The Amazing Healing Power of Shea Butter

pure unrefined shea butter

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The Amazing Healing Power of Shea Butter

Shea butter has been on this earth for thousands of years but it is only in the last decade or so that large cosmetic companies have started adding it to their products. But be warned - simply because it has ‘shea butter’ on the list of ingredients does not mean it is pure shea butter - or that there is even enough to make a difference in the product.

I have always opted for the pure shea butter found in African shops all over Brooklyn. I have also been witness to its healing powers. If I have a cut, I would wash it, dry it, slather on the shea butter and I could immediately feel it knitting. When my granddaughter had a diaper rash, I bathed her, dried the area, and slathered on the shea butter, put on a diaper - and the next morning the rash was entirely gone.

How is shea butter made?

African shea butter is made from the nut of the African Shea tree which is also known as the Karite Tree. It is mostly found in West African countries like Ghana, Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. It can also be found in East Africa. It is not found all over Africa. Remember Africa is a continent made up of over 50 different countries.

Traditionally, the nuts, called shea nuts, are picked, roasted, and pounded. They are then boiled for several hours to extract 100% pure unrefined shea butter. This is the kind you want.

Why are there different colors?

Because unrefined shea butter is extracted naturally or cold pressed, the color may vary between beige to medium yellow. The large cosmetic companies that refine and process shea butter use Hexane (a saturated hydrogen obtained by distillation from petroleum) - which is used to extract more shea butter.

Shea butter has a natural scent; as it gets older the scent diminishes - this scent may be described as nutty, and sometimes smoky as it is prepared under open fire. Once applied to the skin it has no scent.

This unrefined shea butter does not spoil but it is most potent in the first year and a half. It is still useable after then but not as beneficial.

Shea butter uses are:

1 - The treatment of dry skin, eczema, and minor burns

2 - Pain relief from arthritis and swelling

3 - Improvement in muscle relaxation and stiffness

4 - Sunscreen due to its rich content of Vitamins E and D

5 - Treats dark spots, stretch marks, skin discoloration, blemishes and wrinkles

6 - Massages, diaper rash, and as a hair conditioner

As I enter my platinum years I have no wrinkles, scars, marks, etc. Of course I know this is generally due to genetics but shea butter has enhanced my skin - it remains soft, supple and even toned. When I go out during the winter months I rub a bit of shea butter into my palms to liquefy it and rub it on my face and neck - my skin absorbs it and it is never greasy.

This is the only personal care product that I must have in my home. The therapeutic properties of shea butter protect the skin from wind, cold and sun. It helps heal wounds faster as it stimulates cellular activity.

It is also, in its purest form, the most inexpensive personal care product you can find. The prices recently went up but still I get an 8 ounce tub for only $4.00 (see photo). A little goes a long way and this one tub can last me a year.

I do prefer using products that are not toxic.

For additional information, there are many websites and tons of information about shea butter all over the internet

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Comments 63 comments

Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Fabulous informative hub, wow! Thanks! I have to run out and find some immediately as I had no idea the product was this wide-ranging in its uses. Definitely will be blogging this over to my healing blog, thanks again!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Thanks! Good information. I have a friend who sells shea butter, and she too, cannot say enough wonderful things about it! :)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I adore shea butter! I buy it in big slabs, and use it on my skin, and also my hair. Great hub.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Good to hear from so many natural women!

I use it on my hair too and anywhere else I think needs a little natural love!

Thank you all for stopping by!


Nic 7 years ago

Great hub! I will add my testimony---Been using shea for maybe 12, 13 years now. It's definitely one of nature's most wondrous gifts to us. I melt it for my hair and various beauty concoctions, and as you said, it's amazing for burns and wounds. The beauty companies caught on and started using it as a buzzword so read those labels closely. Pure, and as I like to call the way we buy it from the West African vendors in Brooklyn, "straight from the crate", is best if you can get it. Keep spreading the good news BkCreative! You are wonderful.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you so much Nic,

There is so much greatness in our midst. We have to network more to share this wealth. It was a dear friend in Brooklyn who took me to all these wonderful shops in Brooklyn - selling the best shea butter, soaps, to the healthy restaurants, jewelry shops etc.

