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mellie
March 8th, 2008, 06:35 AM
Hi! Just wondered if anyone else uses Soapwort as their shampoo? I'd love to trade some different recipes!

Mellie

ChloeDharma
March 8th, 2008, 06:50 AM
I don't yet but i do want to try it.....the problem is i don't buy things online and the nearest place i know of that sells it is ages away.

I had a load of recipes though on my now deceased old PC, but i'll look out for some to put in this thread soon.

mira-chan
March 8th, 2008, 08:01 AM
I use soapwart in a slightly modified Dianyla's hair gravy recipe.

1 part (1 to 2 tbsp depending on how strong I want it) soapwart
1 part White willow bark
1 part Marshmallow
Boil in 2 cups of water until there is one cup left. Strain. Put in a light heat and add starch to thicken. Dianyla's original used corn starch. I use Arrowroot starch instead because it's more conditioning and gets thicker with more heat (not too much at once though). Corn starch will start to break down when boiled.

mellie
March 8th, 2008, 11:33 AM
Interesting! I usually use:

2 T soapwort
handful of dried herbs (depending on my mood, hair needs, etc. - lately I've been using Rosemary, Parsley, and Lavender)
2 c. water

I pour boiled water over the soapwort & herbs and let it steep.

I've never thought of using thickeners! Does it rinse out well?
Mellie

mira-chan
March 8th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Interesting! I usually use:

2 T soapwort
handful of dried herbs (depending on my mood, hair needs, etc. - lately I've been using Rosemary, Parsley, and Lavender)
2 c. water

I pour boiled water over the soapwort & herbs and let it steep.

I've never thought of using thickeners! Does it rinse out well?
Mellie

It rinses out fine. Thikening makes it easier to apply as it doesn't drip. The gravy got it's name for the consistency.

White willow is an astringent as it contains salicylic acid.
Marshmallow is conditioning.

mellie
March 8th, 2008, 03:05 PM
Very cool! I'll try it! :-)

andrea1982
March 8th, 2008, 04:36 PM
I'm planning to plant some soapwort this summer so that I can try it out. The recipe I've got is similar to yours, Mellie. I was going to try some chamomile in the mix, too though.

mellie
March 8th, 2008, 05:00 PM
Awesome! I've been wanting to plant some too! It looks like a pretty flower!

I have used Chamomile in it before and that worked really nicely for shine. :-)

Neoma
March 8th, 2008, 08:28 PM
Have any of you who have actually used soapwort also used Indian herbs? If so, how do they compare? Do you find soapwort or Indian herbs "better" and, if so, why?

Dianyla
March 8th, 2008, 09:22 PM
Have any of you who have actually used soapwort also used Indian herbs? If so, how do they compare? Do you find soapwort or Indian herbs "better" and, if so, why?
I tried using indian herbs (amla, shikakai) and they are darkening. If you have darker brown hair, that's not a problem. I have lighter brown hair with some blonde streaks that got temporarily dulled/darkened by the Indian herbs.

Soapwort has not shown to be darkening at all.

Neoma
March 8th, 2008, 09:27 PM
I tried using indian herbs (amla, shikakai) and they are darkening. If you have darker brown hair, that's not a problem. I have lighter brown hair with some blonde streaks that got temporarily dulled/darkened by the Indian herbs.

Soapwort has not shown to be darkening at all.Thank you, Dianyla.

Do you find soapwort to be as cleansing as Indian herbs?

Unnamed
March 8th, 2008, 09:42 PM
I suppose this is as good a place to ask as any (hope the OP doesn't mind!), but: Anyone been successful using soapwort with (really) hard water?

I've been wanting to try herbs for washing (for, literally, a couple of years!), but worry they won't cut through the hard water residue...particularly on top of a rather oily scalp. :oops:

mellie
March 9th, 2008, 06:23 AM
I believe our water here is rather hard, and I have an oily scalp as well. The soapwort still works well, although every so often I do use a commercial shampoo too.

Sorry I have never tried Indian herb shampooing so I cannot compare...

Dianyla
March 9th, 2008, 08:07 AM
Do you find soapwort to be as cleansing as Indian herbs?
Well, due to the darkening effect I only used the Indian herbs twice. So I never had a chance to fully compare the two.

However, I have used soapwort for long stretches of time and it is an effective mild cleanser. It won't get your scalp squeaky clean, but then again that's the whole idea. :)

Neoma
March 9th, 2008, 08:56 AM
Well, due to the darkening effect I only used the Indian herbs twice. So I never had a chance to fully compare the two.

