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Historical use of Mehendi

Mind Blowing Indian Mehndi Designs

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Historical use of Mehendi

A detailed study of history reveals that henna was used in the Arab world for more than five thousand years. Woman not only used henna to decorate their hands and feet with intricate designs, they used it to ward off evil, bring good luck and prosperity to their homes.

There is a controversy regarding the origin of henna or mehendi as dyeing agent. Botanist believes that henna plant or Lawsonia Inermis originated in Egypt and was used in the mummification of pharaohs. Henna was used to dye the hair and nails of the dead pharaohs and was believed that this would bring them good fortune in their next life. Evidence shows that henna was passed on to India by Egypt as early as 700 A.D. and it was used to decorate hands and feet. Henna was also used for medicinal purposes and to dye hair, cloth, leather and manes of horses and furs of other animals.Did you know that henna was used as a hair dye for almost 6,000 years? The daughters of pharaohs used henna to dye their hair red. It is said that opera singer Adelina Patti popularized the use of henna as a hair dye in Europe in 1800s.You can also apply the time tested henna paste on your hair instead of the hair colours that have ammonia in it. Separate your hair strands and apply the paste with a brush while standing in front of the mirror. Make sure you don t miss a single strand of hair. This will give you the desired colour and at the same time leave your hair velvety soft.

The Muslim tradition and religion makes the use of henna compulsory. The Sunnah (tradition of Prophet Mohammad) and Hadith (narration of the prophet) allows both men and women to use henna. Men use it to dye their hair and beards red. Women use henna to paint their finger nails and toe nails red. Henna in Muslim culture depicts feminity. Mehendi is done during joyous celebration like Eid, when the family gathers for a feast. The use of henna is prohibited during mourning in Islamic religious literature. In fact, the whole idea of mehendi originated in Muslim dominated Arabian countries and was gradually passed on to other cultures. The arrival of Islam in India popularized the henna culture among other communities and it also revived the use of henna that was popular in the Vedic ages with a new gusto!


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