Coconut belongs to the Arecaceae family and the Cocoideae subfamily. Its flesh being very high in healthy fatty acids and the composition of fat is different depending on the type and processing of the oil. 90%of the coconut oil is actually the medium-chain saturated fatty acids and there is also a slight contribution of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. it turns out that coconut is the main ingredient in each product:
- coconut oil
- coconut butter
- coconut shreds
- coconut water
- coconut milk and cream
- coconut flour
- and even coconut soya sauce
The flesh of the coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids, and approximately 90% of them are medium chain fatty acids. The medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA’s) are very beneficial because human body can easily digest, absorb and utilize and are essential for brain function, immune system and also for neurological health.
WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT MEDIUM CHAIN FATTY ACIDS?
Coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of these healthy MCFAs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils comprise long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. Let me tell you why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs found in coconut oil 10:
- LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down — they require special enzymes for digestion.
- LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, liver, and your entire digestive system.
- LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
- LCFAs can be deposited within your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
- In contrast to LFCAs, the MCFAs found in coconut oilhave many health benefits, including the following beneficial qualities:
- MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
- MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system.
- MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
- MCFAs actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.
COCONUT OIL FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE AND THE BODY
- Cuticle Cream: Pushing your cuticles back with coconut oil is quite simple – just rub a dab of coconut oil on your cuticles to soften, and then push them back – a little oil goes alongway!
- After Shave:Helps relieve razor burn. Put it on immediately after shaving to help nourish the hair follicle and heal any irritated skin bits.
- Pore Minimizer:If you haven’t used coconut oil for your pores yet, then you should probably consider! Coconut oil tightens up your pores, giving you softer, smoother skin. This also ensures no dirt or bacteria enters your pores, helping to prevent acne.
- Dandruff:Coconut oil reduces itchiness and flaking of the scalp, thanks to its incredible moisturizing properties. It also helps control oil secretion from the scalp, one major cause of dandruff production in humans and animals alike. Massage coconut oil into your scalp, and leave it in overnight. Rinse out in the morning, and shampoo with someraw vegan hair care products to avoid any harsh chemical irritants that make dandruff even worse.
- Stretch Mark Cream:Incredibly healing, coconut oil is a great way for nourishing stretched, damaged skin. Apply 3-4 times a day, every day, to help minimize the appearance of your stretch marks.
- Hair Gel:Want to style your hair with coconut oil? Simply use it in replacement of your regular hair gels, and style as you would normally.
- Hair Conditioner/ Deep Treatment:I personally love using coconut oil to deep condition my hair. The results are quite incredible. My hair gets so silky soft and shiny! Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and nourishes the scalp and hair follicles. Massage 2 tsp. coconut oil (you can melt beforehand if you want by placing it in a bowl, within a bowl of warm water) into your hair, and leave it in for 1 hour or overnight. Rinse out the next day with an all-natural shampoo, and condition with apple cider vinegar. This will reveal glossy, conditioned, beautiful hair.
- Eyelash Conditioner:I didn’t even know people conditioned their eyelashes, but it makes sense. I mean, our eyelashes are made of hair after all. Rub a tiny amount of coconut oil between your fingers and apply to your lashes before bed. Apply the oil only to the tips of your lashes.
- Tattoo Healing:Using coconut oil on tattoos will help the pigment from fading. When used on new tattoos, coconut oil will hasten healing time and reduce any chance of infection.
- Deodorant:Replacing your conventional deodorant (which likely contains aluminum) with coconut oil is one of the best things you can do, especially to help prevent cancer. Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and kills yeast, fungi, and bacteria. Rub some coconut oil in your armpits every day, and enjoy going au natural.
- Hand Cleaner:Coconut oil makes a great hand cleaner because it is anti-bacterial. Massage the coconut oil on your hands for 30 seconds, and then wipe with a warm damp washcloth, finishing with a dry washcloth. Your hands will absorb the rest of the oil. This method works wonders for dry, cracked hands in winter!
- Massage Oil:One of the best uses – massage oil. Coconut oil smells great, and works as a great massage tool! Not to mention, it will help relieve achy muscles too, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.
- Varicose Veins:Tired of varicose veins? Coconut oil is a great all-natural treatment for varicose veins. Massage coconut oil into the area 3-6 times a day, until you get the results you desire.
