The Everything Guide to Shea Butter

Shea butter is an amazing all natural, non-toxic alternative to chemical lotions and lip balms.  On its own, it nourishes and heals your skin.  It’s affordable, easy to use, and smells amazing. There are so many reasons for everyone to utilize shea butter.

Shea Butter Facts

What Is Shea Butter?

Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree.

Where Does Shea Butter Come From?

As you might have guessed, since shea is from the African Shea Tree, it does originate in Africa.

Shea Butter Nutritional Information

Vitamins A & E
Healthy Saturated Fats: Derived mainly from stearic acid and oleic acid.
Contains phenols-the same antioxidants found in green tea.

Health and Beauty Benefits of Shea Butter

SPF 6-10

Tips For Buying Shea Butter

Look for:
Raw and unrefined.  Refined shea butter has many of the beneficial elements removed.  
Ethically sourced.  The harvesting and creation of shea butter is usually done by a community.  Purchasing from a small, reputable source is usually best.  Look for their story of how, where and by whom it’s made.  This supports small farmers, families, and communities and also ensures that they get paid a fair wage.  Plus, chances are, they use the shea butter too and will care about the quality and condition of their product!  
A Product that ISN’T white.  Raw and healthy shea butter will have a yellowish hue.  Like cow’s milk butter, sometimes it’s a rich, bright yellow, sometimes it’s a pale pastel yellow.  The shade will vary depending on the region and shea itself, but it should never be white unless it was processed.  
A warm, earthy scent.  Scentless shea is usually processed.  For processed shea, scentless is usually the “best” processed shea, often, you’ll find it more likely has chemical undertones.  Don’t look for scentless!  This is a keyword for processed!

(This is what I use.)

Shea Butter Allergy Concerns

Shea butter is derived from the shea nut.  If you have a nut allergy, use caution.
If you buy a refined version of shea butter, you run the risk of exposure to chemicals.  

How To Store

Shea butter has a shelf life of about 24 months.  It may last longer but may become less effective over time.

Keep in a cool, dark, dry place for storage.  I keep mine in the original bag it came in, in my closet.  I also portion some of it into a small glass jar for use and keep it in my nightstand.

Shea butter will smell nutty and smokey when fresh.  If your shea butter goes bad, it will smell rancid.  You will probably gag and have no doubt that it is bad.  I’ve kept mine fresh for several years, but if you’re worried, you can always store yours in the fridge to help it last even longer.  Use a glass jar to keep out unwanted fridge odors. 
Note-I live is a cold climate where we have winter 7-9 months of the year.  If you live in a warmer climate, you might want to store yours in the fridge. 

Shea Butter Basic Uses | 21 Ways to Use Shea Butter Plain

  1. Dry Hands
  2. Dry Feet
  3. Dry Lips
  4. Facial Moisturizer
  5. After Shave Cream
  6. Baby Bums
  7. Massage Rub
  8. Cuticle Cream
  9. Sun Screen Lotion
  10. Hair Mask
  11. Stretch Mark Cream
  12. Pregnant Belly Rub
  13. Cracked Skin Repair
  14. Baby Lotion
  15. Chapped Cheeks
  16. Sore Nose From A Cold
  17. Eczema Soother
  18. Dry Elbows
  19. Dry Knees
  20. Scar Repair
  21. Insect Bites

Shea Butter Recipes

Whipped Eczema Body Butter
Whipped Eczema Body Butter



Homemade Magnesium Oil

Homemade Magnesium Oil

After reading about magnesium deficiencies, I decided to give homemade magnesium oil a try.  The reason I wanted to try homemade magnesium oil instead of buying it is simply that it’s cheaper to make my own.  Plus, I can be sure that nothing else is added to it.

Price Breakdown of Magnesium Oil:
Store Bought Magnesium Oil Average Cost $20.00 per bottle
Tub of Magnesium Flakes (44oz, about 5 1/2 cups) $13.00/Tub=$2.30/Homemade Bottle

I rounded out the numbers for easy math.  Magnesium oil ranged from $13.00 to $35.00, so depending on your choice of brand, the numbers could be different.  However, even with the cheapest store-bought bottle of oil, making my own is still the cheapest option.  My glass bottle was $2.00.   So the final number would be $4.30.  This is still even cheaper than the least expensive store-bought bottle of oil.  Since I can use my bottle over and over it’s even better!

Update: I checked the current prices on Amazon, all of the prices have gone up since I have purchased my supplies, but making your own is still more affordable than buying a premade bottle.

