Reetha / Aristak

Botanical Name

Sapindus trifoliatus L.




Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn., Sapindus tomentosus Kurz., Sapindus marginatus shrubs.

 Regional Name

English : Reetha, Chinese Soapberry, North Indian soapnut, Washing nuts, Hindi : Phenil, Risht, Rishtak, Sanskrit : Rrishtah, Phenaka,  Phenil, Rishtah, Rishtak, Rita, Sarishta, Urdhvashodhanah, Urdu : Phenil, Ritha, Marathi : Phenil, Assamese : Aritha, Kannada : Antuvalakayi, Telugu : KunkumChettu, Tamil : Pannankottai, Malayalam : Cavakkaay, Bengali : Ritha, Gujarati : Arithi, aritho.

Part Used

Fruit Pericarp.


Reetha is a deciduous tree, growing up to 25 m tall. It is grown in the lower foothills and midhills of the Himalayans up to altitudes of 4000 feet. It is also a native of Western coastal Maharashtra - Konkan, and Goa in India and Nepal. The fruit is a small leathery-skinned drupe 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) in diameter, yellow ripening blackish, containing one to three seeds.The leaves are alternate, 15–40 cm (5.9–15.7 in) long, pinnate, with 14-30 leaflets, the terminal leaflet often absent. The flowers form in large panicles, each flower small, creamy white.


It contains Saponins from Pericarp- Hedera- genin&oleanolic acid and sopindic acid , Saapindoside A& B, Mukuroziosides, Trifolioside II

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Tikta, Katu, Guna :Laghu, Tikshna : Strong, piercing, Vipaka : Katu, Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion, Virya : Ushna.

Ayurvedic Applications

It is used for Lekhana, Kapha, Laghu, Garbhapatana, Graharoga, Kushta, Kandu, Visha, Visphota.

Medicinal Uses

It is used ineczema, psoriasis, itchy and sensitive skin. Soapnut is an excellent hair tonic. Soapnut extract comes from the fruit of the Soapnut tree. The pulp of the fruit contains a high level of natural foaming agents. This extract can be used to wash skin and hair. Soap nut when added to a facial mix of milk powder and clay to provide delicate cleansing of the skin, it is added to salt scrubs to add cleansing action. The saponin from the soapnuts is used as a textile auxiliary and in preparation of toothpaste. It is Useful for treating of diseases like common cold, pimples, epilepsy, constipation, nausea, etc.


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