Herb Spotlight: Reetha (Sapindus mukorossi)

This month we have chosen to highlight Reetha, or the Indian Soapberry (Sapindus mukorossi), a traditional Ayurvedic cleanser for both skin and hair.

Reetha is a small tree native to Northern & Western India, China and Nepal. While different parts of the tree have different medicinal properties and uses, it is the fruits/berries which make it famous. Much like its Ayurvedic cousin Shikakai (Acacia concinna), Reetha fruits have a high concentration of saponins — natural cleansing compounds which produce an effective foam or lather and thus act as a completely natural soap or shampoo alternative.

As saponins also act as natural insecticides, Reetha is also often prescribed in Ayurveda for the control of head lice and scabies (skin mites).

Traditional Uses of Reetha

Since ancient times, Reetha fruits are soaked overnight, boiled and strained and made into a natural cleanser. The resulting liquid, once cool, is an effective Ayurvedic body and hair wash. 

Traditionally, Reetha is also used in powder form, most often in combination with Shikakai and Amla to make a three-herb Ayurvedic hair powder formula, used by simply mixing with warm water and applying to the hair. Either method produces a gentle lather with a mild cleansing action which does not strip the hair or skin entirely of its natural oils.

Other uses of Reetha include naturally removing dirt and grime from gems and jewelry and washing clothes. These days, Reetha is often included in modern Ayurvedic soap and shampoo formulations, imbuing the formula with many of its beneficial properties.

Ayurvedic Properties of Reetha

According to Ayurvedic tradition, Reetha has the following properties:

  • Hot, or uṣṇa, potency
  • Balancing to all three doshas, but especially effective against excess kapha dosha
  • Belongs to the lekhana, or scraping, class of herbs. These herbs are generally hot and drying and help in metabolic conditions like obesity or diabetes.
  • Helpful in problem skin and hair conditions (kuṣṭha) like dandruff, lice, boils, blisters, insect bites, acne, eczema & psoriasis

Auromere Ayurvedic Products containing Reetha

These Auromère products feature Reetha, and the results speak for themselves : )

  • Sandalwood-Turmeric Ayurvedic Liquid Soap: Gentle, rejuvenating formula for hands, face and body with a heavenly fragrance
  • Shampoo Bar: an all-in-one cleansing bar which can be used not only as a shampoo bar, but also as a body soap. This Ayurvedic bar contains the same 6-herb formula as Auromere’s Neem Plus 5 liquid shampoo. The bar form adds extra convenience and is very helpful for the gym or when traveling or camping and comes in an eco-friendly, zero-waste, 100% biodegradable package.
  • Conditioner Bar: the perfect complement to our shampoo bar, it is a superb conditioner suitable for all hair types in the same great, eco-friendly package. Contains Reetha, Neema, Amla, Brahmi and Hibiscus in a moisturizing coconut oil base.
  • Neem Plus 5 Shampoo: formulated for pitta-kapha body types (normal to oily hair) with a 6-herb formula including Reetha together with Shikakai, Amla, Neem, Henna and Methi, all prized for their natural cleansing, nourishing and rejuvenating properties.

Use the coupon code REETHA22 for a 25% discount on any of these products to experience the benefits of Reetha in your own body care routine.
Valid through the end of August 2022.

With all best wishes to your health and wellness from Auromère