Background: Mucosal inflammation underlies many of the specific and interrelated factors that contribute to nasal congestion and shea butter is used by local healers as a treatment for inflammatory conditions including nasal congestion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of extracts of Shea butter on diagnosed patients with Nasal congestion.
Methods: Forty-Two study participants were randomized into two main groups-control (standard of care-Cetirizine, Xylometazoline) and then the shea butter/shea butter extract group which was further subdivided into 4 groups-extract 1 (saponifiable); extract 2 (nonsaponifiable), extract 3 (Steroid) and shea butter. Following the administration of the various drugs, participants were followed for 24 hours with nasal washout samples taken at baseline and 24 hours later, then analyzed for the presence of inflammatory cells. All test substances were assessed for efficacy in terms of time of onset of action and duration at which almost complete relief from nasal congestion was achieved using median scores and ANOVA within each group.
Results: The participants had moderate to severe nasal congestion. The test group received shea butter and shea butter extracts, the control groups received xylometazoline, and Cetirizine treatment. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to subjectively assess the degree of relief from nasal congestion in these patients with a score of 1 as minimum relief and 10 as maximum relief from nasal congestion per time. The findings suggests that, the shea butter/shea butter extracts test groups experienced nasal decongestion with non-saponifiable extract of shea butter having a short onset of action and eliciting complete relief after 4 hours (median VAS score of 9.7). The non-saponifiable extract was as effective as the standard of care groups–(cetirizine with median VAS score of 7.3 and Xylometazoline with median VAS score of 7.7) for the same time.
Conclusion: From this study, it is clear that shea butter and shea butter extracts may be more effective than conventional standard of care drugs in treating nasal congestion and should be recommended as a healthy non synthetic alternative with almost no adverse effect and may be a latent source of novel therapeutic agent.
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