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What is Henna?

 Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is a flowering plant that grows 12-15 feet high and comes from the the only species of Lawsonia genus plant. The English name “henna” comes from the Arabic word hinna. Mehndi is the Sanskrit word for henna. The name “henna" also refers to the dye prepared from the plant as well as the art of temporary designs that can be applied to the skin or for other cosmetic purposes.

 

Henna can be found in hot climates with acidic soil. Those areas are northern Africa, Eastern/Southern Asia, Pakistan, India and Australia. Henna was originally used as a way to lower body temperature in the hot deserts of northern Africa and Mesopotamian region. As trade routes developed, henna spread east to India where the art form and tradition around celebration henna was commercialized as to what we know it today.