What is Black Soap? Whats in it? and what are the benefits?

What is Black Soap? What's in it? and what are the Benefits?

Black Soap or better known as African black soap or Oso Dudu, is traditionally used and made in
West Africa. West African practices and beliefs include the knowledge and use of native botanicals,
plants, & organic minerals to heal & cure physical and mental ailments. The knowledge of the use of
plants and minerals has been passed along from their indigenous relatives. In Ghana and Nigeria,
women have shared family recipes and passed them along to each other for generations. The family
or tribal communities use different recipes, that often varied by cooking time, temperature, and
ingredients to distinguish the difference by texture, smell, and color.

African Black Soap is traditionally made with cocoapods, water, roasted plantain, shea bark & butter,
palm leaves, and palm kernel oil. The Palm leaves, cocoa pods, and plantain leaves are left out in the
sun to dry before placing them in a pot and mixing in raw coconut oil and shea butter together with the
dried botanicals. The mixture is then allowed to cool, settle, and dry for a few weeks before use.

Let’s break down a few of ingredients and benefits that are included in many of African Black soap

Palm oil and leaves(Elaeis Guineensis):
Palms have been used for centuries in Sub-Saharan African regions for medicinal and religious
ceremonies. The leaves, oil, and sap of the palm have been used to treat many skin conditions like
rashes, burns, eczema, and psoriasis due to it being a rich source of Vitamin E, antioxidants, and
saturated fats. It is a rich source of beta-carotenes that are a great source of Vitamin A, which helps
reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping to slow down the aging process.

Shea Butter (Vitellaria Paradoxa):
Shea Butter derived from the African Shea Nut Tree, also rich in Vitamins A & E, has natural healing
and moisturizing properties for skin. Raw Shea butter is a semi-solid that is comprised mainly of stearic
and oleic acids. When Shea Butter is used topically it helps calm itchiness and inflammation, smoothes
fine lines and wrinkles, and helps repair damaged skin by boosting the production of collagen.

Cocoa Pods (Theobroma cacao):
Cocoa Beans are derived from the Cacao Tree, originated from Central America,, which is harvested
for its beans, fruit, and pods. The tropical tree has been recorded in being used in a many ancient
medicinal recipes. One of the recipes was called “chocolat” which has been transformed to what we
know as “chocolate” of modern times.  Recent research has shown that cacao(cocoa) has antioxidant
and anti-cancer compounds.

Wondering if you should try African Black Soap...here is a little synopsis...

African Black soap has been used for centuries to help cure skin conditions such as eczema, skin
blemishes, acne, and other skin conditions. The ash from the plantain and shea bark not only gives it
exfoliating properties but has been know to heal burns and wounds. Research has also shown, when
black soap was tested against commercial medicated soaps, African Black soap was more effective
in killing bacteria such as Strep, Staph, and E Coli in different levels and variations of testing. The
research studies examining African Black soap against medicated soaps concluded that African Black
soap contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.

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Olajuyigbe, O.O., Adeoye-Isijola, M.O. & Adedayo, O., 2017, ‘A comparison of the antibacterial activity
of sBaharum, Zainal et al. “Theobroma Cacao: Review of the Extraction, Isolation, and Bioassay of Its
Potential Anti-Cancer Compounds.” Tropical Life Sciences Research 27.1 (2016): 21–42. Print.ome
African black soaps and medicated soaps commonly used for the treatment of bacteria-infected wound’,
Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development 1(1), a20.

Gruca, Marta, Tinde R van Andel, and Henrik Balslev. “Ritual Uses of Palms in Traditional Medicine in
Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review.” Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 10 (2014): 60. PMC.
Web. 31 July 2018.

Malachi Oluwaseyi Israel. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals.
American Journal of Life Sciences.
Vol. 2, No. 5, 2014, pp. 303-307. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20140205.18