Shikakai pods/seeds – Whole dried


100 grams


These whole dried shikakai (Acacia concinna) pods are certified organic and Halal.

Shikakai is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and natural saponins (soapy stuff). It helps to improve the health of your scalp and boosts hair growth and strength.

These pods can be used to make infused oils and natural shampoo.

How to make a natural shampoo

What you will need: approximately 6-8 shikakai pods, 7-8 reetha (soapnut) seeds, 4 amla seeds, 1 tablespoon bhringraj leaves, 1 tablespoon brahmi leaves. The bhringraj and brahmi leaves are optional extras. As both reetha and shikakai contain natural saponins, you can use just one of them if you prefer.

Soak the herbs overnight in 3 cups of filtered water. In the morning, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. When its cool, squish the mixture with your hands to get all the goodness from the herbs and then strain through a fine mesh to get the liquid. It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

This process makes a liquid similar to tea. It does not lather at all on the hair.

Apply the shampoo to wet hair, making sure you get your hair and scalp well covered. Gently rub in the mixture and leave it for a couple of minutes before rinsing off. You can also mix the concentrated shampoo mixture into a bigger bowl, add some water and pour that over your hair while massaging gently. NOTE: don't get this shampoo in your eyes.

You can also mix this shampoo 'tea' with homemade flaxseed/linseed gel. This gives the 'tea' a thicker consistency and builds up a slight lather on the hair. It leaves your hair clean and shiny. Making the linseed gel is easy. Boil 1.5 cups of water, add 3 tablespoons of linseeds to the boiling water, simmer gently until the liquid goes frothy and creamy in colour, it doesn't take long. Sieve out the linseeds while the gel is still hot. You can make a 50:50 mixture of the gel with the shampoo 'tea' to start with and then adjust according to your preference.

Keep your shampoo 'tea' and gel in the fridge.

How to make an infused oil

What you will need: shikakai pods, amla seeds, bhringraj leaves, brahmi leaves, clean dry glass jar, mesh for straining, cold-pressed plant oil e.g. grapseed, olive, sweet almond, black cumin, argan, jojoba.

Place your herbs into the glass jar and fill with the oil/s of your choice. You can break up the herbs a bit. Make sure to keep the jar, utensils and hands super clean to prevent contamination of the oil. Place the filled jar in a double-boiler or pot and bring the water to the boil. The water must boil, NOT the oil. This is to warm the oil and allow the herbs to release their goodness into the oil. Heating the herbs in the oil for longer will give you a stronger infusion. Allow the oil to cool and then strain through a fine mesh into another clean jar.

Instead of boiling you can also put your filled herb and oil jar on a sunny windowsill and leave it for a few weeks, then strain.

Adding some vitamin E oil after the infusion process will prolong the shelf life of your oil.

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