8 Interesting Facts about Shea Butter
Shea Butter has become wildly popular in recent years as a natural, ancient secret that keeps skin soft and supple. But what do you really know about the miracle cream and its origins? Or what it can do beyond just moisturize? Here are tidbits, many I’m sure you didn’t already know.
While you don’t want to be spooning mouthfuls of the butter into your mouth, shea butter is actually edible, as should be anything you put on your skin. In its purest form it is used as cooking oil and some chocolate companies use shea butter instead of cocoa butter.
It’s the Balm
While the amount of time it takes for shea butter to cure or control skin conditions varies, it is proven to prevent sunburn, heal small wounds, moisturize skin cracks, protect from frostbite, give relief from burns, ease muscle fatigue and aches, and control eczema and dermatitis.
Choice of Royalty
Cleopatra, the Queen of Sheba and Nefertiti both loved shea butter and would import clay jars of it from West Africa for their use.
Prevents Hair Loss
The fatty content of shea butter helps condition the scalp and provides essential nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles that strengthen them and reduces hair loss. Best when used along with other oils and butters when applied to the hair, as we do with our Hair Butter.
Ghana Produces 85% of the World’s Shea Butter
Regardless of the brand you choose you’re likely using a product that started its life in Ghana. Neighboring countries like Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria and the Ivory Coast all have their own variation, but Ghana’s quality reigns supreme.
Shea Nut Trees Take 40 Years to Bear Fruit
You read that correctly; shea nut trees take 40 years to begin producing the nuts used to produce shea butter, meaning most people selling the nuts did not plant the trees. The one who harvests the field without planting the seeds usually makes for a bad manager of resources, as is the case in Ghana. The profit vs effort has led to the squandering of shea-nuts and a frightening shortage.
Ghanaian Jobs Exported Along with Raw Material
The process of extracting shea butter from the nut has created an industry that feeds thousands of families. When multi-nationals purchase and export the raw shea nuts they cripple the industry, making it impossible to source shea butter locally and cutting us off as one of the beneficiaries of this booming industry. Instead we, the growers and custodians are being relegated to farming nuts for peanuts!
Ghana Government and Shea Butter
Presently Shea Butter is not regulated by the Government of Ghana and we do NOT want it regulated by the Government. Regulation in this paradigm usually means the Government allows foreign buyers to dictate our prices and then we can only sell to the Government. That has proven a horrible business model for African industries. All we need is for the Government to make it illegal to export the raw shea nuts, mandating that value is added locally, thus benefiting the custodians of this God-sent, miracle butter.