Mehendi is made from the leaves of the henna plant which was originally discovered in Egypt centuries ago. Henna is a natural conditioner and a natural dye. For centuries Henna leaves have been dried and then ground to powder form to make Mehendi in India. The Mendehi paste has been used to paint intricate designs on the hands and feet of women during auspicious occasions. Mehendi started out as part of the Indian marriage ceremony centuries ago. It was one of the symbols associated with a married woman. Mehendi when applied on the body creates a temporary tattoo effect which washes away in a week to three weeks. It is an all natural product. An interesting folk tradition persists with Henna. When the bride wore her Mehendi after the ceremony she would not have to do any housework until the dye wore away. Something you might consider carrying over to modern America.
The Henna process works best on feet, the palms and back of the hands it is softer in appearance. Once it is applied on other than the hands or feet it tends to be lighter in color and lasts for a shorter period of time. Once the Mehendi is applied, do not rub or touch. Let the design dry, then apply a teaspoon of lemon juice and two teaspoons of sugar mix thoroughly. Apply to the design with a piece of cotton. Many East Indian women wrap their hands in plastic food wrap over night for a darker image. The longer you keep the Mehendi on your body, the darker the design. Scrape off the dry powder from the applied area and then wash it. Mehendi tends to take 24 hours to darken even further. To remove faster: wash the area with the design with water often.
Note: Mehendi takes on different shades of orange to bronze color on each individual as well as different parts of the body. For the darkest and best results, use on the palms of the hands and feet.
Warning: If you are prone to allergies or have sensitive skin, perform a patch test before you apply the Mehendi paste anywhere.