Soapberry or Sapindaceae is actually a family of more than 1000 species, most of them are trees and shrubs, with a minority being herbs. In simplest terms, it is a relative to the lychee fruit. Its distribution ranges in the tropical as well as subtropical regions of Asia, though it has since saw introduction to South America, Australia and Africa.
Interestingly, despite looking like a nut, it still remains a fruit! In addition, soapberries are known as “the natural soap” because it contains cleansing and softening capabilities. At this article, we will discover more about soapberry, including the benefits of soapberry for skin health.
An Introduction to Soapberries
Actually, there are two kinds of soapberries in existence. The first one is the plant that belongs to the family of Sapindaceae, as well as Canada bufalloberry (Shepherdia canadensis). The main difference in between the two is that Sapindaceae contains a natural detergent known as saponin, thus making it less likely to be eaten whereas Canada bufalloberry is still edible despite its bitter taste.
Sapindaceae has members of the genus that is referred to as “soapberries” or “soapnuts”, because it is their pulp that is used to produce soap. This genus has a disputed number of 13 species and 5 former species. Sapindaceae has alternate leaves measuring 15 to 40 centimeters, with each pinnate containing 14 to 30 leaflets. The flowers are small sized with creamy white colour. In the meantime, the soapberry fruit from Sapindaceae is yellow, small measuring 1-2 centimetres, with the number of seeds at 3 in maximum.
While then, the Canada bufalloberry or the Shepherdia canadensis have red berries in contrast to Sapindaceae with its yellow berries. Canada bufalloberry is widespread in majority of Canada’s territory including the northern regions of the United States of America.
The Canada bufalloberry has been harvested by native Indian Canadian tribes in the Pacific Northwest, not for direct consumption but instead for making the “Indian ice cream.” The Indian ice cream, or the “sxusem” is a whipped tribal Canadian dessert made out of soapberries, water, and sweeteners such as sugar. Sugar is used to neutralize the bitterness of Canada bufalloberry’s taste.
These are the health benefits lemon seeds.
Uses of Soapberry
Soapberries are notably used for anything which has to deal with cleaning, such as in these household activities and things;
- Facial Wash
- Body, Hand and Hair Wash
- Dish Washing
- Multi-purpose House Cleansing Liquid
- Detergent for Laundry
- Shaving Cream
- Insect Repellant
- Wound Treatment
What are its Health Benefits?
- Soapberries are Antibacterial
The antibacterial benefits of soapberries are the primary reason to why they are very suitable for cleaning the body and its surrounding environment. Besides, one should even consider soapberry products for cleaning because they are naturally and organically antibacterial.
- Soapberries Can be Used as a Laxative
Soapberries are also a laxative, or a substance which stimulates the release of bowels and overall digestion. In fact, it can also be used to treat upset stomach, constipation, up to stomach cancer! Soapberry’s laxative functions can be obtained by boiling the inner bark.
- Soapberries Moisturizes the Skin
Soapberries are able to moisturize the skin due to the conditioning properties it possesses. They help in preventing skin dryness. Indeed, even people with sensitive skin could use any soapberry product without worrying the reaction it poses to the skin.
- Soapberries are Also a Cleanser
Just like its name, soapberries can also act as a soap, or a cleanser in broader terms. Soapberries for body cleansing cools and nourishes the skin while cleaning it well.
- Soapberries are Usable for Skincare
It turns out that a simple mixture of soapberry liquid and any type of essential oil could come out as a do-it-yourself (DIY) facial wash. Soapberry and essential oil facial wash prevents and get rid of acne, lightens the complexion as well as evens out the skin tone. Again, soapberry facial washes are safe for people with various skin conditions.
- Soapberries Support a Holistic Hair Care
And then, soapberries support a holistic hair care by naturally providing various kinds of treatment. First, they lead to hair growth, which is seen through its presence inside hair tonics. Second, the vitamins A, D, E and K play a vital role in smoothening the hair. Next, the antibacterial properties of soapberries treat common scalp problems and infections, as in dandruff. And finally, soapberries can also be used as a conditioner to make the hair moister and more manageable.
- Soapberries are Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic means that the particular material is non-toxic, or non-irritating to the respiratory or skin. This makes the soapberry to be pretty practical for anyone with various skin conditions as well as allergic reactions. Indeed, soapberries are not only safe for the skin; they also do not cause any damage to any surfaces or delicate clothing.
- Soapberries are Anti-Inflammatory and Have Antioxidants
It turns out that soapberries are both anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants at the same time! Soapberries are anti-inflammatory in terms of being effective in treating edema and joint pains. In the meantime, soapberries also have antioxidants for the prevention of cancer, such as in stomach cancer.
- Soapberries are Non-Pollutant
Soapberries are non-pollutant because they are 100% biodegradable. Biodegradable means that the substance or object has the capabilities of being decomposed by bacteria or any other types of living organisms, as in animals, plants or other living things. On the other hand, soapberry as a detergent is also non-polluting, unlike conventional detergent, because they do not contain chemicals which may harm marine wildlife through the release of toxins and depleted oxygen.
- Soapberries are Environmentally Sustainable
Soapberries are environmentally sustainable because they are easily grown, 100% biodegradable, organically grown, 100% natural, reusable and also a renewable source. At this age of global warming, environmentally sustainable items are looked up to reduce wastage in order to protect and conserve the surrounding environment.