Folo Drissa Lougue, the healer of the village of Kalembouly, uses shea butter and hot water to massage a man's fractured arm on March 27, 2015. According to legend, the descendants of the village of Kalembouly have the gift of healing fractures and dislocated joints. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The word Shea butter is a house hold name known by almost everyone. Shea butter is native to most African countries and it’s tree thrives well around that region.

The use of Shea butter in various Beaty, hair and skin care products cannot be overestimated. It is known for its amazing uses and benefits.

In this article I will be talking about how you can extract Shea butter from the nuts for your usage and consumption.

Where is Shea butter really gotten from

Vitellaria paradoxa tree.
Source :Getty images

Shea butter is gotten from processing the nuts of the Shea butter tree know as Vitellaria paradoxa. The fruits of this tree is very high in unsaturated fat content.

Regions where this tree thrives mostly in the dry savanna region and they include: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Uganda and other African countries. This countries are known to be one of the major producers of this amazing butter.

The Shea butter tree bears fruits in large numbers during its fruiting season. The fruits are harvested and collected before being processed.

Description of the Shea nuts

Unripe Shea fruit.
Source : Getty images

An interesting fact about this plant is that it’s oil is not just used in cosmetic production alone but also it is edible.

Also, it can be used in making various dishes. Back in the days it was used as a cooking oil, though some people still make use of it still.

The nuts when unripe are usually green and when ripe turns yellow to brownish red in colour. The nuts are covered by the fruits.

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Active ingredients found in Shea butter

Shea butter is rich in lots of fatty acids which is responsible for its amazing benefits. They include the following :

Shea butter and shea nuts.
Source : Getty images
  1. Fatty acids which includes : linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid.
  2. Vitamins such as vitamin A, E, F.
  3. Triglycerides
  4. Cetyl esters

Amazing benefits of Shea butter you should be aware of

A man using Shea butter in treating muscle soreness from a dislocated joint.
Source : Getty images

Cooking benefits

The butter extracted from the nuts can be used as a cooking oil. In some parts of Africa some people still prefer cooking with Shea butter oil to the normal Groundnut oil or palm oil

Repair damaged skin

Shea butter has the ability to repair damaged skin by promoting the regeneration of damaged skin cells. It does this by preventing the skin from drying up by adding up an extra layer of moisture to the skin.

Hydrating and Moisturizing effect

It has the ability to leave you skin looking very hydrated and well moisturized at the same time. The high fatty content of this butter locks up the moisture in the upper epidermis layer of the skin.

Safe to use

It is very much safe to use for all skin types. Shear butter does not contain harmful chemicals that can trigger an allergic reaction to the skin.

Antibacterial and antifungal benefits

Just like any other natural products with such features, Shea butter to a certain extent has the ability to hinder the activities of fungi and bacteria activities on the skin.

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Anti-inflammatory benefits

It has the ability to sooth inflammations caused on the skin as a result of different skin issues. Problems are such as eczema, skin irritation and reactions.

For scars and stretch marks

Records have showed that Shea butter has the ability to reduce the occurrence of strech marks away from the skin. It does this by fading away the the scar marks away. The old worn out cells are replaced with new emerging cells on the skin.

Anti-aging properties

Using this daily has the ability of reducing fine lines and wrinkles on the face and skin. This fine lines are most associated with Ageing. The butter promotes collagen production on the skin.

Good for natural hair

If you want a healthy looking natural hair then this butter is a must have. It helps with hair breakage, locks up hair moisture. It is also good when treating hair Dandruff buy adding up an extra layer of moisture to the scalp.

For sunburn

It has a soothing effect and also the ability too to treat sunburn scars. Also it adds up extra layer of protection on the skin from the sun excessive uv rays.

Treating acne

This still remains one of the best things to use when treating acne breakouts on the skin. It has the ability of regulating the amount of sebum being produced on your skin.

Good for arthritis and muscle soreness

Shear butter is very useful in treating pains that comes as a result of arthritis and muscle soreness. It has the ability of reducing the pains by allowing blood flow and reducing inflammation away from the joints.

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Processing of Shea butter from its nuts

When extracting the butter from this rich nut it starts by allowing the Shea fruits to ripen on the tree. After ripening it is then harvested and collected.

The harvested fruits are washed clean of all the dirts and debris. After washing it is then sun dried in an open space.

The dried kernels is then sorted out. Bad ones not meeting up to the quality are thrown away as they might reduce the quality of the butter.

Hands choosing the right seeds to make shea butter. Source :Getty images

The next step involves roasting of the kernels. Kernels are roasted under low heat. After it has been roasted it is taken to the mill where it will be crushed and grinded into fine paste.

The kneading process.
Source :Getty images

Water is then added to the fine paste and also the kneading process begins. This helps to emulsify the oil. During this process the oil gets seperated out from the waste and water.

Boiling of the extracted oil.
Source :Getty images

The oil is then collected and boiled on high heat. This is done to seperate the oil from the water.. After boiling the oil is then strained off. It is then left to cool off for a while, when cooling of the butter solidifies and there you have your Shea butter ready for use.

Shea butter end produce.
Source : Getty images

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