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name for a reddish or black hair dye obtained from the powdered leaves and young shoots of the mignonette tree, or henna shrub (Lawsonia inermis), an Old World shrub of the loosestrifeloosestrife,
common name for the Lythraceae, a widely distributed family of plants most abundant as woody shrubs in the American tropics but including also herbaceous species (chiefly of temperate zones) and some trees.
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 family. Henna dye has long been in use, as evidenced by Egyptian mummies; the dye is also to decorate the skin with designs.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a reddish yellow dye obtained from the leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis). Henna is used for dying wool and silk fabrics reddish brown; the dye is light-fast, and is also used for dying hair and coloring nails.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Lawsonia inermis. An Old World plant having small opposite leaves and axillary panicles of white flowers; a reddish-brown dye extracted from the leaves is used in hair dyes. Also known as Egyptian henna.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a lythraceous shrub or tree, Lawsonia inermis, of Asia and N Africa, with white or reddish fragrant flowers
2. a reddish-brown or brown colour
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Camphire, saffron scents - cedar beams, rafters of fir: let day and the air in the room where time has been.
For further information, contact Beth Camphire at (800) 527-5724.
Or--Rx Opium ye Bigness of a Pease, dissolve it in Cochy of Womans Milk, make it Blood-warm, and Anoint ye Temples therewith, for want of Womans milk, take Rose-Water."(19) Cures for gout also sometimes included breast milk, as in the claim that "Ye yolks of Eggs, Womans milk, Linseed, & Saffron, altogether in a plaister, asswageth ye Diseases of ye Gout." Similarly, "For ye Gout--Rx Sevil Sope, [ca.] pennyworth of Camphire, a Sauser full of Woman's milk of a man child, then put ye Sope & Camphire into ye Milk, till it be thick, then put it into a clean box, or Vessel, & let it stand 24 hours, & then Anoint ye Patient therewith cold, & ever lay ye Medicine above ye Sore to draw it downwards.