can be used on the hands, legs, hair - a leaf that serves many
purposes. The leaves from the mehendi tree have been used over
centuries to beautify women the world over. And its medicinal
properties cannot be forgotten.
The use of mehendi or henna probably originated in the Middle
East and it slowly spread to India with the coming of the
Mughals in 1200 A.D. The application of Mehendi implies
a joyous occasion and thepopular traditional mehendi
designs are the peacock, lotus flower, wedding couple or an
elephant with a raised trunk, which is a symbol of good luck.
Mehendi or henna comes in many different shades ranging
from reddish orange to brown-black or artificially mixed colours
that have dyes added to the natural henna. These usually do
not last as long as natural Mehendi.
Mehendi tattoos are safe, temporary, non-toxic and painless.
It is made of natural ingredients so you can be sure of not
getting any harmful elements on your skin which might cause
an allergic reaction.
Mehendi's healing properties are well-known. Herbal doctors
recommend the use of Mehendi for certain ailments, such as dry
skin, and to help the healing of cuts and scratches. It also
acts as a hair conditioner when applied on the head and is also
said to stop hair loss by strengthening the roots of the hair.
MEHENDI FOR THE BRIDE
No Indian wedding is ever complete without the mehendi. Whichever
part of the country the bride comes from, her hands are adorned
with the lovely red hue of the mehendi. Beauty parlours have
special bridal mehendi packs. These days, brides have a choice
in design and application. There are plenty of parlours in Bangalore
offering the Indian mehendi, which covers most of the
palm, and the Arabic mehendi, where the pattern is drawn
to one side of the palm [the trend now!]. After application,
it usually takes about six hours for the mehendi to set properly.
The intricate patterns are moistened frequently with cotton
dipped in a mixture of sugar water and lime juice to make the
mehendi look bright red and this will last on the skin for about
The cost of applying the mehendi varies from parlour to parlour.
It may cost anywhere between Rs 150 to Rs 1500for the hands and the feet. A good dark design is a sign
of good luck for the marital couple. It is common for the names
of the bride and groom to be hidden in the mehndi design; and
the wedding night cannot commence until the groom has found
HOW TO MIX AND APPLY MEHENDI ON SKIN:
will have to buy the henna powder from the store and allow it
to pass through a fine strainer. Then mix the henna the day
before you intend to put it on.
2. Mix the henna powder with water, a few teaspoons of oil,
a spoonful of coffee powder. Mix it together until it has a
paste-like consistency like that of melted chocolate.
3. Put it in a bowl that will not stain. Add a small amount
of boiling water to the bowl along with a few drops of jasmine
oil and mix well. Replace the lid on the container and allow
the paste to settle for about 2-3 hours.
4. Depending on the intricacy of your design, you can use almost
anything to apply the mehendi - toothpicks, plastic cones or
5. About 3 hours is sufficient length of time to allow the mehendi
paste to settle on your skin. You can also apply lemon juice
with sugar to keep the paste on your skin for a longer period
and prevent it from flaking off.
6. Once dried, simply flake off the dried mehendi, but do not
wash the applied area for at least 12 hours; this will give
a good reddish brown colour.