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Mafura Butter Unrefined Fairly Traded

Origin: South Africa Colour: Light Golden Aroma: Natural

African butter rich in essential fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic).

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 Trichilia Emetica Seed Butter


Cold pressing of the seeds


Trichilia emetica – also known as the Cape Mahogany – is a magnificent slow-growing tree that is found across Southern Africa and in some sub-Saharan regions. It grows up to 30m in height, is evergreen with shiny leaves, and blossoms with fragrant yellow flowers.

When the pear-shaped fruits dry out they split into three segments, hence the name trichilia, meaning ‘in three parts’. The segments open to reveal bright red seeds that are rich in oil. The fruits can be used for food and the cold-pressed oil also used for culinary purposes. A single tree yields on average around 20 litres of oil.

The seeds are collected from the wild, minimizing the impact on the environment. The task is often undertaken by women working in groups, and the seeds and oil provide a valuable source of income for the community. As well as being cold-pressed, the oil is unrefined and one hundred percent natural. The seeds are fairly traded and the cold pressing preserves the beneficial compounds.

The oil, also known as Mafura Butter, is well-known throughout Southern Africa for its cosmetic and healing properties and has an important role in community life. The butter’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (due to the presence of limonids such as Trichilin A) make it excellent for the treatment of rheumatism and the healing of wounds.

The butter, which has a smooth, creamy texture, is rich in essential fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic). It has also been shown to neutralise free radicals more completely than many other oils.

The butter is solid at room temperature and melts at 30˚C (do not heat higher than 50˚C).

Common uses:
 The butter can be used as a stand-alone product or added as an ingredient when making cosmetics and personal care products:

Body butter and lotions to nourish, moisturize and revitalise, leaving the skin supple. Non-greasy and spreads easily (making it also suitable for massage); suitable for all skin types

Conditioning hair-care products (moisturises and strengthens hair; makes it soft and shiny; anti-breakage products for hair; nourishes the scalp)

Soap making – the single biggest traditional use of Mafura Butter. Combines well with other oils such as olive and coconut. Makes a luxurious, moisturising and conditioning soap.

Animal Care – Apply to skin to treat infections/minor wounds/wounds infected with parasites. Use to relieve eczema. Can be used as an ingredient for dog and horse soaps, treatment balms, and shampoos.

Lip balms

Wood polish


None known