Friday, July 27, 2007

Grow your own soap tree


Newstarget came out with an article about soap nuts. They contain soapy substances called saponins. You can use them to wash your clothes and make a general purpose cleanser. They also can be used as a shampoo and skin cleanser; you have to be careful as the nuts are poisonous to eat. But it seems uneconomical to import soap all the way from India. Top Tropicals has seeds and says the tree can be grown inside in large tubs or outside in warmer climates. There are also seeds on ebay.

Apparently there are several different varieties, because I've come up with Sapindus mukorossi, Sapindus detergens and Sapindus saponaria, and there is a native soapberry tree in the Southwest USA (New Mexico, Arizona and Texas). There are actually quite a few plants that have these saponins and can be used as soap. Plants for a Future has a good article about them, and here's and interesting article about several soap plants but mostly the soap lilly.

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5 Comments:

At 8:43 AM, Blogger fizzycat said...

Fantastic site .

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger mtkm said...

Hi

Back home ( India )we call these seeds as reetha seeds.we use it for hair wash by soaking few seeds in water overnite.It is a herbal hair wash. U can get them very cheaply in any indian/pakisthan grocery store.u can use the seeds for growing the plant.good luck !!!!

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Ms said...

http://www.sapindusmukorossi.com has a lot of good information about them i found 1 ebayer that sells the shells and the trees! http://stores.ebay.com/Nine-Lucky-Stars

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend actually sells "soapberries". Check it out at www.earthsberries.com. Great site as it tells you all of the eco friendly ways to use the nuts.

 
At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Jane Wallace said...

Hi, I'm actually interested to find out where you sourced your soapberry tree image as it would be great to use on a website for a new organic soapberry laundry liquid product. Do you own this image or are you able to provide information on sourcing/purchasing this photo?

 

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