Henna and its Health Benefits
By: Krysteen ~
We all know henna looks amazing on the skin in the beautiful, intricate designs traditionally drawn for religious and beautification purposes. But it does so much more for you then you realize. It can be used in a variety of ways and in all different forms including its dye form. It is well known for its aqueous extracts, tinctures, and salves, composed of the bark, seeds, and leaves. The henna oil, bark, and seeds are the most common forms for medicinal benefits, and the high concentration of chemicals and nutrients in the plant gives it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent, and antiviral effects.
Health Benefits include:
- Henna increases the strength of the hair and, is a safe dye that doesn’t permanently affect the health of your follicles. It helps seal the hair cuticle, preventing breaking, and increasing the shine and appearance of the hair. It also prevents dandruff and can kill lice.
- It produces healthy nails. Treating your nails with henna by drinking the water the leaves that have been steeped in, helps prevent nails from cracking and reduce inflammation. Applying a poultice directly to the nail can clear up irritation, pain, and infection in the nail beds.
- One of the most notable uses of henna is for protecting the skin against infections and eliminating inflammation. A salve is often applied to burns, wounds, and scrapes.
- Henna can also help brings down fevers. Bringing the overall temperature of the body down is essential, and henna can accomplish this with a simple henna mud pack. It literally sucks the heat out of the body.
- The juice of the plant can be directly applied to the skin for fast relief from headaches. The anti-inflammatory effects of the compounds found in henna help reduce headache tension and promote healthy blood flow in the capillaries.
What is NOT Henna!
By: Krysteen ~
Being a professional henna artist, I am taxed with educating many clients with what henna is and I find that sometimes it’s easier to explain what henna is not. Henna is an amazing natural product, that is predominantly brown with hints of red. However, there are products out there that are not henna but claiming to be henna and some may even be harmful. Here is a list what is not henna.
- Black Henna: This may be henna that has been infused with the transdermal toxin, p-paraphenylenediamine (PPD for short) mainly used in hair dye. In some cases this so-called henna doesn't even contain any henna at all. PPD is associated with bladder and blood cancers, liver failure, and fetal harm. It is currently illegal for use on skin in the USA and some other countries.
- It can cause blistering of the skin, infection and a progressive allergy, meaning you can react severely, closing the airway, resulting in hospitalization.
- White Henna: This is a body adhesive which has been specifically adapted for body art. It is a white paste which can be applied with a cone and sealed with glitter or gilding powder.
- It does not stain the skin like henna at all but cracks off, usually within a day or two and is mainly used for photoshoots. It is relatively harmless for many clients unless you have very sensitive skin.
- These adhesives also come in other colors such as gold, blue, pink. Or you can make it any color by adding glitter.
- Jagua Tattoo: Jagua is a fruit that stains very much like henna and is a black/blue color. It lasts a couple of weeks and fades as the skin exfoliates, just like henna. For this reason, they are often confused or lumped together as the same product but they are not.
- Jagua is also very safe for many people. If you have an allergy to tropical fruits, check with your doctor before using.