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Sheabutter FAQs

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Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Shea tree She"a tree` (Bot.) An African sapotaceous tree (Bassia, or butyrospermum, Parkii), from the seeds of which a substance resembling butter is obtained; the African butter tree.

Shea Butter is a fatty extract from the seed of the Shea Tree. The extract is known to contain a number of ingredients with biological activity. This biological activity includes moisturizing and healing skin ailments. In the USA, shea butter has already attracted the interest of several industries, including cosmetic, food, healthcare and applied science.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Unrefined Shea Butter may be divided into four grades based on quality. Grade A is the highest quality grade. Grades B and C are lower quality grades and should be reserved for moisturizing only. Grade F is an extremely poor quality Shea Butter and may be unworthy of use in many cases.

Premium Grade A is the best of the 100% pure Shea Butters. Premium Grade A is capable of addressing all the conditions mentioned in 21 reasons to use Shea Butter.

The grading scale has been established by the American Shea Butter Institute in an effort to provide uniformity in an industry heretofore lacking any means of quality control or standards. The scale is based on scientific evaluation of nonsoponifiables times the Vitamin A content divided by the percentage of free fatty acids times the peroxide count.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Dry skin
Skin rash
Skin peeling, after tanning
Blemishes and wrinkles
Itchy skin
Sunburn
Shaving cream for a smooth silky shave
Small skin wounds
Skin cracks
Tough or rough skin (on feet)
Cold weather
Frost bites
Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy
Insect bites
Healthy skin
Muscle fatigue, aches and tension
Use before and after strenuous exercise
Skin allergies such as poison ivy or poison oak
Eczema
Dermatitis
Skin damage from heat (hot grease while cooking, radiation treatment for certain medical problems, etc.)

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult your personal physician with any questions you may have.

Reprinted with permission from the ASBI.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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The Karite tree (Shea tree) grows only in Africa. This unique tree grows uncultivated in 19 contiguous nations. This region is referred to by some as the Shea Belt and spans some 3,000 miles from Senegal in the west into the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands in the east. This area lies between the Sahara desert to the north and the African rain forest to the south.

The Shea Belt includes some 19 sovereign nations: Benin, Ghana, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Zaire and Guinea. (source: United Nations FOA)

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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The American Shea Butter Institute is located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The Institute was organized in 2001 to meet the growing need for product education and to set quality standards for the industry. ASBI is the only known institution committed to establishing standards that insure the quality of Shea Butter entering the USA.

The American Shea Butter Institute provides consumer and industry education on Shea Butter: establishes voluntary standards on quality of Shea Butter entering the USA: engages in basic and applied research to identify Shea Butter ingredients or derivatives of its ingredients as new solutions for important problems in nutrition, health care and material science: promotes the benefits of Shea Butter in various US industries.

Shea Butter that conforms to a strict set of standards is awarded the ASBI Seal of Certification. ASBI certification means a given Shea Butter has successfully passed a number of laboratory tests on quality and is therefore distinguished by its classification for all to know of its inherent quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Unrefined Shea Butter has not been chemically altered and retains the nonsaponifiable fractions necessary to provide the healing properties associated with Shea Butter. Refined Shea Butter has been chemically altered and or processed and will not have the nonsaponifiable fractions needed to heal. Both will have moisturizing properties; all oils will moisturize, all oils will NOT heal.

Refined vs. Unrefined

Refined Healing Properties Poor
Unrefined Healing Properties Excellent
Refined Moisturizing Properties Excellent
Unrefined Moisturizing Properties Excellent

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Our Shea Butter is harvested by women's cooperatives in West Africa. The Karite trees (Shea trees) grow wild without the use of herbicides, pesticides or other chemical contaminants. The USDA has not certified Shea Butter as organic according to US regulations. By buying Premium Grade A Shea Butter you are assured of the highest quality Shea Butter available. Our chemical analysis assures you no contaminants are present.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Always look for the ASBI logo. You must have Grade analysis done by the American Shea Butter Institute. All Shea Butters are not equal.

Only high quality Unrefined Premium Shea Butter can offer the health benefits associated with Shea Butter. Buying Certified Grade A Shea Butter is your only means of knowing the quality of Shea Butter you are buying.

If your Shea Butter has not been analyzed you just don't know. You may be buying quality Shea Butter or you may not. Can you risk throwing away your money on an expensive moisturizer with little or no healing properties?

