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Sapindus rarak Soapberry Lerak Sapindacea
 

 

Sapindus rarak, Soapberry,  Sapindaceae, lerak

Common names include soapberry and soapnut, both names referring to the use of the crushed seeds to make soap.
The flowers form in large panicles, each flower small, creamy white. The fruit, called a soap nut, is a small leathery-skinned drupe 1-2 cm diameter, yellow ripening blackish, containing one to three seeds.
Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent which is used to clean clothes. Soap nuts, especially Sapindus mukorossi, have become popular as an alternative to manufactured, chemical detergents among those who live in an environmentally friendly style. A few nuts can be placed in a cotton drawstring bag in with a washload and reused several times. Soap nuts are safe for washing silk, woolens and other delicate fabrics.
Medical use: Soap nuts, especially Sapindus mukorossi, are used medically as an expectorant, emetic, contraceptive, and for treatment of excessive salivation, epilepsy, chlorosis, and migraines. Studies show that saponin from soap nuts inhibits tumor cell growth. Soap nuts are among the list of herbs and minerals in Ayurveda. They are a popular ingredient in Ayurvedic shampoos and cleansers. They are used in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema, psoriasis, and for removing freckles. Soap nuts have gentle insecticidal properties and are traditionally used for removing lice from the scalp.
Soap nuts are antimicrobial and are beneficial for septic systems and greywater. Soap nuts are used in the remediation of contaminated soil.
Soap nuts are used by Indian and Indonesian jewelers to remove the tarnish from gold, silver, and other precious metals.

  

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