What is Shea butter?
Shea butter is a yellowish or ivory coloured edible natural fat extracted from the almond like fruits of the shea tree. The shea butter comes from the shea nut tree which grows along the West African savannah region. There are many names to describe it but in Ghana it’s called nkuto. Its botanical name is Vitellaria Paradoxa (previously known as Butyrospermum parkii).
Why choose Deluxe Shea Butter?
- Our producer is organically certified.
- Our Shea Butter is A-Grade and Premium Quality.
- We adopt fair trade principles and practices.
- Testing of Shea Butter is done by authorities in Ghana and Australia with detailed certificate of analysis (COA) and MSDS available on all stock batches.
- We are locally based in Adelaide, South Australia.
Our Shea butter is certified organic and fair trade for its premium quality and grade which sets it apart from our competitors. Our Shea butter is produced and processed by our related company, Deluxe Shea Butter Ghana Ltd, who is certified Organic by Ecocert under the USDA National Organic Program and is certified Fair trade by Ecocert under the Fair for Life Program.
About our Shea butter
Deluxe Shea butter comes from Gumo – Kumbungu district in Tamale located in the Northern part of Ghana. Our shea butter is sourced directly from women’s co-operatives that operate within the region. Ghana arguably has the best shea butter in the world because the nuts have the most desirable chemical balance, and the traditional processing methods create a very clean butter.
Historically since the shea tree is not cultivated, ownership is by those whose farm it grows on. The Shea nut tree pollinates during the harmattan period and cares for itself till after 4 years when it starts to produce fruits. Harvesting of the shea fruit is done between mid May through to end of July, whereas the butter processing usually takes place from June through to August.
Traditionally it has been the women who go and pluck or gather the shea nuts. The women sometimes have to travel as far as 17 kilometres on foot and carry bags in excess of 40kgs on the heads whilst carrying their children on their backs. Working within the shea trade in many cases is the only form and sole source of income for these women and their families.
Within Ghana and in most parts of West Africa, destruction of the shea tree is prohibited because of its immense benefits as a valuable source of food, medicine and income for the local population.
Some traditional uses of shea butter include treatment of very dry skin, eczema, blemishes, skin discolorations, scars, stretch marks and wrinkles. It is also used as massage oil for babies and adults alike, and also a relaxer for stiff muscles due to it containing anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties.
Shea oil which is obtained from the shea nuts is used as cooking oil in the northern part of Ghana, as well as oil for the locals to light up their lamps at night. The skin of the shea nut is eaten and the bark of the tree is also used as a prophylactic against certain childhood illness and minor scrapes and cuts. The dry shell of the nut when burnt acts as an effective mosquito repellant. In fact even the residue left after the butter has been collected during the extraction process is used as organic manure by the local farmer’s for their crops.
Shea butter is so good for the skin because of its high content of palmitic, stearic, oleic and arachidic non saponifiable fatty acids. Recent years has seen increased use of shea butter in many products. Examples of which can be seen in leading skincare beauty creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, massage oils, lip balms and so on.
Commercially it is now widely used in soaps as well as cosmetics as a moisturiser, salve or lotion. The chocolate industry has been known to use Shea butter mixed with other oils as a substitute for cocoa butter. Other uses include being used as a waterproofing wax and in candle making.
The benefits of this wonderful product are many and by no means limited to the following list below:
- Helps to prevent skin ageing – acts as a protective layer preventing skin dehydration and protecting it from external factors such as heat, cold, wind and sudden changes in climate.
- Acts as a powerful antioxidant. Smoothes and restructure winkles, scars and other imperfection of the skin.
- It is used as a sunscreen before and after tanning, protecting skin of the sun damages such as UVB and UVA.
- Treats stretch marks with great results. Ideal for pregnant women. Also prevents cracking on the breast skin.
- It is effective in treating diaper rash in infants. Relieves redness of the area and protects the skin from wetness.
- It is effective for cold sores/ Nasal decongestion
- It gives elasticity to the skin and softens calluses in areas such as elbows, knees and heels.
- Promotes faster recovery in muscle injuries draining and eliminating toxins. It also works as a anti-inflammatory.
- Protects hair from sun damage. Repair the capillary structure, gives shine and condition the dry and damaged hair result of chemical treatments/ridding scalp of dandruff
- Acts as anti-irritant for the skin with allergies propensity. Prevent and treat redness, rashes and insect bites.
- It is an excellent facial moisturiser/ ideal even for oily skin and does not cause acne.
- Effectively used to treat psoriasis and eczema.
- All massage for both adults and children
- Helping to lessen scarring and keloids
- Fortifying cuticles and nails
Above all Deluxe Shea butter is natural, pure and completely organic.
*Please note that information provided on the website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide professional medical advice. For treatment of health ailments, please seek diagnosis and recommendations from a licensed practitioner. Deluxe Shea Butter (Aust) Pty Ltd does not take responsibility for the use or misuse of information on this website.
Traditional Extraction Process of Unrefined Shea Butter
Step by Step Extraction Process of Deluxe Shea Butter
- Shea fruits/nuts are harvested – mature/ripe nuts fallen from Shea trees are gathered by women and piled.
- A thorough inspection is done, and matured dry fruits are separated from those that are going bad. Normally, the nuts that have had their pits or the sweet part eaten or taken off are cleaned and kept.
- The nuts are then boiled and sun dried for a few hours.
- The nuts are dehusked to get their kernels – this involves the nuts being pounded in a mortar or ground on a grinding stone, and then sent to a grinding machine to be ground to a very smooth powder. Due to the labour intensive process involved, women normally come together at this stage to help.
- After the nuts are ground into a smooth powder, water is boiled and the powder stirred in slowly and kneaded by hand (hands are washed with clean water) to form an emulsion to separate fats. As the stirring and kneading continues, lukewarm water is added in 15 to 30 minute intervals.
- After a while, the butter starts to form at the surface, and the women carefully collect it with their hands. The collected butter is placed into a different pan, on low heat, to liquefy again. The above process is repeated until the women are sure that no impurities (that is, traces of the husk) remain.
- The butter/oil is collected, transferred into a pan, and left to solidify. The unrefined Shea butter is packed and ready for export.