Adapted from: The Most Commonly Documented Prophetic Remedies, by Dr. Hossam Arafa
Henna (scientifically known as lawsonia inermis) has been well known for a long time in the Muslim world. It is extensively grown in India and Sudan, and is used mainly for cosmetic purposes.
The plant is sometimes called the “Magic Plant” because it has a great healing effect, contains many healing substances like tannin and other glue-like substances, and it has an anti-microbial and anti-viral effect. It is natural, inexpensive, and has no known side effects when taken orally. Indications for its use are as follows:
Burns: It is very effective when applied to a first or second-degree burn:
1. It reduces pain.
2. Reduces fluid loss from the burn site, which is important if the area is large.
3. It has an anti-microbial effect, and so reduces the risk of infection.
4. It sticks on the wound site until healing is complete.
5. It is easy to apply either in paste or powder form.
6. It is inexpensive and easily available.
Henna promotes wound healing, especially chronic wounds and ulcers.
The modus operandi of the effect is not known, but it may be because of its nourishing effect on the wound and its anti-microbial properties.
Anti-Hemorrhage Effect: Henna has proven to be efficient in the management of nose bleeding (epistaxis), providing a long-lasting cure. One dose is generally sufficient. It is more successful than cauterization, which normally has to be repeated and cannot guarantee that there will not be a recurrence of bleeding.
The only side effect of henna here is that it can cause slight sneezing.
Henna can be used at other sites like a bleeding duodenal ulcer or esophageal varicose veins, with no known side effects. Its anti-bleeding effect may be due to its coagulation or local burning properties.
Anti-Viral Effect: Henna has an anti-viral effect. This is evident in its treatment of warts (particularly those that are resistant to liquid nitrogen treatment), Herpes Simplex (applied as a powder, it dries the vesicles at the site, prevents ulceration and crust formation, and prevents secondary infection).
The Prophet never suffered from a wound or a thorn without putting Henna on it – Hadith, narrated by Umm Salamah (RadiAllahu anha)
There are very few trails on this subject. Here are few examples.
Wound healing properties of Henna leaves.
Sakarkar, D. M., Sakarkar, U. M., Shrikhande, et al Natural Product, Radiance, 2004 (Vol. 3) (No. 6) 406-412
The evidence based wound-healing activity of Lawsonia inermis Linn.
Nayak BS, Isitor G, Davis EM, Pillai GK. Phytother Res. 2007
Sep; 21(9): 827-31.