The tree is popularly known as the ‘karite’ tree in French. In Ghana, it is known as ‘nku’; in Sudan it is called ‘lulu’. In Nigeria, the Hausas call it ‘mankade’ while the Ibos ethnic group calls it ‘okwuma’ and the Yorubas ‘igi-emi’. In Uganda, the Acholi and Lango ethnic groups call it ‘yaa’ and ‘yao’ respectively while the Iteso and Madi ethnic groups call it ‘ekuguru’ and ‘awa’, respectively.
Shea butter in beauty products is generally used in small amounts due to its high cost compared with other oils such as palm oil or olive oil.