Tag Archives: ash

on the Soap Tree

as we talk soap-making Vicky shared a story:
Vicky:
“On the subject of soap and plants, are you familiar with the soap tree? We used to use the leaves to wash our hands when we were kids, playing in the bush near our house.”
Me:
“Soap tree? I don’t know that one. do you have an image?”
Vicky:
“I just googled it. Botanical name is Alphitonia excelsa, common name red ash. It’s a rather undistinguished-looking tree: leaves are oval, shiny dark green on one side, and silvery on the underside. The leaves contain saponin, and new growth smells like sarsaparilla. Apparently the fruits have been used medicinally by the aboriginals, but I only know its use of leaves as soap.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphitonia_excelsa