In the 15th-19th centuries, Ghana was called the "Gold Coast", because the Portuguese at that time exported tons of gold from the country. At that time, up to 10% of the world's gold reserves were mined on the territory of Ghana. Now the “gold of Ghana” is called shea butter, it is considered sacred here. It was for him that we went on another expedition.
The mention of the tree and shea butter dates back to the reign of Cleopatra. The queen equipped entire caravans, which delivered her a valuable product in earthenware jugs. It's easy to believe, because local beauties practically don't know what wrinkles are...
EXTRACTION AND PROCESSING OF SHEA BUTTER
Another name for the shea tree is "karite". This is a large tree in appearance resembling our oak. It has a powerful trunk with very strong bark and a spreading crown with large glossy leaves. In shea butter, the leaves are constantly renewed, so that the tree is never “naked”. Old leaves fall off, but at the same moment young leaves appear on other branches. A thick and very strong bark, literally refractory - it protects shea from fires.
Shi grows up to 20 meters in height, and its age can be 200 years. Shea grows very slowly, only half a century old trees (or a little younger) begin to bear fruit. At first, shea blooms with fragrant dark beige flowers, after which oblong fruits appear. When ripe, they burst, exposing the seeds with kernels inside, which are the "storehouse" of useful substances.
When the harvest time comes, the villagers first sacrifice poultry, then the women collect the first portion of the nuts, from which oil is extracted. For this, the kernels are washed, dried and pounded in mortars with heavy wooden pestles to a powdery state. Then water is added to the mass and heated to a certain temperature, at which the oil floats to the surface. It is collected and boiled until the water has completely evaporated and a thick, fatty mass of white or yellowish color is obtained. This is shea butter. Manual processing allows you to save more of its useful properties than in the industrial production of oil.
SHEA BUTTER FOR HAIR BEAUTY AND SKIN HEALTH
Nowhere is shea butter's reputation as a protective and emollient more highly valued than in the field of skin care. Cosmetic chemists have been using it for over 20 years. The unique balanced fatty acid composition of shea butter, which includes a complex of oleic, stearic, linoleic, palmitic and other acids, exhibits regenerative properties, affecting the synthesis of collagen, which keeps the skin young. In addition, they have the properties of UV filters and protect against frost, protecting the skin from drying out, dehydration and desiccation.
Shea butter has a balanced effect on hair: moisturizes, softens and protects; strengthens the roots and heals to the very tips; restores the hair structure damaged by dyeing or thermal exposure; increases volume and adds shine. When applied to the scalp as part of shampoos, masks or in its pure form, it soothes and softens it.
THE RESULT OF THE EXPEDITION
The women of the African tribe Tamale shared with us the secrets of making unrefined shea butter, an authentic pure product that can do wonders for your skin. It is unrefined shea butter that contains a crazy amount of triglycerides - useful fatty acids that start the process of skin renewal at the cellular level.
We observed the process of collecting nuts, participated in the production of environmentally friendly shea butter and were convinced of its highest quality. The expedition to Ghana resulted in the conclusion of a long-term agreement with a local tribe for the direct supply of shea butter for the Organic Shea cosmetics collection .