This section is from the book "A Text Book Of Materia Medica, Being An Account Of The More Important Crude Drugs Of Vegetable And Animal Origin", by Henry G. Greenish. Also available from Amazon: A Text Book of Materia Medica : Being an Account of the More Important Crude Drugs of Vegetable and Animal Origin.
Hard, brittle, pale yellow; softens at about 25°; melting-point 30° to 33°; specific gravity 0.990 to 0.998; iodine value 35.5 to 37.5. Consists of stearic, palmitic, arachic, oleic and small quantities of other acids combined with glycerol, partly as triglycerides, partly as mixed glycerides in which two fatty acids are combined with one glyceryl group. Chiefly used in pharmacy as a basis for suppositories, pessaries, etc.
Shea butter is a greyish fat of characteristic aromatic odour obtained from the seeds of Butyrospermum Parkii, Klotschy (N.O. Sapotaceoe), North Africa. Kokum butter from the seeds of Garcinia indica, Choisy (N.O. Guttiferoe), is largely used in India. Illipe or mahua butter is obtained by expression from the seeds of Bassia latifolia, Roxburgh, and Bassia tallow from the seeds of B. longifolia, Willdenow (N.O. Sapotaceoe); both are used for making candles and soap. Chinese vegetable tallow is the fat on the outside of the seed of Stillingia sebifera, Mich. (N.O. Euphorbiaceoe); it is largely used in China for making candles.