What Is Unrefined Shea Butter? Where Does It Come From?

Unrefined Shea Butter is a 100% natural multi-purpose cream with vitamin A, E & F . It is a natural plant fat with exceptional moisturizing properties. Unrefined Shea Butter also contains a significant fraction of unsaponifiables, which are reported to have many healing properties.
Unrefined Shea Butter comes from the nuts of the Shea Tree, which grows naturally in 20 sub-Saharan Africa countries stretching from Guinea to Sudan and a section of East Africa where it has existed for centuries. It produces its first fruit when it is about 20 years old and reaches its full production when the tree is about 45 years old. It produces nuts for up to 200 years after reaching maturity.

Vitamin A & E -  Balances and normalizes the skin. Helps keep it clear and healthy. Particularly beneficial for dry or sun-exposed skin. Vitamin A has soothing and hydrating properties. They provide healthy skin collagen which prevents premature wrinkles, premature facial lines and premature slackened skin. Vitamin F - acts as a skin protector and revitalizes. It soothes rough, dry or chapped skin on contact and helps soften and revitalize dry or damaged hair. Vitamin F consists of linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids, the three essential fatty acids. Unrefined Shea Butter is  lustrous, protects, moisturizers, revitalizes,  refreshes and maintains skin and hair moisture. Shea butter benefits to skin & hair are endless.

Natural Ways of extracting unrefined shea butter

Extracting Unrefined Shea Butter Traditionally 
The basic process is the same. Shea Nuts, the  fruit of the Shea Tree is picked, cracked, grilled and pounded to extract the butter. It is then boiled in water for a number of hours until the fresh shea butter rises to the surface. It is then scooped into gourds and left to cool and set. This is all done by hand. This process has been done for centuries. Although this process does not produce mass shea butter, it is still the best way to extract because there is no need for chemicals or synthetic agents to be added to extract the butter. This is called Unrefined Shea Butter or Raw Shea Butter.

Extracting Unrefined Shea Butter by Pressing
A press is used to crush the nuts of the shea butter. The shea nuts are pushed against the metal press. The movement is similar to a meat grinder. Then the shea butter is squeezed out of the nut by pressure. The end result is Unrefined Shea Butter or Raw Shea Butter.

This method is used by many unrefined shea butter producing cooperatives these days because it helps them organize and produce more shea butter in less time to meet the demand . It does not involve any chemicals. It is simply a faster way of extracting without compromising the pure unrefined shea butter. This process cuts at least 3-5 hours off the traditional extraction time.

The Shea Tree
The Shea Tree Up Close
The Shea Tree up close
Shea Nut
Shea Nuts before picking
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