Catherine Cartwright-Jones

Catherine Cartwright-Jones

MLS from Kent State University, August 2006
Developing Guidelines on Henna: A Geographical Approach
Master's Essay

Completed PhD dissertation on henna at Kent State University, Department of Geography

Catherine Cartwright-Jones runs TapDancing Lizard LLC and the Henna Page site group, and is constantly  renovating, rewriting, and expanding the sites to better serve the henna community and explore the diversity of henna history, traditions, art and science.  Catherine is the owner, and does most of the the writing, photography, webmastering, and business management, assisted by a team of workers.

Catherine Cartwright-Jones began seriously studying henna in 1990. She has been a professional artist since 1970, and holds a pictorial arts degree from UCLA.  She has a Masters of Liberal Studies degree from Kent State Univerisity, where she focused her master's work on henna.  She is has completed her doctoral dissertation on henna in the department of  Geography at Kent State University.

Catherine has gone overseas the last several summers for research projects on henna's history and traditions, most recently on a research grant from the Iranian Heritage Foundation.  She has lectured on henna at colleges, universities and museums, been a consultant on henna to the National Botanical gardens in Washington DC and the Royal Botanical Gardens in London.  She has worked with Discovery Channel,  BBC,  Better Homes and Gardens, and National Geographic, as well as provided expert testimony on copyright law for henna artists in two USA federal court cases.

If you'd like to contact Catherine for media interviews, magazine or acacemic articles,  lectures, consultancy, to provide expert legal testimony on henna ... or to henna you ... email her for her CV and references.

Catherine has written and published books and academic papers on henna.  Some people believe her to be the worlds foremost scholar and researcher on  henna, and she frequently appears on tv and in print as a henna expert. Fortunately, no one in her family, certainly not herself, takes her anywhere near this seriously, otherwise she'd quickly become a tedious old cow. 

Otherwise, Catherine is "60-something",  has been with her husband since 1968, and has two adult children, 4 cats and two pug dogs.  She likes to cook but maintains a voluntary ineptitude for housekeeping.

Articles in Publication

Co-author of "Lawsonia inermis L. (henna): Ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects," Ruchi Badoni Semwala, Deepak Kumar Semwala, Sandra Combrinck, Catherine Cartwright-Jones, Alvaro Viljoen. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, June 2014

Abstract and Ethnopharmacological relevance

The use of Lawsonia inermis L. (henna) for medicinal and cosmetic purposes is inextricably linked to ancient and modern cultures of North Africa and Asia. Literature and artwork indicates that Lawsonia inermis played an important holistic role in the daily lives of some ancient cultures, providing psychological and medicinal benefits, as well as being used for personal adornment. Although henna was historically applied to the hands and feet to protect against fungal pathogens and to hair to combat lice and dandruff, other traditional uses include the treatment of liver and digestive disorders, reduction of tissue loss in leprosy, diabetic foot disorders and ulcers.

Phytochemistry: Almost 70 phenolic compounds have been isolated from various parts of the plant. Naphthaquinones, which include the dying principle lawsone, have been linked to many of the pharmacological activities. The terpene, β-ionone is largely responsible for the pungent odour of the essential oil isolated from the flowers. In addition to other volatile terpenes, some non-volatile terpenoids, a single sterol, two alkaloids and two dioxin derivatives have also been isolated from the plant.

Bioactivity: Henna is a pharmacologically important plant with significant in vitro and in vivo biological activities. Although a myriad of pharmacological activities have been documented, the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities are the most thoroughly investigated. Some incidents of adverse reactions following application to the skin have been reported, but these are mainly confined to cases involving individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and reactions to adulterants added to henna products.

Conclusions: Adulteration of henna is very common and may have resulted in unwarranted scientific findings. Phytochemical profiling studies of the plant, which are crucial for the establishment of proper quality control protocols, are lacking and hamper the development of medicinal products. Although many in vitro studies have been conducted to evaluate the pharmacological activities and many in vivo studies have focussed on the toxicity of extracts, more in vivo studies to validate pharmacological activities are needed. The roles of specific compounds and their synergies have not been comprehensively investigated.

Catherine Cartwright-Jones authored articles on cosmetics, henna, hamam, and harem for

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women
Edited by Natana J. DeLong-Bas
Oxford University Press, 2013  ISBN-13: 9780199764464
Current OnlineVersion: 2013 eISBN: 9780199764471

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women provides clear, current, comprehensive information on the major topics of scholarly interest within the study of Islam and women. With more than 450 articles written by leading international experts and with a concentration on contemporary issues, it is a single source for accurate overview articles covering all aspects of this flourishing area of research. Organized around the central conceptual themes in research on Islam and women including Self and Body, Immigration and Minorities, Culture and Expression, Politics and Polity, and Community and Society, as well as Science, Medicine and Education among others, this work examines the scholarship on Islam and women that has expanded exponentially over the past twenty years, as well as cross-pollination between other fields and disciplines.