Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .

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…Contd….Third day into my Sore Throat episode

Last night I took nebulisation as I was feeling some tightness in my chest. I know it is because my lungs are yet to expel the phlegm that has formed and the congestion is what makes me breathless. This is the main issue that all with Bronchitis experience.

Slept well last night.

Today is the third day after my Sore throat began. I woke up at 5 am feeling quite normal .

However, to recover completely, the phlegm that has accumulated in the lungs has to be expelled. After 2 hours of waking up , I started coughing up the phlegm and this gave me a lot of relief. This phlegm has to be spat out and should not be swallowed.

After brushing up , I took 2 teaspoons of the herbal cough syrup. This syrup is specially for Bronchitis and the ingredients are all natural herbs.

After a while, I took Mishran powder mixed in water. Both the Cough syrup and Mishran powder are prescribed by my Ayurveda Doctor.

I made lunch and breakfast for hubby with support from hubby in the kitchen….for cutting up the veggies etc.

Hubby went off to work and I had a nice bowl of papaya.

Took a shower after two days and did my puja. Thanked the Almighty for recovering quickly. Thanked and blessed my Ayurveda Doctor for being there for me whenever I needed his advise. Thankful to my family members for taking care of me and bearing with my tantrums during the last two days.

Made myself some kichdi for lunch and enjoyed a hot bowl.

Came across kili Paul’s bollywood songs and spent some time enjoying their videos. Found him very expressive while singing ,I mean lip syncing,.

Spent the afternoon planning for dinner. Started preparations for making Karela fry and Brinjal dal for dinner.

Also soaked Urad Dal and rice to prepare Dosa batter for tomorrow’s breakfast. This has to soak for a minimum of 5-6 hours before we grind them in a mixer-grinder. This is my Son’s duty 🙂

This evening I received my online order for a plant. Was glad that the stems were intact and actually started growing some shoots. Went to my garden after two days and immediately planted these stems in a container. Yet to learn the name of this plant ,but it has nice big yellow flowers. Will update on this plant later.

Here is a short video while planning the stems

Took nebulisation and started cooking at 6pm and was done by 8pm. Took lot of breaks in between…watched a karela recipe fry on YouTube and prepared accordingly.

Karela is one vegetable which can be relished only if prepared meticulously and takes a lot of time. I wanted to prepare chicken curry for Hubby and Son but my son insisted I should take some rest. Chicken curry would have been easier and faster 🙂

Had dinner by 8pm.

Will take another round of Cough syrup and Mishran powder before I hit the pillow.

So glad I feel almost normal now.

~ Sarvesham Svasthir Bhavathu ~

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Second day into my Sore throat issues

Night of Day 1:

Last night , my Bronchitis worsened and my throat was beginning to burn as I was coughing a lot.

Yesterday, my Ayurveda Doctor, advised me not to start nebulisation.

It was late night and I was unable to tolerate the breathlessness and burning throat.

So, I decided to take nebulisation and felt better this morning.

My condition this morning :

This morning at 8am I updated my Ayurveda Doctor on my condition. He advised me to start an antibiotic or take one Herbal tablet. However, I have not yet started these as I wanted to wait till evening.

My coughing episodes have reduced and soreness in the throat too has reduced. I was continuing to cough up some watery phlegm all morning.

I was in no mood to eat ,so I had papaya for breakfast.

I was feeling mild breathlessness throughout the morning but was able to manage. I continued to take the herbal cough syrup and Mishran powder every 6 hours.

My condition in the afternoon :

I had idli and sambar for lunch. Ordered from a restaurant. Felt nice to eat idli with hit sambar.

By afternoon, my breathing was getting tougher though coughing was much lesser. I decided to take nebulisation in the late afternoon. Felt very comfortable after the nebulisation.

