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african black soap

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AFRICAN BLACK SOAP

African Black Soap is a soap generally made in Western Africa where most of its ingredients are readily available.  The color of the African Black Soap varies from light brown to very dark brown depending on the region it’s made in, since the availability of the ingredients varies.  The soap can be molded and cut into any shape, however, it is usually found in most West African markets in a ball or round shape.  The Black Soap is called many names, but the most common is Ose Dudu, which comes from the Yoruba language of Nigeria, Benin and Togo.  Ose Dudu means literally soap (ose) black (dudu).  It is commonly known as Alata Samina or Anago Samina among Ghanaians.

Ingredients:

Ashes or powders of plantain peel, banana peel or cocoa pods; water; mixture of oils (shea butter oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and/or cocoa butter oil)

Preparation:

Dried plantain, banana peel and leaves, cocoa pods, shea tree bark, dried palm tree leaves, etc. are first burnt to ashes in a large kettle. Water is then added to the ashes and filtered.  Oils such as shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and cocoa butter are then added to this water to create the soap.  Herbs and age-old formulations make the difference in the resultant soap.  The soap is then hand stirred by local women for at least a day and then set out to cure for two weeks.  Each region or tribe has their own recipe that has been handed down through generations.

Uses:

You can use this soap on your body, face and hair. Black soap traditionally has been used to relieve rashes and scalp irritations, to soften rough skin, and to clear up acne, blemishes and other minor skin problems.  Black soap gives your face a deep cleansing, leaving it fresh and healthy.  Also among the benefits are the treatments of eczema, ringworm, and razor bumps.

 

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