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Though popular as a beauty dye for hands, henna provides some surprising health benefits. Its use figures in festivities and celebrations of women, mainly in India and in the Arab countries.
The powdered form of this versatile herb is used in different mixtures and provides remedies for many ailments. Henna leaves are astringent in nature and used for clearing ringworm and athlete’s foot. It also acts as an effective sunblock. Since it is an excellent cooling agent, it is applied to scrapes and burns. It is also a quick fix home remedy to lower body temperature during high fever.
Its most popular medical use, however, is for the hair as it prevents hair loss and maintains overall shine and texture. With regular use, it seals and repairs hair cuticles preventing breakage and premature hair fall. It retains the pH balance of the scalp and acts as a natural cure against dryness, dandruff and premature graying.
Henna is a natural conditioner. For the best shine and hair strength, it is recommended to soak henna in fresh curd and apply the mixture on the head.
To treat cracked nails, drink a potion of henna leaves soaked in water overnight. This should continue for at least 10 days for best results. Henna powder with butter is used to treat pus-filled swellings and scabies.
The main point of consideration, however, should be to use the natural variety and not anything mixed with artificial colors or chemicals. An adulterated henna mix (especially black henna) could cause rashes, skin allergies and reactions. Synthetic henna hair dyes contain chemicals which may result in negative reactions.
• Henna a natural cooling agent that nourishes hair
• It is also used for the treatment of cracked nails
• Synthetic varieties may cause adverse effects
Source: Zenifer Khaleel, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer