Common Name: Soap Pod
Scientific Name: Acacia rugata (Lam.) Voigt
Nepali Name: Sikakai
Family Name: Leguminosae
Parts Used: Root, Pods and seeds.
Main Uses: Used in the preparation of shampoo.
Medicinal Properties: Roots are used as Stimulant and Tonic.
Active Compounds: Saponin and Tanin.

Introduction: Deciduous tree about 15 high. Stem, petiole and leaves with fine curved cylindrical thorn, branches with brown, white spots. Leaves petioled, bipinnate, pinnae in 6 to 25 pairs, pinnules in 10 to 30 pairs, linear. Flowers creamy white in axillary peduncled spikes. Fruits a pod. Flowers from September to October, converted into fruits by October to March.

Availability: Distributed from 400 to 800 m in tropical climate forests, open places and scattered near streams. Common in inner forests of cool places, river banks and shady areas in Tarai and dun valley of Western and Central Nepal.

Harvesting Time:  Matured pods (if possible by hand otherwise cutting petiole of pod or hitting by stickare harvested from March to May.

Description of traded part: Fruit is 7 to 12 cm long and 2 to 3 cm thickened. Dried pods of fruit are wrinkled like, having 6 to 10 seeds, with cavity between two seeds. Fruits are matured only after winter. Pods of fruit are in cluster and red in color before ripening.

Uses: Roots are used as Stimulant and Tonic. Roots are also used as insecticides. Soap pod is usually used in the preparation of shampoo available in the market. Pod contains Saponin and Tanin, commercially used, so cultivation of Soap pod seems to be appropriate.