Acacia Catechu or gambir (Malay)
Posted by rajiev on August 8, 2002 at 18:35:34:: Catechu or gambir has been used extensively with henna for as long
: I know. My mom use it in all her henna mix (normally to henna
: skin, not hair), so did her mother and my grandma's mother and so
: It seems like whenever I talk to another dear elderly lady, she
: mention "gambir" and ask if I add that to my mixture. She would
: insist that I add that as it would make the stain "darker and
: When my mom was little, my grandma would grind freshly plucked
: leaves from her backyard together with pieces of catechu, then
: rightaway on tamarind juice soaked skin. That's all the secret I
: on how to make the stain darker (then again, they had the luxury of
: fresh henna leaves, lucky things!!).
: I have to admit though that I don't see any significant change in
: colour compared to my caj/ravensara/t3/pine EO mix, though older
: ladies swear by it. The fact is, if the powder is fresh, even plain
: old tap water is enough to produce a dark stain. I've done this
: with very fresh Meccan henna.
: Oh, something OT about catechu, my grandma used to chew on betel
: leaves and she would add very tiny pieces of catechu folded in the
: leaves, "To make my lips red" she would say with a huge red grin on
: her face ;). I can get catechu easily in little Indian shops
: betel leaves, coconut oil (for hair), herbs and spices and such.
: Love & peace,
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