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Shea Butter, Refined
Shea Butter, Unrefined
Refined Shea Butter
1 Lb. $9.95
10 Lbs. $65.00
25 Lbs. $125.00
Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) by crushing, boiling and stirring. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion.
Shea butter is edible and may be used in food preparation. Occasionally the chocolate industry uses shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter, although the taste is different. The English word shea comes from 's'í, the tree's name in the Bamana language of Mali. The French name karité comes from ghariti, its equivalent in the Wolof language of Senegal.
In Africa, shea butter is used for cooking oil, as a water proofing wax, for hairdressing and for candle-making and also as an ingredient of medicinal ointments. It is also used by makers of traditional African percussion instruments to increase the durability of wood (such as carved djembe shells), dried calabash gourds, and leather tuning straps. Shea butter is used as a base for medicinal ointments, and has been claimed to have anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties.
Shea butter has been claimed to be effective treatment for the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. Shea butter has been used as a sunblocking lotion, although the level of protection against the sun's ultraviolet radiation is extremely variable, ranging from nothing to approximately SPF 6. However, studies have shown it to reduce the effects of UV damage on the skin.
In Ghana, shea butter, locally known as nkuto (Akan) or nku (Ga) is used as lotion to protect the skin during the dry Harmattan season. In Nigeria, shea butter (popularly called ori in Yoruba) is used for the management of sinusitis and relief of nasal congestion. This is due to its hydrating properties which helps in relaxing the tension in the facial skin, thus easing respiration.
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