Soap-grass is used for centuries for hygienic purposes. The root is particularly effective when it comes to colds, coughs, mucus, urine infections and inflamed sinuses.
Did you know that there is a plant with which you can wash your hands like you are using soap or hair shampoo? That’s why it’s called soap-grass, which is derived from the Latin name Saponaria officinalis (sapo means soap). It was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
In some regions women used it to wash laundry at the beginning of the last century.
It is a perennial plant that grows in wet or sandy grounds near rivers and streams, in desolated places. It grows in central and southern Europe, and particularly in the Balkans. As an ornamental plant it grows in gardens, it blossoms during the entire summer, and the flowers are fragrant, purple or white.
The root is the healthiest part of the plant. Clean the dirt and rotten parts, cut into pieces and dry in the sun in a thin layer, or in a dryer at a temperature of 40 to 45 degrees. The dried root has a sweet and bitter taste, and when it is left to stand, it becomes spicy hot. Keep it in a dry place.
The root of soap-grass is used as expectorant for bronchitis and inflammation of the upper airways. It is especially effective against colds, coughs and ejection of mucus and urine. Tea made from this plant can lower cholesterol in the blood, strengthen the immune system caused by viral infections and relieve pain. In traditional medicine it is used as a mild diuretic and for the treatment of rheumatism and gout. It can help with eczema and skin ulcers.
TEA FOR IMMUNITY
Put half a teaspoon of dried root in 2 dl of boiling water, let it stand for 10 minutes and then strain. Drink one cup two or three times a day.
To clean the bronchi use tea made from a mixture of plants. One tablespoon of the mixture (soap-grass root, licorice, coltsfoot leaf, marsh mallow and sweet chestnut) put into 2 dl of boiling water, cover and leave to cool. Strain, add a teaspoon of honey and drink four to five times a day.
NATURAL HAIR SHAMPOO
You can make a soap-grass shampoo if you steam and boil 100 to 120 grams of small pieces of root bark in half a liter of distilled water. When half of water evaporates, filter the content with a gauze and put in a bottle. This shampoo is excellent for all hair types and should be used for frequent washing. You can enrich it with some flavor with lavender, rosemary, chamomile, pine, lemon or herbs of your choice.