Does your Laundry Detergent grow on Trees?

If it does not, then you are transdermally poisoning yourself on a daily basis! soap nut tree

We know, with Ayurveda, that there are four kinds of toxins that can harm us. But one of them is particularly insiduous, as it is slow and silent, creeping into our physiology at our own invitation, poisoning us slowly but surely, day in and day out (you can read more about all 4 types on my blog at

We chose to wake up to it and fall asleep with it every day. In Ayurveda, it is called “garavisha” from “gara” = slow, and “visha” = poison. It refers to poisoning by heavy metals and other naturally occurring elements in nature. In the west, we have named toxic substances that harm us: “xenobiotics.” By definition, xenobiotics are foreign chemical substance found within an organism that are normally not meant to be there as they are not naturally produced by or expected to be present within that organism. We are poisoning ourselves daily with a wide range of carcinogenic health hazardous toxic chemicals from sunrise to sunset: starting with that toothpaste that contains chemical additives, the mouthwash that has synthetic flavors and colors, our shampoo and conditioner, our bath soaps, the perfume or deodorants we use to cover up body odor, the make-up we apply on our faces to conceal fatigue and aging, even the room air-fresheners. But while we may chose not to use some of the above items, something none of us can do without is: detergent.

Did you know that the detergent that you use to wash your clothes leaves behind a trail of toxic chemicals that come in direct contact with your skin, not just during your waking hours, but while you are also asleep. Did you know that this is the worse poison you can expose yourself to?

All laundry detergents that are traditionally formulated to clean and sanitize your sheets, and clothes contain a long list of chemicals that are highly hazardous to health. All these chemicals have been identified by research as xenobiotics, and in Ayurveda, we know them to be slow poisons, or garavisha. Garavisha slowly spreads into the body so that you won’t feel anything for weeks, months, or years. But that chronic and/or autoimmune condition that you suddenly wake up to one fine morning will be its gift down the line. Here is a list of all the toxic chemicals that you are exposing yourself to. Your current detergent may contain some or all of the following toxic hazardous ingredients:

Synthetic Fragrances –  75% of the fragrances contain phthalates. Phthalates have been linked to diabetes, obesity and hormone disruption which affects both development and fertility. They are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesizers.umweltverschmutzung

Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) – This group of nonionic surfactant petrochemicals has already been banned in Canada and the European Union, but it is still found in American detergents. NPEs are endocrine disruptors that adversely affect physical function and fetal development. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to these chemicals, which are known to adversely affect neurologic, immune, cardiac, kidney and liver function as well.


Bleach, (Sodium Hypochlorite) – Sodium hypochlorite and other cleaning chemicals such as fragrances and surfactants react to generate chlorinated VOCs ( volatile organic compounds), which are very toxic and are considered human carcinogens. Chlorinated compounds are emitted during use; as it flows down the drain, bleach can produce organochlorines ( OC) , which are endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic, and carcinogenic.


EDTA ( ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) – This group of compounds is used as an alternative to phosphates to reduce mineral hardness in water, to prevent bleaching agents from becoming active before they are put in water, and also as a foaming stabilizer. EDTA has been found to be citotoxic (kills cells) and as well as genotoxic (damages DNA) in laboratory animals.


Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonates (LAS) – These synthetic petrochemicals are normally listed as “anionic surfactants” on labels, and are one of the most common surfactants in use. During their production process, carcinogenic and reproductive toxins such as benzene are released into the environment. They also biodegrade slowly, making them a hazard in the environment. The amount of LAS used in detergents may vary to as high as 30% of the weight of the total product


Phosphates –  Phosphates are the main cleaning ingredients in many detergents and household cleaners because they break down dirt particles and remove stains by softening the water and allowing suds to form, which enhances the cleaning power of the detergent. Phosphates residues are known to cause nausea, diarrhea and skin irritation. They remain active even after wastewater treatment processes and end up in rivers and lakes, where they act as “toxic fertilizer”.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) , Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS) – are commonly used in detergents and acts as surfactants and emulsifiers, giving the detergent foaming abilities.  Over 16,000 research studies on SLS have shown links to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, biochemical or cellular changes and even cancer.