The American Shea Butter Institute Seal assures you are buying High Quality Premium Shea Butter.


DON'T BE FOOLED!!!

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Although we are not permitted to divulge all of the tests performed by the American Shea Butter Institute's proprietary testing process, we can tell you some of the things Certified Grade A Shea Butter has been tested for.

Certified Grade A Shea Butter has passed the American Shea Butter Institute's tests to determine levels of iron, mercury, lead and copper. Also, mold and bacteria contamination tests are performed. These are just a few of the tests that are performed on Grade A Shea Butter.

Knowing these tests are performed should give you a feeling of comfort. If the shea butter you are using has not been tested, how do you know if the butter does or does not contain these contaminants and whether you are absorbing them through the pores of your skin?
Always look for the ASBI logo. All Shea Butters are not equal.

Only high quality Unrefined Premium Shea Butter can offer the health benefits associated with Shea Butter. Buying Certified Grade A Shea Butter is your only means of knowing the quality of Shea Butter you are buying.

The American Shea Butter Institute Seal assures you are buying High Quality Premium Shea Butter

DON'T BE FOOLED!!!

<-- Update from Bob 12/13 -->

In conjunction with The American Shea Butter Institute's proprietary testing process, our quality control laboratory certifies tests results and conduct the following in-house analysis (fatty composition, free fatty levels, bioactive fractions, saponification value and rancidity level in order to Certified that our shea butter is grade A.

Certified Grade A Shea Butter must passed AAA Shea Butter standard tests for very low levels of levels of iron, mercury, lead and copper. Also, mold and bacteria contamination tests are performed to assure no bacteria is present. These are just a few of the tests that are performed by AAA Shea Butter Company.

Knowing these tests are performed and certified, should give you a feeling of comfort. If the shea butter you are using has not been tested or certified as grade A, how do you know if the butter does or does not contain high levels of heavy metal contaminants and whether you are absorbing them through the pores of your skin which is the largest organ in your body? Always look for the AAA Shea Butter logo. All Shea Butters are not equal.

Only high quality Unrefined Premium Shea Butter can offer the health benefits associated with Shea Butter. Buying Certified Grade A Shea Butter is your only means of knowing the quality of Shea Butter you are buying.

Look for the American Shea Butter Institute Seal and the AAA Shea Butter logo assures you are buying High Quality Premium Shea Butter

DON'T BE FOOLED!!!

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Premium Grade A Shea Butter has been clinically analyzed and graded according to a scale established by the American Shea Butter Institute in an effort to provide uniformity in an industry heretofore lacking any means of quality control or standards. The scale is based on scientific evaluation of nonsoponifiables times the Vitamin A content divided by the percentage of free fatty acids times the peroxide count.

Premium Grade A is the best of the 100% pure Shea Butters. Premium Grade A is capable of addressing all the conditions mentioned in 21 reasons to use Shea Butter.

We only sell Premium Grade A Shea Butter. We have our Shea Butter tested by the American Shea Butter Institute before we take delivery of our bulk shipments. This is the only way we can assure you of the quality of our products. If your Shea Butter has not been clinically analyzed you don't know what you have. One purchase may be excellent quality Shea Butter and the next purchase may be poor quality Shea Butter. Consistency in purchasing a quality product is the difference.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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No. By definition butter is a solid.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary

Butter But"ter (b[u^]t"t[-e]r), n. [OE. botere, butter, AS. butere, fr. L. butyrum, Gr. boy`tyron; either fr. boy`s ox, cow + tyro`s cheese; or, perhaps, of Scythian origin. Cf. Cow .]

1. An oily, unctuous substance obtained from cream or milk by churning.

2. Any substance resembling butter in degree of consistence, or other qualities, especially, in old chemistry, the chlorides, as butter of antimony, sesquichloride of antimony; also, certain concrete fat oils remaining nearly solid at ordinary temperatures, as butter of cacao, vegetable butter, shea butter.

We have seen products in stores claiming to be Liquid Shea Butter. The saturated fatty acid content of an oil vs the unsaturated fatty acid content of an oil is the determining factor in whether an oil is liquid or solid at room temperature. The saturated fatty acid content of Shea Butter makes it a solid at "room temperature". Shea Butter will liquefy at about 32 degrees centigrade or about 90 degrees fahrenheit.

If the saturated fatty acid content were to be chemically altered, i.e. the saturated fatty acid was lowered chemically thereby increasing the ratio of unsaturated fatty acid in Shea Butter the result would be fractionated Shea Butter mixed with chemical residue used to change the original ratio.


Do you really want to put this on your skin?

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Premium Grade A Shea Butter has a slightly nutty aroma. The oil is absorbed into the skin through the pores and the scent of Shea Butter dissipates in a few minutes.

Unlike most other oils, Premium Grade A Shea Butter is non-comedogenic (will not clog the pores).
We have found most people either like the nutty aroma of Natural Premium Grade A Shea Butter or will use their favorite perfume or cologne after applying Premium Grade A Shea Butter.

If you find the aroma of Shea Butter to be strong or really smells bad the Shea Butter is probably rancid or contaminated. Don't buy it.

Some companies will overpower the smell of Shea Butter with essential oils or fragrance oils. If the percentage of essential oils or fragrance oils is too great the medicinal benefits of Shea Butter will be lost.

We add a hint of organic essential oils or a fragrant oil to some of our products for those customers that do not care for the scent of Natural Premium Grade A Shea Butter. We carefully monitor the amounts of oils added making certain not to destroy the medicinal qualities of our Premium Grade A Shea Butter and maintaining our Premium Grade A Shea Butter rating.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Yes, Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter is a superb moisturizer and conditioner for your hair. With regular use Premium Grade A Shea Butter will repair and replenish dry, brittle hair and add new life and luster to dull damaged hair. Premium Grade A Shea Butter is fantastic for split ends and hair damaged from the excessive use of chemicals.

Simply rub a small amount of Grade A Shea Butter in a circular motion between the palms of your hands and apply to damaged hair or dry scalp. Your hair will love you.

Premium Grade A Shea Butter may also be used as a hot oil treatment.To prepare Premium Grade A Shea Butter for your hot oil treatment, boil two quarts of water. Place an appropriate amount of Premium Grade A Shea Butter in a water tight container or zip lock bag. Turn off the heat and place the container of Shea Butter in the water to melt. If the water becomes cool before the Shea Butter has completely melted add more boiling water. Do not allow water to get into your Shea Butter. Premium Grade A Shea Butter will melt at about 32 degrees centigrade or 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

As soon as your Shea Butter is melted remove and apply to freshly washed hair and scalp. Let dry and then rinse.

T he healing fraction of Premium Grade A Shea Butter may range from 6% to 12%. Because Premium Grade A Shea Butter has such a large nonsaponifiable fraction (also known as the healing fraction) regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter is helpful with many skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite and other skin conditions.

The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. The larger the healing fraction, the more effective the Shea Butter for improving various conditions of the skin. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction.

The only way to know the healing fraction of your Shea Butter is by having your Shea Butter clinically analyzed. Buying Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter assures you of the best quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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No. Shea Butter will not cure psoriasis. It will aid and assist with psoriasis by helping to relieve the itch associated with the condition.

The healing fraction of Premium Grade A Shea Butter may range from 6% to 12%. Because Premium Grade A Shea Butter has such a large nonsaponifiable fraction (also known as the healing fraction) regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter is helpful with many skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite and other skin conditions.

The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. The larger the healing fraction, the more effective the Shea Butter for improving various conditions of the skin. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction.

The only way to know the healing fraction of your Shea Butter is by having your Shea Butter clinically analyzed. Buying Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter assures you of the best quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Yes, Premium Grade A Shea Butter may be used on oily skin.

Shea Butter is non-comedegenic (will not clog pores) and is absorbed through the pores of the skin.
The healing fraction of Premium Grade A Shea Butter may range from 6% to 12%. Because Premium Grade A Shea Butter has such a large nonsaponifiable fraction (also known as the healing fraction) regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter is helpful with many skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite and other skin conditions.

The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. The larger the healing fraction, the more effective the Shea Butter for improving various conditions of the skin. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction.

The only way to know the healing fraction of your Shea Butter is by having your Shea Butter clinically analyzed. Buying Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter assures you of the best quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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No, Premium Grade A Shea Butter will not get rid of stretch marks. It has been found that the regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter during pregnancy may help prevent stretch marks.

