Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa or Butyospermum Parkii) is a tree indigenous to Africa. The fruit contains an oil-rich seed from which vegetable butter is extracted. Research studies like "Shea Butter - The revival of an African wonder by M. Pobeda and L.Sousselier" have shown that shea butter is effective in treating and alleviating the symptoms of dry and sensitive skin, eczema and psoriasis. Shea butter is naturally moisturising and readily absorbed by the skin. I adore it!
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations say in their report titled "Reinforcing sound management through trade: shea tree products in Africa":
"The bioactive substances in shea butter reside in the unsaponifiable fraction – the oil-soluble constituents that would not react with alkali to form soap... They include anti-oxidants such as tocopherols (vitamin E) and catechins (also found in green tea). Alander and Andersson (2002) and Alander (2004) identified other specific compounds such as triterpene alcohols, known to reduce inflammation; cinnamic acid esters, which have limited capacity to absorb ultraviolet (UV) radiation; and lupeol, which prevents the effects of skin aging by inhibiting enzymes that degrade skin proteins. Shea butter also protects skin by stimulating production of structural proteins by specialized skin cells."
The report also notes the postive aspects that growing and harvesting Shea has for the local communities and the environment: "Recent case studies across Africa indicate that enhanced market opportunities for shea producers can and do have a positive influence on sustainable management of shea trees and the woodland or parkland landscapes in which they are found."
Mango Park wrote about Shea: "The kernel is enveloped in a sweet pulp, under a thin green rind; and the butter produced from it, besides the advantage of its keeping the whole year without salt, is whiter, firmer, and, to my palate, of a richer flavour, than the best butter I ever tasted made from cow’s milk." More about Shea is available in this great blog post:
Recent studies confirm that Shea nuts are safe for nut allergy sufferers, as the principle immune molecule that would usually invoke an allergic response, immunoglobulin E, barely binds to the shea protein. (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, December 13, 2010: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6BL4SP20101223)
Shea butter used in all MuLondon products is certified organic and comes from a community project in Ghana. My shea butter supplier helped to fund the co-operative's organic certification which was achieved in August 2005, and they have also helped to fund the purchase of the only piece of machinery used in the production of the Shea Butter. This equipment grinds down the dried nuts, which before was being done by hand and was a laborious task.
Thanks to you buying shea butter products from MuLondon, and other companies supporting the co-operative, the community project in Ghana has been able to build a nursery for all the children to attend while their mums are working, producing Shea Butter. This has made life much easier for the mums and is also helping to educate the children too!
Shea butter is good. I love shea!
|Ingredients||Vitellaria Paradoxa (Shea Butter)*|
|*Denotes Certified Organic Ingredients.|
|Certifications||The Vegan Society, The Leaping Bunny, The Vegetarian Society, PETA, Viva!, Choose Cruelty Free Australia, Green America, EWG's Campaign For Safe Cosmetics, The Naturewatch Foundation. Vegan and Vegetarian. No animal ingredients or animal testing - ever!|