Meet the Plant
Henna comes from a shrub called Lawsonia inermis, known as mehndi or henna tree. This plant grows especially in arid climates in North Africa, the Middle East and India. Hence, it is in these areas that the decorating of hands and feet with henna has been a tradition for thousands of years.
The leaves of the henna plant contain a reddish-brown dye called lawsone, the substance responsible for colouring the skin in a henna adornment. Two to three times a year, the leaves can be harvested, which are then dried and ground into henna powder. This powder is mixed, usually with water or lemon juice, so that a paste is formed which can dye the skin.
! Sometimes, this paste is mixed with synthetic dyes in order to make 'black henna'. Black henna does not exist! Unfortunately, however, there are products on the market which are sold as "black henna" and which can be harmful to the skin. This brings along a lot of confusion concerning the use and safety of henna. Wrongly, because henna is harmless and in some cases even beneficial to the skin.
Toko Mehndi henna is 100% natural, and to ensure this, I always mix my henna paste myself. For this paste I just use henna powder, lemon juice, water, sugar and essential oils (lavender oil, cajeput oil or tea-tree oil).