Henna has been a big part of our lives for as long as I can remember. The fact that henna can be worn in so many ways justifies why it's been around for so long.
But, how much do you really know about henna? Here's a quick guide:
1. The henna that we all know is actually a flowering plant. Lawsonia inermis is native to northern Africa, western and southern Asia and northern Australia
The plant can be found in Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Persia, Morocco, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and India.
2. The plant is known to produce the most dye in temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees Celsius
The dye we use for body art and hair is prepared via the plant.
3. Henna is used to dye skin, hair, fingernails, silk, wool and leather
4. Henna has been used as a hair dye for approximately 6,000 years
5. Historically, henna was used in the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, Carthage and other parts of North Africa
6. Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin
7. The earliest text mentioning henna in the context of marriage and fertility celebrations comes from the Ugaritic legend of "Baal and Anath"
The text refers to women who mark themselves with henna when preparing to meet their husbands. This is still a common tradition in many parts of the world. The text is inscribed on a tablet dating back to 2100 BC, found in northwest Syria.