When one thinks of a typical Indian festivities bazaar, one can almost never rule out the many mehendi tattoo artists lining the sidewalk. Thinking of a wedding, the aroma of freshly applied mehendi on the ladies of the house perhaps adds that extra element of magic, which always seems to surround wedding parties.
An auspicious Vedic symbol that predominates all Hindu weddings, mehendi is essentially henna paste that is ground from freshly plucked leaves of the henna plant. While mehendi cones are readily available in the market nowadays, traditionally, the leaves are soaked overnight and ground over stone the next day. The paste might be mixed with various other products like turmeric, tea leaves, reetha, shikakai, depending on the usage. Henna has many medicinal and palliative properties and has been used as a home remedy for rashes and boils for centuries. Till date, it is popularly used as a hair and skin conditioner. The henna plant grows easily in hot, arid climates and hence is one of the most accessible forms of natural cosmetology.
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