We are all familiar with Henna and as Eid nears, females in Muslim households start shopping for it. Contrary to popular belief, henna is not only used for adornment and beauty purposes, it has been used for medicinal purposes throughout Islamic history and holds great significance in that regard. Muslims have been known to practice the use of henna since centuries and the practice remains alive to this very day.

Application of henna has been observed since the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and it has been mentioned in several hadith of the Prophet (PBUH), highlighting its significance and value.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “The best things to use to change grey hair are henna and katam.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1753)

Henna is basically a powdered version of a plant known as Lawsonia Alba, which is grown in countries like Pakistan, India, Iran and several others. Since centuries, it has been used as a dye for coloring different parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, nails and hair. According to the Islamic Encyclopedia of Medicine, henna was even used by the ancient Egyptians for mummification purposes.

Henna, in essence, has also been used for medicinal purposes since the Prophet’s (PBUH) time. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to personally prescribe it for several ailments during his time.

Narrated by Salmah, the maid-servant of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), said: No one complained to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) of a headache but he told him to get himself cupped, or of a pain in his legs but he told him to dye them with henna. (Abi Dawud Book 28, Hadith 3849)

According to another tradition:

Salma Umm Rafi’, the freed slave woman of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), said: “The Prophet (PBUH) did not suffer any injury or thorn- prick but he would apply henna to it” (Ibn Majah Vol. 4, Book 31, Hadith 3502).

So what does science have to say when it comes to the benefits of henna?

In recent times, due to more awareness and rising health consciousness, people have started preferring natural products over chemically processed ones; Henna is one of them. Henna, being a herb, is known to have different kinds of healing properties. According to recent findings, henna, aside from its dyeing properties, has great medicinal advantages. Some of which are as follows:

1. A remedy for headaches and migraines- the anti-inflammatory effects of the juice of henna help lower the nerve tension and promote healthy blood flow

2. Reduces fever- Brings the body temperature down through a cooling effect on the body

3. A balm for open wounds and fungal infections- helps in coagulation

4. Used as a medicinal crème for burns and eczema – protects against infections and reduces inflammation.

5. Sleep Regulator- Henna oil treatment helps with insomnia and sleep disorders by calming the body and mind, relaxing the nerve endings and inducing muscle relaxation

6. Used as an antiperspirant- closes the body’s pores and showcases antibacterial properties

7. Strengthens hair and prevents hair fall- revitalizes damaged hair

8. Maintains blood pressure- henna water or seeds have a hypotensive effect that alleviates the stress on the cardiovascular system, which leads to a decrease in blood pressure, preventing heart attacks and strokes as well.

Henna should be a part of your natural treatment schedule for it has many hidden benefits which are not commonly known. If the Holy Prophet (PBUH) prescribed it as a medicinal cure, who are we to question him? And it seems, science has only reinforced the Sunnah and hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), constantly shedding light on its therapeutic properties and health advantages.