AN ALL-INCLUSIVE GUIDE TO MANGO BUTTERS: HISTORY, USES, AND BENEFITS
- Mango Butter is a rich natural fat derived from the seeds contained inside the pits of the Mango fruit.
- Traditionally, Mango Butter was believed to have the ability to strengthen the heart, improve brain activity, and increase the body’s immunity.
- Used topically, Mango Butter’s long-lasting emollience nourishes skin and boosts its elasticity as well as its suppleness, thereby making skin look smoother and firmer.
- Used in hair, Mango Butter seals in moisture and reduces breakage and hair loss by strengthening hair follicles, thereby encouraging the growth of stronger, healthier hair.
- Used medicinally, Mango Butter facilitates the process of eliminating toxins, dirt, pollution, and other impurities from the skin. Its soothing quality makes it ideal for use on skin afflicted by itching, stinging, burning, and stretch marks.
HISTORY OF MANGO BUTTER
Considered to be India’s “King of Fruits,” the Mangifera indica botanical – better known as the Mango Tree – yields a fruit containing the source of the emollient known as Mango Butter. Other names by which it is called include Mango Kernel Fat and Mango Oil. “Manna,” the Malayalam word for the fruit, was adopted as “Manga” by the Portuguese, who travelled to Kerala in 1498 for the spice trade. “Mango,” the English and Spanish name for the fruit, is most likely derived from this.
In Asia and South-East Asia, the Mango fruit has been used in traditional medicine for its healing, moisturizing, and rejuvenating properties. In the medicinal system of Ayurveda, the Mangifera indica herb has been used for over 4000 years with the belief that it had the ability to strengthen the heart, improve brain activity, and increase the body’s immunity. The natural fat derived from the fruit’s seeds is what is referred to as the butter, which shares the same reputation as its fruit source.
The national fruit of India, Mangoes are deeply intertwined with the country’s folklore and religious ceremonies. According to historical sources, Akbar the Great, the most well-known Mughal Emperor, planted around 100,000 mango trees in India’s Eastern parts. According to the Buddhist view, it is believed that a high-class courtesan donated her Mango grove to the Buddha and his companions so that they might have a place to rest. In this orchard, the Buddha continued to teach his monks lessons on the topics of concentration, morality, and wisdom.
Mango trees have been cultivated and harvested in India for thousands of years and were introduced to the Western Hemisphere around 1700, after initially being planted in Brazil. Around 1740, they were introduced to the West Indies, and eventually they made their way to the Americas. In the 1930s, Mango Butter was one of the fats that was considered for use as an alternative to Cocoa Butter in the context of creating confectionary products; however, further studies showed that its significant amounts of tocopherol, phytosterols, and triterpenes also contributed to its potential as an effective ingredient for natural cosmetic formulations.
BENEFITS OF USING MANGO BUTTER
The main chemical constituents of Mango Butter are: Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:
- Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
- Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
- Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
- Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
- Boost immunity
- Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
- Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
- Impact the hardness or softness of the butter
STEARIC ACID is known to:
- Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
- Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
- Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
- Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
- Have exceptional cleansing properties
- Soften skin
- Provides the butter with a solid consistency
PALMITIC ACID is known to:
- Have emollient properties
- Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
- Be the most common saturated fatty acid
LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:
- Moisturize hair and promote its growth
- Facilitate wound healing
- Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
- Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
- Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
- Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
- Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
- Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
- Slow the look of premature aging
ARACHIDIC ACID is known to:
- Enhance and promote muscle gain/mass by boosting the body’s inflammatory responses
- Boost immunity
- Ease symptoms of depression
- Soothe pain and discomfort associated with arthritis
- Reduce weight
VITAMIN A is known to:
- Protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation
- Slow the appearance of aging by smoothing wrinkles and fine lines
- Stimulate production of collagen
- Stimulate cells regeneration to keep skin healthy, strong, and firm
- Facilitate faster healing of wounds
- Protect skin against toxins and bacteria and promotes cell production, thus boosting immunity
- Lighten unwanted blemishes and dark spots, thus balancing skin tone to create an even glow
- Slow the production of oil in the skin and clears pores, thereby preventing acne breakouts
VITAMIN C is known to:
- Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
- Promote collagen synthesis that gives skin a smoother appearance
- Help reduce and soothe damage caused by ultraviolet radiation
- Brighten and even out skin tone
- Shield skin from the noticeable effects of pollution
- Significantly improve skin’s moisture content, thus sustaining a youthful look for a longer period of time
VITAMIN E is known to:
- Have anti-oxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
- Repair scarred and blemished skin
- Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
- Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
- Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production
Used topically, Mango Butter’s creamy, long-lasting emollience nourishes skin and boosts its elasticity as well as its suppleness, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and tightening skin for a firmer appearance. Its high vitamin content protects skin against harsh environmental stressors and damage caused by overexposure to harmful UV radiation. Its ability to easily melt on skin contact and penetrate into the skin without leaving a greasy residue makes Mango Butter an ideal ingredient in sun care products, balms, and hair care products such as those intended to control frizz. Its gentle quality makes it an ideal ingredient in baby moisturizers and products for sensitive skin.
