I get a lot of questions about shea nut and shea nut butter. This is actually not a "true" tree nut but it does raise a lot of questions for people with tree nut allergies, much like coconut does.
Shea (nut) butter turns up in some candies and other foods. Shea is listed as a possible oil in Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses, for example and it used to be an ingredient in Candy Corn Kisses from Hershey. My daughter has not had a problem with shea and has eaten the above candies without incident, but since this is a fairly new ingredient to foods, we are being cautious with it.
I thought I would share this article from Allergic Living magazine that references recent studies finding that shea nut appears to be safe for nut allergies.
Of course, before serving any questionable food to a tree nut-allergic person, always check with your allergist.
Shea nut butter turns up with increasing frequency as an ingredient in lotions, shampoos and body washes. I've had a lot of concern from blog readers about this. Since lotions contain many other chemicals besides shea, if you suspect shea allergy, don't self-diagnose. Check with an allergist--it could be shea or some other ingredient causing the problem.
Click here for Allergic Living's full story on shea nuts.