Shea butter, properties and uses

Shea butter, properties and uses

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The shea butter, also marketed under the English name "Shea butter”Is produced from the nut (seeds) of the speciesVitellaria paradoxa,the only one belonging to the Vitellaria genus.

Vitellaria paradoxa is indigenous to Africa, the fruit consists of a very nutritious pulp and a sour taste. The pulp surrounds a large seed from which theshea butter, this seed is often called shea nut.

Thereproduction of shea butterit is not so immediate, just think that its tree takes 10 - 15 years beforehunt the first fruit and full production is reached when the tree is about 20-30 years of age. Each tree bears fruit for up to 200 years. The fruits of the tree ofsheathey take 4 to 6 months to mature. The average yield is only 15 - 20 kg of fruit for each tree, even if particularly productive crops yield 45 kg. Each kilogram of fruit contains about 400 grams of dry seeds, exploited for the production ofshea butter.

The shea butter it is edible and for Africans it is an important source of fat. In Africa, the shea tree is used for medical purposes and exploited in the lean season to nourish the villages. For us Westerners, del shea butter we are mainly affected by the emollient properties and nutrients that it exerts on skin and hair. Theshea butterit can be widely used in natural cosmetics for the production of various skin care preparations. To give some examples:

  • Can be used as a massage butter
  • As a moisturizing agent in homemade soaps
  • Can be used as a natural lip balm
  • It can be used to make moisturizing face creams
  • Can be used as an after-shower for skin care
  • It can be used in the preparation of bath oils
  • It can be used for hair care
  • It can be used as a natural remedy for dry and chapped hands

Shea Butter, a source of antioxidants

Shea butter is popular in natural cosmetics due to its high content of phenolic compounds (antioxidant substances). A recent study found that the phenolic profile of shea butter is very similar to that of green tea. In particular, the researchers identified 10 phenolic compounds, 8 of which belong to the catechin family. The same study concluded that the shea butter unrefined and produced with traditional extraction methods, it has much higher phenolic levels than the shea butter produced with machines.

By studying the amount of antioxidants contained in the shea butter produced in various African regions, the scholars hypothesized that the overall concentration of phenols (antioxidants) could vary according to the environment in which the trees were grown and the degree of environmental stress that the same trees could withstand.

Where to buy the shea butter?

It is possible to buy the shea butter in shops specialized in the purchase and sale of natural products or using the web.

A reliable website after you can buy Shea Butter online is in which you can find both the pure shea butter both the organic shea butter

You can also buy it on Amazon, here are some proposals:

Shea butter, 100% natural, 1 kg
Price: € 13.95 - Free shipping for those who buy 2 packs or for those who associate the purchase of shea butter with other products such as Sweet Almond Carrier Oil.

In summary, with just over 25 euros you would find yourself 1 kg of shea butter and 1 liter of sweet almond oil with amazing properties; to learn more about the benefits associated with the use of sweet almond oil, I refer you to the page "Mandrole Oil". These are pure products but without the organic brand.

Unrefined Organic Shea Butter - Certified Organic - 1kg
Price: € 25.99 - Free shipping.
The product can bear the Bio mark issued by the Soil Association control and certifying body. Shea butter was produced from natural crops, without the use of chemical pesticides or industrial fertilizers.

Both products listed do not contain parabens, sulfates or other artificial compounds.

The picture
In the photo above, handcrafted soap with moisturizing properties. Soap made from shea butter.

I study
The cited study is a publication of the "Agroforestry System" entitled "Germplasm resources of Vitellaria paradoxa based on variations in fat composition across the species distribution range"

The author
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