What is Mehndi Henna?
Mehndi Henna is a plant, that usually grow on hot dry areas of the world like Africa and the Middle East. In this areas of the world is where the henna tradition was originated. Mehndi Henna plants contains red-orange pigment, the leaves of the henna plant are harvested, dried, and ground into a fine powder. This powder is used to dye hair red and for the ancient eastern art of henna or Mehndi.
The art of henna has been a tradition from 6000 BCE; people have been using mehndi henna to decorate their bodies and their objects, for all this years.
Mehndi Henna is considered a sign of good luck and a way of blessing; that is why in India mehndi henna is put on the bride before weeding to wish a happy marriage, mehndi henna is also use in pregnant women to empower them for her up coming birth, in post partum women mehndi henna deter the malevolent spirits that cause disease, depression, and poor bonding with her infant; mehndi Henna is also use as a relaxing therapy for women that wants to get pamper and henna is also use for medicinal therapy.
Besides lending color to the hands, mehndi is a very powerful medicinal herb. Weddings are stressful, and often, the stress causes headaches and fevers. As the wedding day approaches, the excitement mixed with nervous anticipation can take its toll on the bride and groom. Application of mehndi can prevent too much stress because it cools the body and keeps the nerves from becoming tense. This is the reason why mehndi is applied on the hands and feet, which house nerve endings in the body. Also, being a highly antiseptic agent, mehndi can protect the couple from viral diseases. Such diseases are totally undesirable just before the wedding and this medicinal herb can lend a strong shield. Any small cuts, burns or scratches that the couple might sustain during the course of so many rituals and customs can be healed easily with the application of mehndi. It improves blood circulation in the body and enhances general health. The initial practice of applying mehndi in ancient times began in order to protect the couple and keep them healthy.
Mehndi that is applied during Indian weddings is not just a plain paste of mehndi powder and water. Eucalyptus oil, a bit of clove oil and a few drops of lemon are added. These oils not only help in darkening the color of mehndi on the body, but also enhance the benefits of mehndi and make the paste highly medicinal. The best part is that the smell, the beautiful rich color and the health benefits that mehndi lends act as a powerful aphrodisiac. Also, since the color and smell remain for days, it boosts the romance in the initial days of wedding.
Islamic belief is also very strong regarding mehndi and its application during weddings is a very significant part of Islamic weddings as well. According to holy Islamic scriptures, the Prophet always administered mehndi application and as a drink to people suffering from diseases. So, it corresponds to the Hindu ideology of using mehndi before weddings. Mehndikirasmis held a couple of days before the nikah ceremony and is celebrated with a lot of pomp and honor. (ref1)