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. The plant is known to be medicinally, for hair care & skin products. Henna paste is made by crushing dried leaves of the plant to a fine powder, mixed with water and essential oils.
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. 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. In western culture, henna has re-emerged in popularity.
Henna has been known to help the following
calming the nervous system
treat skin conditions eg: psoriasis
Traditional medicinal use of henna include being used as a coagulant for open wounds and a poultice to sooth burns and eczema. Fresh leaves can be used as a topical antiseptic for fungal or bacterial skin infections including ringworm.
Emotional healing & calming benefits have been noted by the person receiving henna and the henna artist. Each part of the henna making process requires mindfulness and attention to the breath. Viviane collets rainwater and sets her collections out to bask in full moon light each cycle. Combinations of essential oils lend a heling hand with calming the mind and body during henna application. Sigils and symbolism can be used for a deeper effect.
Genipa Americana (Huito or Jagua) is a species of Genipa, native to northern South America (south to Peru), the Caribbean and southern Mexico, growing in rainforests.
This temporary form of body art leaves the wearer with a blue-black stain. Its origin of use dates back to Natives in the Amazon who used this natural dye for rituals and body adornment.
Jagua stains can last 3-4 weeks with the proper aftercare and are recommended for people who do not have citrus fruit allergies.
Huito is edible and is used in drinks, desserts, ice cream, jams and more. The fruit can be brewed into a tea that helps symptoms of bronchitis.
Mixing jagua and henna creates a paste known as "hengua" that comes out to be a combination of the the rich red-brown tone of henna and the black-blue hue of jagua.