10 Odd Benefits & Uses of Reetha (Soapnut) for Hair Skin & Health

Many advertisements keep reminding us about Reetha and its content especially in shampoos. What exactly is reetha? Reetha is one of the popular herbs which are listed among the Ayurveda, I am going to introduce you to the benefits and uses of reetha (soapnut) for hair, skin & its different health properties. It is mainly popular for good hair health.

What is Reetha

Soapnut is the English name of the fruit of soapnut tree, which is also known as Reetha in Hindi. The soapnut tree is a member of the sapindus genus and belongs to the lychee family, Sapindaceae.

Reetha continues to be listed as a well-known herb in the record of herbs and minerals in Ayurveda. The jeweller experts in India make use of this herb to resurrect the shed lighting of ornaments that is built of cherished metals such as silver, gold and many others.

Reetha is famous for the beneficial effects it has on hair as it is not just good but great for the health of hair.

Therefore, Reetha is implemented as the key ingredient in soaps and shampoos for cleaning hair. It includes “saponins” that is natural surfactants because of this property of soapnuts can be applied for cleaning everything whatever you want.

Soapnut is a mild, affordable, and fully natural substitute to the chemical detergents that are commonly used these days.

There are many names of reetha, let’s know about them in detail :). I have found a few of names of reetha and have enlisted them below:

Common Names of Reetha (Soapnut)

Reetha is known by many different names. Some of the reetha names are following-:

  • Soapnut
  • Reetha
  • Soapberry
  • Washnut
  • Dodan, Doadni or Doda
  • Kanma
  • Thali
  • Boondi Kottai
  • Kumkudukaya

Botanical/ Scientific Name of Reetha (soapnut)

The Botanical or scientific name of Reetha (soapnut) is Sapindus Mukorossi.

Names of Reetha in Different Languages

  • Hindi = Reetha, Ritha, Aritha, Phenil, Risht, Rishtak
  • Tamil = Pannankottai, Punalai, Punthi, Puvanti
  • Telugu = Kunkum Chettu, Kunkuduchettu, Phenilamu
  • Manipuri = Kekru
  • Malayalam = Cavakkaay
  • Oriya/Konkani =
  • Gujarati – Arithi, Aritho, Arithu
  • Kannada – Antuvala kayi, Norekaayi, Togate mara

You can consider wikipedia article to read more about soapnut/reetha species and more botanical names.

Odd Benefits of Reetha

Reetha the soapnut is used for conditioning of hair and fair skin tone and it gives healthy and shining hair. Reetha is known as sapindus mukorossi which is a crucial medicinal herb of Ayurveda.

Reetha the soapnut is located in many regions which range from temperate to tropical regions. Dried fruit of reetha can be applied as shampoo and used as detergents too.

1) Reetha for Hair Health (Silky Hair)

From Medieval times, Reetha has long been used for curing hair issues. Soapnut is famous for good health of hair and it’s good treatment for hair problems.

The importance of soapnuts is just as before gaining popularity because of negative effects of chemical shampoos.

Reetha is key ingredient in shampoos and soaps that we use for washing our hair. It is good to Clean your hair with reetha because it has a tendency to make your hair shining and silky.


How To Clean Your Hair With Reetha (Soapnut)

It is not difficult and an easy task to make use of reetha for cleaning your hair. let’s have a look :).


  • Remove the shell of Reetha
  • Put 7-10 reetha into one-half litre of water
  • Leave the combination of water and reetha for overnight
  • Strained it in the morning hours
  • Apply it on your scalp
  • Clean head with fresh water


2) Soapnut as Reetha Hair pack

If you are not happy with your hair and it is not shining then you have your friend soapnut at your ease.
Soapnut can be used to make reetha hair pack to bring back your hair into life, give the shine and the dropped attractiveness to your hair.

  • Take Some water and 3 tsp of reetha powder
  • Put them together to make paste
  • After that Include one lemon’s juice & 2 tsp of yogurt into the mixture
  • Blend them properly
  • Put it on the scalp and hair
  • Cover all your hair with this mixture (the strands of your hair and at the ends of hair which is dry and deceased).


