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03 Dec 2019 | 11:07 AM (IST)
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Shea Butter

Shea Butter
Shea Butter is a solid fat that is extracted from the nuts of the Shea tree mainly found in the wild areas of west and east Africa.
Shea Butter is most commonly used in creams, lotions, moisturisers for skin and hair. Applying Shea Butter on scalp prevents hair damage due to the presence of antioxidants. Shea Butter has anti-ageing properties that helps to soften the skin and stimulates skin cell regeneration. Regular application of Shea Butter on lips during extreme cold and summer season keeps them soft and moisturized due to the presence of vitamin E.
Shea Butter helps in the management of arthritis by reducing inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also has an analgesic property that reduces the pain associated with muscle soreness.
Although consumption of Shea Butter in food amounts is safe. But, it is advisable to avoid the excessive consumption of Shea Butter or consult a physician before taking Shea Butter[2][5].

What are the synonyms of Shea Butter?

Vitellaria paradoxa[2].

What is the source of Shea Butter?

Plant Based

Precautions when using Shea Butter

Allergy
scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter might cause allergies in people allergic to latex. So, it is advisable to consult a physician before using Shea Butter[1].
Breastfeeding
scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter consumption is safe to be taken in food amounts during breastfeeding. But, It is advisable to avoid excessive consumption of Shea Butter or consult a physician before using Shea Butter during breastfeeding[2].
Minor Medicine Interaction
scientific
Modern Science View
Shea butter might increase the risk of bleeding. So it is advisable to consult a physician before taking Shea butter in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking supplements or drugs that might increase the risk of bleeding[1].
Pregnancy
scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter consumption is safe to be taken in food amounts during pregnancy. But, It is advisable to avoid excessive consumption of Shea Butter or consult a physician before using Shea Butter during pregnancy[2].

Benefits of Shea Butter

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Hay fever?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter might help in the management of hayfever. A study suggests that applying Shea Butter in the nose clears the blockage in the air passages and improve breathing. This helps in managing the symptoms of hay fever[2].

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Skin conditions with inflammation & itching?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter helps manage the inflammation in skin due to its anti-inflammatory property. It contains certain constituents which inhibit the mediators of inflammation. Applying a cream containing Shea Butter reduces the pain and inflammation associated with skin problems[7].

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Muscle spasm?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter cream helps in the management of muscle soreness that might lead to inflammation and stiffness in the body. It helps reduce inflammation and pain in muscles due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties[4].

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Arthritis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter might help manage the symptoms of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory property. It contains certain constituents that inhibit the activity of an inflammatory protein. This reduces the pain and swelling associated with arthritis[3].

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Wound healing?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter might help in wound healing due to the presence of antioxidants. These antioxidants prevent further damage at the wound site by fighting against free radicals. It causes wound contraction as well as closure and helps in the formation of collagen and new skin cells. It also reduces the risk of infection in the wound and thus promotes wound healing[7][9].

Tips for using Shea Butter for wound healing.
1. Take 50-55 grams of Shea Butter and few drops of coconut oil (or as per your requirement).
2. Mix both the ingredients properly to make a uniform paste.
3. Apply this paste regularly on the affected area for better results.
4. Preserve it in an airtight container for long time storage.

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Eczema?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter might be useful in eczema due to its emollient property. It helps to reduce the symptoms of eczema such as dry skin and itchiness by providing healing and soothing effects to the skin[8].

Tips for using Shea Butter in eczema.
1. Take 50-55 grams of Shea Butter and few drops of Sandalwood or Lavender essential oil (or as per your requirement).
2. Mix both the ingredients properly to make a uniform paste.
3. Apply this paste regularly on the affected area for better results.
4. Preserve it in an airtight container for long time storage.

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Insect bite?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter has strong healing properties due to the presence of Vitamin A. It is effective in promoting healing and soothes skin allergies such as insect bites[5].

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Dry Skin?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter ointment helps prevent skin dryness due to the presence of vitamin F. It has an emollient property that helps to soften the skin. It also has the ability to rejuvenate skin by soothing and healing rough and dry skin[5].

Tips for using Shea Butter for dry skin.
1. Take 50-55 grams of Shea Butter and few drops of Jasmine or Chamomile essential oil (or as per your requirement).
2. Mix both the ingredients properly to make a uniform paste.
3. Apply this paste regularly on the affected area for better results.
4. Preserve it in an airtight container for long time storage.

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Sinusitis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter, when used in the form of nasal drops, might provide relief from nasal congestion. It reduces the inflammation in the nasal passages due to its anti-inflammatory property. It helps to clear the sinuses by removing mucus from the nose[10].

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Psoriasis?

scientific
Modern Science View
Although enough scientific evidence is not available for the role of Shea Butter in psoriasis. However, it might help in managing the symptoms of psoriasis due to its healing and soothing properties. The topical application of Shea Butter helps in reducing skin rashes and dryness[5].

Tips for using Shea Butter on psoriasis.
1. Take 50-55 grams of Shea Butter and few drops of Jasmine or Chamomile essential oil (or as per your requirement).
2. Mix both the ingredients properly to make a uniform paste.
3. Apply this paste regularly on the affected area for better results.
4. Preserve it in an airtight container for long time storage.

