Kpangnan Butter Recipe for Joint Pain

by Andrea Butje on November 30, 2015

56 kpangnan butter 2Have you ever made a body butter with kpangnan butter?

It’s pronounced “pan-ya.” At room temperature, kpangnan butter’s texture is firm like cocoa butter, and it has a beautiful powdery silkiness. It’s usually a yellow butter, and has a rich scent that’s somewhere between shea and cocoa butter—softly nutty and warm. Once the butter is smoothed onto your skin, the aroma only lingers for a few minutes.

If you’re looking for a super-moisturizer, kpangnan butter is fun to blend with. Its moisturizing properties are as impressive as shea butter’s (and that’s saying something!). In West Africa, where most kpangnan comes from, it’s often called “golden shea butter” or “yellow shea butter,” and is used for skin moisturizing, making soap, and even for cooking meals. (Don’t you just love using natural butters on your skin that are so healthy you could actually eat them?)

I like using kpangnan butter in therapeutic blends where I want a slight warming effect and some pain relief.

Some of kpangnan’s healing effects are due to the high level of stigmasterol in it. Stigmasterol is a natural plant sterol with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Here’s a massage body butter blend with kpangnan butter that you can make to relieve joint pain (especially pain that sets in when the weather turns cold). You’ll need a 4 oz (120 ml) glass jar.

Kpangnan Juniper Joint Butter

  • 1.5 oz (42 gm) Kpangnan butter (Pentadesma butyracea)
  • 1.5 oz (45 ml) Trauma Oil
  • ½ oz (14 gm) Beeswax (Cera alba)
  • 10 drops Juniper (Juniperus communis)
  • 17 drops Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
  • 13 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

This recipe calls for Trauma Oil, which is actually an infusion of three different herbs in a single carrier oil. The carrier is usually olive oil, and the three herbs are arnica, St. John’s wort, and calendula. It’s so relieving for pain.


  • Melt your beeswax in a Pyrex measuring cup over the stove. Use the “double boiler method”—put the Pyrex in a soup pot that’s about ¼ of the way full with water. Bring the water to a gentle boil. I like to leave the handle of the Pyrex hanging over the side of the soup pot, so it’s not too hot when I go to grasp it.
  • Add the kpangnan butter to the melted beeswax in the Pyrex.
  • Add the Trauma oil to the Pyrex and mix.
  • Remove the fully melted blend from heat. Add your essential oils and stir gently.
  • Pour the blend into your 4 oz (120 ml) glass Rest the lid on top of the cooling butter so the essential oils won’t evaporate. Allow the butter to cool for a few hours.

The butter itself would be so soothing for joints even without the essential oils, but we’ve added oils with strong anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Use your butter as often throughout the day as you like.

I hope you love it! If you want to learn more therapeutic blends that you can use to reduce pain, come to my free webinar, “Reduce Your Clients’ Pain Using Aromatherapy.” It’s perfect for practicing massage therapists, and for people who just want to learn to make their own effective blends at home. See what recipes you’ll learn on the webinar by clicking here.



Relax with a Homemade Winter Foot Soak and Foot Scrub

by Andrea Butje on November 23, 2015

A homemade foot soak and foot scrub with warm, comforting holiday essential oils!

foot scrub with essential oilsEven in warmer weather, a lot of people just seem to “get cold feet!”

And have you ever noticed that when your feet are nice and warm, the rest of you is a little warmer, too? That’s because your feet play a big role in regulating overall body temperature. They’re also the farthest extremities from our hearts, and sometimes receive less circulation. So keeping them comfy is important.

A luxurious foot soak in warm water with essential oils can really help. I like to pair foot soaks with foot scrubs. After you soak your feet is the perfect time to scrub away dead skin, soften calluses, and reduce the risk of cracked, dry skin.

Here’s a great foot soak and foot scrub routine that uses warm, comforting essential oils.

Start off with a nice foot soak!

First, make your essential oil blend. (It’s a lot easier to make your blend when your feet aren’t soaking yet!)

  • ½ oz (15 ml) jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
  • 3 drops Mandarin essential oil (Citrus reticulata)

Fill a small tub with warm water and add your jojoba and Mandarin blend. (Make sure the water won’t slosh over the edge of the tub when you put both feet in it, and you might want to lay a towel down under the tub.) Now sit back in your favorite chair, and soak those feet!

foot scrub with essential oilsSoak them for however long you like . . . although you might want to finish up before the water gets too cold. 15 minutes is usually good.

Now it’s time to scrub away the dead skin! Here’s a salt foot scrub blend that I love:

  • 1 oz (28 gm) pink Himalayan salt (I like a small to medium salt grain for foot scrubs. Salt grains that are very fine will be too gentle for tough skin on feet.)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla infused jojoba
  • 1 drops Cardamom (Ellettaria cardamomum)
  • 2 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

Scrub your feet with your salt blend until they feel smooth and soothed! Letting your feet soak a little longer in the salty water and essential oils can help draw out toxins, nourish your skin, and relax you.

I love doing this after a long day. You can add a foot massage for even more self care, or replenish the warm water so you can sit and soak even longer. It’s so calming before bed!

When you’re finished, dry your feet off and tuck them into soft, fluffy socks or slippers.

foot scrubs make happy feet


Make Your Own Yoga Mat Cleaner Spray

November 16, 2015

Have you ever been in a yoga studio where they have mats for you to borrow? After class, everyone who has borrowed a mat always pads on over to the bottles of yoga mat cleaner spray and towels. People who bring their own mats often use the spray cleaners, too. Sometimes everyone shares! Yoga mat […]

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Natural Sore Throat Remedy: Make a Throat Cream

November 9, 2015

I have a great natural sore throat remedy you won’t hear about every day! What do you do when you have a sore throat? Many people like hot tea with lemon and honey. You can also gargle with salt water, and make gargles with essential oils (try 1 drop of Tea Tree—Melaleuca alternifolia—in a small […]

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Relaxing Diffuser Blends: 3 Recipes

November 2, 2015

I have a few favorite relaxing diffuser blends that I come back to again and again. . . . . .but I’m always blending and coming up with new recipes! Sometimes an oil will surprise me with how soothing it is, and I’ll wonder why I’ve never used it in my relaxing diffuser blends before. […]

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Using Essential Oils for Kids: What is safe?

October 26, 2015

You don’t have to be afraid of using essential oils for kids. You just have to know which oils are safest. I have written a lot about using essential oils for kids, sharing specific recipes here and there. I’m always happy to write about it! This time I’d like to share a list of which essential […]

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