Which plants can be used to make natural shampoo?

Today, we want to talk about DIY with plants and share with you about plants that can be used to make natural shampoos or soaps. These are a great way to keep the chemicals and toxins away from our body, considering we use them almost every day.

What plants can be used as a substitute for soap or shampoo?

Plants that contain natural soap-like substances called “saponins” are the ones that make a good natural shampoo, soap or detergent.

Here are two plants locally available that are commonly used as alternative to soap or shampoo and methods on how to use them:

  1. Yucca (Yucca schidigera) – Surprised? The ornamental yucca plant in your home or terrace is a Yucca Aliofolia that also contains saponins. However, Yucca Schidigera has more concentration of saponin in their roots. The plant has been used traditionally by indigenous tribes for centuries. Also note that it is not to be confused with yuca (or cassava). Here are the steps to follow:
    • Cut the root off a yucca.
    • Peel off the outer skin, which is brown.
    • Slice and dice the white flesh of the peeled roots.
    • Dry them and grind them if you would like for use in the future.
    • Use warm water to lather, when you need to use the shampoo.

2. Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) – This is a plant native to Europe, and easily found growing along roadsides and most often considered a weed. However, all parts of the plant can be used to make soaps, solid shampoos and detergents. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Take 2 cups of ground Saponaria (leaves, roots and flowers).
  • Boil it in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid is dense and half its original level.
  • Sieve the liquid and you have the shampoo already.
  • Use warm water to lather, when you need to use the shampoo.

Of course, it is important to understand when using these plants that they may have not the equivalent effect of chemical shampoos or detergent, but they are more gentle on your skin and scalp. It is also important to test for allergic reaction to skin, before using it. If you are in Barcelona, and would like our natural cosmetic expert in our plant community, sign up for your first DIY solid shampoo workshop, using soapwort plant.

Also, share with us if you have any special plants that you use for your skin or hair.

Plant love


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