The Soapnuts we stock come from a company called Living Naturally.
Living Naturally, Soapnut products have been developed and produced by our family-owned business based in the UK. We have combined a real need and love of what we do, expert botanical knowledge, Ayurvedic principles and science. We have harnessed the specific cleansing and softening properties of Soapnuts to develop a completely unique range of laundry and personal care products free from SLSs, Parabens & Mineral Oil.
Living Naturally’s eco-friendly range is designed to bring you the power and pureness of nature.Almost all of our products are made by hand in the UK in small batches from 100% natural and organic ethically sourced, cruelty free ingredients. Whilst developing their products Living Naturally discovered that not all Soapnuts are created equally! They use a variety known as Sapindus Mukorossi because they have the greatest soap content and are therefore a more effective cleaner. They are native to Nepal & India and this is where Living Naturally certified organic Soapnuts are hand-harvested from. Their soapnuts are shipped from India to the UK where they are packed.
What Are Soapnuts?Soapnuts are known worldwide by many names such as soapberry, Reetha (Hindi), Chinese soapberry and many more. They were discovered as being great for lots of things mainly because they were resistant to diseases and insects. Local villagers wanted to know how come, and discovered that the high amounts of soap in the fruit were a natural pest and insect repellent for the tree! This great natural soap has been used for centuries as a 100% natural alternative to chemical laundry detergent and soap.
Soapnuts (they're not nuts, they are actually dried fruit shells, totally hypoallergenic and they won't aggravate your skin) have soap in their shells and you can put 5 of them in a bag and put them in the wash with your laundry to wash your clothes. They can be re-used up to four times before you compost them. You can also boil soapnuts to make a homemade cleaning soap, which can replace many chemical soaps/detergents containing sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) that are becoming well known for being a skin irritant.
Not all soapnuts will clean or sud in the same way. There are actually 12 different varieties. We have test-driven six different varieties/suppliers before deciding on the great sapindus mukurossi. We only sell 100% Sapindus Mukurossi, because it has the highest amount of saponin/soap in their shell and will be the most effective when used for cleaning. Don't be fooled by cheaper, less effective products.
Soapnuts are highly-effective and gentle at the same time. It will leave your laundry fresh and clean and compared to other detergents, its mildness will keep colours bright, maintaining fabric structure of your clothes for longer periods. It can be used on all fabrics and at all temperatures. There are so many benefits of using soapnuts!
Why can't we grow them in the UK? The tree grows to 10 to 20 meters in height and begins flowering and bearing fruit after about 9 years. The tree has great longevity and will produce fruit (soap nuts) for about 90 years. However, the reason why we get ours from so far away is that they produce better soapy fruit in a hotter country.
Local farmers / families harvest the fruit after it falls from the tree. A linen is spread under the tree to catch the mature fruits when they fall down. The shells are then dried and cleaned, the seeds are removed and we are left with the soapnut shells. The soapnut seeds can then be replanted. The leftover shells are dried in the sun using absolutely no chemical processing. Our organically certified supplier is also involved in contract farming. It means that they are supplying the farmers with selected input including technical advice if required. The soapnut collectors are given a wage on per kg sold basis.
No commercial manufacturing processes are required in any way for the soapnut to become effective. Hence, soapnuts are absolutely 100% natural, unmodified dried fruit shells.
Next, they are packaged up and shipped to the UK for distribution. We ship them instead of flying them over, to minimise any effect on the environment.
Soapnuts In AyurvedaSoapnuts are used in Ayurveda for the treatment of sensitive skin, eczema, scalp issues such as hair loss, dandruff, and to alleviate parasites such as lice.
While you can use soapnuts for washing practically anything, the most popular use for soapnuts is for washing hair. It is a common ingredient in most Ayurvedic and herbal shampoos as it is known to make hair shinier and softer with regular use.
Soapnuts have a mild anti-bacterial and anti-microbial function and because of this they have been used in ayurveda to treat scalp infections, to help keep the scalp free from dandruff, to stop hair loss and to promote the growth of new hair.
It is a popular herb to use because it is a completely natural way of shampooing hair or cleansing skin. Completely free from metals, toxins, additives, artificial colours, preservatives. Soapnuts are safe for people with sensitive skin, because they do not contain irritants or foaming agents like SLSs.
Our ayurvedic soapnut products are synergistically hand-blended to promote the balance of your hair and skin. We use only the purest and most effective botanical ingredients to genuinely nourish your skin and hair.