Henna is a wonderful and natural alternative to airbrush tattoos. Henna is the original
tattoo! Henna is a plant, leaves that are ground fine then mixed with essential oils, sugar and
lemon. It is made into a creamy paste and then applied to skin. The henna plant naturally
stains the skin leaving a beautiful temporary tattoo, that is natural without chemicals and can
stay on skin typically from 7-10 days, sometimes longer or shorter depending on skin type,
oils or dryness of skin. Also how the mendhi stain is cared for.
Allowing the henna paste to stay on for 4 hours as opposed to 1 hour, will darken the stain.
Water should be avoided for 24 hours and rubbing the stain will shorten the life of the stain.
Applying lemon juice and sugar will typically extend the life of the stain.
Henna is natural and should never be applied with any chemicals or PPD (black henna). This
is a dye and can harm you. It can infect the skin, cause sores, infections, cause harm to your
liver, kidneys and has been linked to causing cancers. PPD in rare instances can kill.
Never use black henna.
Jagua is an easy to use
tattoo gel. It is 'real look'
tattoo black in colour.
Jagua tattoos last 10-15
days. The gel is made
from a fruit called Genipa
Americana which comes
from the South American
Rainforest. The
Indiginous tribes there
have used the natural dye
to decorate their bodies
for centuries.
What Is Jagua?
Jagua is a tropical fruit that is used for traditional body art. The unripe jagua fruit
juice is painted on the skin making elaborate and striking jagua body art. It's a really
great type of body paint because it can last for a few weeks, just like henna body
art. So technically jagua is actually a stain and not a paint.
Where does Jagua Come From?
Jagua grows on really tall trees in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Central and
South America. It can be found in fruit all year round in some places. The fruits are
born of really pretty yellow or cream coloured flowers and are kind of the same
shape as a kiwi fruit. They range in size from the size of a regular kiwi fruit right up
to the size of a small melon. They are also really hard when they are unripe, and
squeezing jagua juice out of an unripe fruit is akin to getting blood from a stone!
How Long Has Jagua Been Around?
Its hard to say exactly how long jagua has been around, and just as hard to know
exactly how long it has been used for traditional body art. All we can honestly say at
this point is that it's been used for as long as people can remember in the regions of
the Rainforests where it is still used in the same traditional way today. People have
been in South America for some 12 Thousand years, so it's entirely possible that
jagua tattoos have been traditionally painted for some twelve thousand years!
If It's Been Around So Long, Why Have I never Heard Of It Before Now?
I guess there are still a lot of secrets in the South American Rainforests. The recent
explosion in the popularity of Jagua body art just goes to show that there are many
possibilities still out there that the outside world has not even noticed. More
importantly it goes to show that local traditional knowledge is incredibly important
to the whole world, not just the local people of the Rainforest. So every effort
should be made to help preserve it.
Does Jagua Go By Any Other Names?
It sure does! Genipa Americana, is the Latin name, hence the scientific name. Jagua
is a local name; one of the most common local names infact.
Other common local names include: Jenipapo, Caruto and Huito. There are possibly
over 50 different local names and variations of the common ones listed above.