Health and Beauty Care

1. Herbal soaps In today’s health-conscious and environmentally-concerned world, herbal soaps made using ancient medicinal knowledge and traditions are being rediscovered by consumers who are just as concerned with what goes onto their bodies as what goes into them. In Nepal, soap made using oil from Chyuri, also known as the butter tree, and Neem have become renowned for their medicinal properties as well as their lower environmental impact  

2. Chyuri, or Diploknema butyracea, grow in the Mahabharata hills of Nepal at an altitude of about 500 to 1,400 metres above sea level. Chyuri seeds are highly valued by villagers, who extract oil from them for use in cooking, medicines and making candles for religious purposes.. Chyuri oil is being increasingly used as a substitute for animal fats in locally made soaps, which until recently relied on imported oils from India and other countries. Demand for Chyuri soap is especially high in winter, thanks to its moisturising properties.

3.  Neem, or Azadirachta indica, is found in the arid, hot tropical and subtropical climates of Nepal, and other parts of the Asian subcontinent. A natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent and a non-toxic insecticide, Neem has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. As an active ingredient in soap, Neem is useful in preventing skin irritations and infections, especially in summer.

4.  Because high quality soap can be produced simply on a very small scale and Chyuri and Neem are both naturally available in Nepal, soap making offers great income generating opportunities for women and other economically marginalised groups in rural Nepal. MEDEP has supported the establishment of soap making enterprises in Pyuthan, Nuwakot, Bardiya, Nawalparasi and Dhanusha districts, assisting in entrepreneurship and skills training, the provision of micro-finance and the development of market linkages.
5. Chyuri- and Neem-based Herbal Soap is available in both wholesale and retail quantities from Saugaat Griha, the sales outlet of micro, cottage and small entrepreneurs’ products at Tripureshwar, Kathmandu.

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