From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shea nut butter is a slightly greenish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from fruit of the Shea tree by crushing and boiling. Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and an emollient. Shea butter is also edible. It is used as a cooking oil in West Africa, as well as sometimes being used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter.
There are two kinds of shea butter available on the market today: Unrefined and Refined. The Unrefined Shea Butter is traditionally processed without chemicals. The chemically refined version has been bleached, heated, and solvent extracted using a petro-chemical called hexane.
Because of these alterations, the chemically refined version may lack the healing properties found in unrefined shea butter.
Shea butter is known especially for its cosmetic properties as a moisturizer and emollient. It is also a known anti-inflammatory agent. Shea butter can be effective at treating the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis . Shea butter provides natural UV sun protection although the level of protection is extremely variable, ranging from none at all to approximately SPF3 so should not be relied on. Shea butter absorbs rapidly into the skin without feeling greasy.
Shea butter is comparably richer than other emollients but scarcity of supply results in an erratic market price
Shea butter can be found in many high end moisturizing skin products. It is also used in hair conditioners to add and maintain moisture in dry brittle hair, in addition to revitalizing, repairing and preventing breakage.
Besides its cosmetic uses, shea butter is also used as a cooking oil in West Africa.
Shea butter is also used in some indigenous ceremonies. Followers of the Holy Spirit Movement rebel group of Uganda smeared their bodies with shea butter in the belief that it would stop bullets.
Handcrafted shea butter is also used in Togo, West Africa for ceremonies among the Fulani ethnic group.
Many carvers of djembe shells and other african drum shells will use shea butter to condition the wood. Shea butter is also used to condition the goat or cow skin heads of these drums.
- ^ The Benefits of Pure Unrefined Certified Organic Shea Butter. Purely Shea. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
- ^ Thioune O, Ahodikpe D, Dieng M, Diop AB, Ngom S, Lo I (2000). "Inflammatory ointment from shea butter and hydro-alcoholic extract of Khaya senegalensis barks (Cailcederat)". Dakar Med. 45 (2): 113-6. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
- A History of Shea Butter. Amikole's Shea Butter. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- The Shea Project. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- About Shea Butter. Nature's Shea Butter. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
- Fair Trade Shea Butter. ALAFFIA. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
Categories: Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007 | All articles with unsourced statements | Cooking fats | Cosmetics | Anti-inflammatory agents | Vegetable oils