Shea Butter or Karite, is a 100% natural product, derived from the Mangifolia tree, which grows in the savannahs of West Africa, being used by Africa healers for thousands of years due to its mild properties, which are particularly beneficial for the skin and hair.
How it is made. Shea butter is made from the nuts of the edible fruit . They are harvested, sun dried and stored in grass roof huts. They are then crushed into a powder and roasted over a fire in cauldrons to produce a thick paste. Water is added and brought to the boil. The curds separate and rise to the top leaving a chard residue at the bottom. The butter is then filtered through a cloth and left in the shade to cool and harden.
Properties . It is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, has UV protection, is a decongestant, contains vitamin A, E and F. It helps the skin make collagen maintaining the elasticity of the skin and regenerates skin cells.
Uses . Most commonly used as an all over body moisturiser, which can be used on the most delicate of skins. Also used as a moisturiser for drying, ageing, damaged skin and hair, as a massage oil to relax and soften aching muscles. It is particularly effective in the treatment of skin problems such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, sunburn, scars, burns, bedsores, nappy rash, bruises, stretch marks etc. It is used to alleviate painful joints for arthritis, rheumatism, and sprain. It strengthens the nails and cuticles. It is widely used in the cosmetics industry in soaps and gels, shampoos and lotions. It is used as a source of edible fat, used in making margarine and coco butter. Drum makers and players use shea butter on the skin of the drum to prevent drying and cracking.