Thanks for stopping by - it's great to share good info!


Nic 7 years ago

Great hub! I will add my testimony---Been using shea for maybe 12, 13 years now. It's definitely one of nature's most wondrous gifts to us. I melt it for my hair and various beauty concoctions, and as you said, it's amazing for burns and wounds. The beauty companies caught on and started using it as a buzzword so read those labels closely. Pure, and as I like to call the way we buy it from the West African vendors in Brooklyn, "straight from the crate", is best if you can get it. Keep spreading the good news BkCreative! You are wonderful.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I must remember that - when I shop for more shea butter - to request that it be 'straight from the crate.'


einron profile image

einron 7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Wonderful hub. I must admit I have not heard of shea butter before your article. Thank you for sharing this. I am learning many new things from this web site. God bless.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks einron. Shea butter is amazing - because it works!

I too am learning and we all are sharing so much good info from around the world!

Thanks for stopping by!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I don't actually melt it, I just hold it in my palm until it's warm from body heat.

I use a little on my hair, from the neck down, whenever I wash it. It really does protect and define long hair. Mine's very fine, straight, and easily damaged, so shea butter is a godsend!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi LG - I know people that actually melt it for their hair. It seems to do everything for every need. The best - and it's pure, natural, and affordable!


Jody Heckenlively profile image

Jody Heckenlively 7 years ago

I didn't realize you can buy it in that form...I thought it was only available as a product. I have been taking it internally in a product called Flexnow and it's eliminated my knee pain. I'll search for it straight from the crate! Thanks for a great hub article.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for writing - and I didn't know there was a product with shea called Flexnow for internal use - will look it up now. My wrists have bothered me for a couple days - maybe the dramatic change in weather so I massaged some in my wrists last night and they feel fine today. So glad there is a good product on the market like this.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Hi Jody - yes, you can buy it in big chunks, much cheaper than a manufactured, packaged version.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks London Girl - and it is not processed as it would be in a manufactured product. Didn't know it was so easily found in London.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

it's avaible in quite a few places - such as Camden market


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks, I'll tell my cousin. He usually waits until he is in NYC to get shea butter. He lives out in Hitchin - but travels all over England.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

you can also get it online in lots of UK sites


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

you can also get it online in lots of UK sites


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks, I'll let him know.


queenzie 7 years ago

does it work for stretch marks


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

It's supposed to work on stretch marks but I think more to prevent them while you are pregnant by keeping the stomach lubricated - rather than after you give birth and find the damage. I've had huge babies and then used it on my stretch marks. The marks seem to have faded but that may be with age. Stretch marks usually do fade as time goes by.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago

Bk Creative,

Thank you for these wonderful tips on shea butter! I have learned from you, the many invaluable healing properties it has! I came over from "Your Ugly Beauty Products" hub! You are such a great and wonderful resource!

Thank you for sharing. It is always a pleasure!

Blessings


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're very welcome Deborrah K. Ogans! Shea butter is the best for so many reasons - mainly that it is pure and works!

I appreciate your comments!


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Can't wait to try it!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'd love to hear back from you kartika damon. Shea butter works in so many ways. Really good stuff!


Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA

Hi BkCreative, this is a great, informative hub. Thanks for sharing. I have used shea butter before but not the pure unrefined kind.

Thanks again!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for commenting Journey* - there is such a tremendous difference between the pure and everything else. I think you will be very pleased with the real thing!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

I also have seen it a lot lately but no idea of the benefits, thanks so much, I will start looking and reading labels tomorrow! Just got in today and all shopped out, lol.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm so happy Pollyannalana that we are returning to products that work and not just those that are advertised. I think you will be satisfied with the pure product - it's shea butter - and nothing else.


