Preliminary studies on nasal decongestant activity from the seed of the shea butter tree, Butyrospermum parkii

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1979 May;7(5):495-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1979.tb00992.x.


1 The seed of Butyrospermum parkii yields shea butter which according to local traditional healers relieves inflammation of the nostrils. 2 Since there is as yet no absolutely satisfactory nasal decongestant in clinical use, it was decided to investigate the effects of shea butter in nasal congestion. The substance was prepared in the laboratory. 3 The human subjects used were those suffering from rhinitis with moderate to severe nasal congestion. They were divided into the test group which received shea butter, the control group which was treated with xylometazoline and the 'placebo' group which received white petroleum jelly B.P. 4 The results showed that nasal congestion was relieved more satisfactorily in the test group than in the other two groups. 5 It is concluded that shea butter may prove more efficacious in nasal congestion than conventional nasal drops.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Decongestants*
  • Oxymetazoline / adverse effects
  • Oxymetazoline / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Seeds
  • Trees


  • Nasal Decongestants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Oxymetazoline