Indian Name : Shikakai
Botanical Name : Acacia concinna
Parts Use: Seed, Fruit
Shikakai is a climbing, most well-known for the natural
shampoo derived from its fruit. Thorny branches have brown
smooth stripes - thorns are short, broad-based, flattened.
Leaves with caducous stipules not thorn-like. Leaf stalks
are 1-1.5 cm long with a prominent gland about the middle.
Leaves are double-pinnate, with 5-7 pairs of pinnae, the
primary rachis being thorny, velvety. Each pinnae has
12-18 pairs of leaflets, which are oblong-lanceshaped,
3-10 mm long, pointed, obliquely rounded at base.
Inflorescences is a cluster of 2 or 3 stalked rounded
flower-heads in axils of upper reduced leaves, appearing
paniculate. Stalk carrying the cluster is 1-2.5 cm long,
velvety. Flower-heads about 1 cm in diameter when mature.
Flowers are pink, without or with reduced subtending
bracts. Pods are thick, somewhat flattened, stalked, 8 cm
long, 1.5-1.8 cm wide.
Advice : The Best
time to buy this herb :
January to March
- Shikakai is a commonly used herb that has many
remedial qualities. It is popularly referred as
"fruit for the hair" as it has a naturally
mild pH, that gently cleans the hair without stripping
it of natural oils. Shikakai is used to control
dandruff, promoting hair growth and strengthening hair
roots. Its leaves are used in malarial fever,
decoction of the pods are used to relieve biliousness
and acts as a purgative. An ointment, prepared from
the ground pods, is good for skin diseases.
The powder or the extract from the bark, leaves or
pods is used as a hair cleansing agent. It is very
effective in removing oil and dirt from hair. The
normal practice is to apply oil to hair and scalp and
allow it soak for sometime. This will keep the body
cool, reducing body heat and also prevent the scalp
from getting dry. The powdered Shikakai is used as a
shampoo to wash off the oil.
- Since Shikakai is naturally low in pH,
therefore it is extremely mild, and does not strip
hair of its natural oils. Usually no rinse or
conditioner is used since Shikakai also helps in the
disentangling of the hair
- Actually the bark of Shikakai is high on
saponins - chemical compound; these act as foaming
agents. Therefore Shikakai is such a good cleaning
agent and hence has been traditionally used as a
detergent. Owing to the presence of this chemical
compound Shikakai is used in Bengal for poisoning fish
and are documented to be potent marine toxins.
- The leaves because of the presence of
oxalic, tartaric, citric, succinic and ascorbic acids,
as well as two alkaloids, calyctomine and nicotine,
taste acidic and are used in chutneys. Apart from this
the leaves are also used as an infusion in
- Extracts of the ground pods have been used
for various skin diseases.
- An extract of the Shikakai leaves is used to
cure malarial fever.
- A decoction of the pods relieves biliousness
and acts as a purgative.
Quality of Shikakai :
For bulk purchase
of the above qualities :
Please send us an email mentioning the
quantity you require and your delivery destination at firstname.lastname@example.org