July 2017
The Herb Lady


Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is a flowering plant and the sole species of the Lasonia genus. It is a tropical plant that grows in the tropical climates of Africa, Australia and Asia. (This information was obtained from the internet.)

The word henna first became known to me as a grade-school child. In one of Mother’s monthly magazines, there was a picture of Lucille Ball. I remember it as a pinup-type picture. The accompanying article told that henna was used for her beautiful red hair. This impressed me and stuck in my memory forever.

Henna is used primarily for the art of tattoos, nails, skin, hair and fabrics. An ink is made for these various uses. Tattooing has been practiced since Neolithic times, dating back to 3100 B.C. Many people cover most of their bodies with this art. Most tattooing is done with an ink made from henna.

I was always glad that my husband survived World War II in the Navy without acquiring a tattoo. I do have a granddaughter with a tiny butterfly on her hip.

I have a Sunday school member who has beautiful, hennaed red hair. She has medical problems preventing her attendance at church every week. When she is present, she sits in front of me. While I listen to the teacher, I enjoy looking at that lovely red hair. Not once in seven years have I seen a single bit of discolored root showing. This is proof again that NOTHING will prevent a woman from keeping her beauty parlor appointment. One day I shared the following story with her and we had a good laugh.

Once during my office nurse days (this was long ago), I answered the telephone.

A lady said, "Nadine, I have just got to see Dr. Jane today. I am very, very sick."

I would never turn a person that sick down; therefore, I answered, "Well, we don’t have a single appointment open, but come in around 10 o’clock and we will work you in as soon as possible."

We hung up the phone and I went on with my duties. The phone rang again.

I answered and heard the same very sick lady say, "Oh, Nadine, I can’t come in today. I have an appointment with my beautician!"

That’s proof a woman will not let hell, high water or threatened death prevent a date with their stylist.

An ink is created from henna for the creation of tattoos and other projects. This brings me to a few remarks about ink. There probably will not be a single person reading these words who will not use ink during the day. We take it for granted without ever wondering what it is made from or who created it. I believe you will all join me in being thankful it was created.

I do not believe I have ever used henna in any way unless it was in ink. I seldom, but occasionally, read my horoscope. Once I read, "Sagittarians always have very simple hairdos." That’s me. I make salon appointments for early in the week and early in the day. I usually walk in, get in my operator’s chair, exchange a few pleasant words, pay my bill and say goodbye. This might take 15 minutes. I leave feeling beautiful.

I am not surprised to learn that henna has some medicinal value. However, I have never seen it in alternatives or heard of anyone who had experienced its use.


Nadine Johnson can be reached at PO Box 7425, Spanish Fort, AL 36577, by calling 251-644-5473, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..