Experimental study comparing burn healing effects of raw South African Shea butter and the samples from a Libyan market



Treesh SA, Saadawi SS, Alennabi KA, Aburawi SM, Lotfi K, Ben Musa AS.


Open Vet J. 2021 Jan;10(4):431-437. doi: 10.4314/ovj.v10i4.10. Epub 2020 Nov 30.


BACKGROUND: The fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) is called Shea butter. It has multiple uses at the local level as it is used in cosmetic products and as a cocoa butter substitute in chocolate industries. It has a high nutritious value and is also a valuable product on the local, national, and international markets, making it the ideal candidate to research and invest in. AIM: This study is a comparative experimental study of the possible burn healing effects between imported South African raw Shea butter and samples in a Libyan market. METHOD: The control samples were brought from South Africa (Benin traditional markets). A total of 18 different samples were collected from different sale centers in Tripoli, including pharmacies, beauty shops, and spices shops, in addition to one sample brought from Poland. Animal experiment on burn healing effect was carried out on nine male Sprague Dawley (350-400 g) rats aged 6-8 weeks old. After shaving the animal’s dorsum hair, a metal cube was used to create a deep second degree burn wound, and the cube was heated to 100°C for 20 seconds. Medication with Shea butter (control, T1, and T2) was initiated daily for one for these groups by the application of a thin film of the Shea butter samples on the burned areas. On days 1, 3, and 7, the rats were anesthetised and a sample from the burned scar tissue and skin adjacent were evaluated using pathological parameters. RESULTS: The histological study indicates that the use of Shea butter T1 as topical treatment induces an immune response, which enhances the form of the presence of a large number of inflammatory cells in the epidermis and dermis layers. The treatment of burned skin with T2 lasted for 72 hours and it showed slightly significant healing in the normal structure of proliferative granulation tissue with accumulation of fibroblasts and inflammatory cells surrounding the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. Small areas of the epidermis which formed few layers were observed and some hair roots were grown. This was well seen in cases of T1 and T2. Shea butter bought as raw might have a bad effect on burned skin. CONCLUSION: Shea butter bought as raw might have bad effect on burned skin. On the other hand, the sample from Poland had a therapeutic effect, which was because of the additives such as avocado oil, grape seed oil, and others.

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Link/DOI: 10.4314/ovj.v10i4.10