However, I have used soapwort for long stretches of time and it is an effective mild cleanser. It won't get your scalp squeaky clean, but then again that's the whole idea. Thank you, Dianyla.

I made at least one batch of soapwort gravy, probably a couple of years ago. (It's so hard to remember things without my hair journal...) I believe that it worked beautifully the first time, but I wasn't happy with the results subsequent times. Of course, I find that even with my favorite shampoo method, shampoo bars, I sometimes feel the need to alternate with a mild health food brand shampoo.

Perhaps I'll give soapwort another try.

What I did like was that it was easy to rinse out, unlike Indian herbs, which can leave lots of debris.

Although it didn't suds much during the shampooing process, I do remember being amazed when I ran warm water into the pot in which I had brewed the soapwort. It was filled with tiny, suds!

mira-chan
March 9th, 2008, 10:32 PM
I've made the gravy with Indian herbs (whole aritha, amla and hibiscus) and it worked just as well as the soapwart gravy.

Can't help with the water hardness but the herbs work fine in relatively soft but chlorinated to oblivion water.

Um Enis
April 9th, 2008, 01:42 PM
i just found this.

i use soapwort as my shampoo. i started w/ wo and just felt dirty then i went to once a week soapwort washes... but i think i need to up it as im 3 months postpartum and i find once a week just isn't enough. my hair doesnt feel squeeky clean (as dianyla said) but it looks squeeky clean... which i found ideal. I just throw a spoonful of soapwaort in a big mug with a few hibiscus and rose petals.

but its a pain to do if i want to wash more often than once a week. im thinking to do a batch of "gravy" and just keep it in the fridge. im thinking of washing every other day... since back i the day i used to love that with shampoo and never had ruined hair.

oh and i have hard water. vinger rinse helps with that. i sometimes forget and see a difference when i do

mellie
April 9th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Um Enis, hibiscus and rose petals sounds so nice! BTW, I make up a batch of soapwort cleanser and keep it in the fridge, it lasts about a week before going bad - but I put in herbs like parsley and rosemary, rather than the flowers, which may make a difference.

Um Enis
April 9th, 2008, 02:55 PM
the rose makes it smell great, hibiscus makes in conditioning and colors the grout (temporarily)

i do mine the same as yours (seeping)

as far as plantingit, did you? i might ask on the herbalthread

mellie
April 9th, 2008, 03:18 PM
"Colors the grout" - haha - yes, hibiscus is pretty good at staining bathrooms, fabrics, everything in sight! :-)

No, I haven't planted soapwort yet, I have heard that it grows very easily. I live in a rental house so I might wait until we buy a house (hopefully within a year or so!).

Shell
April 9th, 2008, 04:15 PM
I think that they work about the same, with just a few minor points. Indian herbs, as Dianyla mentioned, can darken, and before Indian herbs like shikakai and aritha, you should lightly oil your hair.

With soapwort I noticed no color change (I think wonderly thought it made her hair redder though), and you don't need to pre-wash oil with Western herbs; at least I never did.

Unnamed
April 21st, 2008, 05:59 PM
Sorry for bumping this thread up, but:

Is soapwort ever listed under/called by another name? Or is it something I'd absolutely have to get online? I checked a few weeks ago at our health food store hoping to get a smaller bag, but no soapwort (and I'm not sure how well it'll do in our water, so don't really want a ton, but haven't found much online).

mira-chan
April 21st, 2008, 06:03 PM
Sorry for bumping this thread up, but:

Is soapwort ever listed under/called by another name? Or is it something I'd absolutely have to get online? I checked a few weeks ago at our health food store hoping to get a smaller bag, but no soapwort (and I'm not sure how well it'll do in our water, so don't really want a ton, but haven't found much online).

Since soapwort is poisonous when injested (because of the high concentration of saponins) it is rarely seen in herb stores, especially ones where food is also sold.

Unnamed
April 21st, 2008, 06:16 PM
Since soapwort is poisonous when injested (because of the high concentration of saponins) it is rarely seen in herb stores, especially ones where food is also sold.
Ah, okay, that would explain that!

Guess I'll have to try hunting online again. My first try a few weeks ago didn't come back with much, and so that was another reason I was curious. :lol:

mira-chan
April 21st, 2008, 07:21 PM
Ah, okay, that would explain that!

Guess I'll have to try hunting online again. My first try a few weeks ago didn't come back with much, and so that was another reason I was curious. :lol:
I bought mine from Mountain Rose herbs site. I think that is the only place I've seen it sold. It may be on one of the Canadian sites too, I'm not sure about that.

