Shikakai, also known as Acacia concinna in scientific terms, is a shrub-like tree native to Central India. Acacia concinna (Leguminosae), a climbing shrub with oblong-shaped dark brown pods, bipinnate leaves, and pink flowers. It is typically found in the Indian subcontinent’s tropical woods. Shikakai is a plant that is used in India for hair, dandruff, and skin disorders. Shikakai can be used alone or in combination with reetha and amla as a shampoo to help manage hair fall and prevent dandruff due to its cleansing properties. It provides shine to the hair as well as prevents its greying.
Commonly termed as the ‘hair-fruit’, it promotes hair growth, reduces hair fall, controls dandruff and relieves skin ailments. From the ancient time, these soap pods being natural surfactant are being used for cleansing the scalp, strengthening the hair from roots, providing relief from scaling and also removing itching, dryness, greasiness and scaling of the scalp.
Shikakai is highly nutritious. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K and antioxidants. It also contains glucose, arabinose, rhamnose, oxalic acid, citric acid, ascorbic acid and tartaric acid.