Shikakai is a scandent, prickly shrub which generally grows in the tropical shrub jungles in India. The main and particular region where it can be easily found is Deccan. The botanical/ Scientific name of the herb is Acacia Concinna. The word came from Latin and thus, it is its Latin name too. The family of shikakai is Leguminosae family.
Shikakai is a woody plant and its leaves are bipinnate. The flowers of the plant are yellow in color and also have anxillary heads. When pods becomes dry then becomes notched, brown and wrinkled. About 6-10 pods can be find out in a pods and this is a usual condition. Presently, Shikaki is planted both in Far East Asia and in India.
Uses of Shikakai
Some of the most common uses of Shikakai are mentioned below:
1) Take the barks, pods and leaves of the plant. Dry them and after grinding collect powder of them. This resultant powder is an excellent hair cleansing agent. If you have dirt and oil in hair then it can be removed by this. To do that first, mix some powder in oil. Now, rub some oil over head with the tips of the finger and leave for some time until it soak down well. This is a helpful way to prevent the scalp from dryness and also helps to reduce the heat of body. You can also use powdered shikaki for the cleaning of hair.
2) Naturally, Shikakai is low in pH and that is the reason, it is mild and doesn’t strip the hair of its natural oils. No other shampoo or conditioner can beat Shikakai’s ability to disentangle the hair.
3) Shikakai’s bark is high on saponins which is a chemical compound, so that is the reason, it works as a foaming agent. It is an excellent cleanser, so is been used as detergent from many years.
4) Even in Bengal, Shikakai is used to poison fish as have a chemical compound in it.
5) There are oxalic, citric, tartaric, ascorbic acids and succinic acids along with two alkaloids named calyctomic and nocitine, present in the leaves of Shikakai. So, it is used to prepare various types of chutneys.
6) Leaves of the herb is also used for the preparation of anti-dandruff shampoos.
7) As the pods acts as purgative. So, you can prepare a decoction with pods, which are helpful to provide relief from the problem of biliousness.
8) To get relief from the Malaria fever, you can use an extract collected from the leaves of shikakai.
9) To treat various skin problems, you can use the extract of the ground pods.
10) Those who are suffering from the problem of head lice can also take benefit from this wonderful herb.
How to Apply Shikakai Over Hair-
As henna and fenugreek, shikakai application doesn’t need that much time. You have to just prepare a paste. For preparation of paste take either hot or cold water, now add some powder in thin. Beat the both to make a thin paste. It should be like that which you can apply over the dry hair. Leave the mixture as it is for next 10-15 minutes before application. Now, apply the paste over hair as a layer. For application of paste, you can use spoon, or can apply with your fingers, or a piping bag for coating the hair with that paste.
Apply paste specially over the roots and the scalp.
Remember one thing, the layer of the paste should be thinner. Leave for few minutes and rinse the hair with water. As you can also wash your hair under the shower to rinse it off completely. This a good way to increase the length of hair too.
Remedies of Shikakai-
Take powder of shikakai and add water to it, remember put a few spoons of shikakai powder in a mugfull of water as it will provide a watery and sloppy mixture. After the gap of 10-15 minutes, add this mixture to a squeezy bottle. Then shake the bottle well as it is helpful to increase the lather. Now, it is the time of application. Apply this by squirting over the hair. Don’t forget roots and scalp as they are the main point of focus. After some minutes, rinse off the shikakai well. For soaking the pre-wash oiling, you need to put the solution over hair for 30 minutes or more. For that particular method, wear a cap over head after the application of the solution. This will help the hair to prevent drying.
Also, it is very difficult for hair to rinse off tea and Shikakai. So, if you wear the cap, then it will keep the solution wet and it rinse off well when in wet condition. You can either use warm or cool water for the washing the hair. You also need to do massage along with washing with light hands and fingertips because it will help the hair to get rid of particular which tangles in the hair. You have to wash the hair until the water came out of hair is crystal clear. After washing, you will definitely get smooth, shiny and softer hair.