3) Reetha Natural Homemade Hair Shampoo


The chemical shampoo shows many side effects and thus this homemade natural reetha shampoo has gained its reputation, It indicates no negative effects regardless of it’s daily usage, On the other side, you’ll suffer from side effects of chemical shampoo if you use them on daily basis.

How to Make Reetha (Soapnut) Shampoo

  • Take about 15 to 16 soap nuts and remove the seeds
  • Remove the seeds of 15~16 reetha (soapnuts) and grind them completely
  • Put the crushed reetha in the iron vessel
  • Add around 6 cups of water into it
  • Leave the reetha (soapnuts) to soak for approximately 8 hours or overnight
    Note: soaking reetha in an iron vessel provides black glowing effects to your hair.


  • For leaving reetha overnight assure that saponin compound of reetha is taken out.
    Additionally, boil the liquid before leaving it steep throughout the night. When it begins to heat, make it possible for the mixture to simmer for approximately 10 to 15minutes, it will assist in removal of the saponin content.
  • One thing you need to remember that It will become more concentrated as  you will simmer the liquid. Remove it from the gas or heat source and leave it to soak overnight and follow the process as mentioned above.


  • It’s your wish if you want to include dried amla and Shikakai to your homemade shampoo
  • Amla is known as Indian Gooseberry and the other name of Shikakai is Acacia Concinna.

Remove the reetha (soapnuts) in the morning by straining the mixture.
The homemade reetha shampoo is all set, you can use it now.
Don’t forget to keep it in an airtight container that way you can use your homemade shampoo whenever you want clean your hair with pure natural homemade shampoo :).

[Source: HubPages]

Reetha for Cleaning Face, DandruffJewellery & Cloth


4) Soapnut for Facial Complexion

Reetha water are also beneficial for facial skin tone and helps to cleanse the face.

  • Put together a mix of reetha liquid and essential oil (small amount of drops)
  • Mix it correctly
  • Your face wash is ready to use.

In place of making use of chemical face wash, use your homemade natural face wash.
Usually making use of this soapnut face wash offers you a spectacular glow on your face.

5) Reetha Prevents Dandruff

Reetha helps to reduce Dandruff and white flakes because of its hair cleansing properties. Put the liquid over your scalp and keep it for several minutes and then clean your scalp with fresh water.

6) Helps to Clean Jewellery

Indian Jewellery expert uses liquid of soapnut to clean ornaments. You will notice good difference in your jewellery, liquid of reetha will help it to gets the real appearance.

  • Place the ornaments into the liquid of reetha
  • Apply soft cloth to clean jewellery

7) Helps for Washing Cloth

It often used in washing cloths, It helps to keep the genuine color of your favourite dresses and cloths.

8)  Reetha for Good Skin


As I have mentioned above, Reetha has ideal cleansing properties which have a good impact on skin, prevent it from drying and also make your skin soft and supple.

Soapnuts and chick pea often used to mix together and used on the skin instead of soap as they offer gentler impacts on the skin.

It helps in alleviation of skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema and getting rid of blackheads, pimples and freckles.

9) Natural Anti-Venom Properties

Reetha includes anti-venom properties naturally. Some online source indicates that this compound can also be used in removing out the venom of snake or scorpion from affected human body.

10) Anti-fungal Properties of Reetha

Reetha (soapnuts) can be used in case a person is having difficulties from fungal infection in hair and head.

Side Effects of Reetha & Things to Keep in Mind

You must prevent your eyes from direct contact with reetha. It should be employed under special care because it has insecticidal qualities which can sting the eyes. In case you notice rashes, irritation or any other kind of complication on skin or hair then in that case you will have to avoid making use of the mixture right away and consult a clinical specialist immediately for some emergency help.

We just tried to cover as many amazing benefits & uses of Reetha (soapnut) for hair, skin & other different health properties as we could but, if you have any encounter with Reetha tell us through comments about it. You can also list its other uses or effects that you are aware of.


  1. Rohit Shitole
    • Rohan Singh
  2. Sharan
    • Rohan Singh
  3. Jayaviriyanti