Shea butter, also known as karite butter, is a cream-colored fatty substance made from the nuts of karite nut trees that grow in the savannah regions of West and Central Africa. Karite trees, or shea trees, are not cultivated. They grow only in the wild, and can take up to 50 years to mature (they live up to 300 years!). In most parts of West Africa, destruction of the shea tree is prohibited because this little nut provides a valuable source of food, medicine, and income for the population. In fact, shea butter is sometimes referred to as “women’s gold” in Africa, because so many women are employed in the production of shea butter.
Why is shea butter in such demand? Western countries are just beginning to recognize the considerable health and beauty benefits of shea butter, something Africans have known for thousands of years. It can be used for treating skin ailments such as:
- Healing burns, sores, scars
- Stretch marks
It also may help to diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation. Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, a substance that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Overall, it helps to protect the skin from both environmental and free-radical damage. It contains vitamins A and E, and has demonstrated both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Shea butter is a particularly effective moisturizer because contains so many fatty acids, which are needed to retain skin moisture and elasticity. The high fatty acid content of shea butter also makes it an excellent additive to soap, shampoos, anti-aging creams, cosmetics, lotions, and massage oils—its soft, butter-like texture melts readily into the skin.
Calendula, Calendula officinalis (See calendula cream)
Burdock is a root that is found in Europe and Asia. It has many medicinal qualities and has been used in many herbal remedies. The root is sweet to the taste and has a gummy consistency.
It has been applied externally as well as taken internally to relieve eczema and psoriasis. Many herbalists find burdock helpful for skin and scalp conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and contact dermatitis. It is also useful for inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Carrot seed extract has an earthy and woody aroma. Carrot Seed is used primarily for its healing properties and effects on the skin. It stimulates circulation, repairs and tones the skin, increases elasticity and reduces the formation of wrinkles, and scars. It is also useful for balancing oily and dry skin.
The benefits when used externally:
- Antioxidant – which is why it helps to reduce stretch marks and wrinkles. It protects against free radicals and lessens your risk for skin cancer.
- Helps to stimulate circulation and metabolism,
- Helps skin cells regenerate,
- Tightens and tones skin and muscles,
- Healing eczema, itching, abscesses and wounds.
Vitamin E / Tocopheryl
Vitamin E is vital in protecting skin cells from ultraviolet light, pollution, drugs, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals due to its antioxidant activity.
One of the most important benefits of vitamin E is the prevention of skin cancer. This occurs because of its sun protection quality and its powerful antioxidant properties, which help reduce or prevent sun damage.
In our lotion, it provides some benefit in both preventing and treating sunburns. The lotion protects the epidermis layer of the skin from early stages of ultraviolet light damage. Vitamin E preparations increase the effectiveness of sunscreens and can aid in the treatment of various skin diseases or skin conditions.
Scientifically speaking, as an antioxidant, vitamin E acts as a peroxyl radical scavenger, preventing the propagation of free radicals in tissues, by reacting with them to form a tocopheryl radical which will then be oxidized by a hydrogen donor (such as Vitamin C) and thus return to its reduced state. As it is fat-soluble, it is incorporated into cell membranes, which protects them from oxidative damage.
St. John’s Wort is native to Europe but is commonly found in the United States and Canada in the dry ground of roadsides, meadows, and woods. St. John’s Wort is now grown in Australia as a crop, producing 20 percent of the world’s supply. The use of St. John’s Wort dates back to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates recorded the medical use of St. John’s wort flowers. St. John’s wort was given its name because it blooms about June 24th, the birthday of John the Baptist. “Wort” is an old English word for plant.
Traditional medicine has also employed St John’s Wort extracts as a topical remedy for wounds, abrasions, burns, and muscle pain due to its possible antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.
Oil of St. John’s Wort, applied to the skin, is a folk remedy for skin injuries, bruises, bug bites, nerve pain, first degree burns, wounds and hemorrhoids. However, applying St. John’s Wort directly to the skin is risky. It can cause serious sensitivity to sunlight. We use a concentrate from eastern Russia.
For Educational purposes only . This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.