Frankly Speaking Friday- Illipe Butter

Although illipe butter is hard, and not liquid, it is still quite exotic, so I decided to add it into this series of posts, I hope you will indulge me! 

Illipe butter comes from the nuts of the shorea stenoptera which is a tropical tree that grows in southeast Asia, Borneo and Sumatra. The tree grows from 16 to 49 feet tall, and has two inch seeds which are enclosed in a thin shell, with wing-like attachments, similar to the whirly birds of maple and elm trees.
It flowers October through January, and after the nuts fall to the ground, never before, they are gathered by natives and set to dry in the sun. Once dried, the shells are placed in rice mortars where they are pounded with the pestles until the seeds break away from the hard shell. From there the whole nut, which is the seed, is sent to be rendered where it is cold pressed. The resulting butter is a hard creamy white to light yellow color, with a slight, nutty odor. The locals have been making butter from the illipe nuts for countless centuries, traditionally using it for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes.

Illipe butters chemical composition parallels that of cocoa butter, and it has nearly the same triglyceride composition, but it is lighter and has a [slightly] higher melting point. This butter, which  is quite hard at room temperature,  melts quickly and easily when it comes in contact with the skin.  And, while it may be this high melting point that makes it a prized ingredient for soaping (as it creates a nice hard bar of soap), surely it is its skin benefiting properties that make it  prized for cosmetic applications.  

Illipe butter  is probably most renown for its skin softening quality, but it also has long-lasting moisturizing attributes. It  restores the skins elasticity, helps to reinforce its natural moisture barrier, reduces the degeneration of skin cells while restoring their flexibility and elasticity, and prevents drying which leads to the development of wrinkles. Illipe butter is used in a variety of sun protection and skin care products, as well as massage creams, soaps, balms, make-up foundations, and hair conditioners. It is beneficial for the treatment of numerous skin and hair disorders, especially chronically dry skin, mature skin, sunburn, sores, damaged skin, and mouth ulcers.

Illipe butter has a shelf life of two years, but it should be kept in a dark, cool location, away from moisture. You may use anywhere from 3 to 100% in your lip stick, lip and body balms, creams, lotions, hair conditioners, make-up foundations, and hard soap recipes. Try this exotic butter in your soap for not only a firm bar, but a highly moisturizing one. But for a real treat, use it directly on the skin, without any additives. You won't need much, because a very little goes a very long way!

*Reminder; references and bibliographies for informational posts are available by following the reference tab at the top of the page 

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