A great amount of studies have been conducted on the toxic health hazardous chemical fumes – VOC volatile organic compound – that penetrate our bodies via different means: inhalation; transdermally through our skin; through exposure to contaminated food and water. Entering the body through different pathways, xenobiotics, or garavisha, travels all the way deep into the body by crossing the bodily tissues one after the other: rasa(lymphatic tissue), rakta (blood tissue), mamsa (muscle), meda(fat), asthi(bone), majja(bone marrow), and shukra (reproductive tissue). Depending on whether these toxic chemical fumes are lipid or water soluble, they find their host either in the fat tissue, or if they are water soluble, they remain in the blood tissue.


Impact on the tissues/“dhatus” bottles_bleach

Travelling from one tissue deeper into the other, and depending on their solubility (fat or water), they permanently come to reside where they are best absorbed. When they come in contact with toxins that are already present there, such as the micro-crystals of “amavisha,” then they chemically bind themselves to each other and become even more toxic and virulent, traveling to deeper bodily tissues. The deeper they go, the greater the opportunity for them to create local and generalized damage to cells and bring about chronic conditions and diseases.

For example, when they reach the bone marrow, such a toxic load can create difficult-to-treat conditions and auto-immune diseases. This is a very big topic in Ayurveda, and I have discussed it at great length in many of my courses and lectures.


Impact on the Organs 

When it comes to the organs, based on where the toxic damage is located, whether it is in the respiratory tract, or the skin, or the liver, the body will generate different symptoms. The liver, lung, and the skin are usually the immediate victims because they have to process these toxins first and foremost.

Think about it: when you walk past your laundry room and you are either washing or drying your clothes and the air is filled with that synthetic “fresh and clean soap scent,” you are inhaling a cloud of toxic chemicals in your lungs! When these go into the lungs, they inflame the bronchial channels. Long term exposure will burden the lungs and cause breathing problems and complications resulting in disease. 346524ffcdcb0367fef064b3304de92b

Then when you put on those clothes, the toxic chemical micro-molecules get immediately absorbed by your skin and delivered into your blood stream. From then on, your body will respond to these hostile toxins either with a skin rash, skin inflammation, or you might not feel anything for a while, and the toxic build-up will continue to accumulate in your body, until you get a different symptom that’s harder to identify and address!

Our bodies are endowed with a great capacity to protect themselves against external toxic materials, they are also highly intelligent and know how to detox when hazardous chemical infiltrate. But if you keep exposing yourself day in and day out to these chemicals, inhaling them, placing them on your skin, it becomes harder for our body, with time, to keep detoxing, and we end up losing the battle.


Most of all, your liver will give up! The liver is the most important organ in our bodies that is in charge of filtering all the toxins we get exposed to. The biggest victim of xenobiotics is by far, the liver. When the liver is challenged, then the intelligence of our blood is diminished, as the liver produces our blood. When our blood loses its intelligence, then our bone marrow tissue becomes compromised. When our bone marrow is under toxic attack and compromised, our immunity fails. The greatest diseases of our age result from challenged and weakened immune systems.


Impact on the physical channels 

Xenobiotics have deleterious effects on all levels of our bodies: large and small, gross and subtle. According to Ayurveda, our micro circulatory channels, called “shukshma shrotas” in Sanskrit, transport and deliver enzymes, nutrients, and many other life-sustaining ingredients and vibrations. When these micro channels are affected and become inflamed due to xenobiotics, they rupture, and the whole chemical balance of our physiology, on a very deep subtle level, is disrupted, resulting in a myriad of incurable diseases.