For dinner I had Rice with Rasam. My taste buds have lost their sense of taste and Rasam is one dish that tastes good when one is sick. Rasam is sour,salty ,tangy and peppery. It is like a soup made with all healthy ingredients like pepper, cumin seeds, garlic, coriander seeds, turmeric powder tomatoes, tamarind/lemon juice ,curry leaves and coriander leaves. All these ingredients boost the immunity too. Most South Indians prefer this comforting food , rice with rasam, when they are sick.

It is 8pm now and I feel much better. Breathing is normal and cough has reduced too.

As of now ,I don’t see any reason to go for the COVID test.

Hopefully things are under control now.

Hope to sleep well tonight :).

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Down with Severe Sore throat after more than 2 years

How it started :

Just when I was celebrating my ongoing Root canal treatment ,I woke up this morning with discomfort in my throat. I immediately drank a concoction made with a powder that I always have at home. I always keep stock of this powder and consume it whenever I sense  some trouble in my throat. I get this Mishran powder from my Ayurveda Doctor.

The usual worry started as I began to think how I ended up with a sore throat. What might have triggered this. I have been successfully managing well for the last two years and never did it get this bad.

BTW my son caught a cold three days ago and I was constantly giving him Herbal remedies. Today is the third day and he has almost recovered.

Did I catch the bacteria/virus at the Dental clinic. This was precisely the reason why I was avoiding to visit the Dentist.  Was it at Starbucks , I hadn’t visited any eating place during the last two years.

Me and my son did a little cleaning at home a few days ago. We did wear masks while cleaning. All of us are allergic to house dust and do our best to keep the house dust free.

Was the dust ,after vacuuming, lingering inside the house and did we inhale that dangerous stuff or did I catch the virus from my son. I made sure I was nowhere close to him during the last two days.

Hmmm….whatever be the reason , it is here to stay 🙁

Advise from my Ayurveda Doctor:

Called my Ayurveda Doctor and described my  symptoms. I asked him if I should go for a COVID test and he told me to wait for a day.

Whenever I have severe sore throat, I usually end up with  Bronchitis. I began coughing up watery phlegm and when I told about this ,he suggested a Herbal tonic. I was able to get this tonic from a local Ayurveda store

If the Bronchitis gets severe ,I will have to start taking nebulisation. I have a portable nebulizer at home. The doctor advised me not to start nebulisation yet.

It is 6pm now. Since morning I have been taking the  Concotion and the herbal tonic every 6 hours. Not feeling comfortable yet. The irritation in the throat continues.

Hoping there will be some improvement by end of the day.

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May 2020 :

Inflammation of Gums

This was the time when most of the world was in Lockdown. The dreaded Corona virus made sure everyone was forced to stay put at home. This was one of those rare times when people didn’t dare to visit a hospital even for routine checkups. Thanks to technology , most hospitals came up with online video consultation.

It was during this time that I started to have pain in my gums on the left lower side of my jaw. I immediately messaged my Ayurveda doctor and he told me to make a video call at a particular time. I usually consult my Ayurveda doctor for all minor issues too. I called at the scheduled time and he wanted to see the area via video. I went outdoors as it was bright outside and he saw that the gums were red and swollen.

Herbal Medicine for Inflammation of Gums :

He suggested a herbal medication that has to be used to brush my teeth instead of the regular toothpaste. I followed his advise and found that the pain reduced after brushing a few times and vanished in a couple of days. I felt relieved and happy that the pain subsided. Little did I know what was in store.

I continued using this herbal toothpaste.

Covid lockdown was lifted and life began to get back to normalcy.

Nov 20:

Teeth Chipping and Pain

I noticed that one tooth on the left side, at the site of pain , began chipping off. I had pain whenever I bit something using that teeth. While eating , at times some food would get stuck in the cavity and caused a lot of pain. Slowly , I got used chewing using only the right side of my mouth. Almost half the teeth broke off .

I was apprehensive to visit my Dentist inspite of Covid guidelines being relaxed.

I continued using the herbal tablet for a year and managed successfully.

