Manali Henna

New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
Henna Artists and Suppliers


Our hand-made natural henna paste contains simple ingredients:

Henna powderMolassesManuka flowersLemon

  • A blend of Indian Rajasthani and Pakistani Jamila henna powders
  • Molasses
  • Lemon juice
  • Essential oils: Cajeput/Manuka/Cardamom Manali Henna Blend, or Bulgarian Lavender for our Pregnancy henna paste

Every henna artist perfects their own recipe, and ingredients vary considerably. 

Here are the essentials:

Henna powder:  for body art, you need powder which is fresh, stored in a dry and airtight place, and free of chemical additives.  It helps a lot if it is also extremely finely sifted specifically for body art - henna milled for hair will clog cones and frustrate you to death!  Henna for hair is cheaper, coarser, lower in dye content (different leaves are gathered), and usually full of bits of leaf matter and tiny twigs. 

Sugar:  Molasses, table sugar, dextrose - any of these can be added to the paste to help it adhere to the skin longer, and to retain moisture.  Moist henna paste will stain better.  The drier your climate, the more sugar will help.  Overdoing the sugar can make your paste suck moisture from the air on a humid day and 'melt' making your design run together.

Liquid:  Most commonly lemon juice, tea, or water.  Mild acids are said to break down the cell walls of the henna releasing more dye.  Some artists use water perfectly well.  Warmed (not boiling) liquid will make the paste release dye faster.  Different liquids will behave differently, giving the paste different texture, different dye-release time, and different stain longevity. 

Essential oils:  Certain essential oils, those which are high in monoterpene alcohols, and which are not irritating to skin, make the difference between an ok stain, and a fantastic one.  Some essential oils are also added for their lovely scent.

Other common safe ingredients:

Tamarind paste


  • Lemon juice:  of all the safe ingredients, this is the one most likely that sensitive people might react to.
  • Ground walnut shells:  sometimes added to darken the colour.  Not worth the danger to people with severe nut allergies.
  • Clove oil:  beautiful scent, but clove oil allergies can be very severe
  • In some areas, it is common to add a little petrol, kerosene, or similar, to darken the stain.  This is extremely dangerous, and not necessary - we use the essential oils to get the same results.

See also:  Mixology, Essential Oils, Henna Powder

 Handmade in my kitchen


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