Monday, February 9, 2009
Scientific name Lawsonia inermis comes from the term lawsone, that is the red –orange pigment, the molecule of which is also known as hennotannic acid. The vernacular name is henna or hina. The word hina in Arabic means medicine. In india it is called mehdi and in malay it is called inai. Human have been using henna for many purposes i.e as medicine and as dye.
Divison : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliosida
Subclass : Rosids
Family : Lythraceae
Order : Myrtales
Genus : Lawsonia
Species : Inermis L.
Much –branched, glabrous shrub or small tree. About 2-3 m height,
· gradually yellow and fall during prolonged dry or cool intervals.
· borne in large terminal panicled cymes and are numerous, small, white or rose-coloured and fragrant.
· have four sepals and a 2 mm calyx tube with 3 mm spread lobes. Petals are obvate, white or red stamens inserted in pairs on the rim of the calyx tube. Ovary is four celled, style up to 5 mm long and erect.
. are small , 4-8mm in diameter, capsular and nearly globose, about the size of pea with numerous smooth, pyramidal seeds (with 32-49 seeds per fruit)
-occurrence of intraxylary phloem where the vascular bundle is in the form of bundles
· Epidermis containing mucilaginous cells. The tabular epidermal cell are rectilinear or tend to be polygonal in surface view..
· Mesophyll dorsiventral with 2 or more layers of palisade tissue towards the upper surface. But locally isobilateral owing to the tendency for the outer cells of the spongy mesophyll to develop as a second palisade.
· Storage and terminal tracheids occur in the form of large pitted cells
· Crystals – presence of small crystalline rod, needles or granules
· young stem commonly with 4 or 5 prominat angles and sometimes enlarged to form wing-like expansion.
· Cork arising arising in the inner part of the pericycle. Partly composed of phelloid cells
· Presence of intraxylary phloem
Propagation / Reproduction
Sexual – by seeds
Asexual – by cutting
Habitat, origin and geography.
· Henna will only grow where minimum temperatures stay above 11⁰C. It will tolerate extreme heat and long droughts. It grows wild near desert oasis, and in semi-aid regions. It thrives in alluvial soils, where there is annual precipitation of 0.2 to 4.2 meters and a soil pH of 4.3 to 8.0 (4.1-31). hot, semi-arid regions.
· Country of Origin: northern Africa, southwestern Asia.
· Now is extensively grown in India, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Malagasy Republic, Pakistan and Australia
· It is grown all over India as hedge plant., but it is cultivated as a dye crop mainly in Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat.
· Henna use and its traditions have migrated over the course of many centuries as the people of the world's henna-using cultures moved across parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe. The pace of that migration has increased greatly as people from southern Asia and the Middle East have formed permanent communities in the West and fast efficient shipping and commmunication have made it possible to transport henna and information about it to all parts of the world.
Henna, Lawsonia inermis, contains a red-orange pigment, lawsone(C10H6O3) ; 1.0-1.4% occurring in the dried leaves. The molecule is also known as hennotannic acid. When henna leaves are crushed in an acidic medium and applied to skin, the lawsone molecules migrate from the henna paste, traverse the outermost layer of the skin, Stratum corneum and stain the skin. Prolonged applications of henna result in diffusion of the pigment deeply into the skin. It is harmless and causes no irritation of the skin. Chemically, the molecule of lawsone is 2-hydroxy-1, 4-naphthoquinone. Industrial classifications also describe lawsone as Natural Orange 6 and C.I. 75480. The name and molecular structure of lawsone show its congeniality to naphthalene. In lawsone, two oxygen atoms are attached to the naphthalene carbons at positions 1 and 4 to form 1,4-naphoquinone and a hydroxyl (–OH) group is present at position 2. Its molecule contains 10 carbons, 6 hydrogens and 3 oxygens (C10H6O3), giving a total molecular weight of 174.16 atomic units of mass. Pure lawsone is an orange powder, insoluble in water, with a melting point higher than 192ºC and optical absorption maximum of 452 nm.
History of The Using Of Henna
· Henna flowers have been used to create perfume since ancient times, and Henna was used as a hair dye in Indian court records around 400 CE, in Rome during the Roman Empire, and in Spain during Convivienca.
· As far back as 1200 B.C. the ancient Egyptians were using henna on their nails and hair. Henna was also used to dye animal skins, textiles, and men's beards. Once the henna plant's cooling properties were discovered, painting the skin became a way for the desert people of India to cool down their body temperatures.
· Archaeologists have found evidence that henna has been used by the Egyptians to produce mummies .They found that the toes and feet of the mummies have been coloured with an orange dye believed to be henna.
