Shikakai is the well-known herb which is used in various hair shampoos. It has been used since ages that assist hair growth, stops hair fall and also cures other skin conditions.
The powdered form of Shikakai is also used for preparing hair packs, herbal shampoos and other hair wash products. Shikakai belongs to the family of Mimosaceae.
Mostly, Shikakai is grown in Western parts of Asia and South East Asia. It is common in the Central and Southern parts of India. A moderate climate is required for its growth, and so, it is mostly grown in tropical climates.
Shikakai has high contents of vitamin C, A, D, E and K which is why it is used mostly for hair. It is also rich in antioxidants which promotes hair growth. There are numerous benefits & uses of Shikakai apart from hair.
Benefits and Uses of Shikakai
Hair Benefits of Shikakai
1) Shikakai is an essential ingredient which prevents the greying of hair. The hair pack of Amla, Shikakai, and soap nut if applied regularly helps to stop the growth of premature greying of hair. The face pack also offers shine to hair and allows hair growth.
2) The combination of Shikakai and Reetha (soapnut) is usually used for forming lather just as other shampoos do.
3) Shikakai is also used for making hair conditioners which offer luster to the hair by removing roughness and dust particles from hair.
4) Shikakai is also found to be effective in detangling the hair. Rough combing of hair, may damage the hair cuticles. Shikakai saponins have been found to be useful in detangling of hair. Saponins are the soap like substances along with which Shikakai is used to wash hair. It helps to disjoint the entangled hair.
5) Shikakai has been found to be effective in the getting rid of dandruff. Since it has antifungal and antibacterial properties, it is found to be useful for the treating dandruff and other scalp problems. If hair is washed with Shikaki powder, it will help to get rid of itchy scalp too.
6) Shikakai is rich in Vitamin E which can help in moisturizing hair. It is beneficial in keeping the root hairs closed.
7) Although shampoos that contain Shikakai does not produce as much lather as that of sulfate containing shampoos do, it can prove to be an excellent cleanser.
8) Head lice are annoying and equally embarrassing. Shikakai helps to treat lice naturally.
9) Shikakai has low pH content, which is why it is harmless.
10) Shikakai is also considered to be effective in treating the minor wounds of the scalp. If the paste of Shikakai is applied on the scalp and rinsed after a certain period, it will be helpful to heal minor cuts, wounds, and bruises on the skin. It is also found to be sufficient for offering the cooling effect during itchiness of scalp.
11) Shikakai is also used for healing the scalp wounds.
12) Shikakai is rich in nicotinic acid and other types of proteins which is useful for nourishing the hair.
13) A mixture of Shikakai, olive oil and camphor also helps in removing hair from lice.
14) Shikakai also helps to cure oily scalp because it is porous. Hence, it helps in getting rid of excess hair oil.
15) Due to its mild nature, Shikakai is considered very useful. Therefore, consuming or applying it does not harm the skin.
16) Shikakai is also used for curing baldness.
17) Shikakai is mixed with yogurt and applied on the hair to promote natural growth.
18) Shikakai aids in making the hair grow and thickens it by making the roots strong and healthy.
19) Shikakai is also found to be effective for repairing and preventing the split ends of hair. The free radicals damage the structure of the cell. The main reason for split ends is the free radicals in the body. Since Shikakai contains antioxidants, it will help in repairing and eliminating the split ends of hair.
20) Shikakai is used in a lot of organic hair care products because it is rich in antioxidants. Shikakai contains tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids and vitamins which have antioxidant nature. These antioxidants fight the harmful free radicals and help to prevent thinning of hair. Thus, usage of Shikakai plays an important role in controlling hair fall.
21) Apart from shampoos, it is also used in making hair oils which are applied to the hair for better results.
Uses of Shikakai in Curing Dandruff
It is of no surprise that Shikakai is very beneficial for treating dandruff. Some of how Shikakai is useful for curing dandruff are as follows:
22) Shikakai also anti-fungal properties which also makes it suitable for the fight against dandruff.
23) Because of anti-fungal and anti-dandruff characteristics, it also cures the hair scalp of itchiness in the times of bad weather.
24) The leaves of Shikakai is also valid for treating dandruff. Because of the anti-dandruff properties, Shikakai is used in many anti-dandruff shampoos and anti-dandruff conditioners.
Uses of Shikakai in Treating Skin Related Diseases
25) Shikakai is also used as an antiseptic. Therefore, it is used to cure wounds and cuts that appear on the scalp and external parts of the body.
