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The Many Uses Of Soapnuts In Ayurveda

Posted by Shashi @ Soapnuts HQ on 11 March, 2015

soapnuts ayurveda dosha hair skincare reetha amla shikakai turmeric holy basil

Did you know that Soapnuts are actually a fruit called a soapberry? Soapnuts are a popular herb to use in Ayurveda, because of it's cleansing and softening properties.
 In Ancient India these fruits were used as a naturally produced shampoo for washing hair and for getting rid of dandruff. It was also used for washing fine silks and woolen clothes. This is why some botanists have named the species as Sapindus detergens

In rural parts of India, Ritha foliage can be used as cattle fodder during drought and the whole plant has been used in the treatment of contaminated soil. Moreover, it has also been used for washing and bleaching cardamoms, to help improve colour and flavour.

The fruit is of considerable importance for its medicinal value as well. Ayurvedic, Unani and Tibetan systems of medicine consider it to be useful for treating a number of diseases like common cold, pimples, epilepsy, constipation, nausea, etc. 

Soapnuts have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat sensitive skin, eczema, hair and scalp problems, as a hair conditioner and to alleviate parasites such as lice. Soapnuts have a mild anti-bacterial and anti-microbial function and because of this they have been used in Ayurveda to treat infections, and to help keep the scalp free from bacteria which may cause dandruff or inhibit the growth of new hair.

Other uses of soapnuts also include cleaning jewellery, ljewellery cleaning with soapnutsike our picture (right) where a Himalayan artisan jewellery maker cleans his jewellery with a soft brush and soapnuts (image courtesy of Kaligarh). While you can use soapnuts for washing practically anything (dishes, floors, vegetables, pets), the most popular use for soapnuts is for washing hair.

Completely free from metals, toxins, additives, artificial colours, preservatives. Our organic wild-crafted Soapnuts are safe for people with sensitive skin, because they do not contain irritants or foaming agents like SLSs or Parabens. It is a common ingredient in most Ayurvedic and herbal shampoos as it is known to make hair shinier and softer with regular use. It is often used in herbal preparations with other ingredients like neem, shikakai and amla. Our Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar & Ayurvedic Herbal Hair Mask were created using Ayurvedic formulas which contain all of these amazing herbs.

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Organic Botanics Spotlight: Birch - Betula Alba

Posted by Shashi @ Soapnuts HQ on 24 February, 2015

 organic birch

The name of the Birch tree has been said to have derived from the Sanskrit word 'Bhurga' meaning a tree whose bark is used for writing on, as Birch bark can be easily separated and used as a paper. However it's uses doesn't stop there.

Birch trees are able to thrive and grow in any soil and is grown all over Europe where it is used for many applications. Because of the abundance of Birch, common uses include: broom handles and broom making, gunpowder charcoal and the oil from the tree is often used in the preparation of leather in Russia. A cordial can also be made by piercing the tree in March and draining the thin sugary sap. By adding honey, cloves and lemon and then fermenting the whole concoction you can make Birch Wine. 

Traditional healers have long considered Birch leaf a great healer for skin irritations because of it's super anti-inflammatory status. Birch tree contains betulinic acid that gives it its anti-inflammatory properties. As well as Birch having great anti-inflammatory powers, it is also antibacterial, and has been used to treat headaches, fevers, wounds, skin problems and strangely enough cellulite. 

Birch leaf decoctions are a great way to help alleviate bacteria and problems with eczema or psoriasis prone skin. Put 50g of Birch leaf in an old sock or small muslin bag, and boil it in 2 litres of water for 15 minutes. When it is cooled, you can add this to your bath water. Check the temperature of the decoction before you use it to avoid any discomfort. Alternatively, put the dried Birch leaf in the sock/muslin bag and add straight to your bath to soak and infuse the water. You can also use it as a compress by applying it to the skin whilst in the bath.

Birch has also been considered to strengthen skin tissue, tone the scalp and make hair soft and shiny as well as treating hair-loss! Because it contains saponins, it can open up pores which helps the other botanical ingredients to penetrate the scalp for maximum benefit. Its astringent property strengthens gums, hair and tightens muscles and regular use of birch treatments may help reduce wrinkles. As well as conditioning, Birch can help combat oily or greasy hair.

Products you can find it in: Soapnut Organic Herbal Hair Rinse Conditioner