Nov 21:

Duration and Stages of Root Canal Treatment

A couple of weeks ago the pain got worse and the Herbal tablet wasn’t helping me.

I was forced to visit my Dentist and finally took an appointment.

A Root Canal Treatment had to be done.

A Root Canal specialist examined the tooth and prescribed an antibiotic for 5 days ,as there was an infection in the teeth which was causing the pain. I had to come for the next visit after I completed taking the antibiotics.

During the second visit , when the infection was gone , the Root canal specialist cleaned up the root of the teeth. This process is a bit painful and I did make some noise to signal to the dentist whenever I felt pain. Just bear with a little pain and then life will soon be wonderful. The dentist then filled the cavity with temporary cement. I was told not to chew food on the left side. I had minor pain for a few hours after the process which was soon forgotten.

I was told to come back after a week.

During the third visit , the Cap Specialist took over . She removed the temporary filling and closed the cavity with a permanent filling. The remaining teeth was scraped off completely and the filling was shaped into a small teeth like structure and is in the same colour as the teeth . There was no pain whatsoever . A soft moulding material was used to take an impression of the teeth on the top and bottom. This will be used to manufacture a cap/crown which will be fixed over the temporary teeth. I was advised not to chew food on the left side for a few days.

I am now done with three visits that spanned for almost 15 days. The final cap/crown will be fixed during my next visit.

Feeling good that I will be able to eat comfortably in a few days.

Yayyyy !!

Here are a few pics from recent times –

Puja in Karthika month.

Visit to Starbucks on way back from the Dentist.

Latest harvest from my tiny garden.

That’s all for now.

Please continue to take all precautions against Corona and its variants which seem to be never ending 🙁

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Childhood Memories-When I was less than 7 years old

My Dad was working in a Government company in Hyderabad. All the staff were living in the company accommodation which were called ‘Quarters’. Each Quarter had four apartments in each building, two on the ground floor and 2 on the upper floor.

There were thousands of employees in this company and the families had no other option but to live in these Quarters. There were hardly any other residential areas outside of this township where people could rent/buy.

This was a manufacturing company and the Factory was at one end of the township.

The Factory and Township was designed by the collaborators who were from the erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

This company is 30km from the city of Hyderabad.

The township was self-sufficient wrt day to day consumables and groceries. We had several schools, one hospital, two recreation clubs, an open air stadium, an indoor community hall for various events, tennis courts, parks, temple, church, masjid and gurudwara.

This morning I was recalling my childhood days when I was less than 7 yrs old.

We lived in the upper floor and I always enjoyed looking out from the balcony. I always wanted to go downstairs and play with the girls who lived on the ground floor. They were of the same age as me and my sister. There were many other girls of my age in the neighborhood.

We lived in the same apartment till I was 7 yrs old . Dad was eligible for a bigger quarter and so we moved from this place.

I can’t remember sitting down and doing/learning something at that age.
I remember playing around all the houses in the neighborhood with a bunch of friends, .exploring people’s gardens and backyards…..going through the green fences from one house to another…collecting fruits , flowers ,leaves and playing with them…eating lantana fruits ….sucking the sweet honey from flowers, exploring rocky areas near our house.. collecting colorful pebbles there…..playing with butterflies, dragonflies and red velvet boochis.

Red velvet Bugs (Trombidiidae)

These bugs come out during the rainy season. These were collected and placed in a small matchbox along with some grass as food.

Getting hurt during the play would then be followed by searching for leaves of ‘thatha pilaka tup’ flower. These flowers grew at the end of a long stalk. The leaves are thick and juicy.

‘Thatha Pilaka’ flower (Telugu) / Tridax procumbens

A few of these leaves are squeezed between both the palms and the juice applied on the bruise. The juice is supposed to have medicinal properties and heals bruises . I cringe a little as the juice touches the bruise. In a moment I am back with the other kids and start playing again. We kids did this without thinking twice. I don’t remember how we learnt about the medicinal properties of these leaves. I probably watched another kid doing this and simply followed.


