Henna

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How does Henna work?

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.

Are there safety concerns?

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

Henna is considered to be unsafe when taken by mouth. Accidentally swallowing henna requires prompt medical attention. It can cause stomach upset and other side effects.

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

Do not use henna if:
  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have a disorder known as glucose-6-phosphate deficiency.
  • Use of henna in infants with glucose-6-phosphate deficiency has been reported to cause red blood cells to burst (hemolysis).

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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