Utilized since earliest times to tint hair, fingernails, skin, and fabrics, orange-brown. Hennaseeds are difficult to germinate unless you have sufficient heat and moisture.
Description A glabours much-branched deciduous shrub with 4-gonous lateral branches often ending in spines; leaves simple, opposite, entire, laceolate, petioles very short or absent; flowers white, or rose-colored, fragrant, in large terminal pyramidal panicled cymes,stamens 8, in 4 pair inserted on the calyx tube; fruits globose capsules, tipped with the style and supported by the persistent calyx, seeds numerous, smooth, pyramidal.
Uses The roots are bitter, refrigerant, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, abortifacient and trichogenous, and are useful in burning sensation, dispsia, leprosy, skin disease, strangury amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and premature graying of hair. The leaves are bitter, astringent, acrid, refrigerant vulnerary, liver tonic, haematinic, styptic febriguge and trichogenous. They are useful in wounds, ulcers strangury cough, bronchitis, vitiated conditions of kapha and pitta, burning sensation, cephalalgia, hemicrania, lumbago, rhematalgia, inflammations, diarrhoea, dysentery, leprosy, leucoderma, fever, ophthalmia, amenorrhoea, dymenorrhoea, falling of hair, greyness of hair and jaundice. The flowers are intellect promoting, cardiotonic, refrigerant, soporific, febrifuge and tonic. They are useful in cephalalgia, burning sensation, sardiopathy, amentia, insomnia, and fever.
Simple henna recipe
Mix fresh henna powder with water or lemon/lime juice (or a liquid with a similar pH level) in a ceramic, glass or plastic container. Let stand 4-12 hours, or until a small amount placed on the skin of your hand or wrist and left for five minutes leaves a bright orange stain. Also the top layer of paste may appear darker, as the paste has begun to oxidize. This is sometimes referred to as “dye release” and is another way to tell when the henna is ready to apply. The exact time depends on what kind of henna you are using (Moroccan henna tends to achieve dye release sooner).
Apply using the tool of your choice. Henna is applied using a wide variety of tools: fingers, a stick, porcupine quills, a wire, paintbrushes, syringes (with the needle trimmed off), small plastic squeeze bottles (“Jacquard bottles” or “j-bottles”), tightly rolled cones of plastic (“Indian cones” or “mylar cones”), cake decorating tools (“carrot bags,” “Kree Kones,” “carrot bags with metal tips”), and so on. Choice of tools depends on personal preference and comfort as well as availability.
Allow the henna to remain on the skin 6-12 hours. The longer the paste is left on the skin and the person being hennaed stays warm, including applying additional heat, the darker the stain will become and the longer it will last.