The only stuff that I remember from school is singing the rhyme ‘Sing, Sing , Sing , Sing Mother Sing ….’ from Nursery.

I was unable to recall the whole rhyme and some 10-15 years ago I tried searching for it on Google and was unable to find it.

I recently looked for it again and found the whole rhyme. Felt very happy.

Here it is-

The other thing I remember studying was to mug up the Math tables from 2 to 20.

I also remember taking Aluminum boxes to school. These were school bags. These bags were sturdy and the books stayed nice and stiff and I remember arranging all the books neatly. But it was a bit tough to hold the box with the hand. My fingers would hurt as the handle was hard. and the box was heavy Not everyone had these boxes and I felt good carrying this 🙂

I was 7 yrs when I was in Class 3 and I remember walking to the school along with a friend and usually got late for the assembly. I remember a few boys teasing us for being late.

I wish I could recall more memories, but that’s all I remember during the days when I was less than 7 years old.

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Retired from Service

Finally relieved from Government Service yesterday ie 24 Feb 2021.

I was given a fond farewell by my colleagues.

Felt good to hear all nice stuff about me. I was appreciated for being a down to earth person by some , a task master by few others , a quick learner , having strong will power , someone who can be trusted to complete any given task etc.

Am happy with my contribution to my organization , throughout my 29 years of service.

A recent Company circular had mentioned that those above 50 years of age can opt for Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement along with Medical benefits. The moment I saw this circular , I decided to apply.

I decided to opt for Pre-Mature Voluntary Retirement while I still had another 8 and half years of Service. There was a mixed reaction to my decision from my colleagues. Some didn’t appreciate as they felt I would regret within a few months. Others agreed that it was the right decision , so I could relax and take care of my health which is more important than money or career.

My family supported my decision.

Extremely grateful to my organization for taking care of my financial needs and also for the excellent medical benefits. All the medical expenses for my BMT were provided by my organization.

I wanted to experience a different life . Surely , 29 years is a long time. Was tired of the same routine everyday and was unable to pursue my passions. There was a feeling of guilt whenever I applied leaves to take rest or recuperate. COVID had forced us to stop taking help from maids . I got lot of support from Hubby and Son , but didn’t like to depend on them,

To me, being alive is more important than career or money.

Having a government job is a blessing as there is job security and most people would do anything to get a government job. However, the decision to retire is an individual’s choice based on their own unique situation.

Many of my younger colleagues are apprehensive of the company’s future and also the security of their job as the company is not doing well.

On waking up this morning , I felt peaceful . Was able to take a shower without rushing….cooked without being in a hurry…had my breakfast in a relaxed state.

There were moments during the day when I was making plans for going to work the next day….hmm …signs of the ‘auto pilot’ mode that I was used to. Hopefully , I will get used to my new life very soon.

Looking forward to the next innings.

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9 years after my BMT , for Multiple Myeloma

11 Jan 2012 , the day I was discharged from the hospital, post BMT, is still fresh in my mind.

I felt like a new born with a fresh lease of life. God gave me another chance. Since then, each day has been precious.

I have been able to achieve several milestones in my life.

I continued to go to work and did my best. My Son completed his studies and is now working. I successfully scored half century. We completed building our house. These are some of the materialistic achievements.

Through this blog ,friends and colleagues ,I have been able to share my experiences ,thereby helping many in fighting the disease.

Encouraging patients to go ahead with BMT and sharing my success story, by using Ayurveda medication, has given me immense satisfaction.

Extremely thankful and grateful to my Oncologist and Ayurveda Doctor for supporting me all the time.

My family has been the greatest source of strength.

Friends and colleagues have been so understanding and helpful all the while.

After my BMT ,I took leave for 6 months to recuperate. Since then ,I have worked continuously and never took any break. I wanted to work for a few years and then retire.

Finally ,the day has arrived and I have applied for Pre-Mature Voluntary retirement.I am getting relieved on 24 Feb 2021.

