I haven’t made Soapwort Shampoo for years, mostly due to a reluctance to go digging around in the garden for roots, but I have made a great discovery!!

When we were weeding in the herb garden the other week, I noticed that the Soapwort had gone under the paved path & popped up in another bed. Knowing that it can be very invasive, I got Geoff to lift up the paver, lo & behold a great clump of roots ready to use. (We think we might be onto something here, as a means of harvesting roots & controlling the more rampant plants at the same time.)

Double Flowered Soapwort Mashing up Soapwort Roots

I love the economy of weeding & harvesting at the same time. The roots were pretty clean, & only needed a quick rinse, then I chopped them up,  finally pulping them in a large pestle & mortar. Once the roots were finely broken up I put them into a saucepan & covered with cold rainwater, leaving them to stand for 30 minutes or so. After standing I heated the mix up & simmered gently for 20 minutes on low heat. I left this to cool & then strained it through a sieve & then a tea strainer to get out any very fine particles.

The brew has a silky feel & quite a strong, earthy smell, which I like. I did add a few drops of Bergamot Essential Oil, & 1% Naturaguard Ultra, which is a natural preservative.

This has worked well as I read that the tea only keeps for 10 days or so, or needs to be stored in the fridge. I thought if I kept it in the fridge, I’d never remember to get it out until I was sopping wet in the shower, & also after going to the effort of making it, I wanted to be sure I could use it all up. I’m storing the shampoo in a sealed plastic bottle & I know that if it starts to ferment the bottle would puff up.

I’m loving using the Soapwort Shampoo, it doesn’t lather much, I put about 1/4 cup in a jug with 1/2 cup of warm water & rub it through my hair, using the run off to wash the rest of me. I don’t need any other rinse just clean water, & my hair feels soft & smooth, (quite an achievement for me, as my hair is tough & quite coarse, not like Geoff’s fine locks!).

Soapwort Shampoo

I’ve also noticed that since using the Soapwort less of my hair is coming out when I brush it, that’s got to be good, even for my horse hair.

As I mentioned, it is a very vigorous plant, so you need to think carefully about where to plant it. It’s very hardy & seems happy in fairly dry spots & semi-shade. We have the double flowered variety which is very pretty.

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