Sep 01 , 2023
The Enchanting Story of Henna: From Ancient Times to Modern Beauty
Henna or Mehendi leaves are not just a passing fad when it comes to taking care of our hair. People from all walks of life, both men and women of different ages, are drawn to henna mixtures because of the benefits they bring to our scalp.
For thousands of years, the henna plant has been a remarkable presence around the world, serving both in medicine and art. Even with its widespread use, we still have much to learn about where henna comes from and how it has journeyed through history.
Unraveling the Mystery of Henna's Origins
The history and origin of henna are like a captivating puzzle, with some pieces still missing. We don't have a complete picture of how it travelled through time. But we do have intriguing hints that give us a glimpse into its past. It's believed that henna was around even during the time of the Babylonians, which was roughly from 1894 to 539 BCE.
Green portions of this map show areas
where henna has been used traditionally
Over the centuries ceremonies
and personal adornment
Importance of Henna during Ancient Egypt
The history of henna goes back even further to Ancient Egypt. This is one of the earliest stories in its journey. In Egypt, people used henna paste to decorate mummies and wrap them in a colourful shroud. The Egyptians believed that henna had a special power to protect a person's spirit. Plus, there's a compound called Lawsone in henna that makes the skin stronger and able to resist decay. We've even found mummies with reddish hair, showing that henna might have been used on them during the process of embalming.
One of the most important documents from history called the Ebers Papyrus, is like a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian wisdom. Inside its pages, we find out about the many ways henna was used. It was mentioned as a treatment for problems like ringworm. The Egyptians noticed how henna grew and its stage of life affected its properties. Just like today, where it grew and how it was treated made a difference.
Henna's Flourishing in the Mughal Era:
Henna's story continued during the time of the Mughal Empire, which ruled over India from around 1526 to 1857. This era was known for its splendour, and it transformed henna into an art form. Henna, or mehndi, became a part of weddings and special celebrations. Beautiful patterns adorned the bodies of people during these happy occasions.
Henna's magic stretches across traditions. It's mentioned in the hadith, a collection of teachings from the Prophet Muhammad. Henna was used for coloring hair and beards, offering relief from discomfort, and even making the body beautiful. Its importance goes beyond religious and cultural lines, making it a bit tricky to find out where exactly it started and which culture owns it.
Henna became a symbol of happiness across different religions, connecting the spiritual dots between Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Festivals marking weddings, births, and other important moments were filled with the colours of mehndi. Even the Moroccan Jewish community embraced henna, using it to bless the hands of newlyweds with health, wisdom, and security.
Henna is useful on hair for colouring, conditioning, and promoting overall hair health. Shahina Ghazanfar, a Science Research Leader at Kew Gardens, explains that henna belongs to the Lawsonia family, and it's the only one of its kind. The name "inermis" means that the stems don't have prickles, showing how gentle it is.
In the grand journey of history, henna emerges as a symbol of strength, beauty, and togetherness. Its story spans centuries, religions, and cultures, leaving a lasting mark on the canvas of human life.
The above statements are not intended to cure any disease or comply with any health benefits. This is solely for information purposes. Please consult your doctor/health practitioner before consumption of the product. Although we take efforts to keep our website informative, we do not guarantee any medical benefits.