Henna has long been a part of our heritage and is a symbol of traditional fashion to many women. We decorate our hands and dye our hair with it, but what is it about henna that makes it so special? With Eid coming up, many women are turning to henna as they get ready for the big holiday. We take a closer look at this traditional beauty product and uncover its many benefits.
What is Henna?
Henna is the traditional art of decorating the hands and feet with a paste made from the finely ground leaves of the henna plant, botanically known as lawsonia inermis. It contains a red-orange pigment, lawsone, which is released when the henna leaves are crushed in an acidic medium and mixed with hot water. The small shrub grows in warm climates, and is found mainly in India, Pakistan, North Africa and the Middle East.
But henna is more than just a cosmetic plant. It might surprise you to discover that it has many health uses! Here are our top 6 health benefits of henna.
1. Healthy Hair
Henna is commonly used as a natural substitute to chemical hair dyes. With no ammonia, chemicals, or added toxins, it is the best and safest way to color your hair. However, little do most people know that henna plays a number of other roles in that part of our body.
Henna repairs the damaged hair strands and restores the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. It also acts as a conditioner, as it protects the hair strands by building a protective layer and locking in nutrients and moisture. Henna can also be used to treat dandruff and scalp infections. Overall, it is one of the best natural remedies for hair growth.
2. Wound Healer
Henna has been applied to burns, wounds, and scrapes for generations. Not only does it add a protective layer against foreign pathogens and substances, it also has natural cooling properties that can help soothe inflammation.
3. Fever Reducer
A study carried out at UAE found that the henna plant had medicinal properties which can bring the overall temperature of the body down by inducing sweating, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain.
4. Headache Soother
The common cause of headaches and migraines is usually over-activity or problems with the pain-sensitive structures in your head. Thanks to henna’s anti-inflammatory effects, applying it to the scalp directly can help reduce tension and promote healthy blood flow through the capillaries, quickly relieving you of headaches.
5. Sleeping Aid
Studies have shown that henna oil can help ease sleeping disorders such as insomnia and chronic restlessness. Adding a bit of henna oil to your herbal regime can help you get back to a regular, restful sleep by soothing the body and mind, easing them into a relaxed state.
6. Nail Beautifier
Believe it or not, henna can actually help you maintain healthy nails by clearing up irritation, pain and infection in the nail beds. Simply apply a small amount of henna poultice directly to the nail beds and your nails will be healthier than ever!
Henna, Green Tea and Lemon Hair Mask Recipe
Green tea is famous for its numerous health benefits, but it is also an effective hair conditioner and can also prevent hair loss by preventing the growth of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone believed to be the main cause of hair loss. It softens hair strands and enhances elasticity, thus preventing breakage. Lemon is yet another useful hair conditioner that gives hair a soft and silky texture. The combination of henna, green tea and lemon makes this one of the best home remedies for oily hair.
- 2 cups henna
- 2 cups freshly brewed green tea
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. yogurt
- Soak the henna powder in the brewed tea overnight in an iron bowl.
- The next morning, add the lemon juice and yogurt, mix well and apply the pack thoroughly on hair.
- Leave it on for 3 hours.
- Rinse with water and wash your hair with a mild shampoo.