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Herb magic a presentation on eco cleaning


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A short presentation made by the folks at Krya on green cleaning options. This was made in the aftermath of the Chennai floods of December 2015 in response to the alarming amount of bleach and synthetic antiseptic materials being used in public and private sanitation.

We believe nature presents literally thousands of safe and sustainable cleaning options and are trying our best to both create awareness and provide easy to use natural products that can help people during this time.

Published in: Education
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Herb magic a presentation on eco cleaning

  1. 1. Herb Magic Or the short story of how human beings cleaned over the ages. Sensibly. From the folks at krya .
  2. 2. Sometimes we make the mistake of assuming that all of human invention just happened. And that we lived “primitively” a few hundred years ago.
  3. 3. Like we just invented a soap to bathe with. (the earliest recorded mention of a soap was nearly 5000 years ago in Babylon).
  4. 4. The East, especially countries like India never took to a soap (for reasons we will elaborate in another presentation). We used herbs and grains to bathe with.
  5. 5. Or that we either just wore dirty clothes or disposable clothing until the modern synthetic detergent was invented.
  6. 6. In India, we traditionally washed our clothes near a flowing waterbody. Or constructed dhobi-ghats like these to do our laundry.
  7. 7. This made sense when we were washing with these. Please note I’ve given only 3 examples of the many hundred that used to exist. Soapberry fruits – Sapindus trifoliatus, Sapindus mukorossi, Sapindus emarginatus Shikakai pods – Acacia concinna Chiura seeds – After oil extraction, the oil cake is used as a washing soap in certain communities in Uttaranchal
  8. 8. But not any more as we are washing with these. Synthetic LAB based detergent powder. LAB is a by product of petroleum. Also, India has no phosphate regulation in cleaning products. So some Indian detergents carry upto 40% phosphate – this level is regulated to 1.5% in the U.S. Walls of foam over 6ft high caused by detergent run-off into lakes in Bangalore.
  9. 9. We’ve written a lot more on this. Here’s where you can start:
  10. 10. Ancient and “primitive” civilisations knew a lot more than we give credit for.
  11. 11. The medieval Islamic world can pat its back for inventions and discoveries as varied as different kinds of mills to grind flour, the use of mercuric chloride to disinfect wounds, the modern guitar, early torpedoes, and varied pottery and cryptoanalysis There would be no guitar if it weren’t for the Oud, said to have been “invented” atleast 5000 years ago. We, the Fans, thank you.
  12. 12. This is the “Big temple” in Thanjavur. It was consecrated in 1000 AD. This temple entirely made out of granite has withstood the ravages of climatic change, 6 recorded earthquakes , one major fireand the passage of 1000 + years and is still standing strong.
  13. 13. The Dogon tribe of Mali, West Africa possess advanced astronomical knowledge. In 1930 were interviewed by 2 french anthropologists. At the time, the Dogon wise man spoke about the existence of a companion star to the star Sirius. The companion star Sirius B, a white dwarf, was unknown to modern astronomers and was photographed for the first time in 1970. Dogon tribe, Mali. A picture of Sirius A and B photographed by the Hubble telescope. Sirius B is the tiny dot on the left-west.
  14. 14. This is the “Indian rhinoplasty technique” as described by Sushruta atleast 2500 years ago. This technique uses parts of the cheek and the forehead flap to reconstruct the nose. This technique is still used today and is still called the Indian rhinoplasty technique.
  15. 15. The Sushruta Samhita also describes operative techniques for rhinoplasty, ascites, removal of kidney stones, removal of metallic splinters using magnets, cataracts, c- section, osteoplasty, fracture setting and construction of different kinds of sutures from plant and animal materials.
  16. 16. It seems strange that with all these sophisticated inventions and surgical techniques being discovered, no one would have invented a simple antiseptic for post operative care. They did. And a very powerful one.
  17. 17. I know (or I hope) I am preaching to the choir. But I still want to spend a few minutes on this.
  18. 18. Most (All) synthetic products that we use to clean our homes are extremely toxic. And not only when we use them. They cause great damage as they run off from our sewage and along the entire way.
  19. 19. A few examples.
  20. 20. Water wastage Fresh water damage Eutrophication Animal and plant hazards Detergents, Dishwash and other LAB & Phosphate based cleaners from the folks at
  21. 21. Bio-accumulation Formaldehyde from 1 burning coil can be = to formaldehyde from 51 cigarettes Chemicals in mats and sprays highly toxic to bees, birds and cats Synthetic mosquito solutions (DEET / DDT, synthetic pyrethrin) Potentially damaging to neurons and brain cells from the folks at
  22. 22. Excessive use of anti bacterial and antiseptic products can lead to a rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria or super bugs. This cross resistance has been documented in lab studies on Triclosan, a common antibacterial agent found across categories promising anti bacterial property. Super bugs are resistant to most antibiotics and can cause great harm.
