Soap berries are wild-harvested by hand from trees found in forests at the foothills of the Himalayas. They grow in the wild without the use of chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. They are hardy trees; resistant to disease and insects. The saponins actually taste bad to insects, thereby; protecting the fruit through its own natural self defense mechanism. Sapindus trees are capable of growing in poor quality ground and help fight erosion. The tree grows 10 to 20 meters in height and begins flowering & bearing fruit after 9 years. They have great longevity and produce the fruit for approximately 90 years.
Sapindus is the genus (botanical name) for approximately ten species of small trees. The Lychee fruit tree is part of the same family. Sapindus is derived from two Latin words – saponis (soap) and indicus (indian) – and are not nuts. They are fruit berries. Some people call them “nuts” because the dehydrated fruit dries into sticky hard spheres with one large seed that people assume are nuts. The berries EcoLogical Surfactants uses grow on trees primarily found in the forests of India & Nepal. Sapindus Mukorossi (a specific variety of soap berry) contains the highest quality and quantity of saponins found in any variety available. A diverse variety of soap berry species are found in Asia, South America, and North America (where they were used by Native American Indians).
The trees produce clusters of small, white flowers in spring and early summer; the resulting berries are harvested annually in autumn. SoapBerry fruits are round and reddish tan; they become gummy and wrinkled as they ripen. The seed is removed and the fruit is dried in the sun without the use of chemicals. Soap berries are dehydrated fruit and 100% natural.