It was really easy to make once I gathered all of my ingredients.  It would have been even faster if our little Princess hadn’t run off with my funnel.  Why kids think funnels are the greatest toy ever, I have no idea, but I am constantly finding them all over the house.  Unable to find my smaller funnel, I settled for the larger one.  I’m so glad it fit in my bottle!

I started by heating filtered water in my electric tea kettle.  Then I measured out 1 cup of magnesium flakes.  I poured them into a bowl big enough to accommodate both the flakes and the water.  I knew my 8oz bottle held a cup of water, but with the added magnesium flakes, I was sure I would have leftovers.

Pouring the flakes into the bowl was a treat for the ears.  The kids loved hearing the little pieces tinkle into the glass bowl.  They almost sounded like little glass pieces.  I picked up a shard to examine it and found that it even glittered in the sunlight.  My son picked one up and then complained of burning fingers, so I had him wash his hands.  His hands were slightly damp so the magnesium must have been absorbing into his skin.  I didn’t notice any tingling, burning or irritation as I had read about, so I hoped this meant I wouldn’t experience it as bad when I sprayed it on later.

I then measured a cup of hot water and poured it over the flakes.  I noticed that they instantly started dissolving.  I grabbed a fork and gently stirred until they were completely dissolved.  The water was slightly cloudy but began to clear as it sat.

I poured the mixture slowly into the funnel and checked to make sure I didn’t overflow the bottle.  I did end up having half a cup of the mixture left over.  I’m going to use it to make some magnesium cream for the kids.


1- 8oz bottle (Find it here)
1 chalkboard label  (I use the 1×2 stickers)
1 Chalk Pen (Find it here)
1/2 cup magnesium flakes (I use this one)
1/2 cup hot water

Bring water to a low boil.  Pour 1/2 cup magnesium in a glass bowl.  Add water to the bowl.  Stir until dissolved.  Pour mixture into glass spray bottle once cooled.  Spray magnesium oil on lower legs after showering and massage in.

After the bottle was ready to go I excitedly sprayed it down my arms, legs, and stomach.  Maybe because it was warm water still, it immediately began to tingle.  I massaged and rubbed it into my skin.  Then I noticed that it really began to burn.  It makes me laugh to think of the description I read as a tingling sensation or a mild irritation.  In truth, it felt like thousands of tiny needles pricking me.  It wasn’t incredibly painful, just incredibly irritating.

I rubbed my hands over the irritated areas and it helped to stop the “stinging”.  I made several “Notes to Self” for future reference.

Helpful Tips

  1. Don’t spray on eczema. Thankfully washing it off the eczema patch stops the burning instantly.  After re-rubbing my arms, I kept getting more magnesium oil on my eczema on my hand.  I put my eczema cream on it and it helped protect the area so I didn’t have to keep washing my hands with water.
  2. Don’t rub between the thighs or in any other sensitive area.  I had read about avoiding sensitive areas, so I was careful to only spray on the tops of my arms and legs.  However, when I was massaging it into my skin, I did forget and rub it too close to my inner thighs and experienced a slight cringe-worthy moment.
  3. Wear shorts or something that makes it easy to access your legs.  I was wearing a maxi skirt and had to hold it up as I rubbed my legs which led to me not paying close enough attention, hence the inner thigh exposure.
  4. The kids would freak out if I did this to them, so I’ll make them a less irritating cream instead.

Despite the tingling sensation, I’m not going to stop using my homemade magnesium spray.  From what I’ve learned, the sensation is temporary.  When I massage the irritated areas, the tingling dissipates for a while.  I think if I am busy working it wouldn’t bother me.  After about an hour the tingling had completely subsided.  From what I’ve read, the burning is a sign that the body is incredibly deficient in magnesium.  The more often the spray is used, the less the tingling will be.


I’ve been using magnesium oil for about two and a half years now.  I’ve learned a few more things:

  1. The spray doesn’t tingle as much when it’s room temperature.
  2. I spray it on the top of my lower legs and not my upper legs.  I also spray it on the lower top half of my arms, not the soft underside. This helps as the skin is tougher in these areas.
  3. The more frequently I use the spray, the less irritating it is.
  4. It makes my skin feel slightly damp.   This feeling doesn’t really go away on its own.  I find that rubbing shea butter or coconut oil on my legs afterward helps it absorb and feel less gross.
  5. I notice that my anxiety gets high if I forget to use the spray for a while.  This means that I’m more deficient in magnesium.

Have you ever used magnesium oil?  Let us know if you try our recipe!

*I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice.  These are my own personal experiences.  Should you feel you need medical advice, as always, consult a medical professional.  If you’d prefer more natural medical help, look into a chiropractor, a naturopath, an integrative medical doctor or a holistic practitioner.

