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Soap Nut or Wash Walnut
Ritha
(Sapindus mukorossi) with its large leaves, is a handsome deciduous tree found in India. This tree belongs to the main plant order Sapindaceae and family Sapindeae. The species is widely grown in upper reaches of the Indo-Gangetic plains, Shivaliks and sub-Himalayan tracts at altitudes from 200m to 1500m.  Also known as soap-nut tree, it is one of the most important trees of tropical and sub-tropical regions of Asia. It is also called doadni, doda and dodan in Indian dialects.

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Ritha is a common tree in Shivalik Hills and the outer Himalayas of Utter Pradesh, Uttranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir. In this entire region, starting from Afghanistan in the west to China in the east, it is found growing naturally in suitable tracts. This tree flourishes in deep clayey loam soil and does best in areas experiencing nearly 150 to 200 cm of annual rainfall.

The trunk of Ritha is straight and cylindrical, nearly 4 to 5 m in height. The canopy comprising side branches and foliage constitutes an umbrella-like hemispherical top measuring about 5 m in diameter. The tree can reach an height of 25 m and a girth of 3 to 5 m in nearly 70 years of its existence. Ritha is thus an excellent tree for planting along boulevards.

The bark of Ritha is shinning gray and fairly smooth when the plant is young. It is dark gray when the plant approaches maturity. Ritha leaves are long stalked odd pinnate. The rachis is nearly 30 to 50 cm long and bears 5 to 10 pairs of leaflets. An individual leaflet is about 7 to 15 cm long and 2 to 5 cm wide. It is acuminate and lanceolate in shape. The size of leaflets towards the tip of the rachis is smaller.

Ritha flowers during summer. The flowers are small and greenish white, polygamous and mostly bisexual in terminal thyrses or compound cymose panicles. These are sub-sessile; numerous in number and at times occur in lose panicles at the end of branches. The fruit appears in July-August and ripens by November-December. These are solitary globose, round nuts 2 to 2.5 cm diameter, fleshy, saponaceous and yellowish brown in color. The seed is enclosed in a black, smooth and hard globose endocarp. The fruit is collected during winter months for seed and or sale in the market as soap nut.

The dried fruit of Ritha is most valuable part of the plant. Its fleshy portion contains saponin, which is a good substitute for washing soap and is as such used in preparation of quality shampoos, detergents, etc. In fact the skin of the fruit is highly valued by the rural folks as a natural produced shampoo for washing their hair. They also use these for washing woolen clothes. This is why some botanists have named the species as Sapindus detergens.

Ritha foliage can be used as cattle fodder during drought. The fruit is of considerable importance for its medicinal value as well. Ayurvedic, Unani and Tibetan systems of medicine consider it to be useful for treating a number of diseases like common cold, pimples, epilepsy, constipation, nausea, etc. It is also used as expectorant and enthelmintic in small doses. The Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), has recently developed a contraceptive cream out of Ritha fruit. It is being marketed under the trade name 'Consap'.

Ritha wood is hard and light yellow in color. It is close-grained and compact weighing about 30 kg per cubic foot. The wood is utilized for rural building construction, oil and sugar presses, agricultural implements, etc.

Ritha seed germinates easily. To ensure cent per cent germination, the seed is soaked in lukewarm water for 24 hours and then sown, either directly in already prepared 60 x 60 cm pits at 5m x 5m spacing or sown in polythene bags filled with clayey loam soil mixed with farmyard manure or similarly prepared nursery beds.

PACKING

It is available in the following forms

1). With inside corn in 25 kilo PP bag packing as a whole nut.

2). Without inside corn in 25 kilo PP bag packing as a outside cover of the whole nut.

3). Grinded Powder form With inside corn in 25 kilo PP bag packing

4). Grinded Powder form Without inside corn in 25 kilo PP bag packing

All the above are also available in one kilo packs of PE bag packing and Cotton Bag Packing.

USES

Detergent picked by the tree

In India and Nepal the wash nut (Sapindus mukorossi) already is for primeval times as vegetable detergent in the daily use.

