One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small tropical African tree which bears oily nuts from which shea butter is obtained.
Vitellaria paradoxa (or Butyrospermum parkii), family Sapotaceae
- ‘The tradition is passed on from medicine women and the male herbal doctors: at birth, babies are covered by the midwife in shea butter, made from the nuts of the shea tree.’
- ‘Shea butter, which is extracted from shea tree nuts found in West Africa, is said to be ‘one of the best all-natural beauty products that nature offers.’’
Late 18th century: from Mande sye.
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