Nature of Henna

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Henna is cold in the first degree and dry in the second. The medicinal properties and potency of the henna tree and its branches comprise: (1) a dissolving factor of the flaccidity of an organ, which characteristic comes from a balancing moisture it contains; and (2) it contains a costive characteristic of a cold earth substance. Some of the benefits of Henna (Arb. hinnã’)* include treatment of burns, congruity with the nerves when used in poultices, and is used for the treatment of ulcers of the mouth, stomatitis, burns and hot swellings. Applying a decoction of henna to cuts has the same medicinal effects as those of the dragon’s-blood tree**. Imam al-Tirmithi and Imam al-Baihaqi reported in their sahïh that Um Salma said: “God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم never suffered from a wound or a thorn without applying henna to it.” Applying a decoction made of henna and rose balm mixed with melted candlelight wax also helps in the treatment of pleurisy. Henna also helps in the treatment of smallpox in its early stages. This is done by tinging the bottom of the child’s feet with henna, and this will prevents its progression to his eyes. This treatment is well known fact and a most common treatment in the case of smallpox. When blossoms of henna are placed in a woolen garment, they perfume it and prevent moths. When henna leaves are soaked in fresh water then squeezed and the infusion is drunk, 20 drachms mixed with 10 drachms of sugar, taken daily for forty days, or cooking a lamb’s meat with it and using it in one’s diet for such period, it helps in the treatment of leprosy in its early stages. Henna balm also benefits in the treatment of the cracking of nails. This is done by drinking the water of soaked henna leaves for ten days. Henna paste also helps in the upkeep of healthy nails and beautifies them. Mixing henna powder with purified ghee also helps hot swellings that produce yellow puss when used as poultice, and is a treatment for scabies, itch and mange. Henna also helps hair growth, increases youthfulness, benefits one’s vision, augment sexual drive, and is useful for the treatment of blisters, pimples, and skin pustules between the legs. On this subject, it is related in sahïh Bukhãri that a man complained to God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم about pain in the legs, and he said: “Dye them with henna.” Abu Dãwoud narrated that God’s Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “There is no plant dearer to Allah than the henna plant.”

*Arb. Al-Hinnã’: Lawsonia. Also used to treat mortification of the flesh; Alcana, Camphire.

**1. Dragon’s-blood tree (Dracaena draco) a native of the Canary Islands; any of the genus (Dracaena) of the agave family. 2. Arb. dam al-akhawain; Dark-Red, resinous substance derived from the dragon tree.

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