Many people are aware of henna due to the growing popularity of henna tattoos in the west, especially in the summer time. But did you know it also has cooling aspects to this special plant?
It is believed that the practice of Mehandi started out as an answer to keeping cool in the warmer regions. When the desert people of the warm desert regions of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Gujarat became aware of Henna’s cooling properties, they dipped their hands and feet in a mud or paste made with the crushed leaves of the plant. Even when the paste was scraped off, they noticed, as long as the colour remained visible, their body temperatures stayed low. Eventually some women grew tired of bright red palms and got more creative in terms of the application of the henna starting with big dot like patterns and then eventually making more intricate designs, which still had the same cooling effect but was more pleasing to the eye.
To use henna for cooling:
- For excess body heat, apply henna to your palms and feet to cool your body.
- For sun burn, you can apply pure henna paste with water on the affected area or prepare a decoction by boiling henna leaves or bark and wash the affected area.
- For tension headache and headache due to exposure to hot sun, you can grind henna flowers into a paste with water. Apply on your forehead for 30 minutes.