ETA: I stand corrected I found it on these sites too, though not sure how the price compares, haven't checked and I don't remember what I bought mine for.

http://www.daylesfordaromatherapy.com.au/Product/1190615504062-4330/Botanicals
http://www.baldwins.co.uk/Herbs-Roots-Barks-Powders-And-Dried-Flowers/Herbs-Roots-Barks-Powders-And-Dried-Flowers/Herbs-S/Baldwins-Soapwort-Root-Saponaria-Officinalis/9075/413

Shell
April 21st, 2008, 09:25 PM
My local herb store, which carries a ton of stuff, doesn't carry it; they don't even know what it is! They do carry yucca and a bunch of other stuff, but not soapwort. I order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs too.

mellie
April 22nd, 2008, 07:14 AM
Yes, I had to order mine online too. I got mine from LeavesandRoots.com.

Finoriel
June 2nd, 2008, 01:46 AM
I was very surprised to find out that I already have "some" soapwort in my garden. :gabigrin: Ever seen a plant which spreads out into the lawn and not the other way round? Plant soapwort and you will see! It has pretty flowers and really appealing green, too.
Anyway, I would like to use it as shampoo, but I could not find any instructions how to harvest and dry it properly. All I found was: roots and leafs cut into small pieces and let dry, boil to prepare. Is it that easy? Anyone tried it?
I do not want to dig out much of the root (only the parts which try to take over the green :wink: ) and damage the plant. I know the leafs contain less saponin, but the plant is big enough to get enough leafs for sure. Has anyone tried to use leafs only? When is the best time to harvest them? I fear they could stain green, as the water got pretty green when I crushed a fresh leaf to wash my hands with it for testing purposes... does it?
I have enough space in my garden to plant a whole field of soapwort next year and Im thinking about doing my laundry with it, if that is possible. Anyone tried this? I read that museums clean old delicate textiles with it because its so gentle... Interesting plant.
Sorry for the slightly unorganized questions :o Im just a bit excited because I wanted to get soapwort seed and grow some for ages! Only to realize that I already have it in my garden :D

mellie
June 2nd, 2008, 06:01 AM
How awesome that you have it in your garden! I'm jealous! :-)

I haven't ever used the leaves, only the roots.

Here is what my herbal book says:
"Growing: Thin or transplant to 2 feet apart. Use sticks to support stems. Cut back after flowering to induce second blooms. Do not grow near fish ponds as root secretions can poison fish.
Harvesting: pick flowers, leaves, stems and roots in autumn or as required.
Preserving: dry flowers and leaves. Slice roots and dry in the sun.
Household use: Cover in soft water and boil for 30 minutes, then use soapy liquid to wash and revive old fabrics, wash hair and sensitive skins or as a wash for acne and psoriasis. Perfume a room with bouquets of soapwort."

Finoriel
June 2nd, 2008, 08:13 AM
Thank you very much mellie for helping me out, that gives me an idea how to harvest and preserve it.
I hope Ill have time to prepare a test batch soon, to see how strong leafs and stems alone clean and if they add green colour to hair.

Shell
June 3rd, 2008, 10:35 AM
I have only used the roots. I'd do a test batch on wool or something if you're going to use leaves and flowers, as green hair doesn't sound nice!

Flaxen
June 3rd, 2008, 08:09 PM
I tried using indian herbs (amla, shikakai) and they are darkening. If you have darker brown hair, that's not a problem. I have lighter brown hair with some blonde streaks that got temporarily dulled/darkened by the Indian herbs.

Soapwort has not shown to be darkening at all.
Ditto to all of that, except all of my hair is lighter. That being said, I like the way Indian herbs make my hair feel, better, and I haven't given up hope of finding a recipe that doesn't stain. :lol:

I used a very simple soapwort recipe:
2 T. soapwort root
1 C boiling water poured over it.
Allow to cool, and strain. I found that the liquid cleansed better if I dunked my hair in it still dry.

With some Indian herb mixes, I can clarify my hair, but soapwort was never that strong. I may have noticed enhanced red tones, too. :ponder:

I purchased the root at two different places, and one came through with stem and flower pieces in it. Mountain Rose Herbs was far superior, being all root pieces, and the steeped liquid with that root had more cleansing power.

julya
June 4th, 2008, 03:47 PM
I'm so glad that I noticed this thread as I have been planning on buying some Indian herbs. My hair color is about the same as your is Flaxen, and I don't want to darken it. I'll give your recipe a try once I find some soapwort.

