What is Henna?

morocco-henna-2Henna is the Persian name, now used in many languages, for a small flowering shrub (Lawsonia Intermis) originally found in Asia and along the Mediterranean coasts of Africa. Henna painting is an ancient cosmetic and healing art whereby the dried leaves of the henna plant are crushed into a powder, then made into a paste that is applied to the body to safely dye the skin.  This is done in elaborate patterns and designs, traditionally on the hands and feet. The result is a kind of temporary tattoo, often reddish in color, which will last anywhere from several days to several weeks. The process is absolutely painless and in no way harmful to the skin. In fact, henna is said to condition the skin as it beautifies the body.

IMG_41776502633760Mehndi is an art form that traditionally has been practiced exclusively by women. In North Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Indian communities, you will find women who decorate themselves with henna.  Mehndi is the word in Hindi used to describe henna, henna painting and the resulting designs. Mehndi is practiced in many parts of the world, from the deserts of North Africa to the Villages of northern India. Magnificent designs blossom and vanish upon the hands and feet of women as they have for thousands of years. Most commonly associated with romantic love and the ritual of marriage, henna designs are an integral part of bridal adornment in Hindi, Moslem and Sephardic traditions.

Henna sacred body art is the story of a plant, which reflects our lives. It is a plant that gives color which matures over time and soon fades into nothingness, gifting its memories for ever … just like each one of us. Enjoy the art form not only for its beauty but also for its wholesome and wonderful spiritual powers.