Aritha or Reetha botanically known as Sapindus Mukorossi is grown in warm tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and India. This au natural cleanser is generally referred to as a soap nut. In Ayurvedic medicine, soap nuts are used as an expectorant, contraceptive, and for treatment of psoriasis, cancer, head lice, and dandruff. Soap nuts are also commonly used in the western world for soap production and as an environmentally friendly alternative for chemical detergents used for washing clothes and cleaning jewelry. Also, these gentle cleansers are used as ayurvedic shampoos and cleansers that provide the hair with body and shine.
What makes soap nuts great cleansers?
The major components of Aritha are saponins (10%-11.5%), sugars (10%) and mucilage. However, it is the saponins that play a major role in the cleansing process. Saponins allow the products to foam and cleanse and remove dirt and oil. However, the saponins in Aritha have many other beneficial properties. In one study evaluating its anti-bacterial effects, Aritha inhibited and cleared the growth of bacteria in rats. These anti-bacterial properties prove beneficial for healing skin and scalp infections like dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema. In another study, the saponins possess insecticidal activity, able to inhibit insects such as aphids, lice, and leaf worms. The variability in saponins in another study also displayed anti-tumorigenic effects, including prevention, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cells. Additionally, another study indicated that the saponins provided anti-inflammatory activity which helps reduces inflammation in the body and scalp.
How to Use
You can use the Soap nut or Aritha Powder
Soap Nut Shampoo
· 5 soapnuts
· 3 cups of water
· 1 meslin cloth
Place soapnut in Meslin cloth and boil them for about 30 mins, add ½ a cup more of water and pour the liquid into a glass container. Store in the fridge for the for no longer than 2 weeks.
Aritha Powder Shampoo
Just a few things to note, Aritha does require a bit of rinsing to fully remove from your hair. As you notice in this video, some of the Aritha was still in my hair after rinsing. The addition of a conditioner will help remove all particles from your hair. Also, the addition of Hibiscus powder and aloe helps add some conditioning properties to your mix. If you find this mix to be too drying, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of Amla to your mix. Feel free to add other herbs as you desire.
How do you like to use Aritha? Share your favorite recipe down below.