Shea Butter Insight
Tree (Butyrospermum parkii or Vitellaria paradoxa ) occurs in a geographical band of sub sarah Countries including Mali, Cameroon, Congo, C^ote d ' Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Uganda. In Ghana the tree only occurs in the North of the Country. Trees take time to mature and it usually takes at least 10 years before the trees even flower.
The plum like fruit which are green first then brown later contain the nuts which are oil rich seeds that when processed yield a product know as Shea Butter
. Genuine Shea Butter should not be confused with another vegetable based butter know as African Butter.
Traditionally processing of the nuts was time consuming & arduous involving boiling the nuts, sun drying & then a pulverizing stage.
Shea butter has actually been around a long time & was mentioned as being transported in clay pots in camel trains around the time of Cleopatra where it would have been used to help protect the skin from the affects of the sun and wind. It has been confirmed that Shea butter due to some of its constituents can actually have some prevention against UV light which is the principle section of the suns rays that cause sunburn .
In Ghana it is used on the tummies of pregnant women to help prevent stretch marks & even today it is used when the baby is born to keep the cut umbilical cord moist & to help prevent infection. It is only relatively recently though that Shea has been recognized in the West for its properties which are beneficial to the skin.
Shea butter has a moisture content of around 5 % and is composed mainly of five principal fatty acids including palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidic It is unsaponifiable fraction though of Shea which possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties As a comparison Shea contains 11 % unsaponifable constituents as compared to 1.2 % for Olive & 1.5 % for Sesame Oil
Shea Butter contains α-tocopherol which is one of the fat soluble vitamin E group compounds & as an Anti-oxidant thought to be responsible for reducing degenerative diseases and also for mopping up free radicals responsible for oxidative damage of cell membranes & skin.(Maranz & Wiesman,2004 ). In other words Shea Butter may be described (backed up by research ) to having an affect on skin which help reduce the ravage of time.
IN practical terms and topical application to the skin Shea helps bind moisture within the outer layer of skin and although it helps keep skin moisriised it still allows the skin to breath in contrast to petroleum based product which just leave a sort of un-penetrable layer on the skin which can block pores.
At Ginbrookes we are proud to supply products using only certified natural fair traded & organic raw ingredients. Our Shea Butter comes from a sustainable source in Ghana helping the small farmers & communities who process the Shea Nuts