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    Traditional and Modern Day Uses For Henna

    Henna Powder In Bowl The henna plant has long been valued in the Eastern World for its many and varied uses (detailed below). These days the henna plant is mainly cultivated for its use as a hairdye and a cosmetic for henna body art, but it is still also highly treasured in the perfume industry. The many medicinal uses for henna are considered 'Traditional Knowledge' and are not used in modern day western medicine per say. However there are research scientists conducting studies into a good deal of the traditional medicinal aspects of the henna plant as we speak, so perhaps in the future some of the ancient traditional knowledge will work its way back into mainstream medicine. In list format below I have detailed both the modern day and traditional uses for the different parts of the henna plant; these uses are known as Ethnobotanical uses. You'll note that the only uses that are not in 'common practice' today are the medicinal practices. However, many of the medicinal practices have been proven effective and are being studied presently.

    Traditional and modern day uses for henna:
    Leaves – treasured as a valuable source of natural dye.

    • Used cosmetically to decorate the skin; chiefly hands and feet of women.
    • Used to decorate fabrics and other natural materials.

    Leaves – Containing antiseptic, antibiotic and astringent properties, are used in infusions, decoctions, poultices and ointments in traditional medicines.

    • To treat such ailments as; general headaches, epilepsy, tetanus, leprosy, jaundice, scurvy, beriberi, various skin and nail conditions (from athletes foot to herpes), open wounds, ulcers and lesions.

    Flowers – high in beta-ionone, a treasured olfactory ingredient.

    • Used in the manufacture of perfumes.
    • Used in the manufacture of scented oils & incense.

    Flowers – used in traditional medicines.

    • To treat such ailments as; epilepsy and tetanus, general stomach pains and insomnia

    Fruit – a treasured olfactory ingredient

    • Used in the manufacture of perfumes.
    • Used in the manufacture of scented oils & incense.

    Fruit – used in traditional medicines

    • To treat such ailments as; excema and various skin conditions

    Wood

    – a by-product of cultivation for cosmetic cash crop

    • Timber; as the wood is very thin in diameter, it has little use. It can be used for firewood and basic timber needs like fencing.

    Bark – can be used in traditional medicines.

    • To treat such ailments as; jaundice, excema and fungal infections

    Roots – can be used in traditional medicines.

    • To treat such ailments as; eye disease and skin various skin conditions
    • Are used as a diuretic and are also believed to have fertility enhancing properties

    Friday, January 5th, 2007 at 12:10 amand is filed under Fact or Fiction?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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