By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor


What is henna used for?

Historically, henna has been used for 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.

In manufacturing, henna is used in cosmetics, hair dyes, and hair care products; and as a dye for nails, hands, and clothing.

People also use henna on the skin as temporary “tattoos.”

How does it work?

There are not enough studies about how henna works. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for more information. However, there are some studies that show henna contains substances that might help fight certain infections. There is also some information that henna might decrease the growth of tumors, prevent or reduce spasms, decrease inflammation, and relieve pain.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using henna?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of henna or other medications or other herbals.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for hennaare less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking henna must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your herbalist or doctor for more information.

How safe is henna?

Henna seems to be safe for most adults when used on the skin or hair.

Henna is considered to be unsafe when taken by mouth.

Special precautions & warnings:

Children: Henna is considered unsafe for use in children, especially in infants. There have been cases of serious side effects when henna was applied to the skin of infants.

Infants with a condition called glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency are at especially high risk when contacting with henna.

Pregnancy or breast-feeding: It’s unsafe to take henna by mouth if you are pregnant. It’s also unsafe to take henna if you are breast-feeding.

Henna allergy: If you are allergic to henna, avoid contact.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from henna?

Henna can cause some side effects such as inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) including redness, itching, burning, swelling, scaling, broken skin, blisters, and scarring of the skin. Rarely, allergic reactions can occur such as hives, runny nose, wheezing, and asthma.

Accidentally swallowing henna can cause stomach upset and other side effects that require prompt medical attention.

Putting henna on the skin of infants with glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) can cause their red blood cells to burst.

Women in pregnancy if taking henna by mouth may face the risk of miscarriage.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your herbalist or doctor.


What interactions may I have with henna?

Henna may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your herbalist or doctor before using.

Accordingly, lithium interacts with henna.

Henna might have an effect like a water pill or “diuretic.” Taking henna might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.


The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for henna?

The dose for henna may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your herbalist or doctor for your appropriate dosage.

What form does henna come in?

Henna may be available in the following dosage forms: Color agent in hair color and conditioner.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: June 21, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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