Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recipes - African Black Soap and Rainforest Body Oil

African Black Soap

This recipe is as it is made in Africa.

Handful of Cocoa Pods
3 pieces of Shea Bark
Skin of one Plantain
1 cup Palm Oil
3/4 cup Unrefined Shea Butter
Fragrance or Essential Oils

Ash mixed with water become lye. So wear protective equipment and handle this with the same care given to any other cold process soap recipe.

Remove the cocoa beans from their pods. Roast the pods, plantain skin and shea bark in the pot on low-medium heat until ash is formed, preferably outside. Carefully add 2 cups water and bring the mixture to boil then lower the heat. Once ashes have dissolved, carefully strain the solution through a fine strainer and set aside. Place the palm oil in another double boiler and heat it to about 35°C. Carefully mix in the ash water and stir until the mixture is smooth. After 45 minutes you will start to see froth form on the top. Scoop this into a cooling container until nearly all the water has evaporated from the pot. This froth will become your black soap. Remove the pot from heat. After the froth has partially cooled, add fragrance or essential oils, pour into molds and allow to cure for 2 weeks. Remove from molds and the soap is ready for use.

Rainforest Body Oil

2 ounces Tamanu Oil
1/2 Ounce Acai Berry Oil
1/2 ounce Andiroba Oil
1/2 ounce Brazil Nut Oil
1/2 ounce Passion Flower Oil
10-25 drops Essential Oils (optional)

Combine oils and essential oils. To use, apply a small amount directly to the skin.

Bath Alchemy by The Bonnie Bath Co.


  1. Hi Erica,
    I love this recipe and appreciate you for sharing it. I'm wondering....are we to use a handful of actual cocoa pods, or the beans that are inside?


  2. Hi! I really want to make this soap! Been on the net and want to find he cocoa pods And the Shea bark!!?

  3. This recipe is wrong, the froth is glycerin. You do not remove it, rather leave it and everything in the pot to boil down. If you examine at authentic black soap, you'll notice lots of "matter" in it. There is not a standard recipe, lots of different local vegetation is used. This is traditional to coastal West African countries, but what is in black soap depends on who made it, where she is from and what was available at that time of year. Everyone's chilli has beans but.........

  4. I was so inspired that I went ahead and tried this recipe. If there was a way for me to post my pix I would have. I personalised it cos that's what I love to do!
    I added unrefined 100% Shea Butter from Ghana to my base oils (about 2 table spoons), and unrefined 100% Organic Cocoa Butter (about 1 table spoon).
    For my recipe I used plantain skin ( x 3 ) ash as I don't have access to cocoa pods (though once I do, I will be cooking this again), and because I like the skin benefits of Calendula (Marigold) flowers I added a bit once the mixture had cooled down. My additives were Vitamin E, 7 drops of Geranium Rose e/o, 10 drops of Lavender True e/o and 7 drops of Rosemary e/o- all purely for their skin benefits, and beautiful smell.
    I actually realised that I could not scoop the froth so I just let my soap boil for 45 mins on low heat.
    They are in soap moulds curing at the moment. They should be ready for use by 25th of March. Will try some on my unsuspecting family and intend on giving some away.
    They look and smell lush!
    Thank you for sharing your recipe and inspiring me to make my very first soap batch xxx God bless xxx

  5. Hello, A very insightful post. Thanks for the info. Its great that if our default settings are giving us messy or stringy builds, this dialog can probably help.Thanks for the information.

    African black soap

  6. I was searching on line for some information since yesterday night and I ultimately found what i was looking for! This is a fantastic web site by the way.

    bath and body soap

  7. I am very excited about this post as well..I have been scouring the net for an authentic black soap recipe and when I did find something it gave me just the ingredients and I had no idea what the measurements were for each...until now! Eeepa! Modupe! Thank you!

  8. I was looking at an authentic recipe from Africa and while it seems to involve pouring the oils into the water with the ashes still mixed in, the resulting soap, which does rise to the surface, is scooped off and put into molds. That's exactly what the recipe said.

  9. Google 'recipe african black soap.' Check out 'How to Make Black Soap' on Wiki How. An authentic recipe.

  10. I'd like to try this recipe. I have most of the ingredients but cannot find a source for the cocoa pods. anyone know where I can find them> Getting plaintain skins is no problem.

  11. Hi! Has anyone tried this recipe? I would love to know the results pls. And was it all the prepared lye that was used in the soap? If not then how many spoonfuls/grams?

  12. Hi admin,
    I'm thinking to make this soap at home. Have you ever tried to make this soap at home. If so then tell me the prerequisites for making this soap.

  13. Where do you get your shea bark from?


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