Monday, 21 November 2011

Permaculture advices: Soap plants

Plants that have a high saponin content make a lather with water. But don't expect as much lather like a soap or shampoo. Other plants are healthy washes for various purposes.
  • Horse Chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum)
  • Agaves (agave americana)
  • Fat hen (chenopodium album)
  • Soap lily (chlorogalum pomeridianum)
  • Ragged robin (lychnis flos-cuculi)
  • Pokeweed (phytolacca americana)
  • Poplar (populus trichocarpa)
  • Soap-bark tree (quillaja saponaria)
  • Soapwort (saponaria officinalis)
  • White and red champion (silene alba and dioica)
  • Soapweed (yucca glauca)
  • Shikakai (acacia concinna)
  • Soap nuts (sapindus)
I am actually working as a soap maker, and making soap out of lye and organic vegetable oils. But naturally I am very much interested in soap producing plants. I have tried shikakai and soapwort, and they foam just a bit, nothing compared to a soap. However they do clean your skin or hair, even without the foam effect, due to their saponins. Below are some herbs useful to use on the hair. I will also post in the future on how to make natural shampoos.

Hair washing
  • Nettles
  • Horsetail
  • Yarrow
  • Sage
  • Calendula
  • Thyme
  • Amla
  • Henna
  • Hibiscus
  • Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Chamomile (chamamelum mobile)
  • Honeysuckle (lonicera ciliosa)
  • New Jersey tea (ceanothus americanus)
  • Ivy (hedera helix)
  • Dwarf mallow (malva pusilla ) tooth cleaner
Soapwort is a plant that when boiled produces some lather and cleans

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