12 Benefits Of Henna For Hair & Skin (Organic Facts)
Having been traditionally used in the Middle East, Africa, India and Egypt for thousands of years, henna first debuted in Western countries as a decorative body paint or henna tattoos and hair dye. As the steadfast staining abilities of henna grew in popularity, the art form became a trend and allowed henna to make a name for itself.
However, only using henna for ornamental, religious and celebratory art is to completely underutilize the botanical and waste its full potential. Henna has several healing properties that we will explore in this article so that you too can harvest the full potential of this gift from mother earth.
What is Henna?
In Western Cultures ‘henna’ is typically understood as the dark-red and brown dye that is used as paint and hair dye. However, ‘henna’ actually refers to the plant as a whole. The scientific name for henna is Lawsonia Inermis and this plant can be identified by it’s small white and pink flowers and the fruits it bears.
The henna plant can be used in a variety of ways, from art using the dye or as non-chemical medical treatments. The red-ish brown dye* is made by crushing the leaves of henna and then mixing the powder with natural ingredients like eucalyptus oil, lemon juice, or black tea. This dye is then used for body paint and can stay unfaded for several days or weeks depending on the potency and quality of the mixture.
The oil, bark and seeds are the henna plant’s most common parts that are used for medicinal purposes as the high concentration of nutrients and naturally produced chemicals the plant gives have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects amongst several other reported benefits.
*Please note black henna is considered unsafe and should be avoided.
Some of The Many Henna Health Benefits & Uses
1. Hair Health
The essential oils of henna work as an organic conditioner and repair product for your hair. If you are suffering from hair loss or baldness, henna can help prevent and slow down the process as it naturally invigorates the cells in hair follicles to strengthen. Henna has the ability to seal hair cuticles, prevent breaking and is naturally anti dandruff, as it can improve your scalp. When mixed with a moisturizing agent such as shea butter henna can also significantly improve scalp itching problems.
2. Natural Hair Dye
Dying your hair with harsh chemicals causes dandruff, drying of the scalp and the breakage and drying of your hair follicles. Conversely, a quality darkening shampoo bar natural with henna can be used as a hair darkening soap which will protect your hair while still dying it darker. Henna has been traditionally used as a hair darkening shampoo bar because it is natural and harmless.
3. Improve Nail Quality
Brittle nails are often hereditary and can not always be fixed with a calcium rich diet. However, stronger nails are one of the natural henna benefits. Soaking leaves of the henna plant in water before drinking it can prevent your nails from cracking. Using a henna soap bar to clean your cuticles and hands will also ensure there is no pent up bacteria in your nail beds.
4. Anti-Aging Properties
Traditionally many have used henna for the skin benefits due to its high antioxidant properties. When applied to the skin, henna oil has been known to reduce signs of aging like wrinkly skin, sun damage, scars and blemishes. Want to know how to use henna for skin recipes? Add henna to this anti aging face mask recipes!
5. Wound Healing Properties
The antiviral and antibacterial properties that come with henna soap bars also protect your skin from diseases especially after your skin has experienced trauma. Using henna for skin diseases will prevent burns, wounds and scrapes from turning into infections. Henna is also an excellent sunburn treatment as it has natural cooling abilities that suck heat from your skin.
6. Reduce Fever
Henna has antipyretic properties, which means it can naturally reduce the temperature of your fever. According to Ayurvedic traditions, quality henna powder has the ability to both cool the body temperature down to reduce fever or also induce sweating to effectively break the fever. To bring your temperature down, roll henna into a ball using water and hold it in your hand.
7. Headache Relief
Henna has been known to be a highly effective and fast treatment for headaches, especially those caused by heat stroke. Headache relief is achieved when henna juice is applied to the skin of the forehead directly. The anti-inflammatory compounds of henna release the tension and promote blood flow. This can also be achieved by soaking henna flowers in vinegar to create a plaster.
8. Anti-Inflammatory Arthritis Relief
Henna has the ability to relax your body, muscles and nerves when applied to the skin of your hands which in turn reduces the inflammation caused by arthritis. This can have a soothing effect without the need for medication.
9. Treat Skin Conditions
From eczema to bacterial infections, henna soap benefits are countless. In the same way henna acts as anti dandruff, improves your scalp and soothes burns, henna skin benefits extend to treating and moisturising dry and irritated skin because of its ability to reactivate melanocytes. Our Shea Butter Henna Soap is a hyper nourishing soap bar that is full of henna soap benefits.
10. Reduce Sleep Issues
For those suffering with insomnia, chronic restlessness or just wanting a deep night’s sleep, henna oil can help.Henna oil can help alleviate sleep disorders by helping your body and mind reach a relaxed state before bed.
11. Detoxify Your Liver
There’s absolutely no need for fad diets and processed detoxifiers. Using your body’s natural tools, when soaked in water the leaves of the henna plant are incredible for your spleen and liver health. By optimising the health of your liver, you are ensuring your body is poised to eliminate toxins whenever necessary keeping you healthy and thriving.
12. Improve Heart Health
By drinking henna water you will not only detoxify your liver and strengthen your nails but you will also help to relieve stress on your cardiovascular system and lower your blood pressure. This will help prevent heart attacks and strokes!
Henna is a gift from the earth that we must cherish and learn how to use safely and effectively by listening to our Easter cultures and learning from their traditions. Before adding henna into your diet we recommend consulting your herbalist or doctor. However, using henna on the skin is very likely to be safe. Always patch test.
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