Shea nut oil facts and benefits

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Shea nut oil facts and benefits Quick Facts
Name: Shea nut oil facts and benefits
Origin The history of Shea nut oil is traced back to Ancient Egypt.
Colors Off white, ivory
Major nutrients Total Fat (622.86%)
Health benefits Antioxidant, Hair health, Prevent wrinkles, Soothe inflammation, Stretch marks
Shea nut oil is the white colored fat compressed from the nuts of Shea tree named as Vitellaria paradoxa. Mostly it is used as a salve, moisturizer and lotion in cosmetics. It is also used for food preparation. Optionally, it is used as a substitute for cocoa butter but the taste is somehow different from it. It melts at body temperature. It serves as a perfect emollient for the people with dry skins. It provides a great relief from the pain related with itching and tightness. Due to its emollient, anti-inflammatory and humectant properties, it is used as a base for the medicinal ointments. In Africa as well as other countries, it is used for enhancing the health of hair and skin. It has been used for treating various skin problems such as wrinkles, blemishes, stretch marks, dermatitis and muscle fatigue. It has high content of oleic, stearic acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin E. The shea nut oil is extracted by using cold pressed methods without adding preservatives and chemicals.

History

The history of Shea nut oil is traced back to Ancient Egypt. It is used to prevent skin and hair from sun and dry winds. In 1300s, it was recorded by European explorers and was used by African cultures. In Africa, it was considered as sacred and the caskets made from Shea tree wood was used to bury respected leaders. It was considered to be sacred due to the healing properties found in it.

Varieties/Types

  1. Raw Shea Butter

It is Shea nut oil which is not filtered yet. It might have some impurities. It is in the form of paste in tub or jar. This type of shea butter will always come as a paste (usually in a jar or tub). As it cannot be molds, it will not get shaped. It is deep yellow in color but might be greenish as well.

  1. Unrefined Shea Butter

The filtering in unrefined shea butter is so long that it does not have effect on it qualities. It is filtered with the use of cheese cloth. It could be found in sticks or bars as it could be poured into molds.

  1. Refined Shea Butter

This Shea butter has been processed to eliminate its odor or to change its properties. It is smooth and usually white in color. The refinement process eradicates some nutrients in it.

  1. Ultra-Refined Shea Butter

This Shea butter has gone through two filtering systems which help to change the composition. It is used for cosmetics. It is white in color. It is least healthy as it loses nutrients in the refinement process.

Nutritional value

One cup measuring 218 g (Shea nut oil) offers 1927 calories and 218 g of lipid fat. We could also get 101.588 g of total saturated fats, 0.436 g of caprylic acid, 0.436 g of capric acid, 2.834 g of lauric acid, 0.218 g of myristic acid, 9.592 g of palmitic acid, 84.584 g of stearic acid, 95.92 g of total monounsaturated fats, 0.218 g of palmitoleic acid, 94.83 g of oleic acid, 11.336 g of total polyunsaturated fats, 10.682 g of linoleic acid, 0.654 g of linolenic acid and 778 mg of phytosterols.

Health Benefits of Shea nut oil

In the West, Shea nut oil is gaining more popularity in the skin care uses. It is loaded with minerals, vitamins and fatty acids that help to hydrate and rejuvenate skin and hair. It could be used to heal wounds, treat damaged skin and used a whole body treatment. It has soft and pliable texture, pleasant nutty scent and is in cream color.

  1. Antioxidant

It is possessed with antioxidants such as Vitamin E and A. It is packed with adequate amount of catechins. It prevents the skin from UV rays, environmental damages and free radicals. It has cinnamic acid that assists skin when exposed to sunlight for a long period of time.

  1. Hair health

Shea nut oil is used in various hair care products. It is effective for conditioning scalp, defines curls, seal moisture, decrease dreaded frizz and eliminates dandruff. The application of Shea nut oil to the roots helps to add volume to the hair while styling hair.

  1. Prevent wrinkles

Shea nut oil is highly applicable to lower the wrinkle appearance if used for four to six weeks. The research shows that the use of Shea nut oil results in lowering wrinkles and brighter complexion.

  1. Soothe inflammation

As it contains anti-inflammatory properties including cinnamic acid, it helps to soothe the inflammation on the body parts.

  1. Stretch marks

Shea nut oil is able to lighten the appearance of stretch marks due to the high concentration of vitamins as well as healing properties.

  1. Helpful for acne

Acne and eczema are the skin ailments which require delicate treatments not to worsen the existing condition. Due to the unique properties in Shea nut oil, it might be helpful for treating these skin conditions.

  1. Cracked heels

Shea nut oil is effective to treat painful cracked heels and dry cuticles. It should be applied before bed and use cotton socks for night.

  1. Treat insect bites

Shea nut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe swelling caused by insect bites.

  1. Nasal congestion

The study shows that Shea nut oil helps to treat nasal congestion effectively. The study shows that the application of 2 to 4 grams of Shea nut oil to the interior of nostril helps to clear the airways within 30-50 seconds of application.

