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Reetha or Soapnut is a Natural Soap Alternative

Ranu Tamang | August 26, 2021

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.

Ranu Tamang

Ranu is a rural tourism entrepreneur. He hails from a picturesque village called Chegra in North Bengal. Following stints at several premium hotels across India, he decided to shift home and begin his entrepreneurial journey.


Ranu is also a Buddhist scholar. He spent 13 years as a monk in the Sonada Monastery near Darjeeling. His brother, Paljor, and he also run their own monastery in Chegra. Their homestay venture, meanwhile, is called Kartiyog Sougar.

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