Mehndi [ originated from the Sanskrit word Mendhika] or Marudhaani as it is known popularly in the South of India refers to the traditional art of hand – painting using a paste of Henna. This practice dates as far back as the vedic period. This art specific to and part of the rich Indian tradition involves making of a paste from Henna leaves and applying it using plastic cones to form intricate patterns and designs. The application of Mehndi is an essential part of any wedding or auspicious function and is conducted with great fanfare. Great skill and dexterity is required and it is a huge business opportunity for women with an artistic bent of mind.
The art of applying Mehndi is very popular in India and in recent times has caught the fancy of the western world as well. Women abroad now love to sport tatoos made of Henna paste and love the orange – brownish tone it gives after the paste dries up. Applying Mehndi is said to cool down the body since the paste has medicinal value and can be referred to as an Indian version of a manicure. The resultant color after removing the greenish paste can vary from bright orange to reddish brown hues depending on the body heat of a person. Mehndi is synonymous with brides who sometimes fill their entire forearm and feet with beautiful designs. At times lime and eucalyptus oil are applied to the surface of the skin to enhance the color tones.