The Henna tree has two special qualities: decomposing due to its warm watery essence, and constipating due to the cold earthly essence it contains.

Healing with The Medicine of The Prophets

I don't understand the meaning of "constipating here".

There are only two definitions of 'constipate' in Merriam-Webster:

Definition of constipate
transitive verb

1: to cause constipation in
2: to make immobile, inactive, or dull : STULTIFY
so much clutter … will tend to constipate the novel's working order
The Times Literary Supplement (London)

I think both definitions aren't suitable for this context, but I'm not very sure. The word "decomposing" is also weird here. I don't think a tree decomposes just because of its essence.

  • In a medical context, 'constipating' is the opposite of 'laxative'. Apr 13, 2021 at 7:01
  • Your mystic-medicine book was written, and probably translated, by non-native speakers. Apr 13, 2021 at 7:02
  • Related question: English equivalent of “garam” (warming) food? There may be cultural meaning to the special qualities that are not fully captured by the dictionary definitions.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 13, 2021 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Meaning 1. Causing constipation. The Henna tree contains a "cold earthy essence". This will cause your poo to go hard and prevent diarrhoea (according to the book).

But it also "decomposes". It helps food to break down in your stomach.

You will find a lot of traditional herbal medicine is about digestion and poo.

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