The art of henna (called mehndi in Hindi & Urdu) has been practiced for over 5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. There is some documentation that it is over 9000 years old. Because henna has natural cooling properties, people of the desert, for centuries, have been using henna to cool down their bodies.
Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also known as hina, henna tree, mignonette tree, Egyptian privet) is a flowering plant that grows 12-15 feet high and comes from the sole species of the Lawsonia genus. The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic (ḥinnā).
Henna is used for many reasons including: selfexpression
Tradition holds that for as long as the henna stain appears on the bride, she doesn't have to do any housework! Also, the darker the stain the better the marriage and the better the mother-in-law will be! So you can imagine why the bride would want the stain to come our dark and last as long as possible.
People all over the world have adopted the ancient traditions of adorning their bodies with the beautiful natural artwork created from the henna plant. Celebrities like Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Yasmine Bleeth, Liv Tyler, Xena, and many others proudly adorn their bodies with henna and show them off in public, movies, videos, etc. Henna works on all skin types and colors.
Henna is a symbol of beauty, art and happiness and is meant for EVERYONE! Because henna acts as a sunblock, there is an added benefit to having henna designs in the summer. For those who love to get a tan It leaves tan lines! In order to benefit from this, it is best to get a henna design, let its natural color stay on for 3-5 days and then go and get a tan. This way you can enjoy the natural henna color on your body, the henna color with the tan, and then tan lines in the shapes of the design (once the henna fades away)! The tan lines last as long as the actual tan!
Henna is considered an herb and has long been known to have healing qualities. It is used topically and usually not ingested or inhaled. In ancient times it has been applied to the skin surface for such ailments as headaches, stomach pains, burns (including sunburns), open wounds, as a fever reducer, athlete's foot and even the prevation of hair loss.