Chestnuts: Autumn’s Secret Clean Cleaning Ingredient

Image © Andrew Dunn

By Valerie Hutterer | Beauty
Posted Nov 2, 2016

It is autumn. The leaves are rusting, and the trees appear in their most beautiful magnificence. It gets colder outside and cozier at home. On your next autumn walk, you should collect the secret clean cleaning ingredient you have been stepping over forever: chestnuts.

Chestnuts have had a role in health and cleaning for centuries. In the western hemisphere, the chestnuts we know are called horse chestnuts and their seeds, leaves and flowers are used to help relieve an array of health problems. Horse chestnuts are effective because they contain the active substance Aescin (a mixture of saponins with anti-inflammatory effects).  Medicinally, chestnuts* have been used to treat varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swollen veins (phlebitis). But the fact that they consist of 30 different saponins – means you can use them for a more topical reason: saponin comes from the latin word sapo and simply means soap.

According to the EWG, women are exposed to over 168 different chemicals (men about half) each day through our personal care products. If you are looking to decrease your chemical load, how about making your own, chemical-free “Chestnut Shampoo“? Here’s a simple recipe:

You will need:
One empty shampoo bottle (like this)
20 horse chestnuts
350 ml (12 oz) Water
One small spliced apple with seeds
3 tablespoons of linseeds (or Flax seeds, like these)

  • Slice the chestnuts into small pieces and put them into a pot. Add the apple and water.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and cook for another 25 minutes over a medium flame.
  • Get an old cloth and sieve the stock trough it into another pot. (Squeeze the cloth)
  • Now add the 3 tps. of linseeds to the liquid. The linseeds will help as a thickening agent.
  • Stir it until there are no more lumps left and pour it trough a sieve into your shampoo bottle.

Now it is ready to make your hair naturally beautiful.

Chestnuts lend themselves to many different uses. Because the meal of the Chestnut has also been used for whitening linen cloth and for making starch, we have another simple recipe for you: How to make “Laundry Brightener” out of chestnuts.

You will need:
8-10 chestnuts
boiled Water

  • Slice the chestnuts, put them into a container or glass and cover them with boiled water. Close the container with a lid and wait for two hours.
  • Pour the water into another container and ready is your all natural laundry detergent.
  • Now fill the your new liquid laundry brightener into your washing machine as you normally would.

You should use the environmentally-friendly and inexpensive laundry brightener within two days.

*According to WebMD- Be careful not to confuse aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut) with aesculus californica (California buckeye) or aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye). Either way, this article is in no way suggesting eating chestnuts.


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