Catherine Cartwright-Jones c 2002
Here's what you should know before
you look at the pictures:
Particle size doesn't have anything
whatsoever to do with stain results.
Many henna powders have particles larger than this lead. If you look at the microscopic pictures of the powder, you'll see if you're getting henna you'll have to sift, like this one:
The vivid green chunks here, spreading green are artificial green dye, coal tar dye, added to make the product more "eye-appealing". The presence of green dye is irrelevant to the stain. The presence of this dye and is confirmed and identified in:
"Study of Quality Characteristics of Henna", Chourasia, Sardar, Patil, Mathew,Kanpur, India: Essential Oil Association of India, 1989
"Major contaminants /adulterants in henna leaves are stems, dirt, plant waste and other leaves. However in case of henna powder admixture of dyed sand is observed. It shas been reported that for adulteration, finely ground local sand is used. It is first dyed with auramine yellow (C.I. No. 41000) and then green with diamond green (C.I. No. 20440). This is then mixed with pure henna powder. The extent of adulteraion is viariable in accordance with the price of the powder reflected therein.
"Added azo dyes were not found in henna leaf samples, but yellow and green coal tar dyes were observed in powdered samples. As mentioned earlier, this may be due to the presence of (the afore mentioned dyed sand). Unlike Lawsone, the natural color of henna, these added synthetic azo-dyes used for dyeing the sand or for polishing the leaves may have an adverse effect on the skin. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that these artificial dyes are not there in the product marketed.
Virtually all henna powders from India that I have surveyed have this dye!
Other Dye Plants Added to Henna:
The deep red pieces in this picture are Myrobalan, a dye plant:
Myrobalan \My*rob"a*lan\ (?), Myrobolan \My*rob"o*lan\ (?), ] n. [L.
myrobalanum the fruit of a palm tree from which a balsam was made.
A dried astringent fruit much resembling a prune. It contains tannin, and
was formerly used in medicine, but is now chiefly used in tanning and dyeing.
Myrobolans are produced by various species of Terminalia of the East Indies,
and of Spondias of South America.
The round clear spheres are air bubbles trapped between microscope slides.Ignore them.