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Soap nuts * are Soap berries of small trees which have substances called saponins in them which help them to act as a very safe detergents.They can be used to clean the hair and laundry and gold ornaments.They are very delicate on the clothes and does not leave any poisonous residues like the conventional detergents.
- Crushed Soap nuts are boiled in 2 glasses of water and the mixture is filtered and can be used as a completely environmentally friendly and gentle detergent to wash dishes,colored clothes and gold ornaments .They come out clean and shining after a wash.
- When it is used as a shampoo it prevents dandruff and promotes hair growth.
- There are generally 2 main varieties in India -the South Indian Sapindus trifoliatus and the North Indian Sapindus mukorossi.The north Indian variety is used more in Ayurveda.It is bigger and looks more fleshy and orange when trifoliatus is blacker and smaller.
- Care must be taken to see that the juice must not fall into the eyes which can cause irritation.
- Soapnuts should not be taken internally.It has mild abortifacient properties.Which means that pregnant ladies should not consume soap nuts in any form.