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Bath soap to wash away areca growers' woes

Last updated: 23 June, 2011
Akshatha M, Mangalore, June 23, DHNS : 23:26 IST

It may stain the teeth, but the nut gives glint and health to the skin

Now there is good news for areca growers in the form of areca soaps manufactured by a Vittal-based agriculturist.

Arecanut is chiefly used in gutkha and paan and with the Centre imposing a ban on the sale of gutkha in sachets recently, the areca growers and gutkha manufacturing companies were in the lurch. But agriculturist and Ayurveda expert Badanaje Shankar Bhat has come up with an innovative idea of producing bathing soap using areca tannin. The production of areca soap is claimed to be the first of its kind.

Named as ‘Pooga Singar’ (areca flower in Sanskrit), the soap will be available in three varieties. Jasmine, rose and tulsi are used in the three varieties to add flavour to the product.

Bhat told Deccan Herald that his 20 years of research in Ayurveda had resulted in the preparation of areca soaps. “Ayurveda books say a lot about the multiple uses of areca. Consumption of areca may cause health problems, but its external use will help treat many skin problems. The soap manufactured with the combination of areca tannin with tulsi, jasmine and rose is a form of aroma therapy. One soap bar contains the extracts of one arecanut,” he said.

Having experimented with the home made ‘Pooga Singar’ product for four years, Bhat has now taken to manufacturing it in bulk.

The soap has been tested at Bangalore Test House and has passed all required tests. The product has been manufactured as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, without using animal fat.

The soap is currently manufactured by Ashok Agro Industries in Baikampady and will be formally launched on June 29. Bhat said that 10,000 soap bars have been manufactured already and will be released into the market at the earliest.

“We have planned to produce two lakh soap bars in the next six months. We intend to reach the areca growers first and then the general public,” he said. Bhat said there were plans to introduce areca shampoo, lipstick, washing soap and wine in the days to come, as it would help the areca market.

Campco President Padmanabh Bhat Konkody said Campco, All India Areca Growers Association and Areca Research and Development Foundation would support the initiative of Bhat, who is also a member of the Foundation.

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