How to Identify Purity of Shea Butter ?
Original shea butter should be very creamy and absorb quickly when comes in contact with skin.If the butter is not pure than it has a greasy feel and spread rather than absorb in to your skin. Pure shea butter when rub in between your fingers it should melt evenly without lumps.
Uses & Health Benefits
-It provides protection against dehydration and skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, rash, minor cuts, insect bites, skin cracks.
-Shea butter is used to treat diaper rash in babies.
-Shea butter absorb deep in to the skin providing the skin with cell repairing qualities to heal wound, cuts and abrasions.
-Shea butter is used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks by restoring the elasticity of the skin by enhancing the production of collagen.
-Shea butter protect our skin from U.V rays.
-Shea butter improves the production of collagen and It maintain the elasticity of the skin and reduced aging.
-Shea butter is used as emollient in cosmetics.
-Shea butter is used as anti-inflammatory and by applying on affected area gives relief from pain.
-Shea butter helps to treat sunburn, eczema, Psoriasis and kind of swelling or any other infection.
-Shea butter is naturally moisturizing and skin healing so used in cosmetic industries and hair related products.
-Shea butter is used by soap industries and deodorant making company.
-Shea butter is used as hair conditioner.
What is Shea Butter ?
Natural Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree.Shea tree scientifically known as Butyrospermum Parkil. Shea butter is rich in vitamin A, E, it is solid at warm temperature and has an off white or ivory color.Shea butter comes from a native wild growing African tree that provides a tiny almond like fruits with nuts inside. In earlier days, villagers used to collect the shea fruits to separate the nut from the fallen fruit , boil and left the butter float on the surface.Queen cleapatra always kept a jar of pure,unrefined shea butter on hand.She knows the beauty secret of butter. Vitellaria Paradoxa commonly known as shea tree.Shea tree starts bearing the fruit when it is 10 to 15 years old. When tree is 20 to 30 years old than only full production is attained.
Shea tree do not reach maturity until 45 years and after getting maturity and can continuously produce shea nuts for up to 200 years.The fruits are harvested around may until separated coinciding with the rainy season.The fruit look like a plums and take six months to ripen. Shea butter consist of five fatty acids such as palmitic acid,stearic acid,oleic acid, linoleic acid and arachidic acid.
Due to the presence of stearic acid it givesshea butter solid consistency and on oleic acid depends how soft and harder the shea butter is,and also depend on temperature.The quantity of stearic acid and oleic acid in shea kernels depends upon the species. Ugandanshea butter has high in oleic acid, in shea it is the source of liquid shea oil.The most African shea butter is more variable than Ugandan shea butter with an oleic content of 37 to 55 percent.
Origin of Shea Butter
Shea is native to the African continents, typically in the savannah and naturally stretches over Africa in the northern hemisphere from south eastern senegal to Ethiopia and Uganda. Sheatree growsin African countries such as Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Benin, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda etc. Shea tree is used to make coffins for the early African kings.
The tree was also considered sacred.The common name of shea tree is shiyiri or shisu. Phenolic compound is known to have antioxidant properties.The phenolic properties are similar to that of green tea,and the total phenolic content of shea butter is comparable to virgin olive oil. Shea butter melts at body temperature that’s why it absorbs rapidly into the skin. Shea butter is known as women gold.In Africa because it is valuable source of income for the women in Ghana.
Shea butter has a smooth and soft texture and is either yellow-white in color.The tree looks like an American oak.Kernel is enclosed in a sweet pulp under a thick green rid,fruit is first dried in sun then butter is prepared by boiling kernel in water. Shea butter is organic in nature and it has healing properties.It should be stored in cool dry place away from sun light.Shea butter is extracted by two process first one solvent extraction and second one is crushing.Most of fatty content are obtained by chemical extraction using hexane as the solvent.
Refined shea butter has underground processing to remove the smell and sometime change its properties.Unrefined shea butter is filtered but does not alter the properties of the shea butter, unrefined shea butter has the true healing and moisturizing properties.