Sheanut Butter Production

Sheanut butter comes from the Shea or karite tree which grows wild in the north of Ghana.  It is regarded as a sacred tree and grows in abundance as it is never cut down.  Shea butter contains many healing ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and has excellent anti-aging, soothing and moisturising properties.  It also has natural sunscreen properties and anti-inflammatory agents.

The Sissala women collect the fruits and extract the nuts which are then dried, ground and boiled to extract the precious butter.  This is a long and laborious process that requires a considerable amount of firewood and water, that has to be collected by the women.

Preliminary research from Ghana has shown that we can support rural Sissala communities in northern Ghana to mechanically extract the shea butter using a grinding mill and screw expeller.  This mechanical extraction will reduce the labour time by 3 hours per day and will reduce the amount of firewood by 80%.  The sheanut butter can be processed further to make body creams and soaps to be sold to fair-trade retail outlets in Europe and other western markets.  The raw shea butter is popular in America and with the correct packaging and labelling there would be a market for the direct sale via the internet.  We received funding for this project in August 2008 from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, who generously gave a grant for £11,450 for the sheanut butter extraction equipment.

Benefits of Sheanut Butter:

Sheanut Butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A, E, and F, as well as a number of other vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and E help to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin. They also provide skin collagen, which assists with wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Vitamin F contains essential fatty acids, and helps protect and revitalize damaged skin and hair. It promotes skin renewal, increases the circulation, and accelerates wound healing.

The top 10 benefits are:

  1. Moisturiser for Dry Skin
  2. Eczema Cream
  3. Blemish Cream
  4. For Softer Smoother Skin
  5. For Burns
  6. Wrinkle Reduction Cream
  7. Moisturiser for Dry Hair
  8. Anti-aging Cream
  9. Anti-itch Cream
  10. Skin Abrasions