What is Mehndi?

Lawsonia_inermis_Ypey36

What is Mehndi?

The word, mehndi, comes from the Sanskrit mendhikā, which refers to Lawsonia inermis, also known as the henna plant. Today, the term also commonly refers to the paste made from henna leaves, to the practice of applying it, and to henna designs.

Famous throughout history as a substance used to fulfill religious, medicinal, cosmetic and social needs, mehndi is perhaps known best as beautiful designs on the hands, palms and feet that accompany those navigating life transitions and their loved ones.

The first step in making mehndi is to grind henna leaves into a fine powder and sift. I mix this powder with organic lemon juice, essential oils, spring water and sugar. This paste is applied to clean skin and removed after a few hours. The resulting stain starts off orange and darkens gradually, lasting days before slowly fading away.