Panama bark | What's that?

Panama bark, also known as soap bark, creates a lather when combined with water. It comes from the soap bark tree (Quillaja saponaria), which is native to warm, temperate central Chile.

Panama bark contains up to 10% saponins. When combined with water, it forms a soap-like foam with gentle yet effective cleansing properties. To collect the saponins for use in soap and shampoo, the Panama bark is taken from the tree, cut into small pieces and the saponins extracted in several phases using hot water. Saponins are exclusively found in plants and belong to a class of non-ionic surfactants. Its gentle cleansing power makes Panama bark a popular detergent for delicate fabrics and an ingredient in stain removers.