Soapwort Shampoo

The house that we live in was built by my husbands Grandparents in the late 40s.  I love our home and I love that I can tell a lot about Grandma Ruthie by the things in our home.  She must have been a character.  There were rooms that were red from top to bottom.  The downstairs bathroom is black and white subway tile to the ceiling and who can forget the Turquoise kitchen.  (I would like to) 

When I moved in 10 years ago there was no yard to speak of.  After years of being forgotten and neglected the desert had simply taken it back.  Along the North and the east sides of the house, however, there were two kinds of plants.  I could tell that they were the old flower beds.  It was really important to me to save those flowers at any cost.  I lovingly weeded and watered.  I transplanted some to fill in the bare spots and to my happy surprise they did wonderful.  I just love the idea that the same flowers that Grandma planted are still here and giving us joy.

The tall ones had pink blossoms.  I ask Glen if he knew what they were called and he told me that they were pink bettys.

I was very happy when I came across a page in one of my herb books that said that soapwort and pink bettys are the very same plant.  Other Names: soaproot, bouncing bet, leatherwort, Fuller's herb, bruisewort, crow soap, and sweet betty.

Soapwort is a perennial European native herb which has become thoroughly naturalized in the United states.  found growing in moist ditches, along road sides, waste places,near old home sites, in meadows, and as a planted ornamental.

Propagate Soapwort with seeds or by division done in early spring.  Soapwort spreads vigorously it has many attractive and aromatic flowers and can be used as a ground cover.  Succeeds in any moderately fertile well drained soil in sun or in semi-shade.  It prefers a neutral to alkaline soil.  The fragrant flowers have five white to pinkish petals, each notched and refluxed, about an inch in diameter and are borne in large clusters sin axils of leaves and at the tip of the stems.  Flowers bloom from June to October.  It colonies from underground rhizomes.  The root is harvested in the spring and can be dried for a later herb use. Use the flowers and leaves fresh as a body soap.

A soap can be obtained by boiling the whole plant (especially the root) in water.

It is a gentle effective cleaner, used on delicate fabrics that can be harmed by synthetic soaps. The best soap is obtained by infusing the plant in warm water. 

Take care when using it as a shampoo because it can irritate the eyes.  (just like most shampoo does) 

Pretty Betty shampoo

2 1/4 C. water
1 T. soapwort
2 t. chamomile flowers or rosemary

Bring the water to a boil and them remove from heat. Add the chamomile and soapwort.  Cover and allow to steep for 10 minutes.  Strain into a bottle and use as shampoo.  It is just that easy!

Other alternative shampoos I use are baking soda  and yucca.

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