About Shea Butter and its Many Uses
Shea Butter is known as karite butter in Africa. This white-yellow to ivory-colored paste has been used by African healers for
thousands of years to alleviate maladies of theskin and scalp. Shea Butter comes from the African shea tree found along the
West African Savannah region. It is a wild growing tree that produces tiny, almond-like fruit from which shea butteris extracted.
The tree itself is not cultivated and takes 40 to 50 years to mature. In most parts of West Africa, destruction of the shea tree is
forbidden due to its economic, health and social benefits. Shea butter is a valuable source of food in Africa. Many herbalists
regard shea butter as an invaluable agent for internal and external body purification!
Traditional uses of shea butter include: treatments for dry skin, hair, blemishes, skin discoloration,
scars and wrinkles, a relaxer for stiff muscles, as an aid for pain fromswelling and arthritis, sun screen, and chapstick for lips.
What makes shea butter so great for the skin is its high content of non-saponifiable fatty acids (comprised mostly of stearic
and oleic acids.) These fatty acids are indispensable for moisturizing and retaining the elasticity of the skin.