logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Clairvoyance: 08:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g African Culture Site

BellaOnline's African Culture Editor

g

What is Shea Butter?

Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu

Shea Butter comes from Africa. The Shea (or Karite) trees grow in the wild in the dry savannahs of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Zaire and Guinea. Shea trees need to reach maturity, about 20 years, before they produce fruit and can produce their fruit for up to 200 years. The fruit of the shea tree looks like a large plum.

Inside the shea fruit is a seed much like a peach pit. This seed is removed from the fruit, boiled, sun-dried and roasted. When the pits have completely dehydrated, they are handcrushed. This process takes an average of 20 hours to produce about 2 pounds of shea butter.

Shea butter is widely used as a moisturizer in cosmetic products, but can also be used as a cooking oil. At times, shea butter is used in the process of chocolate making instead of cocoa butter.

Shea butter is said to be effective treating eczema, dermatitis, skin allergies, fungal infections, scrapes, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin, blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretch marks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis, and can even help fade scars. Unrefined shea butter contains many healing ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins and a unique fatty acid profile, and is a superior active moisturizer.

Shea butter provides natural ultraviolet sun protection up to about SPF 6. Shea butter absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling.

Many people feel only pure, unrefined shea butter has the true healing and moisturizing properties of shea butter. Most shea butter available to the general public is white and odorless, or "refined", to remove the natural scent and color of natural shea butter.

Unfortunately, the refining process removes the majority of the healing and moisturizing properties. Refined shea butter is extracted from the shea nuts with hexane or other petroleum solvents. The extracted oil is boiled to burn off the toxic solvents. The shea butter is then refined, bleached, and deodorized using harsh chemicals. Shea butter extracted in this manner may contain solvent residues and its healing properties are significantly reduced. The end result is an odorless, white butter that is aesthetically appealing but can be hard and grainy. Refined shea butter lacks the true moisturizing, healing, and nutritive properties of true traditional shea butter.

African Shea ButterYou can purchase unrefined, organic, free trade shea butter from EclecticLady.com.

Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Twitter Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Facebook Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to MySpace Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Del.icio.us Digg What+is+Shea+Butter%3F Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Yahoo My Web Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Google Bookmarks Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Stumbleupon Add What+is+Shea+Butter%3F to Reddit




African Black Soap
Griot - A West African Tradition
African Holidays
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the African Culture Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Dawn Denton for details.

g


g features
Pumeza Sings African Opera

Africa at the Commonwealth Games 2014

Eco-lodge Sustainable Tourism in Senegal

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor