Butyrospermum Parkii (also known as Vitellaria paradoxa), commonly known as shea tree, shi tree, /ˈʃ/ or /ˈʃ.ə/, or vitellaria, is a tree of the Sapotaceae family. It is the only species in genus Vitellaria, and is indigenous to Africa. The shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, nutritious pulp that surrounds a relatively large, oil-rich seed from which shea butter is extracted.



  • Shea butter has many uses and may or may not be refined. In the West it is mostly used for cosmetics as emollient. Throughout Africa it is used extensively for food, is a major source of dietary fat, and for medicinal purposes.


  • As an emollient and moisturizer, shea butter helps repair the skin and is an effective remedy for dark spots, wrinkles, stretch marks and sunburn. Its healing properties help treat minor burns, small wounds and insect bites.
  • Shea butter contains arachidic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid of which stearic and oleic acids are the highest. Oleic oil has moisturizing properties and is used as an ingredient in many skin care products (especially in butter cream products).
  • Shea butter is an anti-aging ingredient. It solution for fighting wrinkles because of the rich of vitamins A and E it contains.
  • Shea butter can soothe your scalp if it’s dry or irritated from chemical processing. It improves and treats various skin inflammations such as acne, eczema, keratosis pilaris and psoriasis. In addition, it doesn’t clog pores.
  • Shea butter is also known to help hair growth and as a remedy for dandruff. One of shea butters uses includes preventing hair from breaking and thinning. It also helps protect the scalp from sores and rashes.
  • Shea Butter penetrates deep into skin to help restore elasticity. It absorbs quickly without leaving greasy residue like petroleum, beeswax or mineral oil based products.
  • In Africa, one of shea butter uses is as cooking oil. Besides the fatty acids, shea butter contains phytosterols which has cholesterol-lowering properties. It can be used as a substitute for cocoa butter.


  • Pure shea butter is considered safe for most consumers. The problem lies in the fact other ingredients are often used in shea butter products. For example, many shea butter soaps contain alcohol and formaldehyde. Not only do such ingredients directly contradict the softening, moisturizing qualities of shea butter, but they can also wreak havoc on moisture-deprived skin.
  • Read labels carefully to detect potentially drying ingredients.
  • Also, consider looking for products that feature shea butter as one of the first few ingredients, because these more likely contain the most hydrating oils.


Unknown, please consult with your doctor.

Other names

Vitellaria paradoxa, Shea butter


Source: LiveStrong, http://www.livestrong.com/article/1000522-shea-butter-safety/

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitellaria

SkinCareClub, https://skincareclub.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/benefits-shea-butyrospermum-parkii-butter-skin/


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