Mango Butter is known to boost skin’s luster and natural radiance while reducing the appearance of dark spots. Along with softening and soothing properties, it cleanses the skin’s surface of impurities and unblocks pores. The anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties of Mango Butter make it an effective soothing agent for skin afflicted by dryness, eczema, and dermatitis. By restoring and maintaining moisture levels and by boosting cell regeneration, Mango Butter leaves skin looking plump, thereby promoting a rejuvenated, revitalized appearance.
Used in hair, Mango Butter works as an effective scalp conditioner that seals in moisture and reduces breakage and hair loss by strengthening hair follicles. It protects hair from drying, thereby controlling frizz and boosting volume to keep it looking and feeling soft, lush, and lustrous. By sustaining moisture and promoting cell regeneration, Mango Butter encourages the growth of stronger, healthier hair. When applied to hair before sun exposure, Mango Butter is known to exhibit sun protectant properties to help guard the strands against the harmful effects of UV radiation.
Used medicinally, Mango Butter works as an agent that facilitates the process of eliminating toxins, dirt, pollution, and other impurities from the skin. Its soothing quality makes it ideal for use on skin afflicted by itching, stinging, burning, and stretch marks. When used in a therapeutic massage, Mango Butter penetrates gently yet deeply into skin and applies its soothing power to tense and aching muscles. Due to its non-comedogenic property, Mango Butter can benefit acne-prone and oily skin, when used as a facial moisturizer.
As illustrated, Mango Butter is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:
- COSMETIC: Regenerative, Protective, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Aging, Softening, Soothing, Moisturizing.
- MEDICINAL: Regenerative, Protective, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Microbial, Analgesic.
CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY MANGO BUTTER
Native to India and having been around for the same approximate length as Ayurvedic medicine, Mango trees belong to the Anacardiaceae family along with cashews and pistachios. Mango trees grow in approximately 1000 varieties and have become a multi-national botanical that can be found throughout various sub-tropical and tropical lowlands around the world, including the Americas, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, Indonesia, and China.
Mango trees are typically propagated by chip budding, approach grafting, and veneer grafting, found to be thriving in sandy loam soil types with adequate drainage. They may also be cultivated in landscapes ranging from coastal regions to midlands. They will not grow particularly well in heavy, wet soils. For optimal growth, they require a pH between 5.2 and 7.5.
Saplings of this evergreen tree produce leaves that are reddish brown. Once they mature, the leaves turn dark green and the trees can grow to a height of 130 feet. The inflorescence of approximately 3000 small, fragrant flowers – usually white-red or yellow-green in color – begins to grow in bunches at different times of the year, depending on the individual tree’s region of growth and its required climatic conditions. One tree produces both male and female flowers, which produce the succulent Mango fruit.
The matured fruit – considered to be a drupe – comes in a variety of color combinations, including the following: yellow, green, yellow and green, red and green, red and yellow, and orange. The shape of the fruit also varies and can include round, heart, oval, or kidney shapes. Pre- and post-harvest conditions such as grafting, fertilization, pruning, and pest control affect the final quality of Mangoes in terms of their size, taste, essential nutrients, vitamins, and mineral content. Factors that negatively impact Mango quality include pests, disease, inopportune harvesting time, ripening conditions, and a lack of appropriate storage facilities.