Cami 6 years ago

Love this, thanks! I've ordered some online (: For those of you looking to buy a lot for not a whole lot of money, go look at coastalscents.com, they've got shea butter in the big chunks.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're very welcome Cami - and thanks for the tip! I love shea butter in those big chunks.

Thanks for writing!


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Wow! I NEED some of this!! I have shea butter foot cream from The Body Shop that I LOVE but who knows if it's the real stuff or not! I must get my hands on some of the real thing! Awesome hub!!! thanks for the information! :)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

For a natural woman like yourself theherbivorehippi - shea butter is a perfect fit. You'll love it. I cannot live without having it in my house. And you need so little.

It does everything and with no additives.

Enjoy it!


blacky 6 years ago

HI! everyone,

i was passing by when i went across this article. Thanks BKCreative for posting it. Coming from Burkina faso, I can say I ... swimmed... in shea butter.. food.. body lotion and etc as mentioned by BK it is a world wonder.. However, i would like to mention that you should give to Ceasar what belongs to him... everythink is stolen from Africa without really credit for... do you know in which conditions african women suffer to get the oil out off the shea nuts..? do you know how much money they get from it...? the worse thing is that western culture is distroying african cultures and we are loosing more and more our ancestral knoweldges ...can you imagine that new generations in west africa think that shea butter is smelly... and go for western cancerious products... as I am staying in western country more I am crying for my continent and people.... just think deeply and make your research there are not new discoveries... all was already discovered... instead of trying to understand what they don t know they just distroy everything... and years or decades later say they made new findings.... If I really had a choice.... I 10000000000.... times prefer to stay and live in my jungle in Africa... instead of living in western country....

I Hope I did not offend anyone


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

No offense at all. Just a point of view that we should be made aware of. Most of the shea butter sold by large commercial companies is synthetic and I do not recommend it to anyone. I also recommend buying from the local African shops as we do here in BK - and, as it is being sold all over.

Too bad about the toxic products being sold in Africa and many parts of the world and by US corporation. I would encourage anyone to stay away from personal care products that are heavily advertised - and read the labels, they are toxic.

Thanks for your input.


Erica Renee Skincare 6 years ago

I sell 100% Ghana & Nigerian Shea Butter Raw and Refined. You can buy this online at my website www.ericarenee.co.uk or you can come to Greenwhich Market, on Wednesday where I sell and test the product. I also sell whipped creams, that are made up with the base of Shea Butter, with added oils, such as jojoba, sweet almond oil, vitamen E etc Along with natural scents, that I have been told they smell ediable!

100g Raw Shea Butter £5.00 200g Raw Shea butter £9.00 If you cant find what your lookinf for online, email me

mail@ericarenee.co.uk

thanks


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Sounds great - thanks for the info. Folks over there in the UK can benefit. All the products are appealing! I'm here in NYC and fortunately, I can find it easily - and at great prices too.

Thanks for writing!


RNY 6 years ago

Where exactly can I buy the shea butter from? (in NYC)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello RNY - I am always guaranteed pure shea butter walking distance from my home. If you live in Brooklyn - you can take the A train to Nostrand Avenue - walk back about two blocks (West) - you will be on Fulton Ave. stay on the left hand side of the street. When crossing Bedford Ave. you will see a mosque on the corner - and just a few doors down is an excellent shop for buying shea butter in all sizes as well as all the fabulous soaps. A nice clean, sweet-smelling shop. Want something else to do while there - an excellent bakery is right next door and across the street is 'bushbabies' a great coffee shop to sit for awhile.

As a NYer - I also know all the little places here and there to grab a container - a guy even sells it on the street a few blocks away. And when I was subbing in Harlem on 125th street many vendors were selling it - I always buy a lot of containers because I bring it as a house gift. An 8 oz container can be $3-4 - a great deal. I have the same container I bought before Xmas. A little goes a long way!

Hope you pay Brooklyn a visit!


