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Shea butter

The Numerous Topical Benefits of Unrefined Shea Butter

Friday, September 12, 2008 by: Carol Kelling
Tags: shea butter, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Shea butter is one of those ingredients that seems to be splashed on many products including those that claim to be natural and aren't. Buyer beware. Even if the label claims to have shea butter, check the other ingredients and check the brand. Shea butter is really incredible as long as you are getting the real deal.

There are many regions where the Karite Shea tree grows in Africa. Shea butter actually comes from this tree, which bears the fruit and it is the nut inside the fruit that contains the shea butter. Shea butter is often seen as ceremonial and spiritual with great healing powers in the African communities.

There is raw or unrefined shea butter versus refined shea butter and this is where it becomes really important. There is a big difference between the two types.

Raw shea butter is going to be the most natural and least processed. The raw or unrefined is the purest and most effective. The two most natural ways to extract the unrefined shea butter is by hand or an expeller. This keeps all the vitamins, minerals and other natural properties of the shea butter intact, making it very beneficial.

Refined shea butter is processed using chemicals, thus stripping the shea butter of its many healing properties. The chemical hexane, (http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexane) , is often used to dissolve the shea nut.

When chemically processed, it goes through a refining, bleaching, deodorization and degumming process, which destroys the shea butter. It leaves it stripped of its vitamins, minerals and many other natural healing properties.

Raw, unrefined shea butter is good for dry skin, skin rashes, skin peeling after tanning, sunburn, blemishes, cracked heels and skin, itchy skin, frost bite, stretch marks, scars, chapped lips, eczema, small wounds or scrapes, diaper rash, hair moisturizer, burns, athlete's foot, insect bites and stings, arthritis, muscle fatigue, pets' (dogs and horses) dry skin, sunburn, scrapes, and as a natural mechanics lubricant.

The benefits of raw shea butter are that it can be used as a superior moisturizer with all natural vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory, a minor sunscreen agent (up to SPF 6), and it also reduces wrinkles (studies show skin improvement in 4-6 weeks with daily use).

Once you have tried the true raw shea butter, you will quickly be able to discern between the natural and chemically processed varieties.

About the author

Carol Kelling is co-founder of www.carenonline.com. Her company is an on line retailer of chemical free skin care. It is also a site where they educate and inform readers through articles, blogs and links.

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