Shea Butter: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?


SHEA BUTTER: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

The shea tree , also Sheanussbaum , shea butter tree called or African butter tree ( Vitellaria paradoxa , syn. : Bassia parkii G.Don, Butyrospermum paradoxum . (CFGaertn) Hepper , Butyrospermum parkii (G.Don) Kotschy), [1] is the only species of the genus Vitellaria in the family of Sapotengewächse (Sapotaceae).

Contents [ Hide ]
One occurrence
2 Description
3 Use
3.1 Shea Butter
4 sources
4.1 Literature
4.2 Notes and references
5 External links
Occurrence [ Edit ]

Vitellaria paradoxa is in the savannas of the Sudan zone in tropical Africa between Senegal and Uganda before. There are two subspecies: Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. paradoxa (only in South Africa) and Vitellaria paradoxa subsp. nilotica (in East Africa). Vitellaria paradoxa grows at altitudes between 100 and 600 meters, with an average annual temperature between 25 and 29 ° C and an annual precipitation 600-1400 mm.

Vitellaria paradoxa , herbarium specimen from the herbarium Senckenbergianum .

Fruits on the branch.

Shea nuts.

Soap from shea butter.
Description [ Edit ]
Vitellaria paradoxa grows as a tree that reaches heights of growth of up to 20 meters, with a strong trunk and much branched, sweeping treetop . The very thick and korkige bark is usually gray to blackish and may protect older trees from fire. [2] There are short shoots formed with angular leaf traces. The bark of young branches, petioles and flower buds has a rust-colored hair in varying degrees. The petiole is a third to half as long as the leaf blade. The ovate to elliptic leaf blade has a length of 10 to 25 cm and a width of 4.5 cm to 14 cm to 20 to 30 lateral veins per leaf half. The leaf margin is thickened and corrugated.

30 to 40 flowers are in bundles together. [2] The up to 3 cm long stemmed flowers smell and are hermaphroditic, and hairy more or less intense. The sepals are arranged in two circles: the outer ones are lanceolate, 9-14 mm long and 3.5 to 6 mm wide; the inner are slightly smaller. The three cream-colored petals are fused with röhrig 2.5 to 4 mm long corolla tube and broad-ovate, 7-11 mm long 4.5 to 7 mm wide corolla. The stamens are 7 to 12 mm long. The lanceolate anthers are up to 4.5 mm long. the staminodes are up to 8 mm long. The stylus is 8 to 15 mm long.

The greenish when ripe berries have a length of up to 6.5 cm and a diameter of 4.5 cm. They contain a sweet pulp surrounding the seeds. The seeds have a length of up to 5 cm and a diameter of 3.5 cm. [3]

Terms [ Edit ]
The fruits of Sheanussbaums are botanically berries , about 4 cm large fruit kernels inside, the shea nuts contain about 50% fat and are a significant source of supply - represents and skin care fat, the flesh is eaten.

As an important Nutzbaum is the shea among other species, such as Néré and Baobab , mostly spared in the clearing of new fields. These traditional agroforestry is also called Culture tree park called. Since the shea tree can be difficult but increasingly, new plants often are Zufallskeimungen, it only blooms from the age of about 20 years and only reaches about 50 years his full earning power, its large-scale commercial exploitation by the long waiting time for the income still difficult.

Shea butter [ Edit ]
From Kariténuss shea butter, shea butter or shea also called, won. In the traditional mode of production after washing and crushing the seeds, obtained by boiling in water and subsequent skimming of floating above Sheaöls the shea butter. Its melting range is from 35 to 42 ° C. [4] [5] It is light yellow in color and has a distinct earthy, chocolaty smell of nuts and butter. Therefore, it is also known as fat substitute for cocoa butter used in chocolate production. Shea butter has the advantage that form when temperature fluctuations during storage no gray streaks on the surface of the chocolate.

