How to Produce Shea Butter from the Comfort of Your Home
Shea butter is fatty oil and a natural cream that is extracted from the nuts of the Karite tree in Africa. Though it is oil, it is usually solid at room temperature. In West Africa, it is the most treasured cream because of its marvelous and incredible benefits. Here in Nigeria, Shea butter bears different names among the three popular tribes. The Igbos calls it “Okuma”; Yorubas call it “Ori” while the Hausas call it “Kadanya”.
In this era that ladies are running after healthy and spot free skin, Shea butter is the perfect solution. Its importance can never be overemphasized.
One of the greatest advantages of this natural cream, Shea butter is that it doesn’t need a long mechanical process to be made. It doesn’t need machines to be processed. Anyone anywhere can comfortably bring the natural cream to life.
The first step is to gather the Karite fruits. And no, you don’t need to pluck the fruits, picking a Karite fruit from the tree shows that it is not matured enough. So what most African women do is to wait till the fruit falls from the tree; they gather it and take it back home where the Shea butter making process kicks off.
The second step is to consume the fruit as the kernels are used for making the Shea Butter. After the fruits have been consumed, the kernels are parboiled for like 30 minutes. After boiling the kernels, they are left under the sun to dry up. Because it must be completely dry, this part of the process takes a lot of time. Sometimes it could take up to a week or more than depending on the intensity of the sun.
The third step is to gather the kernels and crush them. Thus, after the kernels must have dried up, they are crushed either with a mortar and pestle or some other tool. This helps in separating the nuts from the kernel.
After separating the nuts from the kernel, the nuts are grinding into small pieces. The grinded nuts are then roasted in a metal kind of pot or in a rotating oven.
The roasted nuts are grinded again. This leaves it looking like a brown paste. This step is usually very difficult as it involves mixing, kneading and adding water. This action separates the oil from the water.
The next step is to put the Shea Butter paste on fire. This makes the oil in the paste rise to the top. It is scoped up and put in a separate bowl.
The last step is getting the oil filtered with a sieve; it is then stirred until it increases in thickness and viscosity. When it is finished, it leaves the butter creamy and thick. It could end up having different colors, from light brown to gray or yellow. It actually depends on the season the nuts were harvested.
Once the last step is finished, the end product which we all know to be the Shea Butter is packaged and sold. It could be sold as a body product alone or added to other products like hair cream or body cream. Whichever way it is sold, Shea Butter comes with numerous health benefits.