Acacia concinna has been used for hair care in India for centuries; it is now grown commercially in India and Far East Asia. The plant parts used for the dry powdered or the extract are the bark, leaves or pods. It is a common shrub found in jungles throughout India. The bark contains high levels of saponins, which are foaming agents that are found in several other plant species. Saponin-containing plants have a long history of use as mild cleaning agents. Saponins from the plant’s pods have been traditionally used as a detergent and in Bengal for poisoning fish and are documented to be potent marine toxins. From ancient days this fruit is used as hair cleansing agent in India, grown in Karnakata especially in Chikmagalur.
SHIKAKAI is a little known secret for maintaining healthy hair. It is the best, most natural shampoo we’ve found. Its gentle, low pH lather cleans thoroughly without drying the hair or scalp. It leaves hair smooth, shiny and full of body. It is a true and natural alternative to soap and detergent based shampoos. Its claim to fame is its large pod which has been collected, ground into powder, mixed with water and used for centuries as a gentle cleanser for “lustrous long hair”. In fact, “shikakai” literally translates as “fruit for the hair”. In commercial extracts, when the plant is hydrolyzed it yields lupeol and spinasterol and acacic acid lactone, and the sugars glucose, arabinose and rhamnose. The saponin of the bark has spermicidal activity against human semen. The leaves have an acidic taste and are used in chutneys. The leaves contain oxalic, tartaric, citric, succinic and ascorbic acids, as well as two alkaloids, calyctomine and nicotine. An infusion of the leaves has been used in anti-dandruff preparations. Extracts of the out of this fruit won’t strip the hair of the natural oils which are so important to healthy hair and scalp.