I was supposed to be relieved on 30 Nov 2020, but due to some unforeseen events, it didn’t happen.

Looking forward to another exciting phase in my life.

Hope is Real !

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3 Best Desi Ghee / A2 Ghee Online , in India

What is Desi Ghee :

Ghee is clarified Butter which is obtained from the milk of Cows and Buffaloes by a process of making curd , then churning the curd to extract butter , the butter is then heated to produce clarified butter/Ghee.

However, the best Desi Ghee is made from the milk of Native Indian Cows and is preferred as it has several health benefits.

Ghee from Native Indian Cows is called ‘Liquid Gold’ as this has a golden color. It is interesting to know that in ancient India, those with the most ‘Liquid Gold’ or more cows , were the richest.

With ‘White Revolution’ , a lot of Dairy farms started rearing Jersey/Holstein cows , as they produce a lot of milk . Not many are aware that these cows are a hybrid variety and not native to India.

Since ancient days , Native Cows of India are revered and treated like a family member.

Indigenous or Desi Cows in India
Native Indian Cows at an Organic Farm, that I visited, near Hyderabad , India.

Lord Krishna says that if one worships a Cow , it is as good as worshipping Him. Lord Krishna was a Cow Herd and loved cows and hence called ‘Go-Pal’ , one who rears Cows.

Lord Krishna , with Cows

What is A1, A2 Milk and why we should consume A2 milk products :

The Milk produced from Native Indian Cows is called A2 Milk , whereas the milk from Hybrid cows like Jersey, Holstein is A1 Milk.

Ghee prepared from A2 Milk of Native Indian Cows has numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. For that matter everything should be taken in moderation.

The protein in A2 milk is good for our health.

It is observed that the incidence of Cardiovascular diseases and Diabetes is more in those who took A1 Milk products.

I am using Ayurveda Medications since almost 6 years. My Ayurveda Doctor prescribes 1-2 tsps of Cow Ghee per day for me.

Health Benefits of Desi Ghee :

Here are a few health benefits of incorporating A2 Ghee in your diet -Contains Butyric acid which increases the generation of T-cells in the body. It is these T-cells which improves the immunity in the body.

It is good for improving memory.

Lubricates the connective tissue and hence prescribed for Yoga practitioners

Ghee is a yogavahi—a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the tissues of the body.

Acts as a medium for absorption of all fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K .

Has antioxidant properties as it contains Vitamin E and Beta carotene and reduces inflammation in the body.

Induces Apoptosis in Cancer cells.

Slows the aging process

Enhances Digestion

Contains antiviral properties

Has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which is good for heart health

…and many many more

How is the Best Desi Ghee prepared and what is the price :

I have learnt from various authentic sources that to prepare 1kg of Desi Ghee, around 25-35 Liters of pure Desi Cow’s milk would be required. This depends on the fat percentage in the milk. Fewer liters of milk would be required if the fat content is high. I was told that the price of 1 liter of pure Desi Cow’s milk is Rs200/-.

This works out to a minimum of Rs5000/- for 1kg of pure Desi Cow Ghee. Any price which is drastically different from this is not a genuine product.

No wonder it is called ‘Liquid Gold’.

Where do I buy Desi Ghee Online :

My search for various sources of A2 Ghee began a few years ago , when my Ayurveda Doctor told me to use Ghee daily. I even spoke to a few folks from near by Villages, who worked in the city, if they could help me get Cow Ghee. Unfortunately, none in the villages are into A2 Ghee business as there is no demand .Basically, the knowledge of the wonderful properties of Desi Ghee is lost. Native Indian Cows give a lower quantity of Milk and also has lower fat content. Hence, most people prefer to rear Buffaloes.

Ghee adulteration is rampant and hence one should be aware of the source of the Ghee.

I then started searching for A2 Ghee online . Thankfully, now a days, there are several brands of A2 Ghee online. After checking the reviews , reading about the people who are behind the product and the method used to prepare ghee, I went ahead and ordered.

