Shea butter comes from the Karite tree, also called the Shea tree. There are two main species, Vitellaria paradoxa (formally Butyrospermum parkii) and the less common Vitellaria Nilotica.

shea butter - where does it come from
Both Species are confined to Africa. This unique tree grows naturally in 19 nations that are connected by a common border. Sometimes, this distribution is called the ‘African Shea belt’. It covers approximately 3,000 miles. This spans from the foothills of the eastern Ethiopian highlands across to Senegal in the west. This is the region which occurs between the southern African rainforests and the northern Sahara desert.

The Shea belt covers 19 different sovereign nations. With ongoing civil unrest in many of these countries, the sourcing of quality Shea butter can be challenging for companies outside of Africa. At Better Shea Butter, we work closely with women in Ghana in West Africa to source pure and unrefined Shea butter.

The Shea tree can grow up to around 50 feet, or 15 meters. It can take anywhere from 40 to 50 years to mature and produce the nuts needed to make Shea butter. Therefore, these trees are very precious and a highly valued commodity. When available, the nuts are hand harvested and then boiled in large pots. This helps to release the Shea nut oils. These oils float to the surface and are skimmed away and left to cool. The nuts are then removed and dried before being crushed to extract the Shea butter. Although both Shea butter and Shea oil are generated in the process, there is a larger quality of Shea butter produced.

From this point, the product is typically packaged and shipped to the buyer. In the case of Butter Shea Butter, we only source fresh, raw Shea butter as supply demands. We don’t refine the butter any further, which insures only the purest, A grade product that’s as fresh as possible.

Other retailers may choose to refine the product. However, further processing strips the butter of its moisturizing and rejuvenating properties. Only fresh, unrefined Shea butter retains all its amazing healing and nourishing benefits. This is why we are one of the most successful sellers of Shea butter on Amazon.com. Our customers are guaranteed only the best quality.

P.S. The image on top is an actual picture of our team that produces Better Shea Butter!