All about Henna
Let me preface this with what I have learned about the word henna. The term "henna" can be used to describe any botanical plant that is used for cosmetics. So when referring to the henna for skin dye its called "Henna Mehndi" or Mehandi or Mendi. There are many different ways to spell it throughout the world. But it is very specific. This can be very confusing when going into a market to buy mehndi. This is a subject that most people are never exposed. So it is best to be educated somewhat before attempting to find what you need at a grocery. When getting henna for the hair the mother plant, or red henna, lawsonia enermis may be used. However the plant is harvested quite differently, and mixed with other botanicals for the desired colors and conditioning. These other plants, such as Indigo, may dye the hair but not the skin. Let me reiterate it dyes the henna that dyes the hair. Indigo can have some adverse effects when used by itself. Neutral Henna is a hair conditioner, mostly Alma. The whole plant is utilized, stems and branches, not sifted or milled like it is for mehndi powder. When the plant is harvested for Mehndi, only the leaves are used, the tips having the greatest concentration of dye. This is a very specialized thing and when going to a grocery to buy powder don't rely on anyone there knowing anything more than you because of their ethniciy. We source most of our henna from Sojat City area, Rajasthan India, buying direct from small farmers whenever possible.
More About Henna
The Art of Mehndi is a beautiful way to celebrate life and experience wearing art. Traditional artwork patterns from India, Pakistan, Iran , Iraq, Turkey, Syria and throughout the middle east and Northern Africa are commonly seen in modern applications. The henna plant is Indigenous to Northern Africa and has played a part in lives there for centuries. The plant has been used to reduce fevers, as an anti-fungal and antibacterial, to name a few things. It is said to be full of "Baraka" by the Indigenous peoples of northern Africa, and is considered sacred. Wherever henna is found it has many uses. It gives its blessings in other forms but here at LifeArt we celebrate the expression it allows in Body Art or Mehndi.