According to information provided on the suppliers website, soapnuts are a natural detergent and cleaning agent, grown in India - where they have been used for centuries for cleaning and personal hygiene purposes. Soapnuts contain large amounts of saponin in their shells, which acts as a natural, gentle detergent when it comes into contact with water. Without added chemicals, fragrances or dyes, Soap berries are safe and gentle for hand washing delicates,yet tough enough for regular laundry. They will apparently leave your laundry soft, clean and fragrance free, without the use of fabric softeners. The soapnuts are shipped by sea from India directly to Durban so as to minimise their 'carbon footprint'.