Source: South AFrica
Unrefined Mafura Buttter - The Mafurreira Tree - also known as Mafurra Tree, Trichilia emetica, and the Cape Mahogany – is a beautiful slow-growing hardwood tree that grows up to 30m in height. It is evergreen with dark glossy leaves, red-brown bark, and fragrant creamy yellow flowers. The trichilia tree is found across Southern Africa in low altitude, frost-free areas, mainly along rivers and the coast.
The species adapts to a wide range of agro-eco conditions, found wildly along the coastal low lands and widely propagated by people and farmer communities as part of their agro-forestry practices.
The tree has a high socioeconomic value for villagers. Its seasonal fruit can be sold fresh for consumption and the seeds are processed to an edible oil (Munhantsi) that is sold for cooking and also as an ingredient for cosmetic manufacturing. The tree is considered sacred by several tribes, and it is commonly used during spiritual ceremonies.
The tree flowers from August to December, and in March the flowers turn to bright orange. The tree bears pear-shaped fruits which dry out and split into three segments, hence the name trichilia which means ‘in three parts.’ Inside the fruits are bright red seeds that are cold-pressed to obtain Mafura Butter, also called Trichilia Butter. A single tree yields, on average, around 20 litres of Mafura Butter that is solid at room temperature and melts at 30°C.
The seeds are collected, processed and Fairly traded from harvesters and cold-pressed to maintain the beneficial chemical properties.
Mafura Butter is a central part of South African domestic life and is renowned for its cosmetic and healing properties. Locals liberally use raw, crude, Mafura Butter to protect, nourish and revitalize skin, as well as to condition the hair.
Medicinally, Mafura Butter is used as unguent to treat arthritis and heal wounds.
The butter is rich in essential fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic) and has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of limonoids such as Trichilin A.
The high content of palmitic and oleic acids provides good skin-permeation enhancing properties, along with anti-oxidant, revitalizing, and nourishing properties for the skin and hair.
The presence of limonoids, in particular Trichilin A, is responsible for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects.
It is a non-drying oil that quickly absorbs into the skin.
It softens and improves the elasticity of the skin.
Essential fatty acids contribute to the maintenance of healthy skin.
Encourages regeneration of cells without clogging pores
Has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
Spreads easily on the skin, so it can also be used in massage products
Heals and nourishes dry cracked skin
Excellent as a hair conditioner
Ideal moisturizer to strengthen and soften natural hair
Alleviates dry and itchy scalp
They already know Mafura Butter:
“Why is Mafura butter great for the skin? It is rich in palmatic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids: fatty acids that are vital for good health, and for natural skin care. In fact, many of the skin care products you see on the shelves today are sought after simply because they contain these acids. They are the ‘new’ anti-aging ingredients”. - Editorial Today
“The most intriguing and worthwhile discoveries have actually been around for centuries or longer – Mafura butter is one of those’ new' discoveries, and definitely deserves a place alongside your other favorite natural skin care treatment." - J.Gohr
“I really love Mafura Butter. It's soft and spreads easily and absorbs into the skin quickly. I also tried it on my hair and I am quite pleased with how soft and manageable it made my hair.” - Jane Richards, London
“We think it's one of the most intriguing and worthwhile discoveries – Mafura butter is one of those discoveries we love to chat about and it deserves a place with your favourite natural skin products on your bathroom shelf.” - The Olive Work-shop