What are the benefits of Shea Butter for Skin disorders?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter helps manage skin scars due to its moisturising and healing properties. It acts as an emollient that softens and soothes the skin when used in ointments[1][5].

How effective is Shea Butter?

Insufficient evidence
Arthritis, Dry Skin, Eczema, Hay fever, Insect bite, Muscle spasm, Psoriasis, Sinusitis, Skin conditions with inflammation & itching, Skin disorders, Wound healing

How to use Shea Butter

Shea Butter Paste
a. Take 50-55 grams of Shea Butter and few drops of coconut oil (or as per your requirement).
b. Mix both the ingredients properly to make a uniform paste.
c. Apply this paste regularly on the wounds for better results.
d. Preserve it in an airtight container for long time storage.

Frequently asked questions

Q. what are the other ways of using Shea Butter?

ayurvedic
Ayurvedic View
For External Use

1. Take 50-55 grams of Shea Butter and few drops of coconut oil (or as per your requirement).
2. Mix both the ingredients properly to make a uniform paste.
3. Apply this paste regularly on the wounds for better results.
4. Preserve it in an airtight container for long time storage.

Q. What is the best time to use Shea Butter?

scientific
Modern Science View
Shea Butter can be used at any time of the day. It can be used at night as feet and hand moisturiser. It is better to use Shea Butter as a skincare product during extreme cold and summer season because it provides moisture, nutrients and protection to the skin[5].

Q. Does Shea Butter help manage cholesterol?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter helps manage cholesterol due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Certain constituents (saponins) present in Shea Butter lowers the levels of total blood cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL) as well as triglycerides. These constituents inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body and increase its excretion[5].

Q. Can Shea Butter be used during constipation?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, the pulp of Shea fruit might help in constipation due to its laxative property. It helps to loosen stools and promotes bowel movement[6].

Q. Can I eat Shea Butter orally?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter can be taken orally as it contains various nutrients and antioxidants. It can be used in cooking and might help manage cholesterol levels[5].

Q. Can Shea Butter be used to protect hair?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter might protect the hair as it contains a good quantity of vitamins A and E. This gives it an emollient property which helps to soften and moisturise hair. Shea Butter gets easily absorbed, when applied to the scalp, and coats the hair shaft. It also helps to restore moisture lost in hair due to a number of chemical treatments like straightening, perming or curling of hair[5].

Q. Can Shea Butter is used before swimming?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter is applied on the hair before swimming. It gets easily absorbed and coats the hair shaft. It protects the hair against salt and chlorine present in water. It might also protect the hair against damage caused by free radicals due to its antioxidant property[7][5].

Q. Can Shea Butter help prevent the signs of ageing?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter might help prevent the signs of ageing due to its anti-ageing and moisturising properties. These properties help soften the skin and increase the cell regeneration process. It also improves collagen synthesis which helps in rejuvenating the skin and contribute to its anti-ageing property[5].

Q. Is Shea Butter a good sun screening agent?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter is a good sun screening agent as it absorbs or reflects some UV radiation from the sun and prevents it from reaching the skin. It also provides moisture and nutrients needed by skin[5].

Q. Can I use Shea Butter on lips?

scientific
Modern Science View
Yes, Shea Butter can be applied on lips as it contains Vitamin A and E which gives it an emollient property. It helps to moisturise and smoothen the lips. It also has antioxidant and smoothing properties which protects the lips[11].

References

  1. Ulbricht CE.Natural Standard:Herb and Supplement Guide, An Evidence Based Reference.Elsevier;2010.
  2. WebMD.Shea butter: Uses, Side effects, Doses, Interactions [Internet].Atlanta [last updated in 2016].External Link
  3. Foyet HS, Tsala DE, Essono Bodo JCZ, et al. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of a methanol extract from Vitellaria paradoxastem bark. Pharmacognosy Research. 2015;7(4):367-377.External Link
  4. Chen SP, Lo SF, Wang YC, et al. Validating Efficacy of Shea Nut Oil Extract in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.2013.External Link
  5. Izideen Maanikuu PM, Peker K. Medicinal and Nutritional Benefits from the Shea Tree- (Vitellaria Paradoxa). Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare.2017; 7(22):51-57.External Link
  6. Abidemi TA, Adebayo OJ, Idowu O, et al. Nutrient content and anti-nutritional factors in shea butter (Butryospermum parkii) leaves. African Journal of Biotechnology. 2009;8(21):5888-5890.External Link
  7. Kai-Lin T, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int. J. Mol Sci. 2018;19(1):70.External Link
  8. Belibi SE, Stechschulte D, Olson N. The use of Shea Butter as an emollient for eczema. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;123(2):S41.External Link
  9. Israel MO. Effects of topical and dietary use of Shea Butter on animals. American journal of life sciences.2014;2(5):303-307.External Link
  10. Tella A, Preliminary studies on nasal decongestant activity from the seed of the shea butter tree, Butyrospermum parkii.Br J Clin Pharmacol.1979;7(5):495-497.External Link
  11. Kokil S, Kadu M, Vishwasrao S, et al. Review on Natural Lip Balm. International Journal of Research in Cosmetic Science. 2015; 5(1): 1-7.External Link
Disclaimer
The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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