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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Henna, Beautiful Henna
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    Henna, Beautiful Henna

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    Fri May 24, 2013 10:50 pm
    Forum Host

    The art of henna is a creative & fun way to temporarily adorn your body with exquisite patterns, whether they be traditional or tattoo-like. It is a popular form of body decoration throughout the world and is loved by children as well as adults. The dye comes from the leaves of the henna plant and gives a beautiful color that stains the skin and hair in rich red and brown tones. The stain usually lasts 1-3 weeks and sometimes longer depending on the area of application, care and the length of time the henna paste stays on the body after application!

    The different words for henna in ancient languages imply that it had more than one point of discovery and origin, as well as different daily and ceremonial use.

    Bridal Henna Art

    Henna has been used to adorn young women's bodies as part of social and holiday celebrations since the late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. The earliest text mentioning henna in the context of marriage and fertility celebrations comes from the Ugaritic legend of Baal and Anath, which has references to women marking themselves with henna in preparation to meet their husbands, and Anath adorning herself with henna to celebrate a victory over the enemies of Baal.

    Wall paintings excavated at Akrotiri (dating prior to the eruption of Thera in 1680 BCE) show women with markings consistent with henna on their nails, palms and soles, in a tableau consistent with the henna bridal description from Ugarit. Many statuettes of young women dating between 1500 and 500 BCE along the Mediterranean coastline have raised hands with markings consistent with henna. This early connection between young, and henna seems to be the origin of the Night of the Henna, which is now celebrated worldwide.

    Black Henna

    The Night of the Henna was celebrated by most groups in the areas where henna grew naturally: Jews, Muslims,Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians, among others, all celebrated marriages by adorning the bride, and often the groom, with henna.

    Across the henna-growing region, Purim, Eid, Diwali, Karva Chauth, Passover, Nowruz, Mawlid, and most saints' days were celebrated with some henna. Favorite horses, donkeys, and salukis had their hooves, paws, and tails hennaed. Battle victories, births, circumcision, birthdays, Zār, as well as weddings, usually included some henna as part of the celebration. When there was joy, there was henna, as long as henna was available.
    Henna pattern on foot in Morocco.

    Henna was regarded as having "Barakah," blessings, and was applied for luck as well as joy and beauty. Brides typically had the most henna, and the most complex patterns, to support their greatest joy, and wishes for luck. Some bridal traditions were very complex, such as those in Yemen, where the Jewish bridal henna process took four or five days to complete, with multiple applications and resist work.

    Traditional Red Henna

    Powdered Henna

    How to Make Henna for Use on Skin (From WikiHow-to do anything)
    Things You'll Need

    Plastic Wrap
    Fresh, good quality henna
    Lemon Juice
    Essential Oils (high monoterpine alcohol content, such as Tea Tree, Lavender, Ravensara, or Cajeput)
    Sugar or artificial sweetener. Molasses may also be used, in approximately half the quantity of sugar. Do not use honey in your mix. It will cause a weak stain color and a difficult consistency after freezing.


    1. Measure 1/4 cup good quality henna into a bowl.

    2. Add lemon juice to the henna a little at a time. Mix until the mixture
    resembles thick mashed potatoes (approx. 1/8 to 1/4 C lemon juice).

    3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit in warm (not hot) location for 12 hours.

    4. Uncover, add 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sugar.

    5.Add 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons essential oils. (Tea tree and/or lavender)

    6. Mix well, re-cover, and let sit an additional 8 to 12 hours.

    7. Uncover, stir, and add lemon juice a little bit at a time until henna is the desired consistency, like stirred thin yogurt (should ribbon off the spoon, into the bowl, but not be too runny).

    8. Put in applicators of your choice (cellophane cones, jacquard bottles, luer lock bottles) and freeze until ready to use.


    Reserve a bit of henna powder, in case you get your mix too runny.

    Buy your henna from a reputable supplier who knows how to keep it fresh. You cannot tell how fresh henna is just by looking, some suppliers "polish" their henna with green dye to fool people into thinking it is fresher.

    The longer you leave the paste on your skin, the darker the stain will be and the longer it will last. You should try to leave it on at least four hours, although up to eight hours is optimal.

    Be sure to buy body art quality henna, not henna for hair.

    If you live in a very dry or very humid area, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar in your paste. Sugar helps the paste stick to the skin.

    Henna has a shelf life! Keep your henna powder and henna paste in the freezer when not in use.


    Do not use mustard oil over stain or clove oil in the paste. These oils are highly irritating to the skin and mucus membranes.

    You should not use henna if you have G6PD syndrome, compromised liver function, or allergies to aspirin, fava beans, or napthalene (moth balls, etc) as it can cause a hemolitic reaction.

    Use only aromatherapy grade essential oils, and only those which are safe for use on skin.

    Henna is not black! Any product claiming to produce a black stain which lasts more than two weeks is a chemical called PPD and can seriously harm you. Go here for more info:

    Do not let your henna get too warm or the heat will kill the stain. Between 70 and 80 degrees is good.

    Do not use lemon juice if you are allergic to citrus. Strong black tea (cold) or flat Coke or Pepsi will work in place of the lemon juice (keep in mind that caffeine is absorbed through skin, so do not use a caffeinated beverage if you are sensitive to it).

    Last edited by Annacia on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Sat May 25, 2013 3:40 pm
    Forum Host
    wow! nice piece, A!
    Sat May 25, 2013 6:43 pm
    Forum Host
    Thank you. icon_biggrin.gif
    Thu May 30, 2013 4:21 pm
    Forum Host
    I'm thinking of hosting a henna party this summer...!!
    Thu May 30, 2013 7:01 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh my gosh, that sounds like fun. If you do some pix would be wonderful. icon_biggrin.gif
    Thu May 30, 2013 7:04 pm
    Forum Host
    I met a lady who does house calls for henna parties...

    I want to have a henna party!
    Thu May 30, 2013 7:06 pm
    Forum Host
    I don't blame you. I think that it's beautiful and the best part is that it's not forever. When it wears off you can just do another pattern whenever you want.
    Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:54 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    hello I want to ask as you mentioned

    this link in post end I want to buy henna does they sale henna ?

    Last edited by larki on Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 5 times in total
    Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:13 pm
    Forum Host

    Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:15 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    can any one guide me about it
    Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:13 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:20 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    very nice and interesting information i got about henna thanks you so much
    Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:23 pm
    Forum Host
    Your very welcome.
    Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:59 pm Groupie
    Cookgirl wrote:
    I met a lady who does house calls for henna parties...

    I want to have a henna party!

    WOW! Amazing thread and amazing beatiful photos and pattern!

    I would like to make a henna party as well icon_biggrin.gif , but I'm afraid of painting my body! :(

    Once in India I painted the hand of lady I knew in a beach-restaurants.
    It was Holy and she simply asked me to try. I painted her wine leaves with braches. She had a ready henna for painting like this:

    She wrapped her hands and let the henna work for some hours before rinsing it.
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