Reetha or soapnut or washnut is a tree that grows easily in tropical countries such as India, China and Nepal. It is a valuable medicinal plant, whose fruit is an important ingredient in making soaps, shampoos and various cleaning substances. In addition, it is also used for treating certain allergies and has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
When used as a shampoo, it is known to be especially nourishing for the scalp. Some also highlight its ability to treat venomous snakebites.
The term reetha is used in Hindi, Nepali, Bengali and Oriya. In case of South Indian languages, it is known as pannankottai in Tamil, cavakkay in Malayalam, antuvala kayi in Kannada and as kunkudukaya chettu in Telugu.