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henna

henna, name for a reddish or black hair dye obtained from the powdered leaves and young shoots of the mignonette tree, or henna shrub ( Lawsonia inermis ), an Old World shrub of the loosestrife family. Henna dye has long been in use, as evidenced by Egyptian mummies; the dye is also to decorate the skin with designs.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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