|Botanical Name||Acacia concinna|
|Other Names||:||Shikakai, Seege|
Acacia concinna (Hindi name - Shikakai) is a climbing shrub native to Asia, common in the warm plains of central and south India. The plants are medium fast growing and which is bushy cum creeper. These plants having curvy thorns, once the plants are developed animals even elephants not able to cross.
The benefits of Acacia concinna are extracted from the pods of the shrub. Acacia Concinna grows in abundance in the hot, dry climates of Central Asia and the Far East. The pods of this plant are rich in saponins which are foam forming substances. Acacia concinna is known in Ayurvedic medicine as Shikakai.
The shikakai fruits are having good market, which will fetch good prices, these dried fruits are used to manufacture in herbal products and shampoo. For centuries the people who have had access to Acacia concinna tree have used its pod-like fruit to clean their hair. They collect, dry and grind this pods into a powder, which is considered a superior cleanser for "lustrous long hair" and has been reported as "promoting hair growth and preventing dandruff and Premature graying hair". Because of these benefits, this powder was named "Shikakai" which literally translates as "fruit for the hair”. Wherein Shika means Hair and Kai means fruit. The bark contains high levels of saponins, which are foaming agents found in several other plant species used as shampoos or soaps.
An infusion of the leaves is used in malarial fever. A decoction of the pods relieves biliousness and acts as a purgative. It is used to remove dandruff. An ointment, prepared from the ground pods, is good for skin diseases. The pods are reported to be used in north Bengal for poisoning fish.