Prophetic Medicine – Henna
The Henna plant is an evergreen shrub about 6m (20ft) high by 6m (20ft) wide. It has small cream fragrant flowers and grows in tropical grasslands mainly in Africa and Southern Asia, and originated in Egypt. The Henna leaves have no odour even when crushed between the fingers.
The flower is small and delicate with four petals, ranging from red, yellow, white and pink. They are sweet and alluring in smell, a combination of the scent of jasmine, rose and mignonette.
The plant itself grows on a shrub [plant that dies back to roots in the autumn, grows new shoots in spring and lives for more than 2 growing seasons) , with several, permanent woody stems (but no trunk).
It grows from ground level and is usually smaller than a tree] with small bright green leaves and a thorny bark. When mixed with clay, earth and chalk, powdered Henna releases a powerful smell.
Ibn al-Qayyim mentioned the benefits of henna in his Prophetic Medicine, for the treatment of headache and migraine. He also gave the following benefits for henna:
- Useful for burns caused by fire
- Beneficial for mouth ulcers and blisters in the mouth, when chewed
- Heals thrush in the mouth of children
- Beneficial for blisters on the body
- Bandaging with henna is beneficial for hot inflammations
- Mixing henna flowers with warm wax and rose oil is beneficial for pains
- Placing its flowers between the folds of wool cloths scent them and keep moths away
- When applied to fingernails as a paste, it improves their condition
- Makes the hair grow, and strengthens and beautifies it
It was narrated by Abu Dharr that the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said: “The best things with which grey hair are changed are henna and katam”.
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