The shea tree

Nature has given us the plants that we need to stay healthy, protected, and live longer. Some of these plants may be near to us or just outside our reach. Take, for example, the shea tree.

Vitellaria paradoxa, commonly known as shea tree, is a tree of the family Sapotaceae. It is the only species in the genus Vitellaria, and indigenous to Africa, and very much out of reach from the rest of the world.

However, Thermalabs has bottled this product and made its powerful regenerative and healing properties available to everyone. To make the shea butter more effective and pleasing to the senses, Thermalabs added sweet almond oil rich with antioxidant, avocado, and Coconut oils.

The avocado oil is high in protein and unsaturated fats. The fatty acids from the avocado plus that of the shea butter give deeper moisturizing for dry and/or cracked skin.

That is just an overview of the butter. Let us now understand the source of the butter; the tree.

Preferred Scientific Name: Vitellaria paradoxa

Preferred Common Name: shea tree

Taxonomic Tree

Domain: Eukaryota

  > Kingdom: Plantae

    > Phylum: Spermatophyta

      > Subphylum: Angiospermae

        > Class: Dicotyledonae

Uses List: Nuts, Oil/fat

International Common Names

English: shea butter tree; sheanut tree

Spanish: arbol mantequero

French: karité

Local Common Names

Germany: Butterbaum, Afrikanischer; Galambutterbaum; Schibutterbaum

Honduras: tango

Italy: albero del burro

Trade name

beurre de karité

graisse de karité

shea butter

shea oil

The shea fruit consists of a thin, tart, nutritious pulp that surrounds a relatively large, oil-rich seed. The shea butter is extracted from this seed. The tree is 7 to 15 meters (23 to 49 feet) tall and may reach 25 m  or 82 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 m or 6.5 feet. This tree starts to bear fruit after 10 to 15 years and produces nuts for up to 200 years. The shea tree is a traditional African food plant.

The leaves, stems, roots bark of the tree are used in traditional medicine to treat diseases and injuries; stomach ache, headaches, fever, jaundice among others.

Shea butter is a solid fatty oil extracted from the nuts of the shea tree. The butter from the fruit is used as food and as a cosmetic product for the skin and hair. Shea butter is used as a cocoa butter substitute in the chocolate industry.

The shea fruit pulp is edible and is rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, crude fiber, and proteins.

Shea butter has great healing properties and is often used as a base in medicinal ointments.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Raw shea butter is effective against skin rashes, skin peeling after tanning, scars, stretch marks, burns, etc. With a high vitamin A content, it promotes healing and disinfection.

Shea butter also has one of the best anti-aging and moisturizing agents for the skin. Shea butter softens the skin and stimulates cell regeneration.

For the hair, shea butter coats the hair shaft and hence protects it from heat, and shea butter is applied to the hair before swimming it protects the hair against salt and chlorine.

To get your Thermalabs shea butter, click here.