Shikakai is a traditional herb that helps to decrease hair fall, relieves skin diseases, improves hair growth, and controls dandruff.
The soap pods have been used as a natural surfactant for strengthening hair roots, cleaning the scalp, removing dryness, itching, providing relief from scaling since ancient times.
It is not only the magical herb for hair and also used to treat many health conditions, including swelling in Ayurveda. It also treats fever, piles, abdominal distension, herpes, jaundice, ascites, intestinal worm infection, etc.
It contains rich amounts of vitamins such as Vitamin C, D, E, A, and K and powerful antioxidants that are very effective for quick and healthy hair growth. These vitamins help to provide essential micro-nutrients to your hair follicles for improving the growth and health of your hair.
Shikakai is a natural herb that can be obtained from the fruit of a climbing shrub that grows in tropical forests of the Indian subcontinent.
The scientific name of Shikakai is Acacia concinna, and it contains thorny branches with smooth brown stripes. The leaves of this plant are stipules not thorn-like, and leaf stalks are 1-1.5 cm long with the prominent gland.
It has double-pinnate leaves with 5-7 pairs of pinnae, and the primary rachis is thorny and velvety. Each pinnae contains 12-18 pairs of leaflets that are 3-10 mm long, oblong-lance shaped, pointed, and obliquely rounded at the base.
The Inflorescence is a cluster of 2 or 3 stalked rounded flower-heads. When the flower is mature, the flower-head has 1 cm in diameter, and the flowers are pink in color.
The pods are thick, stalked, 8 cm long, 1.5-1.8 cm wide and flattened. The dried leaves, fruit pods and bark of Shikakai powder are made into a paste, and it can be applied on the hair.
The regular consumption of Shikakai strengthens your hair and decreases hair fall. It also helps to get relief from dandruff, hair, and scalp problems. Shikakai can be used in shampoos and many hair medicines to strengthen the root of your hair.
Common Names of Shikakai
Botanical Name: Acacia Concinna
English Name: Soap Pod
Tamil Name: சீயக்காய் / Siyakai / Shikakai
Malayalam Name: കമലാന്താ/കാർമലന്തല/ചികക/ചിനിക്ക/സിക്കാക്ക/സിനിക്കാ/സിവിക്ക / Carmalantala, Chikaka, Chinikka, Cikkakka, Civikka
Telugu Name: చికాయ (చీకాయ) / గోగు / శిరికాయ / సీకాయ / Chikaya (cheekaya)/ Gogu/ Shiikaya/ Siikaya
Hindi Name: हिकाकाई / कोची / रिघा /रीठा (रीठा ) / सातला / शिका / शिकाकाई / Hikakai/ Kochi/ Righa/ Ritha (reetha)/ Saatalaa/ Shika/ Shikakai.
Marathi Name: शिकेकाई Shikekai
Kannada Name: ಸೀಗೆಕಾಯಿ Seege kaayi
Bengali Name: বন রিঠে Ban ritha
Sanskrit Name: कण्टवल्ली Kantavalli
Traditional Benefits and Uses of Shikakai for Hair
Shikakai is a natural herb that is considered a great remedy for hair care. It is one of the most popular herbs that is widely used and provides excellent hair results.
Shikakai has been used for hair and skincare since ancient times and contains excellent health benefits in Ayurveda. The Shikakai fruit contains small seeds, and the Shikakai pods or powder contains many effective benefits.
Reduces Hair Lice and Dandruff
Shikakai contains powerful anti-microbial and antifungal properties that play an important role in eliminating lice and dandruff from hair and scalp.
It reduces dandruff effectively but doesn’t remove the essential oils from the scalp, so it helps to prevent dry scalp issues and may cause dandruff and flaking. Thus, you can get rid of the white flakes on your shoulder and scalp.
It also provides relief from clumsiness and itching due to hair lice. Take some amount of Shikakai powder and boil them in water. Squeeze half lemon in it, then wash your hair regularly with water and get rid of lice and dandruff.
Provides Shine and Softness To Hair
Shikakai contains many natural ingredients and effective nutrients that are more beneficial to enhance the texture of your hair during winter.
It is a natural surfactant, so it removes greasiness, cleans your hair follicles, and makes your hair soft and shiny. Take 2-3 teaspoons of Shikakai powder with 2 cups of water and boil them to make a semi-liquid paste.
Add some amount of honey and water to it, then apply this paste on your hair and wash with water. Repeat this remedy two times a week to get beautiful shiny hair.
Provides Stronger and Thicker Hair
Everyone would like to have healthy, strong, and beautiful hair. Shikakai contains effective natural ingredients such as vitamins, essential oils, etc. that are very important for the growth of the hair.
It has many powerful effects to make your hair luster and long. It is used to strengthen your hair from roots and prevent breakage, hair fall and split ends. Make a paste of Shikakai powder using fresh yogurt and apply it to your scalp and hair.
