Feb 12, 2014
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LAWSONIA INERMIS

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Linn.

Family ► Lythraceae.

Habitat ► Native to Arabia and Persia; now cultivated mainly in Haryana and Gujarat; to a small extent in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

English ► Henna.

Ayurvedic ► Madayanti, Madayan- tikaa, Mendika, Ranjaka.

Unani ► Hinaa, Mehndi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Marudum.

Action ► Leaves—astringent, antihaemorrhagic, antispasmodic, oxytocic, antifertility, antifungal, antibacterial. Used externally to treat skin infections (tinea); also as a hair conditioner.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia indicated the use of the leaves in dysuria, jaundice, bleeding disorders, ulcers, prurigo and other obstinate skin diseases. The leaf is also recommended in giddiness and vertigo.

The leaves contain naphthoqui- nones, in particular lawsone; couma- rins (laxanthone, I, II and III); flavono- ids, luteolin and its 7-O-glucoside, acacetin-7-O-glucoside; beta-sitoste- rol-3-O-glucoside; all parts contain tannins.

Chloroform and ethanol extracts of leaves exhibit promising antibacterial activity against Shigella and Vibrio cholerae. Leaf extract shows antifun- gal activity against several pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

Henna paint is used as a medicament for treatment of hands and feet for mycosis. The antimycotic activity is due to lawsone, a naphthoquinone.

The ethanol-water (1 : 1) extract of the stem bark shows hepatoprotective activity CCl4-induced liver toxicity. Stembarkand root, probably due to the presence of isoplumbagin and lawsar- itol, exhibit anti-inflammatory activity experimentally.

Evidence shows Henna leaf might be able to decrease the formation of sickled cells in individuals with sickle cell anaemia. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Dosage ► Leaves—5-10 ml juice. (API, Vol. IV.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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