Shea Butter is such a sacred ingredient here at Eneka Elements. It supports women and families in Africa and is a super potent ally in the journey to moisturized skin and hair. Not many know about the history of Shea Butter and so we are providing a bit of history for your pleasure.
Shea Butter has been extracted from the nut of the Shea tree in West Africa and used as a cosmetic and therapeutic skincare lotion for thousands of years. It’s origins go as far back as Cleopatra’s Egypt, where it was carried in large clay jars for cosmetic use. Not long after, the healing properties of Shea Butter were discovered and optimized for use throughout the West African wooded savannah. Places in Africa like Ghana and Benin are huge suppliers of quality West African Shea Butter called Vitalleria Paradoxa. East African Shea butter is Vitalleria Nilotica. The differences between the two are noticeable.
East African Shea Butter is absolute perfection! It is not the same as Ivory or Yellow shea butter from West Africa. The texture is soft, creamy, and smooth. The butter has a pleasantly mild but sweet aroma that is sure to please. This is a for sure winner in bath and body products. The smooth texture can be maintained without the addition of carrier oil. Whipping this beauty is not necessary, but it will also whip up beautifully for whipped body butter.
Global trade of shea butter dates not only back to Cleopatra's Egypt, but was a very popular item of trade in the Middle Ages throughout West Africa and into the coastal regions. It was also traded heavily as oil in European markets. As the trade of Shea Butter spread throughout different regions of Africa in particular, it’s various uses began to diversify into things like soap and nasal decongestant. Shea Butter remains a popular substitute for cocoa butter in chocolate, though it still functions primarily as a skincare product as it has since the days of Cleopatra.
Shea Butter Today
Today, Our Shea Butter is handcrafted in the African country of Ghana, Benin, Uganda & Burkina Faso. There, Shea Butter is a commodity owned by women and the profits are a main source of income. As such, In Burkina Faso Shea Butter has been nicknamed “Women’s Gold!” In places like Ghana and Benin, it is known as "Sacred".
We’re passionate about supporting women and assisting the burgeoning economy in Ghana, Benin & Burkina Faso. Through our strategic partnership with various village women's collectives, we can purchase from and invest in African women.
Pay it Forward with every purchase!