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Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Healing Powers of Shea Butter




Origin & Overview
I could say even up until a decade ago only local folks in Nigeria actually made use of shea butter with the serious hope of achieving therapeutic solutions. Those who made use of shea butter in the urban centres then only did so out of economic reasons except for a few ardent believers in so called native medicine. This is because shea butter as you may wish to know is actually native to Africa, and Nigeria; the economy is still developing, and cosmetologists and manufacturers had yet to come to grasp with the full potentials of this natural plant product. And so, shea butter remained very cheap and not highly valued then. But reasonably, shea butter is still cheap in Nigeria today, but the awareness concerning the many medicinal benefits of shea butter has recently soared.

Raw Shea Butter

Nature and History of Shea Butter
Botanically known as butyrospermum parkii, shea butter is now almost widely used both in the rural and urban city centres. It naturally has a creamy or ivory white colour appearance with a mild nutty aroma; it comes as a fatty substance that is expelled from the nut of the Karite tree. Thus shea butter is used mostly in its raw state to achieve a great number of therapeutic as well as cosmetic purposes by a growing number of people among the populace. 

Traditionally shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa especially for healing and cosmetic purposes even as far back as in the days of Cleopatra, the beautiful and charismatic queen of Egypt, around (69-30 BC). It has been very useful as a balm for the treatment of anything pertaining to bone injuries such as – fractures, sprains, dislocation as well as swellings, stings and boils. Today in addition to all of these, people have also found local uses for this soothing, non-abrasive native balm. It is now used freely as body and hair cream especially by the ladies.

Healing Properties
Cosmetologists in recent years having discovered the inherent advantages in shea butter have begun to incorporate it in the manufacture of soaps, body creams, and the rest. Shea butter contains oleic acid and stearic acid, some measure of saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats as well as some monounsaturated fats. This product is today widely used in so many other preparations including - lotions, moisturisers, cocoa butter creams, essential oils, aromatherapy preparations, and massage oils, etc.