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“Henna tattoo” is a figurative term usually referring to temporary skin stains made with henna paste from the flowering plant Lawsonia inermis. On Tattoofilter, the term “Henna Tattoo” will be used only to describe permanent tattoos created with tattoo ink, inspired by the same patterns but not containing any henna paste.
The cultural heritage of henna (also called mehndi) can be traced back thousands of years to Muslim and Hindu communities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The paste has medicinal properties, acting as an anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and fever-reducing agent. The ceremonial practice of staining skin for special occasions arose as a way to symbolically protect a person, usually a woman and/or her family, from pain or illness. The cooling effects also proved to be very calming during stressful rites of passage.
In religious communities where the female voice is ignored or suppressed, henna art also became a covert language for women, an outlet for their self expression and a way to communicate freely. As a result of the clandestine nature of this language, however, there is no comprehensive written history of all symbols used throughout the ages.
Henna or mehndi is a paste that is bought in a cone-shaped tube and is made into designs for men and women. There are many variations and types in mehndi designs which are categorized, such as Arabic mehndi designs, Indian mehndi designs, and Pakistani mehndi designs.