Soap Nuts

Soap nuts gives better leather than soap but soap nuts are not prepared chemically. They are available naturally and even called soap berry. Soap nut has all the properties of a soap and Detergent. From the pre – historic times there are evidences in which soap nuts are being used as a soap to rinse hair, use as soap to take bath and also detergent to wash cloths, utensils etc., and Soap nut also has very good medicinal value and the outer shell of soap nut is used as medicine in the treatment of many diseases. My grand mother’s place has plenty of soap nut trees and never gave importance till I read an article about soap nut in a news paper recently. Soap nuts are dark brown and chocolate colored nuts with mild sticky nature. At my grand mother’s place soap nuts are being used for washing silver utensils, sometimes gold jewelry as it is believed to give shininess and also they are used by people to rinse their hair as soap nut also has nourishing property. People using soap nuts there for rinsing hairs doesn’t even know the problems like increased hair fall, dandruff, itching etc., with much curiosity I started to collect information on soap nuts.

Soap nuts are produced by trees belonging to genus Sapindus belonging to family of Lychee tress. Genus Sapindus has ten to twelve different species of trees which produces soap nuts, one more interesting fact about soap nut is on the same tree soap nuts of different colors are produced (such as light brown and dark brown) Soap nuts are being widely used in Asian countries and also great Indian Epics and Ayurvedic treatise contains information on it, in India it is popularly known as Rita. Chemically soap nuts contains little sticky substance saponine and sapindoside types such as sapindoside A, sapindoside B, sapindoside C, sapindoside D, sapindoside E. It nourishes the skin and hairs also preventing from dermal allergies. Soapnuts shell soaked in hot water for an hour can be used as shampoo. It gives better lather with soft water and where as hard water requires more soap nut shells. Don’t use shampoo having Rita as its content it is not so useful as that of naturally available and also has many chemicals in it. The shampoos which are available in market are just the mixture of harmful chemicals even containing petro chemicals which has an adverse effect on skin and scalp.

Using soap nuts for rinsing hair and applying virgin coconut oil regularly prevents all kind of hair problems. The benefit of soap nut is difficult to list and the list is endless as it has advantages ranging from simple washing detergent to preparation of cancer drugs. Companies and people thinking of Going Green initiative should think of using such naturally available resources in our surroundings.


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