Shea Butter Overview
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It has many health benefits which includes skin health, hair health, lowers cholestrol, prevents stretch marks, alleviates pain among others.
10 Nutrition Health Benefits of Shea butter
1. Lowers Cholestrol
Shea butter is rich in stearic acid, a type of saturated fatty acid that was shown to reduce lipoprotein and plasma cholesterol levels in a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Reduced cholestrol in blood ensures a healthy heart.
2. Skin Care
Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids that protect and nourish the skin to prevent drying.
The concentration of natural vitamins and fatty acids in shea butter makes it incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for skin. It is often used to remedy dry skin and to help protect the skin’s natural oils.
3. Alleviates Pain
When massaged into aching joints and inflamed areas, Shea butter provides relief. This makes the butter highly useful to people suffering from arthritic and rheumatic pain.
4. Skin Care
The fatty acid profile of the butter allows it to be absorbed into the deeper skin layers to nourish them and support collagen production. The humectants action of the butter helps restore hydration of the skin layers, making them more turgid and visibly smoother.
5. Helps reduce and prevent stretch marks formation during pregnancy
Stretch marks formation depends on heredity and other factors such as rapid weight gain and larger tummy from a larger baby or excess amount of amniotic fluid. However, keeping the skin moisturized will reduce stretch marks, if not completely prevent them.
6. Reduce Skin Inflammation
Shea butter contains several anti-inflammatory agents such as cinnamic acid and lupeol cinnamate which reduce skin inflammations.
7. Reliefs cold and sinusitis
Shea butter helps relieve nasal congestion and sinus congestion.In an experimental study that tested Shea butter, petroleum jelly and the standard nasal drop Otrivin for their effectiveness in relieving nasal congestion, Shea butter seemed to have a more lasting effect of 5-8 hours, although it took up to a minute to clear up the nasal passage when applied to the mucosal lining.
8. Treats Insect Bites
Shea butter has been traditionally used to treat insect bites. Spot application quickly takes away the stinging pain. Severe itching and scratching often worsen insect bites because it helps spread the poison to the surrounding tissues. The anti-inflammatory property of Shea butter reduces itching and soreness. It can be used to treat mosquito bites and honey bee stings. It is even effective in treating Jellyfish stings.
9. Aids in wound Healing
Shea butter contains triterpenes, compounds that enhance tissue repair by accelerating wound closure and reducing the production of oxidative stress in the wound microenvironment.
10. Hair Health
Shea butter contains oleic, linoleic, and palmitic acids which reduces the number of split ends per gram of hair.
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