- Exfoliator:Exfoliate with coconut oil by rubbing the oil on your skin and then using a washcloth or scrubby hand mitten to brush off dead skin cells while removing dirt and hydrating the skin. Coconut oil is highly anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, and contains lauric acid, which lifts dirt from the skin.
- Wrinkle Prevention:Coconut oil strengthens and tightens the skin and connective tissues, making you look youthful and refreshed. Using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer at night will help prevent and minimize the look of wrinkles.
- Chapstick:Hydrate and moisturize your lips with coconut! Coconut oil also has a natural SPF, which protects our lips from the sun and prevents peeling lips.
- Nail Strengthener:Rubbing your nails with coconut oil can help strengthen and protect the laminated layers of keratin, which help shield your fingernails from the outside world.
- Vaseline Substitute:If you haven’t already, replace your petroleum-based vaseline with coconut oil. It is safer, more natural, and is about 5000 times better for you. You can read all about thedangers of vaseline here.
- Eye Cream:Hydrate gentle skin around the eyes by dabbing a little bit of coconut oil around your eyes before bed. This will make your eyes look and feel better in the morning.
- Body Scrub:I love using coconut oil mixed with sea salt or sugar to create an all-natural body scrub for the face and body. Mixing 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of sugar (gentler) or salt is a recipe I often use.
- Insect Repellent:Make yourhomemade insect repellent with coconut oil to help make it last longer. For all intents and purposes, please stay away from DEET-containing insect repellents. They are not only bad for you, but they are bad for the environment too.
- Toothpaste:An easy, simple mix of coconut oil and baking soda creates an all-natural, easy-to-use toothpaste that is 100% fluoride-free!
- Burns:Apply to burn site, and continue applying until healed. This will hasten healing process and reduce chances of permanent scarring.
- Makeup Remover:Coconut oil is a great way to remove makeup, and I can attest to that fact! Simply place some coconut oil on a cotton pad and rub away your makeup before washing your face with a natural-based soap product.
- Prevent Split Ends:I used to have really dry split ends (mainly due to my rigorous hot yoga schedule, which destroyed my hair because I wasn’t protecting it from the heat). I fixed this by first cutting off a majority of my hair, and then using coconut oil in the tips of my hair before each hot yoga session. This has considerably improved the amount of split ends in my hair.
- Lubricant:Coconut oil is a great lubricant – it is all-natural and feels great. Use it in bed, but don’t use it with a condom, as it may break down the plastics.
- Sunscreen:Coconut oil has a natural SPF, and doesn’t allow your skin to burn. I use coconut oil all the time in summer, and have yet to receive a burn. Slather on your skin 20 minutes before going outside to allow it to absorb.
- Bruises:Helps quicken healing time when applied directly to bruise area – reduces swelling and redness.
COCONUT OIL FOR GENERAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- Breastfeeding– for breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich the milk supply.
- Bones and Teeth– coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium leading to better development of bones and teeth.
- Digestion– the saturated fats in coconut oil help control parasites and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
- Fitness– coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat while increasing muscle.
- Insulin Support– Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose making it great for both diabetics and non-diabetic.
- Lung Function– increases the fluidity of cell surfaces.
- Nausea– rub some coconut oil on the inside for the wrist (PC 6) and forearm to calm an upset stomach.
- Nose bleeds– coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme heat and extreme cold. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages.
- Gum Health– oil pulling with coconut oil offers a two for one health benefit!
- Stress Relief– relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.
- Vitamin and nutrient absorption– makes fat-based nutrients more available to the body – ie. vitamin A, D, E, K
- Weight loss– the saturated fats contribute to weight loss and controlling cravings.
- Mental Cognition and Productivity– medium chain triglycerides freely pass the blood-brain barrier and allows an alternate source of energy to improve cognition.
COCONUT OIL FOR INTERNAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
1. Proven Alzheimer’s Disease Natural Treatment
The digestion of MCFA’s by the liver creates ketones which are a readily accessible energy by the brain. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates it’s own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has lost the ability to create it’s own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.
2. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body, but also help to convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.
3. Cures UTI and Kidney Infection & Protects the Liver
Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFA’s in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Also there is a study showing that coconut oil directly protected the liver from damage.
Coconut water also helps hydrate and support the healing process. Doctors have even injected the coconut water to clear up kidney stones. Coconut is a super powerful food!
4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healing arthritis more effectively than leading medications.
