Women / Young girls in India & in some Arab countries including Pakistan are passionate about getting ready and decorated. Hence they like Mehndi (henna) as well and it is one of the important item in their beauty kitty. Doctors from reputed hospitals has advice that heena in pure form of mehndi (that is green in colour) doesn’t cause any health complications, except for some allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. They all have also cited some of the rare side effects of mehndi. Common side-effects of mehndi are –

Mehndi may cause contact dermatitis

Since Heena is available in natural form and is free of chemicals but in some cases PPD (Para-phenylenediamine) is added to henna mixtures to intensify the colour and lower application time.  Many people are unaware of is the fact that PPD is a powerful allergen and its contact with the skin might trigger an allergic reaction. Hence, it may cause great health hazard and therefore we may see common symptoms that include wheezing, itching, redness, burning and swelling of the skin.


Mehndi may cause Rough hair

Applying mehendi to dry hairs may cause even more dryness and thus become rough due to the presence of harmful chemicals that are added to it while processing.  Sometimes, Henna may also damage your hair shaft and make it more vulnerable to become dry.’ The worst form of sife effect while applying heena on head is that in rare cases, use of henna for hair colouring might cause itching and eruption of boils on the head. (Know how to make mehndi paste at home)

Mehndi may cause Red eyes

If in case henna comes in contact with your eyes, it might cause redness and watering of the eyes. In some cases also  strong smell of the henna might lead to some hypersensitivity (but is very rare).

Mehndi may cause Bursting of RBCs (red blood cells)

In one of the rare side effects of Heena Children suffering from a rare condition called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, should stay away from applying henna on their hands. In this condition, when henna is applied, red blood cells tend to burst, leading to severe health complications. If this occurs, it is a case of a medical emergency and should be shown to the doctor at the earliest.

Mehndi may cause stomach upset

In any case do not consume henna in any form as it is considered to be unsafe for human consumption by many doctors and studies. Also, in case if you accidentally swallow henna then that might result include stomach upset, vomiting and other stomach complications. Therefore, immediately consult to your doctor.

However, If you experience itching, redness or oozing on the skin, wash off your hand or head and pop anti-allergy medications like Allegra or Avil but we will never recommended to have without doctor consultation. The medicine should be taken as per doctors advice only.

Although we have discussed many side effects of Heena but henna has also been used for health issues like severe diarrhea caused by a parasite (amoebic dysentery), cancer, enlarged spleen, headache, jaundice, and skin conditions. These days, people take henna for stomach and intestinal ulcers. Henna is sometimes applied directly to the affected area for dandruff, eczema, scabies, fungal infections, and wounds.

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