Friday, October 8, 2010

Soapwort Shampoo

I was pleasantly surprised when my mother told me that my dear Irish grandmother would use soapwort (saponaria officinalis) -- a perennial herb -- as a means to make a natural laundry detergent. Using the boiled concoction of soapwort roots and leaves makes a natural soap; a hygienic practice used since ancient Rome.

I recently made my first batch of shampoo using the boiled concoction of Soapwort with several drops of Rosemary essential oil added, and then bottled. It's as backwoods as you can get as it's not as soapy as I had hoped, but I also didn't boil so much of the roots (as I should have), and the roots are especially soapy.

A shampoo can also be made with dried Soapwort and egg yolk:

1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon dried soapwort
1 egg yolk
lemon juice (optional)

Pour the hot water over the Soapwort, whisk or stir well, and and allow to cool. In a seperate dish, whisk the egg yolk and lemon juice, and then add to the soapwort infusion. Store in the fridge. Be sure to rinse your hair well when using this recipe.

Soapwort. Photo (c) S. Waters.

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