituents (Phytochemicals) of Henna:
The phytochemicals that are present in the Henna are phenols, anthroquinones and glycosides.
Lawsone is the active constituent of the Henna leaves. The other chemical constituents of Henna are gallic acid, white resin, sugars, tannins and xanthones. Lawsone is the main colouring constituent of the Henna and is obtained by the degradation of hennosides A, B and C.
Henna medicinal uses
Henna for treating Skin Diseases:
- Henna leaves are used as a prophylactic agent against skin diseases by applying the henna paste on the affected areas.
- Henna leaves have anti-fungal property and the henna paste can be applied even on the nails or any affected part continuously for 15 days to cure the fungal infection.
- Extra indulgence in water should be avoided.
- Lawsone have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Henna for hair
- Henna acts as a natural hair dye. It can be used either alone or in combination with others for treating grey hair.
- The decoction of the Henna leaves can be used as a gargle for sore throat.
- The Henna powder can be applied locally on burns and boils.
- The paste of Henna leaves can be applied for treating headache and burning sensation of the feet.
- The Henna leaves act against tubercular bacteria and other bacteria and also in typhoid and haemorrhagia.
- Henna imparts orange red colour when applied.
- Henna is used in the hair care products like rinses, conditioners and applications.
- Sanskrit – Ragangi, Mendika
- English – Henna plant
- Arabic – Hhenna
- Bengali – Mendi, Mehndi
- French – Henne
- German – Agyptische
- Gujrati – Medi, mendi
- Hindi – Mehendi, Mehndi
- Italian – Enne, Cipro
- Kannada – Mayilanchi
- Malayalam – Mailanchi
- Marathi – Mendhi
- Oriyan – Benjati
- Punjabi – Mehndi
- Tamil – Marithondi, Marithonali
- Telugu – Gorintaku
- Turkish – Kena ag