Traditional Medicinal Teas

Traditional Medicinal Teas

I love Traditional Medicinal teas for so many reasons.  They’re allergy friendly, organic, high quality, formulated by herbalists, they go through 9 levels of quality control testing and they’re delicious!  I am not getting paid to say any of this, I simply love them.  They contribute to the good health of my family and that is worth sharing.

Almost all of the Traditional Medicinal teas are corn free.  This is rare and wonderful.  Every other brand I’ve ever tried has been corn-taminated in some way.  Having safe, guilt-free, pain-free beverages is such a blessing.  Some days, post allergy exposure, I live on nothing but tea.  Without them, I would be left with only water, which is good, but it doesn’t fill my appetite.  Plus, the tea helps my body heal and recover.

I’ve read some articles  about the large amount of teas on the market being heavily sprayed with pesticides.  In addition to that, the tea bags themselves are also highly toxic!  In response, some companies have gone organic (but not corn free) or have tried using less toxic bags (made from corn).  Thankfully, Traditional Medicinals are the best quality I’ve found.  They are both corn free and non-toxic.

I’ll run you through a few of my favorites and how I use them.  Some teas we drink daily and some are once a week or seasonally.  Some we drink for pure enjoyment and others are for specific health reasons.  You don’t have to only drink them for their medicinal properties, you can simply have them for the joy of it!

Gypsy Cold Care

Traditional Medicinals Seasonal Sampler
This is one of my favorites.  I’ve listed it first because this one not only tastes good, but the health benefits are amazing.  I started drinking this after my mother gave me the Seasonal Sampler box when I was sick.  It really helps kick the cold out.  Whenever I’m afraid one of the kids or I’m coming down with something, I brew up a cup to chase away the illness.  I like it plain and sometimes with honey.  I find it doesn’t need honey and I almost never use it with this tea anymore.

Breathe Easy

Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy Tea
I’m listing this one second because I feel it’s incredibly important.  With my asthma and my earlier in life penchant for coming down with pneumonia at the drop of a hat, breathing is very important.  If I get a cold with a cough or I have allergy exposure that makes it difficult to breathe, this tea is a lifesaver.  I’ll make a nice steamy cup, cradle it in my hands, bend over the cup and breathe in the steam.  After it cools I’ll sip it slowly to try and prolong my exposure.  I do enjoy honey in this one.  Honey is great for breathing problems too.

Roasted Dandelion Root

Roasted Dandelion Root Traditional Medicinals
This is my current favorite.  I haven’t been able to find corn-free coffee.  I love coffee, but if I cheat and drink some, I get incredibly sick.  I actually bought this tea because it was on sale and I had been meaning to try it for its health properties.  Dandelion root is amazing for detoxifying the liver.  Once I tasted it plain, a light bulb went off over my head, it tasted like coffee!  Since then, I have not had a single drop of coffee.  I drink roasted dandelion root “coffee” every day, it’s so good.  I add a little local 100% pure maple syrup and local organic grass fed heavy whipping cream.  I have made it for my kids, my family and friends and they all agree with me that it’s amazing.

Throat Coat

This tea is fantastic for sore throats.  I think it tastes great, especially with honey.  However, my kids are not big fans.  They usually complain when I make them a cup.  I add extra honey so they’ll drink it.  I don’t feel guilty about extra sugar, honey helps to soothe and heal sore throats.  Thankfully, this one is part of the seasonal sampler, if you’d like to try a variety of their teas.Traditional Medicinals Seasonal Sampler

Echinacea Plus

Traditional Medicinals Seasonal Sampler
If you don’t already know, echinacea is amazing for immune system support.

Lavender Chamomile

Traditional Medicinals Chamomile with Lavender
When I first saw this tea, I was really excited to try it.  I love lavender.  I had been looking for a good chamomile to help me relax before bed or when I feel stressed out.  This one is soothing and perfect for both of those.

Hibiscus Green Tea

I have read great things about using hibiscus for a healthy heart and also as a vitamin C source.  I needed a safe, corn free green tea and went searching for one that was allergy friendly, non-toxic, and affordable.  When I stumbled across hibiscus green tea, from traditional medicinals, I was excited to give it a try.  It’s a bit more tart than I expected.  I use honey and cream to sweeten it.  I’m going to make my next batch of Kombucha with it for a little variety.

There are many other great blends made by Traditional Medicinals.  I hope that this inspires you to give them a try!  Do you drink Traditional Medicinals?  What is your favorite?  Have you tried any of my favorites for yourself after reading this?  Let me know!  🙂