What DOESN’T It Do?

Coconut oil is a miracle worker. Plain and simple.  It it nature’s cure-all. A multipurpose cleaner, if you will, for the human body.

I first started to use coconut oil after reading about all that it remedies in The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.  Coconut oil is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine, coconut oilan alternative and more natural practice that has been used for thousands of years in India.  It is recommended orally and topically to combat almost anything from dry skin to influenza.  And while some may argue that research on coconut oil is inconclusive regarding its effect on serious illnesses, there is research (and old eastern medicine) which proves that coconut oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties due to the lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid it contains.  Further research shows that because of these properties, when taken orally, it can strengthen the immune system and help ward off conditions such as influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and candidiasis.

Coconut oil can also be applied on the skin to fight infections and funguses, such as ringworm, athlete’s foot, and diaper rash.  It aids in healing, so is recommended for burns, bruises, cuts and even to protect a new tattoo.  And of course, because we’re talking about an oil here, it’ll leave your skin soft and smooth.  Same goes for your hair, especially those with frizzy manes.  One study showed that coconut oil repaired damaged hair better than sunflower and mineral oils and can improve hair growth.  It’s also great for protecting cuticles and strengthening nails.
Oh, and it prevents premature aging, so it is a good idea to slather on coconut oil before and after exposure to sun. Are you catching on to how much I love this stuff yet?

Recent studies have shown that coconut oil can aid in weight loss, as well as digestion.  How in the world can an oil aid in weight loss??  Especially one that is high in saturated fat??  Yes, just one tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil (the least processed form) contains 13 g of saturated fat or 67% of the daily value!  Most saturated fats should be limited in ones diet due their raising of bad cholesterol, which correlates with an increased incidence of heart disease, cancers and type 2 diabetes.  However,  fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides, which are indeed classified as saturated fatty acids, but research shows that MCT do not promote heart disease and the coconut oil may on the contrary, protect against it, as well as cancers and diabetes.  I am not a doctor, so I would still recommend anyone with high cholesterol or who is genetically predisposed to any of the aforementioned conditions, to speak with a doctor before ingesting coconut oil.

Here’s how you can use coconut oil on a daily basis:

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so it should be melted in a pan on the stove or in a microwave for hair and body (though it usually melts right away once it makes contact with skin) application. Make sure it’s cool though! Massage oil into hair and on scalp and let sit for about 10 minutes.  Ayurveda methods recommend rubbing oil on entire body daily before showering.

Try replacing other cooking oils with coconut oil, especially in stir fry recipes.  It goes very well with vegetables, particularly kale.

Use coconut oil at room temperature in place of butter and cream cheese on bread and bagels.

 

Post By: Olivia Iwuc 4/23/12