Klimom Desi Ghee :

Initially I used ‘KlimOm Ghee’. KlimOm is based in Hyderabad. I found it on Amazon and liked the product. The grass which is fed to the Gir Cows is grown in their farms without using any pesticides. Cows are not injected with any hormones and are milked using hands.

Traditional methods are used to prepare the curd from milk and churned to extract the butter. This butter is heated and then it gets converted to Clarified butter.

A2 Ghee from Isha Vasyam :

I began searching for another product and bought A2 Ghee from Isha Vasyam. The quality is very good. Mr Vivek Sharma , founder of ‘Isha Vasya’ wanted a cure for his parents health issues and rediscovered the ancient vedic remedies for the current age health problems.

Desi Ghee from Amorearth :

I am always on the lookout for Organic/Naturally grown produce. During my search I came across ‘Two Brothers Organic Farms’ . There are some videos about their farms that I watched on YouTube. They are into Natural farming and I am impressed by their farming practices. The brand name of their products is ‘Amorearth’ . They have free range Native cows, which are fed with Organic grass and other feed , from their own farms. The manure from the cows is used to fertilize the plants and the cycle continues. Cows are the basis for Natural farming and they have a symbiotic relationship. They also sell several other Organic products.

Currently , I am using A2 Cow Ghee from Amorearth.


Time to switch to Desi Ghee :

It is high time , we revert back to our ancient way of living. Let’s do the best we can to access the healthiest food products. No doubt , such products are in shortage and the demand for these is slowly increasing. There is a shortage of supply, however, the more we purchase , the more will eventually be produced.

It is true that A2 Ghee is very very expensive compared to Ghee from Buffalo Milk. But, Ayurveda recommends 1-2 tsps of A2 Ghee to those who are keen on regaining their health. So, make sure the source is authentic and if you have access to a Goshaala or anyone who is rearing Native Indian Cows , then you are the luckiest.

Let’s spend our hard earned money to buy healthy food for our family. Nothing else is more important than healthy eating habits. Thankfully good products are available.

~ Jai Gomaatha~

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Hold on my Retirement

I was due for retirement on 30 Nov 20 ie yesterday, however due to some unforeseen circumstances , my retirement was put on hold by HR a couple of days ago.

I am feeling upset and frustrated right now.

Everything was going well. I bought gifts for all my colleagues and was busy shopping and packing the gifts all of last week. As a customary ritual , all my colleagues collected and gifted me some money , with which I had bought a gift for myself. This gift would be given to me on the day of the official farewell. Preparations were on by all colleagues for hosting the event yesterday.

I had completed all the formalities and forms to be filled wrt the pension, my PF , Medical benefits etc.

Was busy all of November handing over all my activities to another colleague. Cleared all my drawers and closets which had files from my initial days in this company. Lots of memories were revived during this cleanup. Photos surfaced from everywhere. Segregated all my files on the computer and copied them to a central system , so they can be referred to when required.

Dont really know how long it is going to take for me to get relieved.

Yet to receive a new Office order for my role in the company till I actually get relieved. Discussions are on as to what should be my portfolio till the retirement. Should I continue doing my existing duties or just stick around and attend office as and when I wish and use my leaves.


in a confused state….

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Best DIY Natural All-purpose Cleaner using Soapnuts

Hair shampoo , Detergent , Bath soap , Floor cleaner , Pesticide , Dish washing liquid , Jewelry cleaner , Mosquito repellent , Bath soap for Pets , Kitchen cleaner : Using Soapnuts , an environment friendly and sustainable solution given by Mother Earth.

After having experienced a life surrounded by chemicals and pollution , I have begun rediscovering all the traditional healthy practices that were followed in India since hundreds or thousands of years. In this journey , I have recently rediscovered Soapnuts. The most Eco-friendly , Natural All-Purpose cleaner .

