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Sapindus mukorossi

Latin Name: Sapindus mukorossi
English Name: Soapnut-tree of North India
Sanskrit / Indian Names: Phenila, Arishta

A deciduous tree found wild in north India, usually with 5-10 pairs of leaves, solitary with large drupes.

The fruit is valued for the saponins (10.1 %) present in the pericarp which constitutes up to 56.5 per cent of the drupe. The fruits are credited with expectorant and emetic properties and are used in the treatment of excessive salivation, epilepsy and chlorosis. The powdered seeds are said to possess insecticide properties. They are employed in the treatment of dental caries. It cleanses the skin of oily secretion and is even used as a cleanser for washing hair and a hair tonic, and forms a rich, natural lather. Its detergent action, which cleanses the hair and removes, accumulated debris and a sebaceous material further more imparting speculiar reflection and hair luster.