Traditional uses

  • It is used to treat arthritis.
  • It prevents the pain related to itching and tightness.
  • In Nigeria, it is used to provide relief from nasal congestion and manage sinusitis.
  • It is used to eradicate scars, wrinkles and burns.
  • It promotes hair growth and moisturize dry scalp.
  • It is an aid for blemishes, chapped lips, skin discoloration and stretch marks.
  • It provides relief from irritation.
  • It cures skin rash, skin peeling, small skin wounds, skin cracks, frost bites, insect bites, shaving cream, cold weather, muscle fatigue and skin allergies.
  • To moisturize the lips deeply, use it as a lip balm.
  • To calm itchy and dry skin, it could be used as a sun soother.
  • It is used as massage balm for treating fatigued joints and muscles.
  • It could be applied to shaved legs in order to make it soft.
  • The application of Shea nut oil to the belly helps to prevent stretch marks.
  • It could be used on cuticles and nails for getting shiny, strong and healthy nails.
  • It is used on eyelashes instead of mascara.
  • For shiny and bright smile, apply it on teeth.
  • Apply on feet to keep them hydrated.
  • It is used as hydrating mask or night moisturizer for face.

Precautions                                                                                                 

  • The people allergic to tree nuts should avoid the use of Shea nut oil.
  • When the condition worsens, consult a doctor.

How to Eat         

It is used as a substitute for cocoa butter.

Other Facts        

  • In Africa, it is called women’s gold.
  • It is used in skin and hair products such as lip gloss, emulsions, skin moisturizer creams and hair conditioners.
  • It is also used to make soaps.
  • In Benin, it is used for hairdressing, waterproofing wax abd candle making.
  • It is used as an ingredient in organic broth.
  • Shea butter is used as sunblock.
  • It is used to hold the hairstyle.
  • It is used as a base for makeup application.

Shea nut oil facts

Shea nut oil is an off-white substance which is extracted from shea nuts. It is also used in cosmetic products. It helps to aid the skin ailments such as muscle fatigue, pregnancy and dermatitis. It helps to moisturize and hydrate skin by making it soft and smooth. It is regarded to possess anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. Shea nut oil enhances the production of collagen due to the presence of anti-aging properties.

Name Shea nut oil facts and benefits
Shea nut oil facts and benefits The history of Shea nut oil is traced back to Ancient Egypt. It is used to prevent skin and hair from sun and dry winds. In 1300s, it was recorded by European explorers and was used by African cultures.
Common/English Name Shea butter, karite-nu, karite-nut, shea, karite butter, Arbre À Beurre, Bambouk, Árbol Montequero, Butirospermo, Bassia parkii, Butyrospermum parkii, Buttertree, Butyrospermum paradoxum, Carité, Cárei, Galam Buttertree, Karite Nut, Schibutterbaum, Karité, Shea Buttertree, Sheatree, Sheasmörträd, Vitellaria paradoxa
Name in Other Languages French: arbre a beurre, Karite;
German: Sheabutterbaum;
Color Off white, ivory
Varieties/Types
  • Raw Shea Butter
  • Unrefined Shea Butter
  • Refined Shea Butter
  • Ultra-Refined Shea Butter
Major Nutritions Total Fat (lipid) 218 g (622.86%)
Health Benefits
  • Antioxidant
  • Hair health
  • Prevent wrinkles
  • Soothe inflammation
  • Stretch marks
  • Helpful for acne
  • Cracked heels
  • Treat insect bites
  • Nasal congestion
Calories in 1 cup (218 gm) 1927 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • It is used to treat arthritis.
  • It prevents itching and tightness.
  • It provides relief from nasal congestion and sinusitis.
  • It lessens scars, wrinkles and burns.
  • It promotes hair growth.
  • It is used to treat blemishes, chapped lips, skin discoloration and stretch marks.
  • It is used to moisturize the lips deeply.
  • It could be used on cuticles and nails.
  • It is used to keep the feet hydrated.
  • It is used as hydrating mask or night moisturizer for face.
Precautions
  • Allergic people should avoid its use.
  • Consult a doctor when the condition worsens.
How to Eat It is a perfect substitute for cocoa butter.
Other Facts
  • It is also called women’s gold.
  • It is used in lip gloss, emulsions, skin moisturizer creams and hair conditioners.
  • It is also used for making soaps.
  • It is used to hold hairstyle.
  • It is used as a base for makeup.


References:

http://www.ebay.com/gds/Whats-the-Difference-Between-Raw-Unrefined-and-Ultra-refined-Shea-Butter-/10000000178258860/g.html

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0162022&type=printable

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_butter#cite_note-13

http://ayurvedicoils.com/tag/history-of-shea-butter

http://mzmahoganychic.com/2012/03/29/sheabutter/

https://draxe.com/raw-shea-butter/

http://www.sheabutter.net/hiofshbu.html

http://homeremedyshop.com/6-benefits-of-shea-butter/

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/12-ways-to-use-raw-shea-butter

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