Friday, November 16, 2007

Those Soapy Saponins

Hey, they're not just poison. According to the website Plants for a Future, a number of plants contain this substance that makes a gentle but effective cleanser. Saponins are found in:

Soapwort (saponaria officinalis)
Ragged Robin (Lynchis flos-cuculi)
Campion (Silene spp)
Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Soap Lily (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)
Ceanothus cuneatus
Yucca (Y. baccata, Y. filamentosa, Y. glauca, Y.gloriosa, Y whipplei)

Around here you can find Horse Chestnuts in October, even though the treees are endemic to Asia. Apparently you can peel the seeds and rub them between your hands to make a lather. And if you know what you're doing you can make a tincture to help arthritis and hemoirhoids! But don't eat them!

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