Kpangnan Butter Recipe for Joint Pain

3 min to read
Andrea Butje

Have 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

  • 0.5 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.


  1. Melt your beeswax in a Pyrex measuring cup over the stove. Use the "double boiler method" and put the Pyrex in a soup pot that's about ¼ of the way full of 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.

  2. Add the kpangnan butter to the melted beeswax in the Pyrex.

  3. Add the Trauma oil to the Pyrex and mix.

  4. Remove the fully melted blend from the heat. Add your essential oils and stir gently.

  5. 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. For another example on this topic, we've written a blog about how to make an essential oil body butter for joint pain you might 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.