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Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)

Little Fruit on the Shea Tree

By: Kieren Blaze

Shea Butter from the shea tree is known all over the world by both eastern and western civilizations for its rich feel, gorgeous scented products, and healing properties. But it contains some little known facts that we are about to explore.

There are many different names for this tree depending on the language spoken to describe it. Mostly it is classified as Vitellaria paradoxa, Butyrospermum parkii. But commonly it is called the shea tree. It is an indigenous species originating widely in 19 countries of the African continent and throughout the parched Savannah of West Africa onto the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands.

Shea tree is considered a traditional food plant for many Africans which the population leans on to uphold them during the “annual hungry season”. The shea tree is advancing farming expansion and supporting much land deemed sustainable.

The Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) tree is perennial by God’s design and only begins to show fruit between the ages of 10-15 years. It is considered mature, depending on the tree, approximately between the ages of 20-30 years when it has achieved full production. When this marathon runner of a tree starts its race at 20/30 years old, it continues its’ tireless journey for the next 200 years. Wow! It produces about 15-20 kilograms of fresh fruit per tree on average, with a premium crop topping 45 kg every 4-6 months. Each kilogram of the fruit offers somewhere around 400 grams of the dry seed from whence shea butter is drawn.

The fruit itself is made of a slim, tart, nourishing pulp which surrounds a comparatively large, oil-laden seed; This seed produces the shea butter extract. Shea butter seeds compare in size to an adult beetle or an average size plum.

The nuts from these trees are harvested by removing the fruit that covers them, and then they are crushed and roasted. Next they must be kneaded with water to separate the oil. When the oil reaches its’ curd state, it rises to the top where it can be separated and boiled slowly over a low fire to gradually allow the excess water to evaporate. When this process is finalized and left to cool the oil hardens and you have a final product known as raw shea butter – though it is not actually raw.

Now that we have pure Shea butter, let’s look at the treasures it holds.

The butter contains five crucial fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidic. Stearic acid and oleic acid represent 85-90% of the fatty acids contained within this gift from nature. The proportions of both primary fatty acids held in the butter will determine its consistency. With a high level of stearic acid, the butter will have a more solid uniformity. The presence of oleic acid denotes how hard or soft the butter becomes subject to surrounding temperatures.

Even when grown locally, it is still possible to harvest a tree containing soft butter located right next to another tree that yields hard butter. No worries here. Gathering nuts from broad geographic regions into one crop for final production promotes product balance and regularity. The consistency of the final product is governed by the average fatty acid summary of all harvested nuts; one could say “You get the best of ALL worlds”

Shea Butter Phenolics

This is a vital attribute offered to us by the plant that loves to pamper. Phenols are potent antioxidants. The phenolic composition of the shea butter is celebrated for its’ known antioxidant agents. Antioxidants fight the silent unseen battle that wars between our blood stream, organs and every layer of the epidermis (skin). They Slay free radicals that ravish the cells of our body, stealing time and youth from our appearance.

A total of 10 phenolic compounds have been scientifically identified with 8 related to each other that are still being studied for the full effects of their prized properties. The summary of shea’s phenolic content can be compared to green tea and more accurately to that of virgin olive oil.

Phytosterols

As a natural multi-tasker, one of its’ uses is oil utilized for cooking. This is especially true by African women, who are world experts on teaching the world how to embrace what you have growing around you to not only sustain life but to gain it! Shea butter also contains “phytosterols” which these African tribal teachers have learned possess cholesterol-lowering assets. The cholesterol concern plagues our modern man-made lifestyles but has met its’ match in an intelligently designed creation, from nature, with love…

As a natural multi-tasker, one of its’ uses is oil utilized for cooking. This is especially true by African women, who are world experts on teaching the world how to embrace what you have growing around you to not only sustain life but to gain it! Shea butter also contains “phytosterols” which these African tribal teachers have learned possess cholesterol-lowering assets. The cholesterol concern plagues our modern man-made lifestyles but has met its’ match in an intelligently designed creation, from nature, with love…

Vitamins

Other components present in shea butter are vitamin A (1) and vitamin E, (2) vital to the overall health of your skin.

Dear Aging Skin:

Do you have tired, stressed-out skin that has lost its way and its luster? No worries. Take the hand of the one who cares for you and carefully read her prescription. Keep an eye on the metaphoric mailbox, for nature’s love letter has arrived…

“Dear friend,

I want you to know that you are not alone in your search for answers. I am here to guide you and heal you all the days of your life. I offer you what countless African women living in harsh conditions have clung to for rescue since ages past; protection from intense climate environments and nourishment for their skin and hair. The powerful, penetrating properties of these life giving ingredients will deeply moisturize and repair even the most brutalized membrane.

My helpful and naturally occurring UVA protection will shield you as well as condition and soften your well deserving skin. As an amazing emollient, my shea butter actually mimics the lipids found in your own skin, which assists the skin’s ability to completely absorb the healing vitality for regeneration. This allows my butter from the shea seed to be considered a natural moisturizing factor (NMF), stabilizing the extremely complex characteristics of the inter-cellular matrix by forming a barrier on the skins surface. This prevents moisture loss and adds yet another layer of protection against environmental damage.

Thirsty skin can guzzle to its’ heart’s content; Deep lines are softened, dehydration is quenched, and the glow and glimmer returns to the skin like a lost love. No more dark days and it is goodbye to dark spots, sunburn, stretch marks, and wrinkles. Rashes and rough patches are smoothed, irritations are soothed and scaly scalps are healed from discomfort and dandruff.

I am attacking even severe conditions as eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris and acne due to my effective anti-inflammatory compounds. I will also try to help with conditions such as rheumatism, sore muscles and joint pain. Other temporary ills like insect bites, minor burns and small wounds can also benefit. The plain fact is that my shea tree’s effect on the people of the world is both proven and purposeful.

Find help for yourself in a myriad of readily available aids such as: Body lotion, facial moisturizer, bar soap, sunscreen, lipstick, hair balm, eye cream, hand cream and of course in the finest aloe cream available, Stockton Aloe 1 NEW Youth Derm Ointment. This premium new product is healing, quenching, soothing and beautifying, all tenderly offered to you by a fond friend and ally.”

From nature,

With love.

References

  1. truthinaging.com/ingredients/butyrospermum-parkii
  2. myalchemilla.com/Herbarium/Shea.html

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