Specialty Natural Oils
Shea Butter, (also known as Karite and African Butter), is derived from
the nuts of the genus Butyorsperum Parkii Kotschy, a tree that grows
in Central Africa. The tiny, almond like berries render high quality
butter, particularly useful in the cosmetics industry. The pits contain
up to 50% triglycerides (lipids) and are roasted at a controlled temperature
before pressing, assuring a higher yield of unsaponifiables, and lower
The native Africans used Shea Butter for food as well as body care.
In Japan it is used as a replacement for dairy butter in cooking, and
therefore, is popular with vegetarians.
A key component, Stigmasterol, a sterol known as the "anti stiffness
factor", explains why Shea Butter has long been used in Africa
as a massage balm for sore muscles, rheumatism, burns and light wounds.
Shea Butter is thought to provide protection from ultraviolet rays.
It is believed to be helpful in healing skin disorders such as dermatitis
and anti-elastase problems.
Shea Butter is non-toxic and gentle and is used by the cosmetics industry
in baby and sensitive skin products. It is also used as a substitute
for petroleum derived products. It is interesting to note: In certain
parts of Africa it has been prized for medicinal purposes for centuries,
but only recently in this country has the FDA affirmed that Shea Butter
is GRAS (generally regarded as safe) and an acceptable substitute for
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