My earliest memories of Soapnuts , also called Soapberries, are from my childhood days when my Mom would give us (me and my sister) a hair wash using the liquid extracted from Soapnuts .

Soapnuts or soap berries grow in India , in the Himalayas and in South India. They are light to dark brown in color when ready to pick and one to two centimeters in diameter with a hard black and big seed. When dry they are shelled and can be used like soap as they give a lot of lather as they contain Saponin which is a surfactant. Soapnuts are a natural cleaner given by Mother Earth.

I remember my late paternal aunt used to get a big sack, full of soapnuts whenever she visited us. She lived in a village adjacent to the Tirumala hills. The soapnut tree grows wild in the forests on the Hills.

Soapnuts for washing Hair :

Ok, So let’s go back in time, almost 3-4 decades ago , when shampoos were unheard of and the soapnut ritual took place every sunday at my home. Come Sunday morning , two big handfuls of soapnuts were broken by placing each one on the floor and breaking them open using a small round granite stone or placed in a Mortar and Pestle which was dedicated for breaking up the soapnuts. The big black seeds would be separated from the shells and the shells would be soaked in water .While the soapnuts were soaking , a copper water boiler would be filled with water and coals would be fired up at the bottom of the boiler drum.

The soapnuts would soften while the water got hot and they were squeezed with the hand to extract the juice from the soapnuts. The soapnut extract would be filtered into another vessel and more water was added to the remaining pulp. If required the soapnuts would be squeezed again.

This extract was the shampoo during those days. At times the liquid would get into the eyes and the eyes would burn and become red. We would sprinkle cold water on the eyes and get some relief. Very soon the eyes were back to normal.

After washing the hair , it was time to dry the hair using towels and letting the hair dry naturally in the sun. We let our hair down and stood under the sun. Mom didnt let us use the Hairdryer which Dad had bought from Italy when he went there on Official work. She felt that the heat from the dryer would damage the scalp and make the hair brittle.

Once the hair is around 70% dried up , Mom would comb our long hair to disentangle the knots and then braid the hair into one or two plaits. All our neighbours envied our long hair.

This was the morning routing every Sunday morning.

It was this ritual which helped in the growth of thick long and healthy hair , soft hair , no dandruff ,no loss of hair and no grey hair.

Very soon , we starting washing the hair ourselves and found a short cut to extract the soapnut liquid. We simply put the soapnuts in a vessel, poured water and heated the water. While the water cooled down , the soapnuts would become very soft and it was very easy to squeeze and extract the liquid. Mom somehow didnt like what we did, and complained that we were too lazy 🙂

Soapnuts as a Body scrub :

I also remember Mom telling us to use the soft soapnut pulp to scrub the skin instead of using a soap. This natural cleaner is good for the skin as they prevent/heal skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. These nuts have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties too.

Very soon we began hearing of shampoos and initially we used these shampoos once in a while when we were in a hurry and didnt have the time to soak and squeeze .

Didnt take very long for all to forget soapnuts and shampoos were here to stay. The comfort , convenience , instant solution for a hair wash was too good. What followed was dandruff, loss of hair, brittle hair , split hair and grey hair.

Having realised the benefits and advantages of soapnuts over shampoos , we are now scrambling back to the traditional methods.

Since a couple of years I had been searching the shelves in the supermarkets for soapnuts and didnt find any. I was surprised that they had disappeared.

To this day , I dont see them yet in the supermarkets, but glad they are available online.

Washing silks and woolens with Soapnut extract :

For my wedding , I had several heavy silk sarees and maintaining silk sarees is an art . While discussing as to how I should clean and maintain Silk sarees with Mom, she told me to soak my silk sarees in soapnut extract diluted in a bucket of water and give them a gentle scrub with the hands.

Delicate and expensive garments can thus be cleaned using natural soapnut extract so they last long compared to using chemical based detergents.

Cleaning Gold jewellery with Soapnut extract :

Mom also once told me to clean gold jewelry with this extract. I just soak the jewelry in the soapnut extract for a while and use an old toothbrush to clean them.