26) Shikakai is also found to be helpful in treating skin related diseases. Shikakai can help cure dry skin and is also beneficial for treating skin diseases like scabies.
27) Because of its healing characteristics, Shikakai is mixed with turmeric and made a paste to cure scabies.
28) Shikakai is also used in the body wash. To acquire this benefit, rice should be cooked and steamed with the high amount of water, more than required. The leftover water is mixed with Shikakai and used as a body wash. The body washes rich in Shikakai is beneficial for people suffering from skin related diseases and skin infections.
Uses of Shikakai as a Detergent
Not only is Shikakai beneficial for hair and skin, but it is also used in detergents. The uses of Shikakai as a detergent are mentioned below:
29) The presence of Saponin in the pods of Shikakai tree makes it an essential ingredient that is to be used in detergents. Saponins are widely used for the preparation of detergents. These have other uses too. Shikakai is also an efficient marine toxin. In Bengal, Shikakai is used for poisoning fishes and killing them.
Other Benefits of Shikakai
Apart from all the uses as mentioned above and benefits, Shikakai is also beneficial for other things. Some of them are mentioned below:
30) Not only the leaves of Shikakai but the pods of it are equally beneficial. It has been found that it is effective in curing leprosy. The pods of Shikakai fruit when applied on the affected areas, can cure the person of leprosy.
31) Shikakai also helps to maintain the proper oral health. The mixture of Shikakai and lukewarm water can help to cure the person of various gum diseases.
32) Shikakai consumption also helps in easy movements of bowels and also induces the easy passage of urine from the body.
33) Shikakai also helps in reducing age spots. If the Shikakai paste is applied properly to the skin, it can prove to be effective for treating age spots.
34) Shikakai also manages blood sugar levels in the body. Neither does Shikakai allow the sugar level to be too high, nor does it allows the lowering down of blood sugar level.
35) Black fevers usually happen during the time of malaria. It is very dangerous, and a lot of people may suffer a lot from this. However, there is a natural way to cure this black fever. Shikakai is used for naturally treating Black fever.
36) Shikakai also acts as a mouth freshener by removing bad breath. Shikakai is also used for curing throat pain, infection, and ulcers. Shikakai is also found to be effective in treating the boils in the gum.
37) Shikakai is popular for its rejuvenation properties. Shikakai consumption helps to prevent the growth of various glands in the body. It inhibits the growth of sweat gland and also the oil causing pigments which are present in our head or hair.
38) Shikakai is also used in making various food flavorings. It is mostly used for preparing jams and chutneys.
39) Shikakai has also been helpful in curing tooth degradation. Shikakai also plays a significant role in preventing the plaque in the mouth.
40) Jaundice if not taken care of properly can prove to be deathly. Hence, to cure it, Shikakai can also be used.
41) No doubt, Shikakai is very effective in treating hair problems. Thus, Shikakai is used to smooth all the frizzy and dull hair.
42) Shikakai also helps in curing stomach related diseases. It has found to be effective in treating disorders such as constipation.
43) Diabetes is a serious issue which if not taken care of properly can be serious. Diabetes can be cured by controlling and managing it well. One such natural ingredient which helps in treating diabetes is Shikakai. It plays an important role in removal and preventing the occurrence of diabetes.
44) Shikakai is used to prevent the risk of undesired pregnancy if identified at the early stage. Hence, for this reason, it is used as one of the ingredients in various contraceptives.
45) Shikakai also helps the body to get rid of LDL or bad cholesterol.
Side Effects of Shikakai
Like everything, despite so many uses and benefits of Shikakai, there are some side effects of Shikakai usage too.
Some of the side effects of Shikakai are as follows:
1) Excess usage of Shikakai can be harmful. It may cause various respiratory problems such as asthma.
2) Excess usage of Shikakai can also cause a feeling of nausea and even lead to loose stools.
3) The leftover seeds of Shikakai can be harmful. If these remaining seeds are boiled with lukewarm water, the consumption can be dangerous.
4) Regular usage of Shikakai is also said to cause dry skin.
5) If it can cure stomach disorders, the excess of Shikakai can also cause gastric problems in the stomach. Shikakai is also said to cause bloating which results in a feeling of uneasiness in the person. Shikakai is also said to cause acidity.
6) If Shikakai is used on a regular basis, it may cause oily scalp.
