Sudhir Ahluwalia

Resins and Cosmetics

Plants are a source of resins, oils and color. This segment is on plant based resins and cosmetics

Henna Uses

Henna is used to dye cotton, silk, and other natural fibers, as well as leather and leather products. The dye is temporary. In India, henna is used for body art during festivals and celebrations including extensive use in bridal makeup in southern Asia and the Middle...

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Henna – Historical Overview

Lawsonia inermis is the botanical name for henna. This small tree grows to a height of 5–7 meters. The plant prefers a dry and hot climate. It grows extensively in the Mediterranean region, Egypt, neighboring countries of northern and eastern Africa, the Arabian...

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Costus in history

Costus comes from the root of plants in the Saussurea genus that grow in the higher elevations of the Himalayas in Asia, Tibet, and China. The name costus means “coming from the East” in Greek. The rhizome is cut, dried, and exported. Costus is rich in resinoids,...

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Onycha Part 2

Egyptian pharaohs used the resin to apply artificial beards made from goat hair, which was a popular fashion among the elite. The resin was collected with a claw-like comb from the coats of animals who wandered around the shrubs and collected the gum in their hair....

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Oncyha Part 1

Feature photo: From Florihana Onycha is one of the four spices mentioned in the Old Testament (Exodus 30:34) and as an ingredient of Ketoret. Like many other herbs and spices mentioned during Biblical times, the origin of onycha is shrouded in debate, starting with...

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Spikenard In Medicine

Feature photo: Spikenard- Efforts to artificially propagate the species have shown mixed results, because it is not economically attractive for collectors to switch from wild to commercial cultivation. Some estimates indicate that the collector’s...

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Spikenard – Overview

Feature photo: Nardostachys jatamansi is a flowering herb found in the Himalayan region at altitudes of 3000–5000 meters. The plant grows to a height of one meter and has bell-shaped pink flowers. The rhizomes are crushed and distilled to...

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Galbanum – trade and production

Photo: Galbanum was actively traded in pre- and post-Biblical times. It was sourced largely from Mesopotamia and Turkey. Today, these countries continue to be major producers. Galbanum is not known to grow in Israel, and the Israeli plants database...

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Galbanum In History

Featured photo: Galbanum gum ( Galbanum is mentioned in the medicinal works of Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder. Galbanum was one of at least 36 ingredients used by Mithridates (c. 132–163 BC) as medicine. Mithridates VI was a Roman who ruled over...

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