What are soap nuts?

Since ancient times in places of growth of sapindus people used its fruits for body wash and dishes, washing clothes. Also the fruits used in folk medicine as a powerful remedy for skin diseases.

Soap tree is a genus of small evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs, is a family of Spindown. Widespread in tropical regions of Asia and America. Carl Linnaeus, aware of the cleaning properties of this plant, has assigned it the scientific name “sapindus” (Indian soap) that is derived from the Latin word “sapo” — soap, and “indicus” — Indian.

Sometimes soap tree called koelreuteria paniculate from the same family, the bark of which contains saponin. This tree is cultivated as an ornamental garden. Koelreuteria beautiful during flowering and during fruiting.

Sapindus also good for landscaping: another long leaves, 15-40 cm, add an airy feel to the crown. Yellow flowers, gathered in long, to 30 cm long, panicles, complement the attire of the tree.

But the main value of this plant in the fruit — berries, depending on species, they were the size of 1.5−2.5 cm Fruit often referred to as soap berries or soap nuts. Cleaning properties due to the presence in the fruits of a large number (up to 35-38%) saponins containing foam-forming ingredients. Inside the fruit is bone, which has a very durable shell. Kernel locals make a variety of jewelry: keychains, necklaces, earrings.

Wood is used in shipbuilding.

The plant adversely affects the protozoa and insects, this quality is used to fight harmful insects (lice, fleas) and for the treatment of diseases of the skin. Many medical drugs contain components sapindus.

The fruits of the soap tree have a slightly acidic reaction, so good for the body and hair does not irritate the skin and do not wash off the natural protective shell. Also they are perfect for washing products made of natural fibers.

In our days people are starting to get tired of the synthetic environment that contributes to the appearance of allergic diseases. Often reminds people of forgotten recipes ancestors.

If climatic conditions are suitable for life soap tree, it is easy to grow. Sapindus well propagated by seeds. Prefers open Sunny locations, fertile, permeable soil. Mature plants tolerate drought, watering is only young trees. Soap tree would appreciate occasional feeding with organic fertilizers.

Sapindus can be grown indoors, but we must remember that this tree and it grows to 10-15 metres. Such a pleasure can afford only a person who has a greenhouse or Conservatory.

In nature soap tree begins to bear fruit in 9-10 years, live to be 100. One tree yields 25-100 kg of dried fruits per year.

Currently, the fruits of the soap tree are sold, usually called “soap nuts”. Producers after harvest, the fruits split, core discarded, the shells are dried, they go on sale. This files most often on the shelves come the fruits of two kinds: sapindus, Mukorossi — North Indian, and sapindus Trifoliatus — decorously from South India.

The shelf life of soap nuts is unlimited. Store it in a dry place. When stored in conditions of high humidity, it gets dark and sticky, but washing qualities is not affected.

The fruits of sapindus, Mukorossi larger, has a mild odor of dried fruit, they are best used for washing, and the fruit of sapindus of Trifoliatus more suitable for body wash and hair does not dry the skin.

Soap nuts are recommended for individuals suffering from allergic and skin diseases, as well as children. Hair with regular washing with a decoction of the fruit of the soap tree becomes silky and manageable, improves their growth, eliminates dandruff.

To use soap nuts is possible in manual and machine washing. They are sold complete with pouches, in which it is necessary to soak the shells.

Hand-washing should be soaked in hot water for about 10 shells. Capacity should preferably be covered to keep the water longer warm. Ten minutes later, several times squeeze bag to the foam. To soak the clothes, close the lid. After 15-20 minutes wash. Heavily contaminated sites, it is recommended to scrub, like soap, pouch.

Water after washing and rinsing, you can pour in the vegetable garden, flower garden. The same shells are suitable for repeated use (4-5 times), after washing must be dried.

When machine-washed knotted the bag should be placed in the drum of the washing machine. White linen is recommended to wash the fruits of sapindus, Mukorossi. Also note that the washing soap nuts for sapindus of Trifoliatus linen must be removed immediately after washing to avoid stains from contact with the bag. Get rid of stains with the rinse.

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