Leave it for 20-30 minutes and wash with the cold water. By regularly using this, you can get thick and strong hair.
Reduces Down Greying
Nowadays, many youngsters suffer from premature greying so that it may cause depression. Shikakai is an effective natural remedy for preventing premature greying.
It not only prevents premature greying and also retains the natural youthfulness of black hair. Make a hair pack using Amla powder, Shikakai, and soap nuts. Apply this pack on your hair once in a week to get excellent results.
Shikakai contains a calming and soothing effect because of the powerful medicinal properties. Unlike many chemical shampoos that cause irritation on the inflamed area or sensitive scalp, Shikakai is a natural remedy that provides a cooling effect and reduces pain.
Make a paste using roasted Shikakai powder, turmeric, and neem leaves. Apply this paste on scratches, wounds, cuts, or throbbing headache to get great relief from pain and inflammation.
Effective Health Benefits of Shikakai
According to Ayurveda, Shikakai is an effective herb for treating jaundice. It normalizes the secretion of bile, and it acts as a liver stimulant. Take 6-7 leaves of Shikakai and wash them well.
Make a chutney by grinding these leaves with three teaspoons of black pepper, one teaspoon of turmeric pulp, and salt. Eat this pickle two times per day to cure jaundice.
The pods of Shikakai contain purgative and suppository nature that is more effective in treating constipation and relieves abdominal cramps, indigestion, and flatulence.
It enhances the digestion of food and helps the feces movement through your body. To get relief from constipation, immerse the Shikakai pod in water, then filter that and drink regularly.
Treats Skin diseases
Shikakai contains a powerful antibacterial property that helps to treat various skin diseases like scabies, and it decreases the symptoms of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
Take 1-2 teaspoons of Shikakai powder with one teaspoon of cream, honey, almond powder, and turmeric. Apply this mixture on your face and scrub it. Repeat this for alternative days to get a young-looking glowing skin.
Treats Gum Infections
Shikaki contains anti-bacterial nature that has great significance to treat gum and teeth infections. It also inhibits plaque build-up, tooth decay, and cures gum infections like gingivitis.
Take three teaspoons of Shikakai powder with water and boil them. By taking this regularly, you can get rid of gum and tooth inflammation.
Other Traditional Benefits of Shikakai
- The Shikakai pods can be used to reduce aging symptoms of your skin. Soak the Shikakai pods in water and clean your face. By repeating this remedy, you can get young and healthy skin. It also helps to fight against the symptoms of aging by removing the fine line, wrinkles, and dark spots.
- The decoction of Shikakai and reetha is effective to wash soft clothes such as cashmere, pure cotton, and silk without causing any damage. It also helps to remove the stains from clothes.
- The Shikakai leaves contain acidic taste that is used to make chutneys.
- The Saponin present in the bark of Shikakai contains hormonal effects and spermicidal that are very helpful in contraceptive purposes.
- The extract of Shikakai leaves is traditionally used to treat malaria since ancient times.
- Shikakai is an effective remedy to treat small wounds like cuts and bruises on the scalp. The anti-bacterial property of Shikakai can help to provide great relief.
- It is also effectively used in the treatment of Black fever or the fever that occurs during Malaria fever.
- Shikakai helps to decrease the chances of wrinkles, dark circles, etc., and also decreases the risk of diabetes.
- It is used to reduce the level of your body cholesterol and maintains the proper level of blood sugar.
- It helps to provide relief from many stomach related problems like constipation and also improves the flow of urine from your body.
- Shikakai acts as a mouth freshener because it eliminates the bad smell from your mouth. It also provides great relief from infections, pain, ulcer, or boils in the gums.
How to make Shikakai Shampoo
- Take some dried Shikakai pods, dried amla, and little reetha and soak them overnight.
- Boil them in the water until the pods soften.
- Cool them, after that, filter the liquid and mash. Now, the shampoo is ready so that you can use that.
- Keep in mind that it is not very soft like readymade shampoo, but it provides a better result.
- Alternatively, take some dried Shikakai or Shikakai powder, Fenugreek powder, dried Amla, and Neem leaves.
- Boil them in a cup of water for 15-20 minutes.
- Cool them, filter the liquid, and mash.
- Use it with water as a natural shampoo.
How to make Shikakai Oil
- Take one tablespoon of Shikakai powder with a half cup of avocado/ basil/ coconut oil.
- Put the mixture in the container and leave it for some weeks.
- Give a shake to that occasionally during the period, and the oil is ready.
- Apply this oil in your hair for 2-3 times once in a week and wash them using shampoo.
Shikaki is a powerful traditional herb that provides effective benefits to your hair and skin. It provides effective treatment for many diseases such as gum infection, indigestion, jaundice, etc.