Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tripterpenes and Latex in Shea Butter

Welcome back to the final installment in our "The Healing Fraction of Shea Butter" series! Today we will focus on both triterpenes and latex in Shea Butter.

These are substances which contain 6 isoprene units or thirty carbons per molecule hence the prefix 'tri.' They are found in a wide variety of plant and animal sources and often exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity.

In Shea Butter, they exhibit anti-inflammatory properties as well as the capacity to renew the skin. There is also a noted potential to inhibit protease activity as well.

This is a complex emulsion that contains resins, proteins, alkaloids, starches, and oils. Most people are familiar with latex from the tissue beneath the bark of the rubber tree responsible for the multitude of rubber products.

In Shea Butter, latex forms a protective film and barrier over the skin making Shea Butter a super long-lasting moisturizer. Latex also contributes to its ability to protect the skin from sun damage. It should be noted, however, that anyone with a known latex allergy should do a patch test before using. To date, there have been no Shea Butter Latex allergic reactions reported to the FDA.

This concludes our five part series about the "Healing Fraction of Shea Butter." Let us know what you think!

Purely Shea

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