  23. 23. Some natural herb alternatives And documented properties
  24. 24. Disclaimer : Plants are POWERFUL. Do not self diagnose and drink /eat any kashayam or chooranam unless under the advice of a qualified Aurvedic / siddha practitioner.
  25. 25. Triphala • Classic antiseptic product documented in Ayurveda & Siddha • Made from a specific combination of de- seeded, sun dried, and finely crushed myrobalans. • Triphala uses equal parts of Amla, Haritaki and Vibhitaki (prepared powder as described above) from the folks at
  26. 26. Triphala documented uses • Bhaisajya Ratnavali (the gem of medicinal formulae) compared in the 19th century by Govinda Dasji lists the following uses – Astringent, laxative and antibacterial preparation – Given for coughs with honey and for constipation with hot water – (WARNING – please consult a qualified Ayurvedic / siddha vaidyar before internal consumption) – Used in conjunctivitis as a decoction to clean and wash the eyes – A decoction of this churna can be used to wash and clean wounds and ulcers from the folks at
  27. 27. Triphala external uses • Can be directly used to wash hands and feet instead of synthetic antiseptic products • Can be used as an antiseptic dusting powder on open wounds (after cleaning) • The decoction can be used to clean wounds and disinfect them; also to wash the eyes • The decoction can be used along with natural cleansing herbs like soapberry and shikakai to deep clean your home, from the folks at
  28. 28. Triphala availability • Triphala churan or Triphala chooranam is a shastric medicine (formulation given in classic texts) • Can be bought from any ayurvedic brand or at IMPCOPS from the folks at
  29. 29. Some other cleansing herbs • Soapberry (Sapindus mukorossi / trifoliatus / laurifolius) – Natural surfactant pericarp – Saponins have both anti bacterial and anti fungal property – Makes an excellent detergent, vessel cleaner and surface cleaner (and personal cleanser) – Can be used to scrub and deep clean floors and tiles when sludge removal is needed. from the folks at
  30. 30. Some other cleansing herbs • Shikakai (Acacia concinna) – Natural surfactant pericarp (lower than soapberry) – Excellent anti fungal property – Makes a good addition to soapberry to scrub and clean floors and surfaces – Can also be used to wash hands and feet especially in combination with antiseptics like triphala from the folks at
  31. 31. Some other cleansing herbs • Henna (Lawsonia inermis) – Excellent anti fungal property – Can be used for personal cleansing • Vitex Negundo (Nochi) – Strong cleansing, disinfectant and vata balancing property – Decoction can be used for disinfectant bath, surface scrubbing – Dried leaves can be used for fumigation of rooms to repel mosquitoes from the folks at
  32. 32. Some other cleansing herbs • Eucalyptus (Regular and citriodora) – Strongly cleansing and disinfecting – Essential oil has excellent anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and anti infectious properties – Use liberally to cleanse surfaces, fumigate, and cleanse homes – Oil can be used as an infusion in warm water, aded to mopping liquids and added to washing machine in the last rinse for added sanisation – Look for steam distilled authentic oil from high quality leaves (organic if possible)– often comes adulterated with turpentine oil from the folks at
  33. 33. Some other cleansing herbs • Eucalyptus (Regular and citriodora) – Also excellent to drive away silverfish (repel not kill) – Also helps remove fresh green mould attacks on clothing and fabric furniture • Sponge off mould directly with a buff cloth moistened with pure eucalyptus oil – Mould prevention • mix about 50 ml of eucalyptus oil in 1 litre of water and spray problem areas regularly from the folks at
  34. 34. Some other cleansing herbs • Tea tree – Essential oil is a powerful disinfectant ; much stronger than pure carbolic acid – Add under 10 drops in 500 ml of water along with eucalyptus and use to disinfect surfaces – Can also be added as last rinse to laundry – A few drops mixed in coconut oil makes another excellent anti fungal oil from the folks at
  35. 35. Some other cleansing herbs • Sweet flag (vasambu) – Dry rhizome of Acorus calamus – Rhizome is emetic, stomachic, expectorant, antibiotic and insecticidal – Excellent in keeping crawling insects at bay (cockroaches, silverfish) – Can be used as a powder in a potpourri in cupboards or made into a stronger spray-able decoction to repel insects from the folks at
  36. 36. This is merely the tip of the iceberg India numbers thousands upon thousands of indigenous plants, some found only in distinct geographies
  37. 37. Almost every single cleaning or disinfecting need can be tackled naturally And sustainably.
  38. 38. Are you still going to reach for that bottle of antiseptic or bleach?
  39. 39. Are you still going to reach for that bottle of antiseptic or bleach?
  40. 40. from the folks at
  41. 41. Nandri. From the folks at krya.
  42. 42. about krya We make absolutely awesome, light on the planet, plant based, vegan and cruelty free home and personal care goodies that work. We make natural goodies to clean your home, take beauty baths with, wash your hair to a shine sans dandruff or hair fall and help you wash your face with super gentle and super effective herbs. And we make them ourselves at our super eco factory in Chennai courtesy our superhero team. Check us out on . Thanks so much! from the folks at