Now Reading
History of the Quillay “champú” – A Señora Era Shampoo
Señora era slow living newsletter

History of the Quillay “champú” – A Señora Era Shampoo

Whatever you have tried, there is no shampoo more holistic and natural and “clean” than the one our ancestral señoras used to use: Quillay.

Derived from the Quillaja saponaria tree native to Chile, this fascinating plant has long been loved by our ancestral señoras for its multifaceted properties, ranging from medicinal to cleansing. Today, as we all look for more sustainable alternatives to the problems behind corporate beauty products – some of which may have questionable ingredients – the resurgence of Quillay feels really exciting.

The quillay tree has a bark rich in natural saponins, was traditionally used to create cleansing solutions for personal hygiene and textile cleaning. The Mapuche and other indigenous communities have passed down the knowledge of Quillay’s cleansing properties, utilizing it not only for hygiene but also for its medicinal benefits. Their descendants, our mestizo great grandmothers, kept the secret alive and used this, alongside other herbs, to wash their hair, wash clothing, and for body care.

While indigenous communities have utilized Quillay for centuries, its potential remained relatively untapped by the modern world until just recently. The discovery of its saponins as natural foaming agents and even in modern vaccines sparked interest in incorporating Quillay into commercial shampoo, soap, and detergent formulations. However, the widespread extraction of Quillay bark has led to ecological concerns, endangering the species in its native habitat. Efforts are underway to cultivate Quillay sustainably and protect its natural habitats.

It’s an incredible natural alternative to synthetic ingredients, and the ingredient’s gentle cleansing properties make it an ideal ingredient for shampoo, providing a luxurious lather while nourishing the scalp and hair. In soap formulations, Quillay is excellent for sensitive skin types. Additionally, its natural foaming ability makes it an excellent choice for eco-friendly detergents, offering a greener alternative to conventional cleaning products.

Crafting Your Quillay Recipes:

See Also
chicken coop

Experimenting with Quillay in your own señora homemade personal care products is so rewarding. To make your Quillay shampoo, combine Quillay bark extract with essential oils and natural moisturizers for a personalized cleansing experience. You may have Quillay bark if you live in the Bay Area (it’s been spotted in parts of San Francisco and San Jose!). If you don’t have access to this majestic tree, don’t go buying any from Chile, just find a good high quality extract from the web (you’ll want to google “Quillaja saponaria”). I found an extract from a local company here, which I’ll be experimenting with.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous and live in the proper hardiness zone, why not find and plant a tree?

For soap making, blend Quillay powder with nourishing oils and botanicals to create javones artesanales you can gift to your family or keep at home for your own use. For eco-conscious cleaning solutions, mix Quillay extract with vinegar and essential oils for a homemade detergent that is both effective and environmentally friendly.

Scroll To Top

Sign up for the Señora Era Newsletter

Join 50,000+ Señoras and sign up for a daily Señora self-care email to help you have your best day

Sign up for the Señora Era Newsletter

Join 50,000+ Señoras and sign up for a daily Señora self-care email to help you have your best day