Shea Butter from Ghana, Africa & Ele Agbe Company

At my October 2008 course on Making Natural Skin & Body Care Products, I had the pleasure of meeting Comfort Adjahoe. She came all the way from Ghana, Africa to attend the course. The irony of this is, I have wanted to go to Ghana, Africa since 2004 when I started using shea butter from Ghana (pronounced ganna, not gonna like I used to say) in my products.

In my classes I teach about the importance of buying fair trade ingredients especially shea butter. Buying fair trade shea butter pays the women fairly for their hard work. I wanted to visit Ghana to meet these women and watch how they make shea butter starting with the karite tree. Instead, I was fortunate to have them come to me via Comfort. Comfort brought a DVD with slides of the women making the shea butter. She also brought shea butter, lip balms and beautiful beaded jewelry (I am wearing the necklace) in the photo. I love and treasure everything she gave me especially the shea butter in the gourd with a decorative bead and wood burned design and the clay pot with decorations on the side.

Comfort is the chief executive officer of her business, Ele Agbe and Nasheaba Cosmetics. Ele Agbe plays an active role in Ghana employing over 50 young people, mostly women. Her products are sold in the USA and worldwide. In December, when I was at the store Baksheesh in Sonoma, California, I saw a clay pot of shea butter from her company Nasheaba. It brought tears to my eyes to think how connected we all are and how fortunate I was to meet Comfort and spend time with her. She is beautiful, intelligent, strong and an entrepreneur. I am sure it has not been easy for her and yet her powerful will keeps her going past any adversities.

Comfort’s company sells handcrafted beaded jewelry, home decor, shea butter, soaps and body care products. Target and TJ Maxx are some of the purchasers of the home decor. Ten Thousand Villages sells the shea butter in the clay pot.

About Shea Butter Butyrospermum parkii

Shea butter comes from the fat of the nuts of the Karite Tree mainly from West and Central Africa. The shea butter I use is from Ghana prepared by the women elders in the traditional way. The nuts are cracked, grilled, pounded and boiled in water. The oil is separated out of the water and placed into gourds to solidify. The process is all done by hand. This trade helps to provide schools and clean water for the villages.

The best shea butter is unrefined, non-deodorized and unbleached as these processes destroy the natural vitamins and minerals. Shea butter is one of the best butters for skin care high in Vitamins A, E and F. It comes is in solid form with a soft texture. Used for centuries in Africa to moisturize, soften and smooth skin. It provides a water resistant film on the skin. Use for aged, cracked and damaged skin, stretch marks, sunburn, before and after sun exposure, dermatitis, eczema, rashes, circulation, prevention of aging-reduces inflammation and wrinkles. Shea butter is a natural sunscreen.