The medicinal parts are the pulverized leaves, the fruit, and the bark.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are in small groups of 4 panicles and yellowy-white to brick-red. The calyx is top-shaped, then later bowl-shaped without appendages. The petals are thick, very wrinkled, yellowish-white to brick-red. The stamens are arranged in pairs. The fruit is an indehiscent or a fibrously torn berry. The seeds are small and angular, and the seed skin is spongy at the tip.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
Henna is a deciduous, 2 to 6 m high shrub with partly thorny, short shoots and opposite paired, narrowly acuminate lanceolate leaves.
Found in Egypt, India, the Middle East, Kurdistan, and Iran.
Henna is the aerial part of Lawsonia inermis.
Alcanna, Egyptian Privet, Jamaica Mignonette, Mignonette Tree, Reseda, Henne, Mehndi, Mendee, Smooth Lawsonia
Actions & Pharmacology
Naphthalene derivatives (1,4-naphthaquinones): in particular lawsone (2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthaquinone), arising during dehydration of the leaves out of the precursor 1,2,4-trihydroxy-naphthalen-4-beta-D-glucoside
The drug is an astringent and a diuretic, and has an antibacterial effect.
Indications & Usage
The drug is used externally for eczema, scabies, fungal infections, and ulcers. It is also used for amebic dysentery and gastrointestinal ulcers. In African folk medicine, it is used as an abortifacient. The drug is also contained in facial and hair lotions and is used to treat dandruff.
Henna root preparations are used to treat leprosy, skin diseases, amenorrhea, and dysmenorrhea. Henna leaves are used to treat wounds, ulcers, dysuria, coughs, bronchitis, one-sided headache, rheumatism, and anemia. The flowers are used for headache, fever, and acute psychosis. Henna seeds are used to treat intermittent fever, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
Health risks or side effects following the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages are not recorded. Stomach complaints are possible due to the tannin content.
Mode of Administration
Henna is used rarely for internal use in ground form or as an infusion. Henna is applied externally as an ingredient in hair and skin lotions.
For internal use, 3 g of powder leaves to be taken daily, for amebiasis and ulcers.