How to Use Shikakai for Hair Health
Shikakai has been found effective for hair growth. There are several recipes of Shikakai which aid in hair growth.
Some of the popular recipes of Shikakai that aid in hair growth is:
Shikakai Shampoo with Amla and Reetha
The ingredients required to make this product are 10g Shikakai pods, 10g Reetha, 5g amla and 750ml of water. It takes approx 8 hours to be prepared and is processed for a time duration of 5 minutes.
Steps to make it:
The ingredients should be soaked in 750 ml of water for one night. Then boil the ingredients in water the next morning till the pods become soft. Once it is cooled, the ingredients need to be mashed. The liquid should be strained and stored in a bottle. Instead of regular shampoo, this should be used for rinsing the hair. It should be used twice so that the lather can appear and indicate that it is clean. Once done, wash your hair.
This mixture should be used 2 to 3 times a week. It is useful and also cheap and easily available in the nearby stores. It nourishes the scalp with vitamin D and C.
Shikakai Shampoo & Curd Mixture
The ingredients needed for preparing this mixture are almond or olive hair oil along with curd and Shikakai. They should be present in the 2:1:2 ratio to get effective results. You may use two tablespoons of Shikakai powder along with 2-3 tablespoon of curd. There should be 2-3 drops of Vitamin, and a shower cap is required.
Steps to make it:
The ingredient should be collected in the correct proportion and mixed as a paste. The paste should be applied on the scalp and massaged. Leave it for 1 hour. After one hour, wash it off with the Shikakai shampoo.
It is useful for all hair types and should be used twice a week. It helps to produce collagen and also stimulates the hair follicles to grow. It helps in preventing the premature greying of hair and also keeps the scalp healthy.
Shikakai Hair Pack for Lice
Applying Shikakai regularly on a weekly basis can help you get rid of hair lice. However, if the issue, isn’t much serious, you can use it for only once. The ingredients required for making Shikakai hair pack for lice are few drops of neem oil, some pinch of camphor, olive oil, along with two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of Shikakai hair powder.
Steps to use it:
Make a paste of all the ingredients. Apply the paste gently on the hair strands and roots. Massage your head properly with the scalp. However, make sure that you use warm water for washing your hair after applying the paste. Dry it with a towel.
This hair pack has been found effective for treating lice because of the antimicrobial characteristics of neem leaves. This property helps to get rid of many germs and infections. The presence of olive oil and honey moisturizes the hair scalp whereas camphor efficiently helps in killing lice.
Shikakai & Egg mixture
A mixture of Shikakai egg powder and egg is used for controlling the excessive hair fall. It also offers natural straightness to the hair. The ingredients required to prepare this mixture are amla powder, Shikakai powder, Fenugreek powder, Triphala powder, Brahmi powder, eggs and shower caps. Every ingredient should be taken in the moderate amount of 2 tablespoons, while two whole eggs are required.
Steps to make it:
Mix the ingredients thoroughly to get the right mixture. Apply the hair mask completely in your hair. After applying, the hair should be covered with a shower cap. After 20 minutes, rinse your hair with cool water and wash it off with the shampoo.
This mask should be applied on the hair once in a week. It is useful because eggs provide proteins to the hair. The ayurvedic ingredients also improve the condition of the hair. It is effective for hair fall and keeps the hair strands healthy and strong.
Shikakai Oil for Hair Growth
Shikakai oil is considered to be very useful for hair growth. To prepare Shikakai hair oil, one needs one tablespoon of Shikakai powder and a half cup of basil, coconut or avocado oil. Although, the preparation of Shikakai hair oil is longer compared to that of others. It takes two weeks to be prepared.
Steps to make it:
Mix the half cup oil with Shikakai powder in a jar. Keep it stored in a dark place for few weeks. Nevertheless, keep shaking the jar regularly so that the Shikakai powder is mixed correctly with the oil. Massage your scalp properly with the mixture. Let it settle and nourish your hair overnight. Wash it off with shampoo and cool water the next morning.
This process should be repeated 2 to 3 times a week. Shikakai hair oil helps in boosting up the blood circulation on the scalp which helps to keep the hair follicles healthy by nourishing them.
There are many products available in the market related to Shikakai which help in hair growth. Thus, it can be said that Shikakai has a major role to play when it comes to benefit us. It has its advantages in every area.
Also, there are very few side effects of Shikakai, and that too can be cured by taking preventive measures. If you use Shikakai on a regular basis, you will gain the benefits.