Shea Butter - A Multitude of Uses and Benefits

Shea butter is the natural fat extracted from kernels of the shea tree. The shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) is an indigenous fruit tree exclusively found in Africa. It grows naturally along the Savannah belt of Africa, from Senegal in the west to Sudan in the east, and into the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands. The shea tree is found in 20 countries across the African continent including Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia. 

The shea tree generally grows in the wild; and its fruits, when ripe, fall off the tree and are collected, boiled or roasted to extract the nuts. The pulp of the fruit from the shea tree is edible, while the bark and root are used in traditional medicine. The seed, when crushed, yields a vegetable oil that can be used in cooking, soap making, skin and hair care. 

Shea butter is widely traded within and beyond Africa due to its many domestic uses. It is known to contain a number of ingredients that moisturize and heal skin ailments. Shea butter is a naturally rich source of Vitamins A, D, E, F, K, and fatty acids that help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.

 

Here are a few of the many uses and benefits of African Shea Butter:

Skin

  • Used as a salve to heal scrapes, cuts, scars and burns.
  • Treats eczema, acne, dermatitis and blemishes.
  • A natural sunscreen, moisturizer and tanning oil.
  • Fades away and helps prevent stretch marks.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and restores elasticity to the skin.
  • Softens rough skin and soothes sensitive skin.

Hair

  • Soften and conditions hair.
  • Keeps the scalp moist and helps combat dandruff.
  • Seals split ends and reduces hair breakage, promoting hair growth.
  • Used as a cream for dressing hair, adding a beautiful sheen to dull hair.

Cosmetics

  • Used as a lip balm to moisturize and heal dry chapped lips. 
  • A natural cream for removing makeup or shaving.
  • Nourishes and strengthens cuticles and nails.
  • Helps erase dark circles under eyes.

Wellness

  • Massage with shea butter to relieve rheumatic, muscle and joint pains.
  • Helps protect skin from harsh winds and cold temperatures. 

Other Uses

  • Shea butter is a natural vegetable oil and is a main cooking oil of the people in the shea nut belt.
  • Can be used in soap making.
  • Shea butter is edible and can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter in chocolate.
  • Candle making.
  • Polishing wood surfaces.

 

Shea butter is off-white or ivory in color when raw, although it is commonly dyed yellow with borututu root or palm oil. Shea butter oil is a soft paste in solid form and brownish when melted. 

     
     

Our African Shea Butter is imported from Ghana and can be found in the Market section of our site. Available in 8oz, 16oz and 32oz.