Impact on Nadi-s, or Vibrational Channels

Vibrational channels receive and deliver pranic energy. Pranic energy is what animates creation, life as we know it on earth. From this energy, our body gets sustenance for all it does. Xenobiotics are made up of synthetic chemicals. They d


o not carry any pranic energy at all. Theirs is an non-pranic vibration that fights against the cosmic pranic energy, as it gets mixed up in our bodies with our own pranic energy. It is liking mixing water soluble ingredients with water, oil soluble with oil, vibrational materials with vibration. The non-pranic vibration from these synthetic chemicals mixes with and pollutes prana because they are both operating on the same level. When xenobiotics race through our blood, disrupting the flow of our bodily pranic energy, they travel and take-over the nadi-s, corrupting in particular the sandhi-s or gaps between two nadi-s where pranic transformation and transmission happens. When things get disrupted on this subtle level, then all bodily metabolic  transformation get compromised. This is akin to the impact that electromagnetic radiation has on our bodies.


Isn’t it time we stopped poisoning ourselves? Why use health-hazardous chemicals when we can use the detergent that mother nature intended for us? Soapnuts (Sapindus mukorossi) grow on trees, that grow wild all over India and Asia. They are natural cleaning berries (the seed is discarded and the shell is used) whose shells release saponins, a natural substance that works much like soap for removing dirt and grease residues from clothes as well as other surfaces. It can be used with hot or cold water. It’s been used in Ayurveda for ever as part of formulations for washing hair! I have been using it in my SVA HerbRich Shampoo for years.


Soapnuts are biodegradable, eco-friendly, sustainable and hypoallergenic. They clean and soften your laundry. They are also the best   IMG_1849thing for babies! I have added strands of Vetiver to give additional freshness and cleanliness. With the Soapnuts, you can not only steer clear of toxic hazardous chemicals that poison your household, but you will also avoid polluting your environment and nature with toxic chemical residues that disrupt the plant and animal cycles on earth. Soapnuts are compostable, sustainable, and fragrance-free. You will never want to use anything else after you see how bright it will make your whites, and bring back the color in your colors, adding softness and freshness, and keeping you garavisha-free all year round! Mother Nature has always given us all that we ever needed, and more! Isn’t the greatest show of gratitude for her gifts the actual use of those gifts, so we can protect our lives and the environment she created for us to thrive in?


The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the alternative healing modalities of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) as practiced in Vaidya Mishra's ancestral family tradition. The information contained herein is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a licensed health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Otherwise, for more information, you may call Vaidya Mishra's Prana Center toll free in the USA at 1.888.3CHANDI (888.324.2634). or 1.818.709.1005 globally, or email us at: You may also visit:, or


  1. Great post! Happy to read I am a fanatic about all you wrote !!
    I use a chemical free detergent and all the rest of the products I make myself now going on 18 years!

    I literally can’t stand any fake scents and use so many essential oils and developed my own product line 18 years ago
    From deodorant to perfume to skin cream ZERO chemicals or artificial ingredients
    We moved my dad into an assisted living place and I got into a really bad mood and my head started hurting and I do not have headaches
    IY WAS BECAUSE WE HAD HIS LAUNDRY IN THE BACK SEAT AND I COULD SMELL IT!!!! I was nauseated and in a bad mood and I shared this w all of my clients ! I teach many many workshops on this topic
    So thank you for sharing I am happy to be on the right page and was wondering if its importance was going to be spoken. About
    I work w young kids too and all r in killer oils creams
    And body butters plus teas and spices for their dishes so far these kids are responding wonderfully!!!!
    Thank you
    Can’t wait for class today
    Many blessinsh

  2. Thank you for this laundry detergent magic! I love the vetiver aroma and can’t wait to try it. Question: The Directions for Use say: “Soapnuts can be reused for wash the same day. Each soapnut pouch can be reused for wash until the soapnuts disintegrate – around 10-12 times each pouch.”
    What if I want to do only one wash–could I store the used soapnuts for another day and how?

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