Chichi 6 years ago

Hi, i am a 28 year old Nigeria lady,a West Africa and of the Igbo tribe to be precise. the truth is that i have known and used shea butter right from when i was a kid. It is called Okuma in Igbo language and Ori in yoruba language.it is very common and very cheap in this part of the world. it is actually most used in dealing wiyh aches and all sorts of pains from muscular to athritic and it is simply awesome.Just recently i had a very very serious skin damage and discoloration on my face from a body lotion i had used. I was usually ashamed and could not easily step out of my house.I applied the shea butter on my face daily and it was gone without any trace in about 2 weeks. Isn't that awesome!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

That is awesome Chichi and I thank you so much for sharing that!

I am an advocate of shea butter. Not only is it pure and lovely to use - it works! Any scrape, or scar I have I use shea butter. My wrist began to ache from all the typing I do - I massaged shea butter in my wrist and the pain is gone. Just rubbing it on my skin and my skin glows with health.

I just have to use it more often. And now that I am writing this and am home for the day I am going to treat myself to a nice skin massage with shea butter.

Thanks so much for sharing your personal and successful experience with Okuma!


Chichi 6 years ago

I just posted a comment some few minutes ago. Where i come from in Nigeria, we also use shea butter on pimples by gently applying the shea butter on the pimple about 3 times daily. In a couple of days,3 to 4 at most, it would vanish without leaving any evidence at that spot.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks Chichi - this is good information for people with pimples - I know so many who will pick at the pimple and wind up getting a spot. Better to prevent that.

Thanks again for coming back and leaving more useful information. It is appreciated.

Carolyn


Seyi Onabule 6 years ago

Hi guys, who are the best people to talk about shea butter other we africans.My grandmother was a wonderful and selfless woman. She like many other women in our village in Nigeria, Africa had to find a way to subsidise what her husband gave her to ensure that her 10 children didn’t go without. She wasn’t educated and could barely read or write so she had to find a way of making money from the things she could find around her including the shea tree. The money she made from it helped her feed and clothe her children and then her grandchildren, when they came to visit. My grandmother died a few years ago from her fifth stroke but I believe that the main cause of her death was years of struggling, overworking and being undervalued. So now I do what I can for her friends, my aunts, cousins and every other hardworking village African women out there who’s just trying to feed their children and also keep alive a longstanding tradition which has been passed down several generations. Nueras taste of Africa range was started to help empower women in Africa. It currently contains two products, raw shea butter and the African black soap. We are based in East London and for more enquiries on how to get this 100%/ raw shea butter contact us via email : info@nueras.co.uk, as we currently package it into a 200ml jar for your easy use.

Kind regards,

Seyi Onabule


Seyi Onabule profile image

Seyi Onabule 6 years ago from Wapping, London

Hi guys, who are the best people to talk about shea butter other we africans.My grandmother was a wonderful and selfless woman. She like many other women in our village in Nigeria, Africa had to find a way to subsidise what her husband gave her to ensure that her 10 children didn’t go without. She wasn’t educated and could barely read or write so she had to find a way of making money from the things she could find around her including the shea tree. The money she made from it helped her feed and clothe her children and then her grandchildren, when they came to visit. My grandmother died a few years ago from her fifth stroke but I believe that the main cause of her death was years of struggling, overworking and being undervalued. So now I do what I can for her friends, my aunts, cousins and every other hardworking village African women out there who’s just trying to feed their children and also keep alive a longstanding tradition which has been passed down several generations. Nueras taste of Africa range was started to help empower women in Africa. It currently contains two products, raw shea butter and the African black soap. We are based in East London and for more enquiries on how to get this 100%/ raw shea butter contact us via email : info@nueras.co.uk, as we currently package it into a 200ml jar for your easy use.

Kind regards,


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you Seyi Onabule - your comment serves as a lovely and fitting tribute to your grandmother. I am glad you will keep her memory alive.

I live in the US but I have a cousin right outside of London - yet I usually pick up shea butter for him when he comes to NYC - but now I can share your information with him. I'll bookmark your information so I can foeward it to him.

Nice to meet you too!


