Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) by crushing, boiling and stirring. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion. Shea butter is edible and may be used in food preparation.Occasionally the chocolate industry uses shea butter as a substitute for cocoa butter, although the taste is different.
Dr. Oz video on the anti-aging properties of black soap:Dr. Oz and Black Soap
Black Soap, also known as African Black Soap (Anago Soap, Alata Simena,or Ose Dudu), has long been used to heal problem skin. Its good for thinning fine lines, evening out dark spots, eczema, razor bumps and eliminating blemishes. It is also used to lightly exfoliate and give you healthier looking skin. The soap can also be used on your body or hair or for oily skin, dry skin, skin rashes, scalp irritations, body odors and is good for sensitive skin. There are many other claims to the benefits of black soap, which may be proven or not by the user.
Black soap is made from the ash of locally harvested plants and barks such a plantain, cocoa pods, palm tree leaves, and shea tree bark. First the leaves and bark are sun-dried and then roasted in a kettle or pot at an even, constant temperature, which is important to ensure color, texture and smell. Then water and various oils - palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil (including shea butter and cocoa pod powder) - are added to the mixture and stirred for at least a day. After that, the "soap" is left to set for two weeks to cure. Many times the soap is made by women and is fair-traded, but not always. Black soap is traditionally made in west Africa, typically Ghana, from secret recipes.
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