Amazing Benefits of Shea Butter

A lipid fat which comes from the commonly named  shea tree. It’s scientific name is Vitellaria paradoxa. The world has recently recognized the amazing benefits of shea Butter and it’s beautifying benefits. As a result, there are tons of products being made with shea butter. From cosmetics to health supplements. 

We use shea as our main base for our decadent CBD Cacao Balm and we will tell you why.

Shea butter

ORIGIN

Inhabitant of West Africa and indigenous to the regions of the Savanna. Efforts have been made to cultivate this tree in other places with no avail. Nicknamed the “Tree of Life,” and for good reason too. It plays a vital role in preserving the sensitive semi-arid Savanna region. Whole communities thrive off the resources shea produces. Also gets its nickname from its extraordinary benefits on skin, health and hair. Other names include magnifolia, karite nut, galam butter and bambuk butter.

A great resource that is boosting the economy of Africa’s poorer regions. It is also referred to as ‘Women’s gold’ for its vast cosmetic applications. Women of West Africa typically help process the butter and then trade it for essential items like food, clothing, and even education. Even kings were buried in shea coffins due to the fact that this tree was revered as sacred , fit for a king…

Even Cleopatra demanded to keep shea butter with her in her travels around Africa. To keep her beauty preserved along the harsh journey. Interesting enough it was used to hydrate the skin against the harsh African sun and treat nasty insect bites. More amazing benefits of shea butter right this way…

Karite tree

Karite tree

Did you know?

Shea butter has great nutritional content which can counteract  the effects of malnourishment. Malnourishment is suffered frequently in the impoverished areas of Western Africa. Also used as a replacement to cocoa when making chocolate, mmm! Shea butter’s medicinal properties have long been used by local african healers as a base for many concoctions. Used to treat a variety of ailments from joint stiffness, inflammation to even leprosy!

The oil has even been utilized in lamps, candles, roof waterproofing and for preserving metal against corrosion. Another one of its wonderful nicknames is “Mother Nature’s conditioner” due to its hydrating and emollient properties.

Oleic acid

It’s regenerating properties makes it great for soothing wounds and the pain caused by circumcision.  The natural oleic acid (omega-9) found in shea has profound anti-inflammatory properties. Oleic acid gets its name from olive oil which has a large percentage of this non essential fatty acid (66.4%). However, almond and peanut oil contains a higher percentage of omega-9 (67.2% and 71.1%). It is also the most prevalent monounsaturated fatty acid found in the human body. Benefits of oleic acid include reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, heart protection, increased protein production, improved immunity and insulin sensitivity, less oxidative stress and much more.

Biochemistry of oleic acid and its functional benefits (Nerd facts)

  • Change in cell membrane composition.
  • As a result, blocks cholesterol from entering the lower intestine.
  • Heart protection: Hemostasis and coagulation (process of preventing bleeding and wound healing, whereby blood goes from being a liquid to a gel.)
  • Aid neutrophil immune cells in exposing inflammation. Immune response is quickened and faster reduction in pain related symptoms.
  • Reduces excess serotonin in the gut through competitive receptor site binding.
  • Increased signalling/transmissions in the brain and nervous system  (better overall functioning and less stress.) This is done by blocking GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) reuptake. It’s main function is to neutralize the over-stimulation of neurons.
  • Works with dopamine in the function of locomotive walking.

Shea butter and cacao butter is around 9 times higher in stearic acid than the average plant which only generally consists of 5%. Animal products typically have a much higher concentration of this amino acid ranging from 20 – 30%. Shea has about 20 – 50% composition of stearic acid which is exceptionally high. Stearic acid has cleansing properties that is very much like soap. As a result, it can remove dirt, perspiration and sebum from hair and skin. Making it a wonderful hair conditioner and soothing body wash. Stearic acid interestingly enough acts as a surfactant which has the ability to lower the surface tension of oil and match it to water. Making oil and water mix!

Powerful natural acids

Palmitic (hexadecanoic) acid has several therapeutic effects and is found in shea butter. It causes apoptosis (triggered cell death) in cancer and MM (multiple myeloma) cells. However, it leaves normal biomolecules like blood plasma and white blood cells completely unharmed. 

It also inhibits HIV-1 fusion reducing risk of infection by 50% in women. This treatment was run at a dose of 100 – 200 uM of palmitic acid. Hence, palmitic acid makes an excellent antimicrobial agent against disease and infection. Funny enough palmitic acid is the first  saturated long chain fatty acid to be produced in the formation of fat tissues. 

Palmitic acid also may reduce the incidence of lung disease by being an active component in producing lung lecithin. Naturally found in butters and oils. It’s soothing lubricating qualities make it a great natural emollient. Shea naturally contains 2% – 9% palmitic acid in its total fatty acid composition.

Linoleic acid is also present in Shea which is also referred to as Vitamin F (also composed of alpha-linoleic acid) or omega 6.This essential fatty acid reduces cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Has astringent properties when used topically. Closes the pores which keeps irritants out, and moisture in. As a result, it can help combat acne or regulate excess oil. Helping building ceramide to act as a moisturiser. Omega fatty acids help in wound healing and have natural regenerating capacities. They work in hydration and reducing inflammation within the fabric of your skin. Which makes it an excellent treatment for psoriasis and eczema.

Cinnamic Acid

Cinnamic ester acid is a novel antioxidant and antimicrobial agent with efficient free radical scavenging capability. As a result, it effectively reverses the effects of degradation. This is also the main reason cinnamon is such an effect means for cleaning the body of disease. However, cinnamic esters are also found naturally in shea butter. As a result, shea has a very long shelf life and a suitable container for oil extractions. 

Polyphenols and Vitamin A

The natural polyphenols (microorganisms) present in Shea give it further antioxidant capabilities. Did you know that shea butter has a higher concentration of antioxidants than green tea? Polyphenols also have emollient properties that soften and soothe skin.

Vitamin A is abundant in shea, and is known as the “skin vitamin”. However, it can be also used to reduce the risk of age related eyesight decline. Also protects the skin from harmful UV rays, regenerates cells, reduce acne (regulates oil production) and helps stimulate the production of collagen. That’s some real amazing benefits of shea butter!

Summary

Rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals which provides a soothing and regenerating skin experience. Boosts circulation and collagen production. It also has the ability to regulate oil production making it a superfood for the skin without clogging pores. As a result, shea has a zero comedogenic rating (doesn’t clog pores). It melts at body temperature and readily absorbs into the skin leaving your skin feeling and looking hydrated from the core. The cinnamic acid found in shea attribute its use as a natural sun screen protector. An excellent choice for people with dry or sensitive skin. Lets look at a summary of the amazing benefits of shea butter.

Amazing benefits of shea butter

  • Collagen boosting
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-viral
  • Treats psoriasis and eczema
  • Also treats rosacea and dermatitis
  • Alleviates sunburn
  • Protects skin from UV
  • Rich in omega 3. 6 and 9.
  • Potent natural hair conditioner
  • Reduces signs of aging skin
Disclaimer

This article makes no claims in response to the medincal benefits of shea butter. The author is not a medical professional. Always consult your doctor or dermatologist before using shea butter medicinally.

SOURCE

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