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Sojat Henna: From lush green farms to your hands.

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Pali district of Rajasthan is a city located on the banks of the river Sukdi. It is also a tehsil by the same name. Sojat is located on National Highway 162. In ancient times, the city was known as 'Tamravati'. This place is known for pilgrimages and a fort like the Jal Mata Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple and Chamunda Mata Temple. The cultivation of henna is the major attraction of this city, the paste of which is used to make a temporary design on the parts of the body.

The historical and religious city Sojat, also known as Henna city (Mehndi city), is the largest mehndi market in India originated and produced in Sojat city. Mehndi produced in the region has gained popularity as a "Rajasthani henna" worldwide. It provides rich dark red stains on hands and feet and is a good natural conditioner for hair. Also works in Its favourable climatic conditions and soil Sojat is the only region in India where mehndi is produced and exported worldwide: About 90% of the mehndi produced in this region is exported to around 130 countries. Henna of this region has a high content of lawsone (the dyeing agent in henna powder) of 0.5–2.5% in dry henna leaves. It attaches itself strongly to proteins, and as a result the dye becomes very strong.

The Government of Rajasthan (Agricultural Marketing Board) established the Agricultural Produce Market in Sojat City to promote the production and marketing of mehndi leaves of the region. The role of the Agricultural Produce Market is to ensure fair returns to the mehndi farmers of the region. They are also responsible for the general development of market yards through providing necessary facilities. Every day 140-150 metric tonne mehndi leaves are sold by mehndi farmers to traders and manufacturers through this agricultural produce market in Sojat city. The city is also famous for limestone and handmade scissors.

Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin. Henna will not stain skin until the lawsone molecules are made available (released) from the henna leaves. However, dried henna leaves will stain the skin if they are mashed into a paste. The lawsone will gradually migrate from the henna paste into the outer layer of the skin and bind to the proteins in it, creating a stain.

Since it is difficult to form intricate patterns from coarsely crushed leaves, henna is commonly traded as a powder made by drying, milling and sifting the leaves. The dry powder is mixed with one of a number of liquids, including water, lemon juice, strong tea, and other ingredients, depending on the tradition. Many artists use sugar or molasses in the paste to improve consistency to keep it stuck to the skin better. The henna mix must rest between one and 48 hours before use in order to release the lawsone from the leaf matter. The timing depends on the crop of henna being used. Essential oils with high levels of monoterpene alcohols, such as tea tree, cajuput, or lavender, will improve skin stain characteristics. Other essential oils, such as eucalyptus and clove, are also useful but are too irritating and should not be used on the skin.


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