Depending on the variety of tree and the weather conditions, Mango fruits can begin to ripen 3-5 months after flowering. The fruit is made up of a thick outer Skin, known as the Epicarp or Exocarp. This protects the thick, yellow, fleshy Mesocarp or the Pulp layer inside. The single hard, flat inner Endocarp is commonly referred to as the Stone or the Pit. This contains a single inner Endosperm commonly referred to as the Seed, which is oblong or ovoid in shape and covered in a Seed Coat.
Generally, Mangoes are harvested while in a firm yet mature stage of greenness, often ripening further after being harvested and during the transport and storage phases of production. Some varieties of Mango fruits are considered mature when the fruit’s skin has a slight blush to its color and its pulp has changed in color from white to yellow. It is legitimately mature when the “nose” or the Beak – the pointy tip at the opposite end of the stem – has rounded out.
The ideal harvest practice that achieves optimal fruit quality is the method of removing fruits from the trees by hand-picking them rather than beating them with sticks to make them drop to the ground. If the fruits are harvested incorrectly, their stems may release a milky sap called Latex, which is produced by the tree and which begins to congeal when exposed to air. If latex is left on the fruit’s skin, the skin will turn black. In order to reduce the amount of latex, the fruits should be detached from their trees with small amounts of the stems remaining attached to the fruits. As an alternative to handpicking the fruits, harvesting machinery may also be used. One commonly used machine is made up of a pouch that has a divider and scissors or a knife at the front of the pouch. The pouch is placed directly below the fruit in order to catch it the moment its stem is placed between the divider and the scissors/knife cut through the stalk. The collected fruits travel through a nylon chute and into collection containers. To prevent the fruits from bruising from impact, they are stored in boxes or crates rather than sacks.
HOW IS MANGO BUTTER EXTRACTED?
Mango Butter is typically extracted by Expeller- or Cold-Pressing de-shelled Mango fruit seeds. The oil-bearing Mango seeds are placed inside a hydraulic press machine. They undergo high pressure and friction in order to release their oils, which seep through small openings at the bottom of the pressing barrel. These openings are small enough to prevent Mango fibers from leaving the barrel. The resultant butter is light in color with a faint scent that retains its nutritive value.
Mango Butter may also be obtained through Solvent Extraction: First, the seeds are collected and washed immediately with water. Next, they are dried under the sun to reduce their moisture content. After being roasted inside a drum roaster, they have their hulls removed mechanically. Alternatively, they are manually beaten with wooden clubs. The seed pieces are sent to a hammer mill where they are placed into a pellet-making machine and turned into pellets. These are placed inside a cooler, then they are transported to the plant for solvent extraction.
After the Mango Butter has been extracted from the fruit seeds, it is heated and boiled to a rich and creamy consistency. The final product is solid at room temperature with a consistency that resembles slightly firmer Jojoba esters. Melting easily with body heat, Mango Butter’s light yet protective moisturizing layer is easily absorbed by the skin, leaving it feeling satiny rather than greasy. The subtle, slightly sweet and fatty scent of Mango Butter is not like the fruit, as it is derived from the seed rather than the fruit’s flesh. Mango Butter that undergoes Bleaching and Deodorizing is known as Refined Mango Butter. Its color ranges from whitish or creamy to slightly yellowish.
USES OF MANGO BUTTER
The uses of Mango Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils, massage creams, and massage balms, lotions, creams, gels, ointments or salves, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, sun care, foot care, shampoos, conditioners, hot-oil treatments, and other hair care products.
Used topically, Mango Butter protects skin against the harsh effects of environmental elements, effectively reduces the formation and appearance of wrinkles, and helps repair dry, damaged skin. Mango Butter can be applied directly to matured, cracking, peeling, chapping, irritated, itchy, rough, or tough skin. Applied as is, it is ideal for skin conditions requiring deep hydration and conditioning to heal faster. It can be applied to skin that will be or has been exposed or overexposed to the sun. It can also be applied directly to insect bites, rashes, and eczema to soothe itching and to facilitate the healing of minor cuts or cracks caused by dryness. The light texture of Mango Butter and its non-comedogenic property makes it an ideal moisturizer for the face and neck.