Newwalla 5 years ago

Hi BkCreative,

Could you tell us some of the names of the stores that you buy the shea butter from? Thanks in advance


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello Newwalla, if you are near Atlantic Ave. near downtown Brooklyn, there are 2 "Anwaar" shops (I believe that is the spelling) that sell it. But often I buy throughout Brooklyn at any African store. If you chance to walk across 125th Street Uptown in Harlem, there are many street vendors. Depending on size, the prices average about $4-6.

Hope this helps you.


MnEveryman 5 years ago

I have a friend from Burkina Fasso, the best place for growing Shea Trees [he sez ;-) ] and who has a small web-based store selling high quality unrefined shea butter in a variety of quantities. He's currently a grad student so this is strictly a way to help him and his family make a go of it here in the USA. He imports his shea butter directly from the women's cooperatives he has a long-standing relationship with so it's a pretty home-grown affair with the maximum benefits accruing to the Africans. His site is http://www.EmpowerVillage.com - I know he and his suppliers would be happy to help those who would like to purchase online.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for the link MnEveryman - it looks good. I appreciate the information about shea trees - that they provide shea for 200 years. Shea butter is the only (cosmetic) product I use - for everything. And it works - right down to taking the stiffness out of my knees.

Thanks too for writing!


seun 5 years ago

Hi and how r u? i am a Nigerian and i'm just getting to know much about shea butter as a friend introduced this to me some weeks ago. i plan to import the raw unrefined shea butter into the united states but i've been looking for possible buyers in larger quantities. i dont know if you have information on this. thanks. my email is shankiep@yahoo.ca thanks


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello seum. Here in New York City, I'd say the business is totally covered with quantity buyers and sellers. I don't have what you are looking for.


kpoly 5 years ago from Ghana west afica

am an exporter of pure Shea butter and black soap. the Shea butter is certified as organic Seeking for Buyers Please contact us for any kinds of samples required to see our good quality Please give us this chance to show you that we can be the best too,Please feel free to contact us without

any hesitation, We are looking for new business friends, whole sellers

we can establish long lasting business relations and we assure you of the

best in all our dealings. our services are the best in the sheabutter export market.

TYPES OF SHEABUTTER AVAILABLE

fair-trade,crude,refined and unrefined Sheabutter

Contact .David Akuamoah

Phone +233 0261486042


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 4 years ago from USA

Thank you for the nice information. I did not know that Shea Butter was that useful although I have seen it in lotions etc. I certianly need it for wrinkles and dry skin. Thank you for posting this articles.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome lctodd. Shea butter is the only product that I must have in the house. It works!


YK 4 years ago

Oh wow, this is amazing! I never knew there were so many benefits of shea butter, espically that it also works on pimples! Would you happen to know if there are any major corporations that sell these? I live in S. Korea and I've only seen shea butter in cosmetic products. Thanks!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So glad to hear from you YK because I loved the years I worked and lived in S. Korea. I did always bring my own shea butter to make sure I had it.

Where in S. Korea you can buy I do not know although the product can be purchased online like through Amazon.com - I am not sure about shipping and the cost. It is also sold on ebay.com and they may ship to S.Korea. ebay may be worth a search.

Otherwise I think a Korean search engine may show if it is locally available. I hope this helps.


benisterz 4 years ago

supernatural gift from God, i must tell you.considering all the function of shea butter, there is still some left undone. And that is publicising it. Awareness should be made to the public, cuz there are good number of persons that don'nt know about it.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're so right benisterz. I am spreading the word as much as I can. Thanks for writing!


Temitayo 4 years ago

So glad to hear from you YK, you can get in touch with me through my yahoo mail :sokefuntayo@yahoo.com so that we can discuss on the exportation of the shea butter from Nigeria to South korea. Thank You


credo Kocou 3 years ago

Good Day,

As discussed, we are a Kermel cosmetics here in South Africa and representing a shea butter company. We can sale more than 72 tons of shea butter a year and our product is exported from Benin Republic. It the natural shea butter that we would like to introduise into your Market.

Please advise how can we proceed to become you best supplier.

Thank you

Kind Regards

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