Since ancient times, the rich
hues from henna plant have graced the hands, feet and hair of the men and the women with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Henna is also used
extensively on hair to give them a reddish-orange color. The dyeing process is a chemical property of tannin. Different shades
can be obtained by mixing in various things like indigo, tea, coffee, cloves, tamarind, lemon, sugar, and various oils.
In India, women
use henna paste to ornament and beautify themselves. Depending on the skin color and type, henna can last up to four weeks.
The coloring gradually fades. The skin naturally exfoliates and the skin layer renews itself. Certain parts of the body take
longer to exfoliate such as the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
As a medicinal plant, henna has
been used for astringent, anti-hemorrhagic, intestinal anti-neoplastic, cardio-inhibitory, hypotensive, and sedative effects.
It has also been used as a folk remedy against amoebiasis, headache, jaundice, and leprosy. Henna extracts show antibacterial,
antifungal, and ultraviolet light screening activity.
The flowers possess a pleasant aroma and crude perfumes are produced in some
major growing areas by preparing a suspension of comminuted flowers in vegetable oil.