Shea Butter is non-comedegenic (will not clog pores) and is absorbed through the pores of the skin.
The healing fraction of Premium Grade A Shea Butter may range from 6% to 12%. Because Premium Grade A Shea Butter has such a large nonsaponifiable fraction (also known as the healing fraction) regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter is helpful with many skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite and other skin conditions.

The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. The larger the healing fraction, the more effective the Shea Butter for improving various conditions of the skin. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction.

The only way to know the healing fraction of your Shea Butter is by having your Shea Butter clinically analyzed. Buying Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter assures you of the best quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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It has been found that the regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter may lighten some scars over time.


Shea Butter is non-comedegenic (will not clog pores) and is absorbed through the pores of the skin.
The healing fraction of Premium Grade A Shea Butter may range from 6% to 12%. Because Premium Grade A Shea Butter has such a large nonsaponifiable fraction (also known as the healing fraction) regular use of Premium Grade A Shea Butter is helpful with many skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite and other skin conditions.


The healing fraction contains important nutrients, vitamins and other valuable phytonutrients required for healing. The larger the healing fraction, the more effective the Shea Butter for improving various conditions of the skin. While other seed oils may have a good to excellent moisturizing fraction, these oils contain little or no healing fraction.


The only way to know the healing fraction of your Shea Butter is by having your Shea Butter clinically analyzed. Buying Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter assures you of the best quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Always look for the ASBI logo.

Buying Certified Premium Grade A Shea Butter assures you of the best quality.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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Yes, Shea Butter may be blended with other ingredients, however, there is a give and take. By blending other ingredients with Shea Butter you may be lessening the nonsaponifiable fraction (aka healing fraction) of the Shea Butter or depending upon the method used in combining the ingredients, you may be destroying the healing fraction.

Shea Butter is found in many cosmetic formulas however the healing properties associated with these blends is usually non-existent. The moisturizing properties may still be present but even that fraction may be diluted to such an extent it becomes just an ingredient on a label.

The only oil we know of which can successfully be blended with Shea Butter without losing the healing properties associated with Premium Grade A Shea Butter is Argan oil. The Argan tree, sometimes called the cousin to the Karite tree (Shea tree), produces a seed from which Argan oil is extracted and has been used by the Berbers in the southwest region of Morocco for centuries.

Both oils have similar medicinal properties, however, the non-saturated fatty acid content of Argan oil is higher than Shea Butter and that factor makes Argan oil a liquid at "room temperature".

We have combined our Premium Grade A Shea Butter with our natural Organic Argan oil to make a fantastic hair moisturizer and conditioner as well as an incredible Anti-Aging Cream.

By combining the two oils we have created a creamier Shea Butter product with a lower melting point when applied on the skin. The result is simply incredible.

Both our Premium Grade A Shea Butter and natural organic Argan oil are non-comedogenic (will not clog the pores). The aroma is slightly nutty and dissipates in a few minutes.

We have added a hint of organic lavender essential oil to our Anti-Aging Cream for those customers that do not care for the natural scent of our Natural Anti-Aging Cream. Both are fantastic.

on Monday July 04 by Super User
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The Karite tree (Shea tree) grows only in Africa. This unique tree grows uncultivated in 19 contiguous nations. This region is referred to by some as the Shea Belt and spans some 3,000 miles from Senegal in the west into the foothills of the Ethiopian highlands in the east. This area lies between the Sahara desert to the north and the African rain forest to the south.

The Shea Belt includes some 19 sovereign nations: Benin, Ghana, Chad, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Zaire and Guinea. (source: United Nations FOA)


Many attempts by Europeans trying to cultivate the Karite tree have failed. They found the trees would not produce the fruit from which the seed is extracted to produce Shea Butter. It takes anywhere from 20 to 50 years for the tree to bear fruit and even then about 1 in 3 trees will bear fruit during any given summer.


Since the trees cannot be commercially grown and controlled by multi-national corporations the marketing of Shea Butter has been practically non-existent. The African nations don't have the wherewithal to market the product on a large scale and the production of Shea Butter has remained mostly a cottage industry. Even though about 1 million tons of Shea nuts are harvested annually, it is estimated that the annual harvest is only about a third of the nuts produced each year. About 95% of the nuts are exported annually for the manufacture of chocolate as a cocoa butter substitute, a stabilizing ingredient.


Shea Butter is one of Africa's best kept secrets and treasures.

on Monday June 27 by Super User
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