Shea butter is preserved in the pure state, even in tropical heat, up to 4 years. The special feature of the shea butter is the high proportion of unsaponifiable constituents (about 75% triterpenes, besides oleic acid, triterpene alcohols, vitamin E , beta-carotene and allantoin ), [6] , the proportion is between 8-11% - compared with avocado oil 6%, 1.5% sesame oil, olive oil, 1.2%. Shea butter contains mainly long-chain unsaturated fatty acids , the main components are oleic acid (40-55%), stearic acid (35-45%), linolenic acid (3-8%) and palmitic acid (3-7%).

For the export shea butter is frequently refined : The resulting grease is odorless, viscous, white in color. The ingredient Beta-carotene (yellow color) is lost, further investigations regarding lost ingredients are not known.

Many women in rural areas of the Sahel earn good money with the production of shea butter from the fruit of Karitébaums. The demand on the international market is large, increase income and status of women. But even with the wood of the tree are done business - a balance between the interests is difficult.
Africa's Sahel zone and the adjacent savannas are among the poorest regions of the world. The Sahel stretches south of the Sahara from east to west of the continent. Over the years, poverty has worsened there, especially since countries such as Mali, Niger, Chad, Sierra Leone and the Sudan by war, disease, famine and drought are haunted. However, women in rural areas, which are particularly common poor, have discovered a way to improve their lives: They make shea butter and sell it on the international market.

The demand has increased over the years, because shea butter is very versatile. International cosmetics and soap companies they use in numerous products for skin and hair. It helps in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema, burns, rashes, stretch marks, acne, wrinkles, skin discoloration and itching. In the chocolate industry, it is used as a substitute for cocoa butter.


Sam Olukoya
is a freelance journalist in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Sahel is the only region in which the Sheanuss- or shea tree grows worldwide. From his nuts the women win the shea butter. International development organizations have provided them with modern machines for roasting, crushing and grinding are available. In the village Tsohon Kampani in northern Nigeria about the women who got by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) roasting machines. "We can dry the shea nuts in 30 minutes," said Hauwa Aliyu. "Previously, we have it roasted in the sun, which can take up to five days."

Also Mortar and Pestle now replaced by modern machines. "In the past we have taken three days for the production of shea butter, the machines do it in a half hour," says Tabitha Sunday, the leader of the women in Tsohon Kampani. The women have less work and the shea butter has gotten better. You can now sell in large quantities abroad and not only in the local market, where they are merely got rid of small amounts.

The biggest buyers of shea butter are the industrialized countries. In northern Ghana about the development program of the United Nations (UNDP) and the Japanese government about the "Tokyo International Conference on African Development" (TICAD) support women in production. From there, butter and soap to Japan, the United States, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland are exported. The UNDP estimated two million women earn their livelihood with the production of shea butter. For the production and distribution they have formed cooperatives.

Customers from all over the world call to place orders. Some cooperatives are represented on the Internet, so buyers can find them more easily. "The production of shea butter has brought the women to the global market, and they are proud of," says Toyin Babalola by GIZ. My life has changed that when they achieved higher profits with better production methods, recognized the women that the shea tree can help behind the house, to fight poverty "Previously found many women that those who produce the shea butter, just wasting their time. . Today, these producers are very respected, "said Babalola.

Most important women is to respect their husbands. "Before, I had no money to help the family. For my husband I was a worthless person. But with the Sheabuttergeschäft that has changed, "says Tabitha Sunday from Tsohon Kampani. In the past, women were mainly dependent on their husbands, now they have a sense of freedom. You may also days when their husbands do not have money, bring a meal on the table, says Babalola. In many communities in the Sahel, women can not work due to cultural tradition. This discrimination starts to wane, because women with their earnings contribute a large part to the family upkeep. According to UNDP, the women earn more than half their income with shea butter in the Sahel region. She is also one of the few resources in rural Africa, which is solely in the hands of women.

According to Adisa Lansah Yakubu, the Executive Director of the "Africa 2000 Network," but the women have to learn to come zurechtzu with her sudden windfall initially. They should be trained in dealing with their income. "If they do not behave properly, which can make the man aggressively," said Yakubu, whose organization is involved in the UNDP-TICAD initiative to combat poverty. "If the women showing how they can use the money well for the family that men respond positively. "the couple could agree on, that the man to take care of some financial matters, while the woman is responsible for other areas.

