Lawsonia. Lawsonia inermis L. (L. alba Lam.) Henna Plant. Mehndi.—This is a shrub of the Fam. Lythraceae, growing in the Levant, Egypt, Persia, and India, and well known as the source of a dye-stuff denominated henna, much used throughout the Mohammedan countries of the East. It is largely cultivated in Egypt. The flowers have a strong, pungent odor, and a distilled water prepared from them is used as a cosmetic. The fruit is thought to have emmenagogue properties. The powdered leaves, under the name of henna, are used to stain golden yellow the feet and hair of women of the harem. Abd-el-Aziz of Cairo, Egypt, found in it a brown substance, of a resinoid fracture, having the chemical properties which characterize the tannins, and therefore named by him hennotannic acid. Henna has been employed both internally and locally, in jaundice, leprosy, and affections of the skin.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.