Flaxen
June 4th, 2008, 05:16 PM
I'm so glad that I noticed this thread as I have been planning on buying some Indian herbs. My hair color is about the same as your is Flaxen, and I don't want to darken it. I'll give your recipe a try once I find some soapwort.
Hair twin! :waving:

Yes, be careful with Indian herbs. If you want to try aritha alone, that won't darken. It's actually used to clean linens, saris, pots, pans, and all kinds of stuff.

julya
June 8th, 2008, 12:35 AM
Thank you for the suggestion of aritha Flaxen! I will look for it when I make it to the Indian grocery store later this month. How do you use aritha? As a tea? Do you like it better than soapwort?

TIA and sorry about the whole list of questions.

mira-chan
June 8th, 2008, 06:37 AM
Thank you for the suggestion of aritha Flaxen! I will look for it when I make it to the Indian grocery store later this month. How do you use aritha? As a tea? Do you like it better than soapwort?

TIA and sorry about the whole list of questions.

You can use aritha as a powder in mud form, or in more of a dilute tea. Depending on the strength of wash you want. The more powder the more oil it will get out but also the more drying it is.

If you find it whole you can use it in the hair gravy recipe instead of soapwart, leaving the other herbs the same (marshmallow and white willow bark don't stain). Use 2 to 5 berries to a cup for this.

Shell
June 8th, 2008, 08:09 AM
I use aritha with amla, and I'm loving it. I don't see any reason why you couldn't use it with western conditioning herbs though. I use a powdered form of aritha in a runny paste. When I use western herbs it tends to be in whole dried flowers/leaves/roots form, which I make into a tea, and then strain. I might use the aritha paste, then follow with a strained tea of conditioning herbs. If you have the whole nuts of aritha (often called soapnuts), you could just brew them together, then strain and use.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

julya
June 8th, 2008, 12:36 PM
I'm excited to try the aritha, thanks for giving the common name and techniques for using it also. I will report back after I find it and try it.

Flaxen
June 8th, 2008, 05:25 PM
Just as a clarification since this thread has wandered (Around here? Never! :rollin: )

Soapwort root is what we started out talking about, and
soapnut = aritha/reetha

They are two completely different plants.

ETA: Oops, forgot the other question. I like aritha better than soapwort, and I use it as a thin paste with other herbs. I just haven't come up with a recipe yet that cleans just right without also staining my hair darker a little bit.

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 06:25 AM
Some links on washing hair with soapwort:

http://www.biggreenswitch.co.uk/node/11621

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/archives/best/1996/soapwort.html

http://flowrdup.co.uk/angelhair.html

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/herbal/msg110330227604.html

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art12131.asp

http://www.easy-homemade-recipes.com/soapwort-shampoo.html

Finoriel
August 20th, 2008, 07:39 AM
Thanks for posting this Mellie. It was very interesting to follow your links and read the articles. *sigh* I had not the time to prepare the shampoo yet, but its definitely on place no. 1 on my to-try-list :wink:

mellie
August 20th, 2008, 07:41 AM
Cool, please post back when you try it! And photos if you can! :-)

Honeylove
September 27th, 2010, 07:52 AM
A few days ago I wahsed with Soapwort for the first time. I used Flaxen's Simple Soapwort Shampoo and it cleaned well.

But my hair is less shiny now and seems dull, as if there was a veil, and looks even a little darker. It was very hard to comb, too. My hair was very dry and I lost and broke a lot by combing until I put some oil on my hair.

Before the Soapwort experiment my hair was the best in many years. I had pretty much reached my personal goal in hair quality; it was the easiest to comb and handle, reacted well to brushing with the BBB, and had an intense, glossy shine while feeling strong and smooth.

That was why I thought I could risk to try something new now. I thought my hair had reached a state of healthiness where it was rather safe to experiment a little. But after this one Soapwort wash, part of my success is gone. :(

But I liked the cleaning effect of Soapwort and the gentle feeling on the scalp, so I would like to give it another try.

Does anyone have an idea what I might change when I wash with Soapwort to get back the shine and softness?

I already thought of ACV or lemon to rinse, but in the past my scalp and hair didn't like them. I got dandruff like crazy and my hair got even more dry and brittle.

CryssieWillow
September 28th, 2010, 05:10 AM
I have not used soapwort on my hair yet but I use the fresh leaves frequently to wash my hands at work.
I just tear the leaves, add some water, rubb to create some lather and work around. Rinse and done. The amount of suds depend on how greasy your hands are. I suppose the same goes for hair.
The lather is green but it rinses of your hands easily and I cannot imagine that it will leave a stain. The smell is fresh and grassy.
We have already discovered that the dried leaves are far less efficient so it is best to use fresh leaves.
Soapwort grows easily. We have a large batch growing under the roof next to one of our neolithic farms. I guess the best place to plant it would be out of direct sunlight and a little wet.