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Concept: Lawsonia


The use of Lawsonia inermis L. (henna) for medicinal and cosmetic purposes is inextricably linked to ancient and modern cultures of North Africa and Asia. Literature and artwork indicates that L. inermis played an important holistic role in the daily lives of some ancient cultures, providing psychological and medicinal benefits, as well as being used for personal adornment. Although henna was historically applied to the hands and feet to protect against fungal pathogens and to hair to combat lice and dandruff, other traditional uses include the treatment of liver and digestive disorders, reduction of tissue loss in leprosy, diabetic foot disorders and ulcers.

Concepts: Anthropology, Henna, Lawsonia


Lawsonia inermis (Lythraceae) known as henna is one of the most popular and ancient plants used in cosmetics and hair dying. It is cultivated for its leaves but other parts such as seeds, flowers, stem bark and roots are also used in traditional medicine for millennia. Henna tattoo paste also proved to be beneficial for wound healing and in several skin diseases suggesting potent anti-inflammatory activity. To evaluate henna anti-inflammatory activity, 31 compounds, including three 1,5-diphenylpent-3-en-1-yne derivatives, lawsochylin A-C and three methyl naphthalene carboxylates, lawsonaphthoate A-C, were isolated from the stems and leaves of henna utilizing a bioassay-guided fractionation. The structures of the compounds were elucidated by spectroscopic data. Two compounds, lawsochylin A and lawsonaphthoate A showed potent anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of superoxide anion generation (IC(50)=1.80 and 1.90μg/ml) and elastase release (IC(50)=1.58 and 3.17μg/ml) of human neutrophils in response to fMLP or cytochalasin B. Moreover, the known compounds, luteolin, apigenin, 4S-4-hydroxy-α-tetralone, and 2-butoxysuccinic acid, also showed potent inhibition of superoxide anion generation (IC(50)=0.75-1.78μg/ml) and elastase release (IC(50)=1.62-3.61μg/ml).

Concepts: Henna, Lythraceae, Tattoo, Mehndi, Diwali, Lawsonia


Three new benzenoid derivatives, lawsoinermone (1), inermidioic acid (2), and inermic acid (3) have been isolated from the aerial part of Lawsonia inermis, together with 11 known compounds (4-14). The structures of three new compounds were determined through spectroscopic and MS analyses. Compounds 1, 4-6, 13 and 14 were evaluated for inhibition of nitric oxide production in LPS-stimulated product of nitrite in RAW 264.7 cells with IC50 values of 6.12, 16.43, 18.98, 9.30, 9.30 and 14.90 μg/mL, respectively.

Concepts: Ammonia, Neurotransmitter, Nitric oxide, Nitric acid, Henna, Lawsonia


Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is applied to stain keratin, present in hair, skin and fingernails, a red-orange or rust colour. Producers of temporary tattoos mix the aromatic amine compound, para-phenylenediamine (PPD) into natural henna to create ‘black henna’ that rapidly stains the skin black. However, PPD may cause severe delayed hypersensitivity reactions following skin contact. This study proposes a rapid direct-analysis method to detect and identify PPD using an atmospheric solids analysis probe (ASAP) coupled to a Q-ToF mass spectrometer (MS). Since laborious, multistep methods of analysis to determine PPD are undesirable, due to the instability of the compound in solution, a screening method involving no sample preparation steps was developed. Experiments were carried out to optimise the corona current, sample cone voltage, source temperature, and desolvation gas temperature to determine ideal ASAP-Q-ToF-MS analysing conditions. Eleven of the 109 henna samples, originating from various countries, tested positive for PPD when henna products were screened using ASAP-MS, without any form of sample preparation other than grinding. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-ToF-MS) was subsequently used to confirm the results from ASAP and to determine the concentrations of PPD in henna products. The allergen was detected in the same eleven samples, with concentrations ranging from 0.05-4.21% (w/w). It can be concluded that the sensitivity of the ASAP-MS technique is sufficient (limit of detection=0.025% w/w) to allow screening of henna samples for the presence of PPD. This relatively new technique can be applied to commercial products without extraction, sample treatment or chromatographic separation.

Concepts: Chromatography, Analytical chemistry, P-Phenylenediamine, Henna, Tattoo, Mehndi, Lawsonia


Many plants have been introduced in Iranian traditional medicine for treatment of different joint problems including knee pain. Topical application of the mixture of Lawsonia inermis L. leaves (Henna) with aqueous extract of Ricinus communis L. leaves have been mentioned to have significant effects on reducing knee pain. The present study was designed to evaluate the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the mixture of these two herbs in male rats.

Concepts: Cannabis, Henna, Lawsonia


The methanolic extract of Lawsonia inermis L. (henna) showed accelerative effects on nerve growth factor-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells under non-fasting conditions. To elucidate the active constituents responsible for the neuronal differentiation, we conducted a search of the constituents and examined their accelerative effects on neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells. We isolated a new acetophenone glycoside, inermioside A, which exerted a significant accelerative effect on neurite outgrowth. We also confirmed the activities of nine known compounds, including quercetin and lalioside. In addition, we found that quercetin, one of the active constituents, increased Vav3 mRNA expression.

Concepts: DNA, Gene expression, Cell culture, Henna, Lawsonia


The methanolic extract of Lawsonia inermis L. (henna) showed significant inhibitory activity toward melanogenesis in B16 melanoma 4A5 cells. Among the constituents isolated from the methanolic extract, luteolin, quercetin, and (±)-eriodictyol showed stronger inhibitory activity than the reference compound, arbutin. Several structure-activity relationships of the flavonoids were suggested, and OGlc

Concepts: Messenger RNA, Skin, Henna, Melanocyte, Lawsonia


To describe the clinical presentation and case management of a dog that developed hemolytic anemia and evidence of renal tubular dysfunction after ingestion of a natural hair dye containing Lawsonia inermis (henna). To review cases of henna toxicity reported in the human literature.

Concepts: Anemia, Hemolytic anemia, Henna, Lawsonia