Organic Rhubarb & Liquorice Soap

Rhubarb & Liquorice organic cold proces soap
Rhubarb & Liquorice organic cold proces soap

Do you know what colour oil becomes when you infuse fresh rhubarb in it?  you may think it would go a light cloudy pink (if your bunch of rhubarb is pink).  Or at least a muddied kind of shade you’d expect when you infuse oil with organic matter.  But it becomes a pretty surprising neon yellow-green.  Yes neon.  As in it glows!  Try it if you don’t believe…

The colour of the oil infused with rhubarb doesn't show up that well on picture but is a vibrant yellow-green
The colour of the oil infused with rhubarb doesn’t show up that well on picture but is a vibrant yellow-green

Anyway, this soap came about after reading about the benefit of rhubarb root powder.  I love reading books about different global herbal traditions and noticed this came up in both TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and in Middle Eastern, Islamic Herbal Traditions.  In TCM rhubarb is a balancing herb used for stomach ailments and can be used as a poultice for fevers and swelling.

It is a powerhouse of vitamin A, C and K as well as full of antioxidants.  It also has pretty impressive anti-infection properties.  A study conucted in 2012 used rhubarb extract to combat the Coxsackievirus (aka foot and mouth) where it showed significant prohibitory effects on the virus.

Organic liquorice root power (middle-top), rhubarb root powder (left) and Australian pink clay (right)
Organic liquorice root power (middle-top), rhubarb root powder (left) and Australian pink clay (right)

As well as all this rhubarb root has known anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties.  It is also known to lighten and clarify skin, being used to treat pigmentation problems as well as cold sores.  I suppose there is a reason why it has been used by so many herbal traditions for so long!

Freshly poured wet soap coloured with rhuabrb, liquorice and pink clay
Freshly poured wet soap coloured with rhuabrb, liquorice and pink clay
Hardened soap - the mustard yeloow is the liquorice, the brighter pink is the clay and the more grapefruit toned pink is the rhubarb
Hardened soap – the mustard yeloow is the liquorice, the brighter pink is the clay and the more grapefruit toned pink is the rhubarb

The second ingredient, liquorice, has been use for thousands of years to help in skin ailments!  It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and when tested on skin afflicted with eczema it was shown to decrease itching, swelling and redness.  Liquorice is also thought to encourage skin to create its own collagen, reduce the depth of wrinkles, improves skin tone and hydration.  Lastly it also contains compounds which promote skin lightening (reducing skin pigmentation problems) and has shown to improve melasma in tests.

Liquorice root
Liquorice root

This delicious, sweet tasting herb makes a lovely cup of tea too!

Rhubarb & Liquorice soap is scented with grapefruit and citrus essential oils that also contain a liquorice note.  It’s got a light citrus fragrance that dies down to a deep but sweet scent.  Slightly unusual but wonderful all the same.

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