I'm not usually all that nit-picky, at least, I don't think I am - ok...so maybe a little.
But I saw some soap for sale today, that said it was "nut free" and made for those people who suffer from nut allergies.
So what's my gripe?
My gripe is that its primary component was Shea Butter. For those of you who don't know, Shea butter is made from the fat extracted from the *nut* of the Shea Tree. Granted, not everyone with nut allergies will be allergic to shea butter, (though there are reports that people with latex allergies will be), but to claim something is "nut free" and then make it with a "nut butter", just got my goat. That's my nit pick of the day. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
For those of you without shea nut allergies out there, the following is some information on the healing properties of Shea Butter:
Shea butter is both a moisturizer and emollient, meaning that it not only adds moisture to the skin, but that it also softens skin and helps repair dry and scaly skin. It is also a known anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it a good choice as a moisturizer for people like me who suffer from arthritis flares. It won't heal it or make it go away, but it does help allievate some of the inflammation, especially in conjunction with your regular routine of anti-inflammatories.
Shea butter is often marketed as being effective at treating scars, eczema, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin, blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. I find that it works best as an adjunct to other herbal remedies - such as those using pure essential oils. Whipped Shea Butter is an excellent carrier for salves due to its skin healing abilities.
Anecdotally, a friend of mine, who happens to be a faithful customer, recently wrote to me about the fact that he had recieved 2nd - 3rd degree burns across his stomach due to a clash with a pot of boiling water while cooking rice. He said "I've been meaning to tell you the lavendar body frosting has incredible healing powers. I put the lavendar body frosting on it twice a day, [and] it's just about completely healed,[after only] 2 weeks." There apparently has not been any scarring either.
This is also supported by research concerning the lavender plant itself.
A French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse, considered by many to be the "father of aromatherapy" accidentally discovered Lavender's healing qualities when he burned himself in his lab, and immediately plunged it into the closest vat of liquid - pure lavender essential oil. Not only did it immediately soothe the burn but it left no scarring of any kind behind once it healed.
Lavender essential oil has long been known to have a calming effect on the mind and nerves. Most people react favorably to lavender in small doses. When concentrated into a pure essential oil, the scent can be overwhelming however, so many people choose not to use it "neat" or straight out of the bottle - instead using it in products like soaps, lotions, and bath oils, or by adding just 1 or 2 drops to a posey or potpouri.
It is also a natural antiseptic, having a chemical composition that allows it to kill some bacteria, virsuses, and fungus; as well as reduce pain and inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms and tension. Because it helps regulate mood, it is also an excellent adjunct for temporary relief of mild depression symptoms.
Given all of that information, and the fact that our Lavender Body Frosting is made of 50% Pure Shea Butter (along with coconut oil, apricot kernal oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E, and rosemary oleoresin extract) and scented with Pure Lavender Essential Oil, I am not surprised that our friend had such good luck in using it to prevent scarring in his most recent catastrophy. Hopefully next time, he will be much more careful in the kitchen! :-)
*and now a note to CMA*: Please if you burn yourself, go to the hospital or doctor and have them check on the burns. While I am pleased that my friend had no scarring, and I use herbal remedies myself, I am *NOT* a medical professional and am *not* licensed to dispense medical care. This information is provided solely for the sake of information, and everyone is encouraged to do their own research.