Medical Definition of Henna

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Henna: A coloring made from the leaves of the Egyptian privet, Lawsonia inermis. Approved only for use as a hair dye, not for direct application to the skin, as in the body-decorating process known as mehndi. This unapproved use of a color additive to henna makes these products adulterated and therefore illegal. Injuries to the skin can result from products marketed as henna.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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