Re: simple recipes/vs. complicated

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Posted by Maureen on August 19, 2002 at 08:17:05:

In reply to: simple recipes/vs. complicated posted by Karin on August 19, 2002 at 00:04:39:

Hi Karin,

There are some must haves and must dos when working with henna. You
must have an excellent henna powder, you must have some source of
acid in the paste (like lemon juice), you must give your paste time
for the dyes to release, you must have some degree of heat for good
staining, and your paste must remain moist on the skin long enough
for the dyes to stain. I think I covered the must haves. If not,
hopefully someone else will provide them. Must dos have a lot to do
with your process.

Terps have become a must have if you really want good stains on hard
to stain body parts. But, you can really stain the palms and feet
without the terps if your henna powder is fresh and excellent.

Other than that, there are a lot of things people add because they
just want to, think they have to, have heard it is the best thing to
do, want to maintain the family secret recipe, avoid tempting the
fates. A lot of these things, I believe, people used preterps to
work towards the "best" stain possible. And so even with terps, some
people still use them. Sometimes just because they like the smell,
the texture derived, they have a gallon of the stuff available, etc.

I totally believe in keeping my recipe basic. Henna powder, lemon
juice concentrate, sugar and then add my favorite terp (cajeput). I
use the cajeput because it is the terp that I have found to be the
most reliable. I don't add anything else for fragrance because I
like the smell of cajeput and lemon mixed with the smell of henna

While experimentation is fine and fun with other ingredients, I
recommend that a person new to mehndi start with a basic recipe and
learn all of must haves and why those thing must be included. Then
it is easier to add other ingredients once you have a basic recipe
that works for you. One of the biggest problems I have seen people
struggle with, is learning to use one of those recipes as you
described and when it does not work, they have no idea what went
wrong and what ingredient...if tweak. They don't know if
the problem is in the recipe or in the process and procedure they
followed. So I truly recommend that anyone start from the basic and
work to the more complicated once they have mastered the basics.

I really appreciate your question because I know that many people
have seen such recipes and thought all of the ingredients listed are
essential to getting a good henna stain. And fortunately, making a
good henna paste is not that complicated.

Take care.



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