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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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
She said it is difficult to go out for shopping during the Ramazan plus kitchen work but will step out for buying imported bangles and henna on Chand Raat, which will add her joy.
'Personally I like henna tattoos easy to paste on hands, feet and can easily be removed," she said, adding decorating hands with henna tattoos with different designs is the most preferred choice of girls on Chand Raat.
Zeeshan, a stallholder at Qisakwanai said he had set up a temporary stall to sell bangles, henna and artificial jewellery keeping in view of people's high demands for Eid.
He said when people can pay more prices to beauty parlors, boutiques, shoes, tailoring and others services for Eid than their complaints about increased prices of the henna and bangles items are unjustified.
Ali Khan, shopkeeper at Gora bazaar market told APP that sale of henna tattoos and bangles' has increased manifolds due to its affordability.
"In particular, there are a large number of journal articles relating to people, especially children, who have had henna tattoos and artwork applied by street vendors when on holiday abroad, which have caused 'burns' on the area of skin where the henna has been applied.
Natural henna would leave an orange or brown tattoo."
Coun Linda Hobson, cabinet member for community safety and regulation, said: "The advice from our trading standards team is clear - use natural henna in its orange/red form and avoid darker shades of henna.
Toxin alert HENNA does not naturally dye skin black, but black henna has had substances added to it to make it turn black.