Soapnut extract as an Organic/Natural Pesticide for Plants :

I have been doing some kitchen gardening using Organic fertilizers/pesticides since one year and I watch videos on YouTube whenever I require some information. I also learnt how soapnut extract can be used as a pesticide spray for plants. This is a natural way to control pests.

Mother Nature’s Detergent :

Eco friendly products and sustainable solutions are the need of the hour and soapnuts are the Natural cleaner that Mother Nature has given to humanity.

The soapnuts can be used as a detergent to wash clothes in the washing machine. Tie around 4-5 soapnuts in a cotton pouch or put them in an old socks and toss it into the washing machine.

How to prepare and use Soapnut Extract :

Method 1 : Prepare soapnut extract by soaking the nuts overnight. Next morning , squeeze the soapnuts with your hand for the best results and strain the liquid using a strainer.

Method 2 : Boil the soapnuts in water for 15 mins. Let the water cool down. Now you can squeeze the softened soapnuts and extract the liquid. Strain the liquid using a strainer.

The extract can be stored in a refrigerator. If left outside it will begin to smell bad and has to be discarded.

Fresh extract is recommended.

Other uses of the Soapnut Extract :

The extract can be diluted with water and used for all the following purposes .

  • Dish washing liquid
  • Washing Fruits and vegetables
  • Floor cleaner
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • Glass cleaner
  • Hand wash
  • Glass, Tiles, Kitchen counters
  • Giving a bath to your pets
  • Shaving cream

The water that is left after all the washing, can be let into the water harvesting pit or used for watering the plants in the garden.

I have begun using soapnuts for laundry, washing utensils, floor cleaner, as a bath soap, washing hair, as a pesticide, washing silks and also as a hand wash.

Laundry detergent , Dishwash liquid , Handwash liquid etc are also available online.

With COVID around , I began searching for a good product to sanitize fruits and vegetables, during the ongoing pandemic , I came across one good product named Bubblenut Wash which has soapnut as one of the key ingredients . I began using this before I started using soapnuts as it is very easy to use. Here it is –

Bubblenut Wash-Natural and Organic Fruits and Vegetables Wash :

There are other cleaning products sold by the same company .

Bubblenut wash Laundry Detergent :             

Bubblenut wash – Natural and Organic Laundry Detergent Bar :

…and many more

These products are especially very useful for those who have skin allergies and are unable to use the normal soaps/detergents.

Initially , it is very convenient to buy and start using them. Later on you can buy soapnuts and make your own Natural cleaner.

However, if you wish to buy the soapnuts and use them directly you can use them in the following ways :

  • Full berries can be used directly for Laundry , by placing a few berries in a pouch or old socks and tossing them into your Washing machine.
  • The extract of these berries after soaking in water can be used for washing hair, in the dishwasher, Floor cleaning, cleaning gold jewelry etc
  • The soap berries can be powdered and also used in the washing machine, soak in hot water and use as a shampoo
  • The left over berries from which the extract was prepared can be made into a paste in the mixer-grinder and used for cleaning kitchen counters ,sinks, stove etc

Feel free to experiment and you will not go wrong.

I recently bought the following product and started using them.

I now prepare a batch of soapnut liquid by soaking the soapnuts overnight and use it the next day for all my cleaning jobs.

Take the following precautions while using Soapnuts:

-If the soapnut liquid gets into your eyes while washing hair, do not panic. Just splash cold water over your eyes till you get some relief. There is no danger to your eyes. Your eyes may appear red for a while but do not worry , they will be back to normal soon. To prevent the liquid going into the eyes , just make sure that your eyes are tightly closed 🙂

-Soapnut liquid tastes bitter. It is not poisonous. However, just make sure it is out of reach of small children.

-Freshly prepared soapnut liquid has to be used within a day. Store it in the refrigerator if you wish to use it over a longer period.

Old is gold !!