soap nuts

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sindhooram, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hi - I have recently started using soap nuts . This isnt hard for me because i live in India and I got a back from a visit to a nearbye organic farm...
    I boiled them up in water (using solar oven) and have been using the resulting liquid with a couple of drops of essential oil added for dishwashing liquid, some handwashing and clothes washing.
    My observation is that it is really fine for dishwashing - even oily things.As close to 100% ecofriendly as you can get. and also for clothes washing it seems fine for normal dirt - maybe not for super dirty / smelly things. I wash in cold water in a bucket though so in the hot water washing machine it might be even better.
    I also made a spray out of the liquid for aphids with a few drops of neem oil. It seems to be working at least to some degree....
    I dont know if these trees grow or are allowed in Australia? It seems like a really good addition to a permaculture plot if space permits...since they grow from the HImalaya to South India they seem like pretty adapted to a lot of climates..(south indian kind is smaller)
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Do you know the scientific name?
     
  3. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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  4. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Sapindus mukorossi ...that is the one I know - there may be other variations.
    If you are buying the nuts to grow rather than for washing use you have to check if they are selling the whole nuts or just the shells - some companies I know sell them already shelled.
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
  6. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    I will try and find out from an organic farmer more about how long it takes for a tree to produce soap nuts.
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Multifacetious Uses of Soapnut Tree – A Mini Review
    https://www.rjpbcs.com/pdf/2012_3(1)/53.pdf
    Sapindustrifoliatus is one of the oldest cultivated medicinal plants in the world. Infact Botanist traced it to the period of the Vedas about 5000 years ago.It is a small tree flourish well in the loamy soils of tropical and subtropical regions. It has a number of health benefits besides the famous benefit of keeping the hair long and healthy
    and also useful in the treatment of lice’s and dandruff. It is an excellent herb for skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Soapnut powder is a very good antibacterial and antifungal agent. It is mostly used in the cosmetic and contraceptive creams. It is also used as detergent, bio-surfactant and remedial for organic soil pollution in the modern science.
    The multifacetioususes of this plant are discussed in this paper.
    SapindustrifoliatusLinn., a small deciduous tree belongs to the family Sapindaceae which
    is known assoapnut in English,Ritha in Bengali and Ponnangottai in Tamil[1].It is a native species
    grown in Indo-Gangetic plains, Shivaliks and Sub-Himalayan tracts in Indiaat an altitudes
    rangesfrom 200m to 1500m [2]. It is one of the most important trees of tropical and subtropical regions of Asia.
    It is commonly found in the Western Ghats and plains of South India[3].This tree flourishes well in deep clay loamy soil with an annual rainfall of 200 mm. It is
    a medium sized tree can reaches a height of 25m.The flowers are small greenish white in colour
    and the fruits are solitary globose appears in the month of July- August. The fruit contains an
    active principle saponinwhich ranges from 6-10 % of mass weight[4]. Saponin from soapnut is
    also widely used in the native medicine [5], Pharmaceutical industries [6, 7], used as detergents
    [8] and used for environmental remediation [9].

    The kernel contains 25- 30 % of fatty acid, approximately 85% of triglycerides and sterol.
    The oil extracted from the kernel is used as a bio-fuel [34]. It can be directly blend with the
    fossil fuel at the maximum of 20%. The seed oil can also be converted into biodiesel by trans
    esterification method. The fatty acid of this soapnut seeds has a great potential source for
    inhibiting the bio-corrosion of mild steel and copper alloys. Studies are on progressto evaluate
    the soapnut oil as a potential source for biodiesel and bio inhibitor in our centre.The oil cake
    obtained after the extraction of oil can be used as a bio manure, bioherbicide, biofungicide and
    biopesticide. The saponin from Soapnut acts as a natural bio-surfactant [35].The fruit is used as
    fish poison [36].
    Key words: Soap nut, Sapindus trifoliatus, chemical content, medicinal uses
     
  8. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

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    I had a tree of S. mukorosii in South Georgia USA (zone 8), which thrived after it got some size on it.....I think I protected it for the first winter or two. It never bore fruit while I lived there, but it covers the ground with them now, and some people at that place just throw a few in the washing machine with the laundry instead of detergent. There are a couple of native species in North America as well....
     
  9. brad_kl

    brad_kl Junior Member

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    I've seen these at some eco and sustainability type festivals in Brisbane. There are a few Australian companies selling them now.

    I was told by one of them that their nuts are imported from Africa because it's illegal to grow them here as they are classified as a"weed"

    On face value they do certainly sound like the closest you'll get to a sustainable eco-friendly product.
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Ive got a handful from the community garden so I was going to try them out.
    No seeds unfortunately.


    Wondering if the could be used as a soil wetting agent ?
     

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