In another recent study, coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells. It worked as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
5. Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer. One, because of the ketones produced in it’s digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose dependent. It is believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover. Two, as the MCFA’s digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known as increasing the risk of stomach cancer. Even in studies where cancer is chemically induced, the introduction of coconut oil prevents cancer from developing!
6. Immune System Boost (antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral)
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses. Many diseases today are causes by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, funguses, viruses and parasites in the body.
- Improves Memory and Brain Function
In a 2004 study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging, they found that the MCFA’s found in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects.
Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFA’s are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently.
8. Improves Energy and Endurance
Coconut oil is easy to digest, but also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality non-processed coconut oil, you can get the most benefit as it’s MCFA’s are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy!
9. Improves Digestion, Reduces Stomach Ulcers & Ulcerative Colitis
Coconut also improves digestion as it helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. If coconut oil is taken at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective, as they are readily available to be digested and used by the body.
10. Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease & Pancreatitis
The MCFA’s of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas. Additionally, this super fat is so easy to digest that it has been known to improve the symptoms of gallbladder disease as well. Replace other long-chain fats with coconut oil to improve gallbladder and total body health.
11. Improves Skin Issues (burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis)
Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (Caprylic and Lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.
12. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Oil pulling with coconut oil has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help heal periodontal disease. Coconut oil is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling due to it’s high concentration of antibacterial MCFA’s.
By swishing the oil in your mouth the oil denatures the bacteria and sticks to it.
13. Prevents Osteoporosis
Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis. Another of the amazing coconut oil benefits is that it increases calcium absorption in the gut.
14. Improves Type II Diabetes
When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they are considered insulin resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to Type II diabetes.
COCONUT OIL AND TOPICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
- Acne– Often acne prone skin is actually too dry, which signals your glands to produce more oil and clogs the pores.
- Head Lice – topical application
- Allergies/Hay Fever– rub a little inside the nostrils for quick relief. The pollen will cling to the oil.
- Athletes Foot
- Toenail Fungus
- Back Pain and Sore Muscles
- Boils and Cysts
- Circumcision healing– although I don’t support circumcision, coconut oil may help with healing.
- Decongestant– rub coconut oil on the chest and under the nose when congested from a cold or allergies
- Ear infection– place a few drops of coconut and garlic oil inside the ear twice daily for relief from pain. Also fights the infection itself.
- Genital Warts– genital warts often go away on their own after 2 years of the initial infection. Addition of topical coconut oil application over 6 month may be helpful
- Gum Disease, Gingivitis and Canker Sores– use as a toothpaste or rub directly on gums
- Herpes– applied topically and taken internally
- Hives– reduces the itch and swelling
- Pink eye– applied around and in the eye
BONUS: COCONUT OIL AND PETS/ ANIMALS
HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT
- Clears up eczema
- Aids flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin
- Minimizes doggy odor
- Reduces allergic reactions
- Creates sleek and glossy coats
- Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections
- When applied topically coconut oil promotes wound healing
- Also can help with hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
- Improves digestion
- Increases nutrient absorption
- Helps with colitis and inflammatory bowl syndrome
- Reduces or eliminates bad breath
- Helps with coughing
- Assists with weight loss
- Powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agents
- Balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
- Helps prevent or control diabetes
- Aids arthritis and ligament problems
- Helps prevent infection and disease
- Aids in increasing energy
BONUS: OTHER USES FOR COCONUT OIL
- Chewing Gum in Hair Remover – just rub some coconut oil over the stuck chewing gum, let it stay in for 30 minutes, and then roll the gum between your fingertips and see how it disappears!
- Goo Gone –Apply a mixture of equal parts coconut oil and baking soda to the “sticky” area and let it stay for a minute. Then scrub off using an old toothbrush or the scrubby side of a sponge.
- Insect repellent –extract and rub a mixture of coconut oil and peppermint oil all over exposed skin.
- Moisturizes and cleans leather products
- Oiling wood cutting boards and wood bowls
- Polishing Bronze –just rub a small amount of oil into a cotton towel and then wipe down the statue. It cleans and deepens the color of your bronze.
- Polish Furniture – polish your wood furniture with mixture of coconut oil and some lemon juice, but first test it first on a very small, unobtrusive part of your furniture to make sure it works the way you like.
- Seasoning animal hide drums
- Seasoning cookware
- Soap making – coconut oil can is used as one of the fats in soap.