Belonging to the Sapindaceae tree family, Saindus Mukorossi, popularly known as Reetha is an Indian soapberry or washnut that is found in many parts of the world. Having said this, however, the lower foothills and mid region of the Himalayas, parts of Nepal and the Western Konkan coast of Maharashtra are richly endowed with this nut. A relatively low maintenance crop, tolerant to reasonably poor quality soil, a single Reetha tree can bear almost 30-35 kgs of fruit per year.

Reetha’s popularity has increased over time due to its excellent benefits for hair care. Known to make hair healthier, shinier and stronger, it is extremely rich in iron. Iron plays an indispensable role in enhancing hair health. Providing your hair follicles with the necessary antioxidants to promote growth of hair, it is also responsible for the reduction in dandruff, making your scalp bacteria free.

In the Ayurvedic discipline, each herb or plant is correlated with its respective potency that also determine its effects on the body. For example, the potency of Reetha is Tikshna or sharp which makes it very effective in removing lice from your scalp. How great is that? If you want to know how, I have that information for you too!

Make sure to apply a Reetha paste with its powder and warm water, apply this on your scalp and hair, massage well till it creates lather and leave it in for a while before you rinse it off with plain water to eradicate lice.

Numerous dermatologists have put forth the idea to do away with concepts of shampoo and conditioner entirely, by replacing them with Ayurvedic Reetha concoctions. To make a Reetha based shampoo is an easy task to say the least. Here’s how you go about it:

For best results on the shampoo, mix it with Shikikai. Mix Reetha and Shikikai and boil them in about half a litre of water. Once that’s done, leave it overnight to be cooled and strain the mixture out the next day. Were you expecting something more complicated? That’s it! The shampoo is ready.

Go get naturally shiny, healthy and lustrous hair, Mister.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP