Introduction: Shikakai has been used traditionally for hair care in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. It is an Ayurvedic medicinal plant.
It is a climbing shrub native to Asia, common in the warm plains of central and south India. The tree is food for the larvae of the butterfly Pantoporia hordonia. The species is invasive in New Caledonia.
Pre Harappan level of Banawali (2750-2500 BC), Haryana has revealed traces of shikakai along with soap nuts and Amla (Indian Gooseberry), exhibiting ancient roots of South Asian hygiene.
Biological Source: It consists the fruits of the plant Acacia concinna Linn. (Leguminosae), It is a medicinal plant that grows in tropical rainforests of southern Asia and is used for washing hair. Chemical constituents: In commercial extracts, when the plant is hydrolyzed, it yields lupeol, spinasterol, acacic acid, lactone, and the natural sugars glucose, arabinose and rhamnose. It also contains hexacosanol, spinasterone, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, succinic acid, ascorbic acid, and the alkaloids calyctomine and nicotine.
Uses: Acacia concinna has been used traditionally for hair care in the Indian subcontinent. It is traditionally used as a shampoo and it is also added in synthetic Ayurvedic shampoos. In order to prepare it, the fruit pods, leaves and bark of the plant are dried, ground into a powder, then made into a paste. It is considered a good cleanser. It is mild, having a naturally low pH, and doesn't strip hair of natural oils. An infusion of the leaves has been used in anti-dandruff preparations.
Saponins from the plant's pods have been traditionally used as a detergent.
An infusion of the leaves of A. concinna has also been used for therapy of jaundice in the traditional Indian medicine.
Other benefits of Shikakai:
It shows beneficial effects in Loss of appetite, Bleeding piles and in Constipation. Precautions:
Breastfeeding: Avoid Shikakai or use only under medical supervision during breastfeeding
Pregnancy: Avoid Shikakai or use only under medical supervision during pregnancy.
Shikakai Infusion a. Remove the seeds of Shikakai after crushing the fruit. b. Soak it in a glass of water for at least 1 hour. c. Take 1/4 glass of this infusion before sleeping to control constipation and piles. d. Or have it before food to improve appetite.
Shikakai Powder - 1-2 teaspoon or as per physician advice.
Shikakai Oil - 5-10 drops or as per your requirement.
How to Use:
1. Shikakai Powder: a. Take 1-2 teaspoon of Shikakai powder. b. Add honey to it. c. Also, add water to form a paste. d. Use for quick wound healing. 2. Shikakai Oil: a. Take 10-15 drops of Shikakai based oil. b. Add Amla oil to it. c. Gently massage on the hair and scalp.
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Pharma Consultant Team Indian Herbal Valley