Soap nuts are the fruit of Sapindus Mukorossi found in North India, Nepal, China, Indonesia and South America. There are five to twelve species of Sapindus genus as shrubs and small trees all over the world. Soap nuts contain saponin which is a natural detergent. Saponin is also found in bark of Quillaia Saponaria tree in South Africa. Saponin’s detergent properties come forth when it comes in contact in water, it acts as natural surfactant. The fabric gets cleaned as it allows the water enters and dirt gets removed. Soap nuts contain 12% of Saponin approximately.
The ripe soap nuts are brown or golden in color. It is environment friendly to chemical detergent as it uses less water and waste water from washing using soap nuts can be used for watering plants. It can be good alternative to chemical detergents, as these are increasingly unacceptable to consumer for fears of safety of chemicals. In addition soap nut is bio- degradable unlike chemical detergents an important factor for environmentally sensitive consumer.
Environmental degradation is a major concern, ecologist and biologists and other scientist are engage in job of coming with harmless products to nature and mankind. Soap nuts being non-toxic and bio-degradable are blessing in disguise. The studies have also reveal that the Saponin in soap nuts helps environment by controlling fish population and combating harmful micro organism.
The use of soap nuts for washing, hair wash and as medicinal uses in traditional medical system of Ayurveda in India. The soap nuts are also mentioned Tibetan and Unani Medical system. Use of Soap nuts is recommended in these ancient medical systems for constipation, common cold, pimples, control of dandruff, removing lices from scalp, epilepsy, nausea, eczema and psoriasis.
It has also been used in small doses in enthelmintic and expectorant. Nepal and India people have used the soap nuts for a long time not only for washing but treatment of various medicinal uses, now this is getting popular all over the world.
It is recommended that people with allergy and skin diseases should use the soap nuts for bathing due to its anti- microbial properties. Washing hair help not only beautifully washed hairs but also control dandruff. Soap nuts are very effective for people having allergies as these are mild. The chemical detergents and cleansers such as sodium laureth sulphate and other chemical surfactants can leave skin dry and irritated. This is especially in case of person suffering from eczema and psoriasis. Soap nuts gives relief as there are no such chemical and are gentler on body, it is 100% natural, safe and hypoallergenic. People suffering from eczema and psoriasis and other serious skin aliments are advised not to use cleansers.
It is extremely difficult to avoid using cleansers as these are required for personal hygiene and cleanliness. Soap nuts offer the best solution for chemical free detergent that is why soap nut is a key element in Ayurvedic soaps and shampoos. The soap nut cleanser due to property of soap nuts kill disease causing germs thus giving allergy relief, also as there are no toxin, dyes or enzymes makes them an ideal medicine for treatment of allergy. The soap nut cleansers are suitable for either sex or all ages including children.
Global studies on psoriasis and eczema have confirmed that soap nuts help as medicine and reduce the disease, whilst using conventional chemical soaps and cleansers have increase in skin disease.