The warrant of apprehension
Originally the wash nut tree is resident in south India, but nowadays one finds it over completely to India common. The wash nut tree usually grows up to 15 m up and at the crown up to 1,50m into the width. The sheets become long between 12 and 30 cm. In the months March/April is decorated the tree with white blooms. The harvest of the fruits (Waschnuesse) takes place in September/October. Mature Nuesse have a golden color and are sticky. By storage the Nuesse dries; their color changes in a reddish brown and the tackness diminishes.

After the harvest the Waschnuesse is cracked. The bowls are carefully dried and packed in material bags. The internal black core is suitable neither for consumption nor for washing. The bowls however have valuable contents materials, which are suitable outstanding for the laundry washing. They contain the material saponin, which works similarly as soap.

As soon as they with water in contact come deliver it a seifige caustic solution.

Traditional use
In the old days the Indian Mrs. Waschnuss-Schalen used, in order to wash and maintain their beautiful hair. Humans understood also the art to manufacture wash nut powders as well as ayurvedischen herbs to a body soap. Still today in the province of India the table-ware and other household effects with the soap solution are cleaned. Besides also the juwelier used the Waschnuesse, in order to bring its gold and silver decoration on high polish.

The modern employment of the wash nut:
Problem-free the wash nut in the washing machine can be used. The material pouch prevents that wash nutshells must be picked out after completion of the washing process between the laundry.
Contrary to commercial detergents, which contain a considerable number of chemicals such as solvents, odoriferous substances, preservatives and Aufheller, the wash nut preserves the environment and is particularly strike friendly.
A Weichspueler is not necessary usually, or rather counter productive, since the welding admission is obstructed e.g. in cotton thereby, the laundry is smell neutral.

As the wash nut functions:
The Waschnuesse delivers a seifige caustic solution, as soon as they come with water into contact.
One of the three enclosed small material pouches with 4-5 half wash nutshells fill - well zuschnueren. The pouch then directly into the washing machine between the laundry put. Washing process as used with or without Vorwae start.
At hot wash temperatures the Waschnuesse yields more up than at low temperatures. Therefore also a repeated use of the Waschnuesse in the connection is possible in the low temperature range.
After completion of the washing process, the remainders of the wash nutshells take the material pouch entsorgen. The pouch is dried with the laundry and used with next time again. The two further reserve pouches if necessary use.
The remainders of the Waschnuesse are kompostiert over the bio garbage entsorgt or.

Which may be washed with it:
Multicolored and cook laundry 30 - 90 degrees.

Insider Tipps: Outstanding for all wash temperatures suitably. Frottee towels become kuschelig also without Weichspueler. For normally gotten dirty laundry almost ideally, within the multicolored laundry range color carefully. With extreme marks the addition of a essloeffel mark salt is recommended. For a natural smell an ethereal oil can be given to the laundry after free choice - e.g. Lavendeloel - to the washing machine (rinsing procedure). If you one behind the other wash two machines in low temperature ranges (30-60C), you can use the same wash nut pouch also a second time.

Gold and silver decoration clean
2-3 half wash nutshells in a dish with 100-150 ml hot water for approx. 45 minutes of in-soft. Eingeweichte bowls on the palm something rubbeln, so that a lighter foam develops. Clean the decoration with the pieces of bowl. If necessary also a soft toothbrush can be used. This is then dipped into the einweichwasser.

Price performance ratio:
A 1 kg of bags hands approx. 1 year for a 4-koepfige family, with 2-3 washing processes per week and costs from 20,00 to 23.50 euro (depending upon ordered quantity) - comparatively one gives for it 80.00 to 100.00 euro for a conventional detergent to the upper preisklasse out (lower preisklasse 50.00 to 60.00 euro).

The advantages on a view:

  • Purely vegetable detergent for gentle and careful cleaning of the laundry - however nevertheless clean and thorough. Neutral smell, biologically degradably. In addition the wash nut makes the laundry soft in natural way and makes redundant thereby Weichspueler.
  • Colorcarefully - all colored textiles such as Jeans and t-Shirts keep much longer their colors.
  • Outstanding for Allergiker and persons with skin problems such as Neurodermitis and shed lichen.
  • Environmentally conscious washing - waters and rivers are exempted from chemicals.

 

     
   
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