It certainly isn’t a new thing but many people are just switching on to the benefits of this terrific gift from nature. In fact native Africans swear by it having used the butter for hundreds of years. It actually comes from a nut in a tree you can only find on the African continent, and it’s called ‘The Shea-Karite tree’. Mind you, you need a great deal of patience with this as nuts are only produced after 15 years. Even then it could take another 15 before the nuts are of a really high quality to get the best from them.
So Why Is It Special?
Well part from the fact you have to wait so long to produce it, shea butter contains a rare fatty acid containing terrific healing properties. The butter was produced by gathering the nuts, shelling them, grilling them and then pounding them. They’d be put into a large vat and boiled in water for a good few hours, before the resulting butter was scooped up and allowed to go soft and solid at room temperature. But it has another special quality as it quickly turns into a liquid when rubbed in the palm of your hands in an unrefined state. It smells nutty but there are also variations of shea butter, though most originate from West Africa.
So What Can It Do for Me?
Well for a start it can work brilliantly with the skin in numerous ways from healing to nourishing. It can soothe sunburn and treat stretch marks, moisturize and protect the skin from the elements, prevent razor burn before shaving and relieve dry skin. But shea butter can also:
- Help a dry scalp
- Sooth minor rashes
- Ease acne
- Hide wrinkles
- Heal small burns
- Treat small skin wounds
- Help prevent peeling skin
- It can protect the feet and heels.
In fact the list goes on and on, which is why shea butter is rapidly gaining new fans in the modern world. But help doesn’t stop with the skin as the butter can bring a wonderful shine to your hair, help prevent dandruff or flaking and keep the scalp really healthy. In fact you’ll see shea butter used as an ingredient in various shampoos and hair conditioners. It won’t clog the pores and your hair will feel brilliant!
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Those unfortunate enough to suffer from arthritis and any form of swelling can be brought great relief thanks to shea butter. But as part of an exercise programme or just generally it can improve muscle relaxation and help with any stiffness. Its colour will largely depend on the nuts used but you’ll usually find it to be a greyish yellow or even cream. When shea butter goes through the refining process it’s sometimes deodorized and even filtered, but this shouldn’t take anything away from its properties.
The raw butter is better if you can get it but refined butter is fine so don’t worry if that’s all you can get. There are lotions on the market as well as oils, creams and tonics. You can even get shea butter in soap form. Unsaponifiables are responsible for its health giving benefits, and there’s a very high content of them in shea butter. These are components of an oily mixture in simpler terms.
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Baby is Favoured
The baby market has lots of uses for shea butter and parents will be glad to know you can find it in baby lotions, oils and wipes. This gives infants an early introduction to its wonders and you know it’ll be completely safe to use long term.
Just a Word of Warning
There are numerous outlets online where you can buy shea butter but do plenty of research first as there are some who sell this with the vitamins, goodness and nutrients processed out of them. Don’t be caught out and go to a vendor with a good name and reputation.
Shea butter can really help us in all sorts of ways and we should be thankful nature has provided it for us. You don’t need to buy lots of expensive skin or hair products, just remember?