Don't confuse henna with henna root (Alkanna tinctoria), also referred to as alkanna root.
Henna is used for stomach ulcers, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), bed sores, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. There is also concern that using henna is unsafe when taken by mouth.
In manufacturing, henna is used in cosmetics, hair dyes, and hair care products. It is also used as a dye for nails, skin, and clothing.
Safety Safety definitions
When applied to the skin: Henna is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used on the skin or hair. It can cause some side effects such as redness, itching, burning, swelling, blisters, and scarring of the skin. Most often these allergic reactions are due to an ingredient added to henna. This added ingredient is most common in "black" henna.
Rarely, allergic reactions can occur such as hives, runny nose, wheezing, and asthma.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to take henna by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. There isn't enough reliable information to know if henna is safe to apply to the skin when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Henna is UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to apply henna to a child's skin.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: Applying henna to the skin of infants and children with G6PD deficiency can cause their red blood cells to burst.
Henna allergy: If you are allergic to henna, avoid contact.
- An adverse skin reaction caused by cancer drug treatment (chemotherapy-induced acral erythema). Early research suggests that applying henna to the skin improves chemotherapy-induced acral erythema in people receiving the cancer drug capecitabine.
- Nerve damage in the hands and feet caused by cancer drug treatment. Early research in adult females shows that applying henna powder to the hands and feet reduces the symptoms of nerve damage caused by the cancer drug oxaliplatin.
- Skin reactions caused by direct contact with a substance (contact dermatitis). Early research shows that applying henna powder may reduce pain and itching in people with contact dermatitis from prosthetic legs. But it may worsen redness.
- Bed sores (pressure ulcers). Early research shows that applying henna powder once to bed sores improves healing when compared with olive oil or no treatment.
- Wound healing. Early research in patients that required a surgical cut at the opening of their vagina as part of childbirth shows that applying henna 2% ointment to the surgical wound for 2 weeks might reduce pain and redness by a small amount.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis).
- Bed sores (pressure ulcers).
- Enlarged spleen.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
- Itchy skin infection caused by mites (scabies).
- Severe diarrhea caused by parasites called amoebas (amoebic dysentery).
- Ulcers in the stomach or intestines.
- Yellowing of the skin in infants (neonatal jaundice).
- Other conditions.
Dosing & administration
Interactions with pharmaceuticals
Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Henna might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking henna might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.