India report: Palm leaf packaging

Holy Lama Yogi Soap

In a store in the old historic area of Fort Cochin, I noticed the Holy Lama Yogi Soap from Holy Lama Naturals. What drew me was not the soap itself–which smells great–but the packaging. The little “bowls” are made of palm leaf. (You can kind of see it in the photo.)

I had noticed such packaging on a earlier train ride, when an extended family served snacks in little bowls made of leaves. These bowls were barely manufactured; after they were used, they were discarded and virtually fell apart into individual leaves. I wish I had salvaged one since I didn’t find them later in a market.

Packaging made of palm leafs makes so much sense for a company based in the southern state of Kerala, which means “land of coconut palms”. The trees are everywhere, and the uses all parts of the tree are numerous. My favorite is the oh-so-many ways it’s used in the food… but I digress.

I am happy to have found natural packaging, and also to support Holy Lama Naturals, an all-woman enterprise (according to its website.) The tag on the soap says:

A Soap ‘hand made’ in India with the unique properties of two of ayurveda’s most esteemed botanicals–Neem and Tulsi. Incredibly mild, hence can be used on the face too. No synthetic fragrance or color is added to it. Free From Animal Fat

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8 Responses to India report: Palm leaf packaging

  1. Karthik says:


    I’m pretty sure that you are aware of this, but we (South India) make a lot of “bowls” using leaves. Besides palm leaves and banana leaves, temples in South India (specially in Tamilnadu) use lotus leaves and twigs to make bowls.

    Cheap, biodegradable and is as versatile as a regular bowl (well it cant really hold liquids for too long).

    Speaking of, the then railway minister of India (he was one a few years ago) banned plastics on trains and made sure that tea/ coffee was served in cups made of clay (the cheaper porous kind of course) so they were practically disposable. Not sure if they still follow it.

    It is kinda cool to come to the US, look back at India and go, we did do a lot of environmentally cool stuff (possibly without understanding what we were doing).

  2. Vaishali Deo says:

    Dear Sir,

    I just read your comments on the Holy Lama Naturals ‘eco – friendly soap’. Thanks much for the appreciation and the kind words for the soap and its packing.

    Vaishali Deo

    Vaishali Industries

  3. Varsha says:

    Dear Vaishali,

    Recently I had been to Kerala(Tekkady) for a Vacation. From there I purchased this soap only due to the fragrance and the packaging. The soap is wonderful, works a rich lather and the body smells great after a bath. Now, I regret that I did not purchase more. Can you please inform whether this soap is available in Mumbai and in which outlets? Or you can inform the mode thru which I can order this soap and the price.

    Warm Regards

    • Vaishali Deo says:

      Hi Varsha,
      I just read your message here which was sent in May!
      Please contact us at for the products of Holy Lama Naturals. I will guide as to where you could buy the products in Mumbai.
      We offer not just those herbal natural handmade soaps in the palm leaf pack that you are looking for, a wide range of products under the following categories are available:-
      hair boon, skin boon, soap, shower gel, tea, parkinson’s, diabetes & kidney
      stone medicines, agarbatti, eco air freshener, energy candles, 9 types
      massage oil, 4 types bath oil, face packs and spice drops.
      Newly introduced products are face scrub, body scrub, face wash, lip balm,
      traditional kerala spice box made of Rose Wood.

      Await your reply,
      With regards,
      Vaishali Deo

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Vaishali

        Can you please let me know if you have any outlets in Bangalore?

        Thanks in Advance

  4. maja says:

    Palm leaf packaging:

    Wonder if anyone in here can help me out?

    I am looking into finding an alternative way of packaging oysters. And I am very interested in using fresh palm leaf packaging or other like wise 100% organic and biodegradable natural materiale.

    I have seen pictures of palm leaf bowls used to carry coconuts etc. Why I asume it will be able to hold quiete some volume. Personally I have seen them in Indonesia on foot markets – serving from anything from plates to packaging!
    Since I am looking at using it in large scale for a commercial point of view, I have a few questions you might be able to answer:

    1. Does it have to be fresh leafs in order to hold?
    2. For how long will a bowl keep fresh and usuable?
    3. Have you seen bowls with lids?
    4. Does anyone have a source of where to get in touch if I would like to make product enquiry?

    Found this image – which shows a beautifull bowl
    palm leaf bowl

    Any answers and leads forward to a sustainable packaging solution – would really be appreciated and most helpfull. thank you in advance!

  5. neeleshcsh says:

    Can I know where can i buy the soaps in Bangalore?


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