herbs » Acacia sinuata
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Latin Names: Acacia sinuata / Acacia concinna
English Name: Soap Nut
Sanskrit / Indian Names: Saptala, Shikakai

A common, prickly, scandent shrub.
The pods yield saponins (20.8%) which have been reported to contain acacinin-C, -D and -E and a homologous series of oligosaccharides. An ointment prepared from the ground pods is good for skin diseases. A decoction of the pods relieves biliousness and acts as a purgative. It is used to remove dandruff and has a detangling effect on the hair, which helps in increasing the hair volume.

The pods, known as Shikai or Shikakai, are extensively used as a detergent, and the dry ones are powdered and perfumed, and sold in the market as soapnut powder.