Cassia Obovata - A Naturally Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment !
Cassia Obovata : Natural Hair Conditioner
Cassia obovata is nature's own hair booster and best hair conditioner in one; it's pure magic for limp hair, troubled hair, scalp, and skin. It will condition and volumise your hair after one application, giving the appearance and feel of a thicker, fuller head of hair ! Cassia obovata is commonly confused with henna and mistakenly known as "colourless henna" though in fact it comes from an altogether different plant. When crushed, it looks similar to henna leaf powder but is lighter in colour. It promotes healthy, soft and shining hair, and is also reputed to help clear dandruff. Cassia obovata is not a hair colour, but it can work as an anti-gray hair treatment if mixed with acid juice.
Simply mix cassia obovata with water into a henna-like mud paste, apply to the scalp (mainly), and hair, for as long as you like – maximum recommended time is 30 minutes ( unless you're using it as anti-gray, or with henna, in which case leave it in as long as you like). Wash out and you're left with beautiful, naturally conditioned & cleansed, hair and scalp. You may add your favourite oil to the paste for added moisture and pure nourishment - my favourite hair magic involves popping a few krill oil capsules [snip the capsules to get the oil out] into the mix, a capsule or 2 of vitamin E oil, and a dash of cider vinegar. Doesn't exactly smell like paradise but works a treat. If you fancy oil in the paste, and if smell matters an awful lot to you, you could try adding our lightly fragranced cold pressed bhringraj oil, or mix up your cassia obovata with Renaissance Henna pure rose water.
Henna for blondes?
Cassia obovata is commonly confused with henna and mistakenly known as "colourless henna" or “neutral henna” though in fact it comes from an altogether different plant. When crushed, it looks similar to henna leaf powder but is lighter in colour. It promotes healthy, soft and shining hair, and is also reputed to help clear dandruff. Cassia obovata is for deep hair conditioning and, on blonde hair, it will naturally highlight the blonde without changing hair colour (on darker hair colours it will not impart any noticeable colour). Cassia obovata can be combined with rhubarb root for an even deeper hair conditioning treatment and to further enhance golden blonde tones. And it can be combined with just a touch of pure henna for strawberry blonde, and with acacia catechu for dark blonde.
Really Getting to Know Cassia Obovata and its Relatives
Incidentally, Cassia Obovata is also commonly referred to as Senna Obovata. It is important not to confuse this species of cassia with the cassia which is known as pure cinnamon. There are around 400 varieties of cassia !
Here's the difference : the "cinnamon" cassia is categorised botanically as Cinnamomum Cassia (BLUME) - also known as senna I'm afraid. It's family is the N.O. Lauraceae. It's medicinal action and uses are : stomachic, carminative, mildly astringent. Chiefly used to assist and flavour other drugs, being helpful in diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and to relieve flatulence.
Cassia Obovata is a different plant and its crushed powdered leaves looks a lot like henna powder but function very differently to henna. It's primary characteristics are : anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Basically, it is highly effective against microbes and fungi. Hence, excellent as a dandruff treatment, and an excellent skin and hair conditioner ! It has been known to soothe and restore the most damaged of hair and skin.
The great thing about cassias like cassia obovata and cassia alata [and some other cassias too] is that they contain particularly high levels of anthraquinones and chrysophanic acid. These scary sounding names are supremely effective in promoting healing, and healthy hair and skin. These are amazing plants that far outwit chemical hair products ! Note that chrysophanic acid in its pure form is yellow, therefore although cassia obovata is "neutral" and generally considered non staining, if it has particularly high levels of chrysophanic acid it may stain yellowish - just like rhubarb root which also has high concentrations of chrysophanic acid. Don't be scared of the yellow stain - it's likely to be an indication of the presence of a potent, excellent tonic. Cassia obovata, cassia alata, and rhubarb root, are all excellent candidates for mixing with henna to achieve lighter tones which may suit blonde and ash colour type hair.
Compare cassia obovata with how commercial hair conditioners work :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_conditioner
Cassia Obovata Mud Wrap for Skin, and Repairing Nail Treatment
Cassia obovata makes a beautiful nail and skin conditioning treatment for dry skin and splitting fingernails or toenails. It has both antiseptic and antifungal properties and can also be applied to inflamed and irritated skin around the nails. Simply mix up the powder with water till the paste is of a smooth mud like consistency and apply the mud once or twice a week. Norma Pasekoff Weinberg in her book "Henna from Head to Toe" says some people prefer to use boiled spring or distilled water, cool to lukewarm, to mix up their paste, and recommends adding a teaspoonful of yoghurt and/or 2 - 3 drops of eucalyptus oil for a nail treatment. Before using any essential oil, however, check for sensitivity first : do not use essential oils on diabetics, children, and pregnant mothers, and anyone suffering from any medical condition. You can use your hands, or a wooden spatula or the length of a wooden toothpick to apply the paste to clean dry skin or nails and cuticles, then simply leave on for ten minutes or longer. If you have time, wrap hands/body in some plastic wrap and cover with a towel or old sheet/s and leave on as long as possible. Then rinse off gently in lukewarm water. For nails, finish by buffing with a chamois nail buffer, and for skin and nails, end with a soothing coat of any good quality cold pressed oil or paraben free moisture cream that is acceptable to your conscience. Left over paste can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for 2 -3 days.