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Henna is very popularly used in Indian culture for a variety of reasons such as to draw mehendi on hands and feet before celebrations, for henna tattoos and even to cover up graying of the hair. But did you know that henna also has many medicinal properties making it a very popular item for home remedies and Ayurveda as well? It has a high content of naturally occurring chemicals and other nutrients which give it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, astringent and antiviral properties. The oil, bark and seeds from the henna plant are most commonly used for treatments. But powdered henna is more easily available and can be used for a variety of reasons as well.
Read on and find out about all the wonderful benefits that henna has to offer.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, henna is very useful for treating infections and wounds. When applied to wounds or burns, it forms a protective layer on the skin and prevents pollutants, dirt or foreign particles from infecting the affected area. It also cools the region and soothes it by pulling out the heat from the skin and making it easier for the wound to heal quicker. Henna is also used as a substitute for aloe vera in case of sunburn.
Henna has antioxidant properties and it can be used as an astringent as well. Astringents are used to tighten the skin and reduce appearance of pores and wrinkles making you look younger and more radiant. Using henna juice or oil on the skin can reduce signs of premature ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face. Applying henna regularly can also treat scars and blemishes that have appeared over time. Besides this, the antiviral and antibacterial properties cleanse the skin, remove the dirt trapped in the pores and keep the infections out making sure that your skin always looks healthy and glowing.
Henna is very commonly used to cover up grays or to dye the hair a reddish brown color. However it has far reaching benefits that go beyond coloration of hair. Henna is a safe dye that doesn’t affect the hair follicle as it does not contain any synthetic chemicals. It also strengths the hair shaft and helps seal the cuticle which reduces breaking and split ends and nourishes the hair making it look shinier. Henna also stops baldness and hair loss and nourishes the scalp and the root to encourage hair growth. Mixing henna powder or oil with curd and applying to the hair for a couple of minutes can be a very effective hair mask.
The nail cuticle and nail buds are areas where bacteria buildup can occur and can easily lead to infections. Since we regularly eat with our hands, poor nail hygiene can mean that these pathogens get directly transferred into our system through the mouth. Henna can help treat these problems and maintain good nail care as it has antiviral and antibacterial properties. You can steep some henna leaves in water and drink this regularly to maintain good health of your nails. Another way is to make a paste of the powder with water and applying it directly to the nails to remove the pain, irritation and inflammation in the nail buds.
Natural henna is very safe to use, but beware of the adulterated versions. Many stores and chemists sell black henna which can cause skin reactions and allergies due to artificial chemical components. Make sure to buy pure and organic henna which is 100% safe to use. Buying henna from a trusted source can ensure that you get the most out of this herb without any side effects.
Once you find the right source to buy henna, start using it in the different ways listed above and enjoy the multitude of benefits it has to offer.
Image Source: http://www.fashionfave.com/hajfestes-hennaval
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