VERNACULAR NAMESEnglish: Soap pod
Hindi: Shikakai, Sikakai
Malayalam: Cheeyakayi, shikai
Kannada: Shige kayi
It is used as an ingredient in many herbal shampoos. The saponin content in its fruits and bark act as foaming agent and forms the foam.
Phytochemistry: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. Bark and pods have saponins which form the foam.
Parts used for medicinal purposeBark, Leaves, Pods, ,
Controversy:In Ayurveda saptala herb is considered as shikakai as the synonyms such as bhuriphena, vimala etc resembles shikakai qualities of forming froth, cleansing property etc.
Morphology:Shikakai is a climbing shrub. Pods are oblong in shape, nearly 8 – 12 cm long, dark brown in colour. Branches possess numerous short thorns. Leaves are bi pinnate. Flowers are pink in colour.
Geographical distribution:Sikakai is grown in Southern Asia including India, Myanmar and Thailand.
- In India shikakai fruits are used to cleanse the hair and clothes. It forms the lather and acts as an excellent cleanser.
- Traditionally sikakai is used as remedy to treat jaundice, constipation and skin problems.
- The leaves and pods are used treat cuts, wounds and oral diseases due to its astringent property.
- Leaves of shikakai act as purgative, liver stimulant and improves taste.
- The decoction of shikakai pods acts as purgative and used to treat constipation, abdominal pain, indigestion and flatulence.
- Infusion of pods is used to treat chronic respiratory diseases. It reduces muscles constrictions in the airways of the lungs
- The saponin content of the bark have spermicidal effect that destroys sperms.
- Powder of bark, leaves or pods is used as hair conditioner. It cleanses the hair, removes excess oil and dirt, makes hair soft and detangle it. It strengthens the hair roots and promotes hair growth. It also works against dandruff.
- In Jaundice, leaves of shikakai is used with black pepper. It can cause purgation or sometime it leads to vomiting. It normalises the bile secretion.
- In head lice, pod decoction is used to wash hair. It also promotes hair growth and controls dandruff.
- The wick dipped in pod decoction is kept as suppository in children, relieves indigestion and constipation.
- Shikai leaves are used to treat malarial fever.
- Leaves infusion is used to clear dandruff.
- In skin diseases, the extract of grounded shikakai pod is used.
- Shikakai bark is macerated in water and the solution obtained is used to wash the hair during bath. This promotes the hair growth, relieves dandruff, scalp itching and dryness. It is also used to get rid of hair lice.
- Shikakai bark powder can be used as the bath powder along with other ingredients such as neem, turmeric, green gram powder etc. It removes the dirt, bad odour, relieves itching, dryness, scaling of skin etc.
- Shikakai infusion used to wash wounds can help to reduce swelling, exudation, inflammation, itching, burning sensation and helps in healing the wound.
- If shikakai powder used alone causes dryness then it can be used with amla powder and yogurt. This combination can avoid dryness of hair, controls dandruff, nourish the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth.
Ayurvedic Formulations:Common Ayurvedic Formulations of Shikakai with their Indications
Sri Sri Tattva Shikakai Henna Shampoo - It is mainly used in the treatment of hair fall , makes hair soft and lustrous.
Trichup Herbal Hair Pack Powder
G3 Triple Action Ayurvedic Hair Wash - G3 Hair Wash keeps hair soft, silky and manageable. It is completely safe & free from harmful chemicals.
Herbal Shikakai Henna Shampoo
Rovaan Herbal Shampoo
Photos of Shikakai -
- » Classification and names of Shikakai
- » Synonyms and definitions of Shikakai
- » Drug Properties of Shikakai
- » Chemical Constituents of Shikakai
- » Standardization of Shikakai
- » Parts used and Dosage of Shikakai
- » Morphology and Histology of Shikakai
- » Distribution and Conservation of Shikakai
- » Cultivation of Shikakai
- » Shikakai in the market
- » Medicinal Uses of Shikakai
- » Researches and clinical trails of Shikakai
- » Shikakai in other sytems of medicine
- » Ayurvedic formulations with Shikakai
- » Images of Shikakai