The Health Benefits of Shea Butter Soaps

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The stuff from which shea butter soaps are made is not actually butter - though it can be used like butter. However, the main ingredient in handmade shea butter soap is actually a kind of vegetable fat derived from the fruit of a tree native to Africa. When shea is used for the manufacture of natural shea butter soap, manufacturers use plant extract from exotic fruits and floral essences to create a total sensual experience - for the nose, the eyes and skin.

The Shea Tree

The main ingredient in shea butter bar soap
is imported from the African savannah, where the shea (pronounced "shay") tree grows. This ingredient, the basis of high quality shea butter soaps, is extracted from the seeds that are found inside the fruit of this tree. The name comes from a language spoken in this region of Africa, known as Bamana. The tree itself is uniquely adapted for the hot, dry climate of the savannah south of the Sahara desert. The fruit of this tree, actually a drupe similar to other stone fruits such as avocado, olive, peach and cherry, has a tart-tasting pulp. The seed, or pit at the center is where the primary ingredient of handmade shea butter soap is found.

Of course, there are many ways in which the peoples of the African grasslands use natural shea butter; soap is only one of them. Traditional African healers use shea to treat many different skin conditions ranging from minor rashes to massive scarring. Shea is an excellent moisturizer and by itself, can even be used as a sun bloc (though the use of handmade shea butter soap as a sun bloc is not advisable.)

In addition, shea butter can be eaten or used in cooking, being rich in nutrients. (Again, it is not a good idea to try and eat natural shea butter soap, however.)

More About Handmade Shea Butter Bar Soap

Shea butter soaps are manufactured today using traditional methods. The process starts out with a base of coconut and palm oils, then adds extracts from exotic fruits and natural floral essences. The best shea butter bar soap is of course made from high-quality shea butter from Mali, Nigeria and other countries under fair trade agreements insuring that those who harvest it make a decent living. This shea butter bar soap is allowed to cure in the tropical air before it is packaged and shipped to customers who have learned to enjoy all the benefits that shea butter soaps have to offer.

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