Shea comes from the Shea Tree which is indigenous to Africa.1 The shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, pulp that surrounds a relatively large, oil-rich seed from which shea butter is extracted. 1 Shea is widely used in cosmetics as a cream, lotion, or bath gel. Shea butter is edible and is used in food preparation in Africa.2
Accounts from as early as Cleopatra’s in Egypt speak of caravans bearing clay jars of valuable shea butter for cosmetic use.2 In Egyptian history, shea butter was (and continues to be) used to protect the hair and skin against the fierce sun and the hot dry winds of African deserts and savannah.2
Commonly referred to as “women’s gold,” the labor of preparing the shea fruit to produce shea butter provides income and employment to millions of women in Africa. Mostly organized in cooperatives and using traditional methods, women harvest the fruit, crush the nuts inside to extract the valuable butter; then clean, package and sell it at local markets or for export.3
Shea butter is sometimes used as a base for crèmes or ointments because of its anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties. Shea butter has been used as a sun block and has a limited capacity to absorb ultraviolet radiation.2
To learn more about shea and its benefits, read our post “10 Reasons Why We Love Shea Butter.” And then reap the benefits of Africa’s “Miracle Moisturizer” for yourself with Terra Nova’s Signature Shea Blossom Collection of products!
1 Wikipedia “Shea” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitellaria
2 Wikipedia “Shea Butter” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shea_butter
3 Terranova “10 Reasons Why We Love Shea Butter” – https://tnbody.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/10-reasons-we-love-shea-butter-africas-miracle-moisturizer/