A shrub very common in Kerala. Its good for the skin and makes hair more attractive. It is the main ingredient of henna. Its a custom in Kerala to apply Mailanji paste on the bride's hand. 'Mailanchi kalyanam' is very special for muslims. Hindus also celebrate mehndi in a colurful way.
Mehndi has now became an instant ritual. We can have it from lady's shops as small cones. But I like the traditional one prepared at home. In my childhood it was a day long process. First we have to collect mailanji leaves, after washing it thoroughly we will make this a paste using 'Ammikkallu'. We can add stem of 'Plavila' for better colouring. After that everyone will draw one's own design in their hand. After one hour we can wash the hands. Then the most interesting portion of the story begins..comparison of colour ...It was very natural and also funny having some friends with a ball of mailanji paste.
In some areas of Kerala Mailanchi is planted as hedges. Its a soothing to see a green fence with lot of cosmetic and medicinal use.
Scientific name:Lawsonia Insermis