HENNA

HENNA (Heb. כֹּפֶר, kofer), the plant Lawsonia alba whose leaves yield a much-used dye. Its English name is derived from Arabic. Henna is included among the spices growing in the garden of tropical spices to which the beloved maiden is compared in Song of Songs (4:12–13), while she compares her beloved to "a cluster of henna in the vineyards of En-Gedi" (ibid. 1:14). The Mishnah mentions henna alongside the rose among the aromatic plants that grow in Ereẓ Israel (Shev. 7:6). The henna of "Ashkelon in Judea" was praised by Pliny (Historia Naturalis, 12:51) and Dioscorides (De materia medica, 1:117). According to Josephus (Wars 1:181), the name of Herod's mother was Cypros (Κύπρος), that is kofer, and he called a fortress which he built "Cypros" after her. Henna is a shrub which is grown in various places in the Jordan Valley and in the Shephelah. Its aromatic flowers are arranged in clusters (hence the "cluster of henna"). From its root or leaves a powder is prepared which is soluble in water and produces a reddish-orange dye. Throughout the ages the peoples of the East prized this beautiful, fast dye which was used for dying the hair, the palms of the hand, the nails, and even the teeth. With it the Egyptians dyed mummies. The Talmud (TJ, Git. 69b) mentions henna as a remedy for a disease of the urinary organs. In Yemen, Jews smeared a bride's body with henna dye (the person doing it pays for the privilege with a wedding gift) and hence the name "henna night" given by them to a marriage. The custom is still maintained by several communities in Israel. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Loew, Flora, 2 (1924), 218–25; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Ẓome'aḥ ha-Mikra'i (19682), 270–1. ADD BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 84. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Henna — Henna …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • henna — I {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. ż Ia, CMc. hennannie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} roślina tropikalna zawierająca pomarańczowy barwnik; lawsonia {{/stl 7}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}} {{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}henna II {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. ż Ia, CMc. hennannie, blm… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • Henna — Hen na, n. [Ar. hinn[=a] alcanna ({Lawsonia inermis} syn. {Lawsonia alba}). Cf. {Alcanna}, {Alkanet}, {Orchanet}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Bot.) A thorny tree or shrub of the genus {Lawsonia} ({Lawsonia alba}). The fragrant white blossoms are used by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Henna — bezeichnet: eine Pflanze der Gattung Lawsonia, siehe Hennastrauch ein rotgelber Farbstoff, der aus den zerriebenen Blättern sowie Stängeln des Hennastrauchs gewonnen wird und der unter anderem zum Färben der Haare verwendet wird, vergleiche Henna …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henna — (del ár. «ḥinnā’»; pronunc. [jéna]) 1 (Lawsonia inermis) f. Planta arbustiva de la familia de las litráceas, originaria de Arabia, de cuyas hojas se obtiene un polvo rojizo que se utiliza como tinte, especialmente para el pelo. 2 Este tinte. * *… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • henna — (n.) c.1600, dye or cosmetic from the henna plant, from Arabic hinna, name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet, Lawsonia inermis), the leaves of which are used to make the reddish dye; said to be of Persian origin. Related: Hennaed (1860) …   Etymology dictionary

  • henna — (pronunciamos jena ) sustantivo femenino 1. Lawsonia inermis. Árbol pequeño de flores perfumadas y hojas ovaladas que se utilizan en la fabricación de cosméticos. 2. Colorante vegetal: Gracias al tratamiento con henna he conseguido dar un tono… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • henna — ► NOUN ▪ the powdered leaves of a tropical shrub, used as a reddish brown dye to colour the hair and decorate the body. ► VERB (hennas, hennaed, hennaing) ▪ dye with henna. ORIGIN Arabic …   English terms dictionary

  • henna — [hen′ə] n. [Ar ḥinnā ] 1. an Old World plant (Lawsonia inermis) of the loosestrife family, with minute, white or red flowers having the fragrance of roses 2. a dye extracted from the leaves of this plant, often used to tint the hair auburn 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Henna — (arab.), so v.w. Alkannawurzel …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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