Henna has long been used as body art in different ethnic:
. In The Ebers Papyrus, written around 1550 BCE, Henna is used as astringent, stops diarrhea, close open wounds and also used as a dye.
.In the book healing with the medicine of the Prophet by Iman Ibn Qayyim, he stated that henna tree has two special qualities
1. decomposing due to its warm watery essence
2. constipating due to the cold earthy essence
Due to these two properties Imam Ibn Qayyim discusses the used of henna in medicine;
1. soothing the headache caused by high fever. Crushed henna blend with vinegar and applied to the forehead will relieve the headache.
2. treating burns and to soothe the nerves when used as a bandage .
3. treating the cankers and thrush that appears in the mouth When chewed henna.
4. Healing stomatitis(inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth) in a child.
5. Treating smallpox- when the symptoms of smallpox atart to break out on children and henna is then applied on the bottom of their feet, the eyes will be immune from the sores that accompany smallpox
6. Preventing mold and mite- when the flower is placed between wool clothes.
7. Preventing leprosy – soak the leaves of henna in fresh water, squeezed and drink for forty days with sugar and meat of a young ewe.
o Henna can also used ;
1. as an ointment for the fingers, as it polishes and strengthens them.
2. as remedy for hot tumors that drain yellow residue(pus)-when blended with butter and then used as a bandage.
3. as remedy against chronic mange, helps the hair grow, makes it stronger and also strengthens the head.
4. Against the blisters and the pustules that appear on the legs and feet (body)
5. Remedy for leukorhea .
6. To treat cuts and infection around nails – clean the infected area and apply crushed leaves. 7 .To treat stomach ache – drink the concoction of dry and fresh henna.
.For Indians, the juice of henna leaves is used as astringent (contraction of organic tissue) that can prevent excessive bleeding . They also believe that gargling with henna juice can relief soar throat. They also use henna to treat skin diseases and pus .
. The Indians also use henna leaves to treat headache and hot feet.
For centuries, mehndi — the art of henna painting on the body — has been practiced in India, Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, where the henna plant is believed to bring love and good fortune, and to protect against evil. Mehndi is traditionally practiced for wedding ceremonies, during important rites of passage, and in times of joyous celebration. A paste made from the crushed leaves of the henna plant is applied to the skin, and when removed several hours later, leaves beautiful markings on the skin that fade naturally over 1 to 3 weeks.
The Night of the Henna(Malam Berinai) are celebrated by most groups in the areas where henna grew naturally: Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians, among others, all celebrated marriages by adorning the bride, and often the groom, with henna.
In general applying henna during wedding is regarded as having “Barakah”, blessings, and is applied for luck as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically have the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck.
In Morocco, henna is used during Id al-Adha, , circumcision and ‘Night of the Henna’ . These ritual actions defined a change of status for the lamb and sacrificer, the boy, and the bride. If the ritual was successful, the individual’s status changed from a lower position to a higher position in the community social hierarchy. These ritual People adorned the son, the family, and all the guests at the circumcision party with henna for circumcision. “Night of the Henna” was an elaborate family and community celebration for a bride prior to marital defloration. Villagers stated that the purpose of applying henna and patterns were to deter the “Evil Eye”, which imperiled the lamb, the sacrificer, the son, bride, guests, and onlookers.
In Cairo, Egypt, many working class citizens had their hands and feet dipped in henna to produce a solid covering, which differs from the common decorative design that is usually applied for weddings and other celebrations
Use as hair dye
Millions of Asian and African people regularly apply henna to their hair. In these regions, henna is inexpensive, readily available, and helps the cool the scalp in the hot summer months.
There is evidence that our beloved Prophet used henna to dye the hair. Al-Bukhari narrated that Uthman bin Abdullah bin Mawhab said “We came to Umm Salamah and she took out some of the Prophet’s hair that was dyed with henna. Also in the four books of Sunan (Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasai’I and Ibn Majah’ , it is narrated that the Prophet said ‘henna and katam are the best of what you use to change the colour of white hair’.
Today a lot of muslim man and woman use henna to colour the grey hair.
Use as fragrance
The flower of henna can be used as fragrance.
Modern Uses of Henna
1. to dye the manes and hooves of horses, and to color wool, silk, and animal skins, as well as men's beards
2. The dye, which is permanent on fabric or wood, lingers anywhere from 2-12 weeks on skin, depending upon the quality of the henna, its reaction with an individual's skin and the care taken to preserve the design.
3. The flower of henna can be used as fragrance