Moreover, women should use the money to secure their future and that of their children, says Yakubu. In Ghana, they are encouraged to build with the income from the shea butter trading houses. In most African societies, it is particularly important that a woman owns her own house. Because if her husband dies, it is possible that his relatives drive them from the previous home.

The production of shea butter has indeed changed the lives of many women in the rural areas of the Sahel to the good, but the competition for the shea tree is large and in many places so it is a dispute. The wood of the tree is hard and is often used for the production of mortars. Then there is a high demand because many traditional foods are crushed it. Moreover, it is particularly well suited for charcoal because it burns without smoke. And coal is in many areas the main source of energy for cooking.

The shea butter producers complain about the cases of Karitébäume. "Once they are cut down, our business is ruined," says Tabitha Sunday, the woman leader from Tsohon Kampani. Sunday Kofi, who lives the fact that he sells trees, explained, however, no one could prevent another from cutting trees. "Trees are gifts from God. I have the right to make it for my business, "he says. The charcoal dealer Iyabo Adeola has a similar view. "Many women in Nigeria live on, that they sell charcoal," she notes.

Almost everywhere in the Sahel useful trees should be like the shea tree actually protected. The Women of Tsohon Kampani have already repeatedly appealed to the government. "We want them to arrest anyone who drops a shea tree," said Tabitha Sunday. However, according to Yakubu Adisa Lansah of "Africa 2000 Network" people work hard with the government - even there, not where it intervenes to enforce the protection of cultivated trees. "Many communities are small and people are reluctant to show someone at falling a tree," she says. "Usually they are related in some form with the culprits and do not want their relatives to the police."

Although the people in the Sahel cutting down trees, but they do not plant new. Yakubu sees a possible solution, to train them in it. You must learn to take care of fry and rear them, she says. Only when such paths are taken, the women in the Sahel can be sure that the shea tree is not one day disappear.

All ingredients used for the products of L'Occitane, have a special relationship to nature and to our beautiful region - Provence. However, there is one that differs in its origin from the others, because it comes directly from Burkina Faso ...
Marine Normand

Meet the shea tree also means to be aware of its versatility. The history of this majestic tree that can grow up to 15 meters high and has a bushy, green foliage, begins in the savanna of West and Central Africa, where it grows wild. To plant it seems inconceivable, given its slow growth indeed. It can be 200 to 300 years old, and to see him for the first time to bear fruit, you have to wait for 15 years. That is not yet the beginning of his most fertile time, because that is between his 50th and 100th year of life ... so you have to be patient. The roughly the size of plums, green fruits that he wears every year to be collected from the ground between late June and early September, and only by women. Not an easy job, because they need from the fruit, first loosen the nuts out to dry them to crush and mix them with water so that it is shea butter. Men may the fruit of the tree which is considered sacred, not picking up, and must not seek to destroy him.

The very important for nutrition, health and sacred rituals shea tree is a beauty secret that is preserved for millennia. His butter was for many African women often the only cosmetic product, because it has several good characteristics: As healers they help both chapped skin and stretch marks as well as ulcers or eczema. Moisturizes and soothes sensitive skin that suffers from the changing seasons, and proven protects against UV radiation.

When he learns of the tradition-rich and surprising history of Karitébaums, decides Olivier Baussan, founder of L'Occitane her to go in 1980 on location in Burkina Faso on the ground. He discovers this almost magical nut, and although it does not come from Provence, he decides to make it to any of the ingredients of its brand. And he should not go wrong with it. The shea tree is a success who finds his enthusiastic audience, and his hand cream will very quickly become one of the best selling products from L'Occitane. A product that can be found in winter in the handbags of women all over the world! But the shea tree has produced another beautiful story. As learns Olivier Baussan of the work of the women, he decides to help them and established a cooperative that allows some workers to become financially independent. Meanwhile, there are 12,000, and this human adventure is one of the achievements of L'Occitane founder, on which he is most proud. A wonderful story, where you can participate, even if you succumb to the magic of Karitébaums!

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asked Aug 11, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)