Mango Butter can be used directly as a mild lotion or cream, even on sensitive skin. Furthermore, to enhance its ability to boost skin’s sebum secretion, which in turn promotes younger and softer skin, Mango Butter can be blended with a natural carrier oil such as Jojoba. For a moisturizing alternative to soap, skin can be washed with Mango Butter in the shower, or it can be used as an alternative to shaving cream. To prevent stretch marks with Mango Butter, combine it with equal parts of Coconut Carrier Oil and massage it onto the affected areas.
To reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark spots with Mango Butter, it can be added to a regular moisturizer. Alternatively, it can be made into a spot treatment balm: Combine 2 Tbsp. of Mango Butter, ½ tsp. of Rosehip Essential Oil, and ¼ tsp. Vitamin E liquid inside a 4 oz. jar, then mix the ingredients with a popsicle stick. To this mixture, add 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 3 drops of Helichrysum Essential Oil to enhance the balm’s effectiveness in healing blemishes. Apply this balm to the affected areas of skin.
Used in hair, Mango Butter locks in moisture, nourishes the scalp, and prevents hair loss. To create a conditioning Mango Butter blend that controls dandruff, dryness, and itchiness, mix 1 Tbsp. of Mango Butter with 5 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil. Gently massage the blend into the scalp, then wrap the hair with a warm towel for 1 hour to allow it to penetrate into the scalp. Rinse the hair with a mild shampoo. For a moisturizing leave-in conditioner that is especially beneficial for thick or curly hair, melt ¼ cup of Mango Butter in a double boiler. Next, stir in 1 tsp. Avocado Carrier Oil, 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel, and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Pour this mixture into a blender and, before turning it on, place the blending jar into the refrigerator for 15 minutes until the mixture has hardened. Next, blend the mixture until it reaches a creamy texture. This blend can be stored in a mason jar and applied to only the ends of damp hair, rather than the scalp.
Used medicinally, Mango Butter eases tension, fatigue, and muscle aches, especially when used in a massage. Applied directly to the skin, Mango Butter’s emollience helps promotes cell regeneration, which maintains the appearance of youthful skin. Mango Butter can be applied directly to skin to soothe the symptoms of eczema, rashes, minor wounds, frost bite, and insect bites. To calm sunburned skin with Mango Butter, melt 2 Tbsp. Mango Butter in a double boiler, then thoroughly mix in 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel. Next, add 3 drops Sea Buckthorn Carrier Oil and 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil. Refrigerate this blend for 15 minutes before whipping it with a hand mixer until it reaches a creamy texture. Gently massage this mix onto sunburned or otherwise damaged skin. To properly store this balm, keep it in a cool, dark, dry place.
To reduce the appearance of scars with the aid of Mango Butter, a scar balm can be made by first thoroughly melting together 2 Tbsp. Mango Butter, 2 Tbsp. Shea Butter, and 2 Tbsp. Cocoa Butter in a double boiler. Next, stir in 7 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil, and 4 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil. Gently massage this mix onto areas of skin affected by scars. To properly store this balm, keep it in a lidded glass jar in a cool, dark, dry place.
To facilitate the healing of wounds with the aid of Mango Butter, it can be made into a soothing salve. First, melt 2 Tbsp. of Mango Butter with equal amounts of Beeswax and Coconut Carrier Oil, then add 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Pour this blend into a lidded glass jar and allow it to cool and harden before gently applying it to minor wounds. To properly store this balm, keep it in a cool, dark, dry place.
A GUIDE TO MANGO BUTTER VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS
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CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR MANGO BUTTER
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, cosmetic butters are for external use only. Mango Butter should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all butters, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or other generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime size amount of Mango Butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use.
Potential side effects of Mango Butter include nervousness, increased urination, sleeplessness, and rapid heartbeats. Mango Butter may potentially cause side effects that have not been listed here. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
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