Botanical name : Acacia sinuata (Lour.) Merr.
Family : Mimosaceae
Sanskrit synonyms : Saptala, Charmasahva
Common Name : Chikaka, Shikakai, Banritha, Reetha, Kochi, Ritha, Sige, Shikai, Shikaya.
Indian Vernacular Name:
English : Soapnut acacia
Hindi : Satala, Kochi, Seekakai
Malayalam : Charmalanta, Cheevikka, Seekakkai, Cheenikka
Marathi : sikakai, shikakaayi, sikekaayi
Oriya : chilli
Sanskrit : carmasahva, saptala, satala
Tamil: sigaikai, cikaikkai, cikkai, ciyakkai, sigakai, seekai, shivakai, siyakkai
Telugu: shikayi, sikai, chika-kai, seege
Habitat : Throughout India, grows wildly in forests Specially in Peninsular region.
A perennial, woody, large climbing shrub grows on big trees. Leaves bipinnate, with sharp prickles on main rachis. Pinnate 8 -10 pairs, leaflets small, sessile; flowers small heads, fruits thin pods with 6-10 seeds per pod.
A stout prickly climbing shrub with brown branches dotted with white; leaves bipinnate, main rachis bearing sharp hooked prickles and a large gland on the petiole, pinnae 8 pairs or more, leaflets subsessile, sensitive, unequal sided, glabrous; flowers small in globose heads, polygamous; fruits short-stalked thin pods, flat, coriaceous, the sutures straight: seeds 6 -10 per pod.……CLICK & SEE
Saponins, the major constituent in the fruit, is the mixture of Acacinin A, Acacinin B1, Acacinin C, Acacinin D and Acacinin E2.
Chemical constituents :
Leaves contain alkaloids, nicotine and colycotomine, a triterpentine. Saponin ascorbic acid, rutin, tannin and also oxalic, tartaric, citric and succinic acids, tartaric racimase. Constituents similar to Tamarindus indicus and some other indigenous plant used for. Seeds yield acacinin-A & B, and tree sugar, concinnin.Pods yield saponins (20.8%) saponins (acacinin-C, -D & – E), oligo – and polysac- charides. Aquas Extracts of pods, machaerinic acid & its lactone, sapogenin B, and a new ester of acacic acid. Str. Of acacigenin-B. Neutral fraction of acid hydrolysate of saponins cf pods, acacic acid lactone-3-OAc and a new nortriterpenene, acacidiol. Bark contains hexacosanol, lupeol, a-spinasterol, a-spinasterone, acacic acid lactone, and an amorphous saponin, the saponin spermic. With maximum activity at 0.004% dilution. An acacic acid saponin from bark, spermic. Bark saponin also haemolytic
Useful part : Pods and bark.
Plant pacifies vitiated pitta,used for the treatment of skin disease, burning sensation, constipation, calculi, hemorrhoids, vitilligo and eczema.
It is pitta and kapha suppressant. It is widely used fevers especially that of malaria fever. It helps in clotting of blood and liver related disorders and is effective in jaundice. It is a good anti-inflammatory herb. It also helps in relieving from itching and other skin ailments. It relieves from swelling in spleen and liver. It helps in relieving from dandruff. It is anti-wormal in actions. It is a good germicidal and helps in curbing any infection happening in the body.
According to ayurveda it contains :-
•Gunna (properties) – ruksh (dry) and laghu (light)
•Rasa (taste) – tickt (bitter) and kashaya (astringent)
•Virya (potency) – sheet (cold)
Other different Uses:
Acacia sinuata, are grown in agrosilvopastoral systems for fuel, timber, shelterbelts, and soil improvement (Jamal and Huntsinger 1993). The dry pods of the tree called “shikakai” are important raw materials for cosmetics and agro-based industries. Saponins present in the dry pods are used for the semi-synthesis of steroidal drugs (Vaidyaratnam 1994).
The pods known as Shikai or Shikakai, are extensively used as a detergent, and the dry ones are powdered, perfumed and sold in the market as soap nut powder.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.