The Coconut palm is widespread throughout the tropical regions of the world where it forms an important part of many economies. In some regions, the coconut makes up a good percentage of the diet and the oil is used for cooking, fuel, medicine and for skin and hair.
Coconut Oil is pressed from the flesh of the coconut fruit. It is clear when liquid and snowy white when solid. It is extremely stable with a long shelf life and high smoking point. Coconut Oil is 92% saturated fat and a combination of 10 different fatty acids, primarily made up of medium chain triglycerides, half of which is lauric acid. Besides lauric acid, there are capric acid and caprylic acid, plus antioxidants.
Coconut Oil may well be the healthiest oil on earth, it is certainly one of the most versatile. The lauric acid in Coconut Oil gets converted inside the body to monolaurin which is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It destroys enveloped viruses like HIV, H pylori, measles, herpes, candida and the influenza virus. The other fatty acids also have antimicrobial properties.
Coconut oil is also a source of ketones – useful as an energy source for the body, especially the brain. Cancer cells thrive on sugar and cannot use ketones as fuel. A low carbohydrate diet which is moderate in proteins and high in a healthy fat like Coconut Oil literally starves cancer cells and is equally good for diabetes, weight loss and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and for conditions like autism and epilepsy. In addition, it assists the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, the immune, circulation and cardiovascular systems, supports healthy cholesterol levels and is fantastic for skin and hair health.
Coconut Oil is beneficial to skin and hair as a topical treatment too. It penetrates the hair shaft, preventing hygral fatigue and nourishes the hair follicles. On skin, it provides protection from microbes and interacts with the lipid layer, helping skin to work better and resist ageing. It penetrates and moisturises deeply, repairing and strengthening connective tissue, giving it more elasticity and so smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. It also has a mild polishing effect by sloughing off dead skin cells which allows for good cell turnover and therefore brighter and more vibrant skin.
Coconut Oil can be used in a myriad of ways in the kitchen – for cooking, baking and frying and as a substitute for butter or any vegetable oil. It can be eaten plain or added to porridge and smoothies.
Topically, Coconut Oil can replace deodorant, moisturisers, cleansers, sunscreen, conditioner, make-up remover and lip gloss. It can be applied as a deep conditioning hair treatment or an after shampoo conditioner and as a barrier before going into the sun. It is soothing for dry and inflamed skin and fabulous as a massage oil. It can be used on any skin problem from acne to age spots, ring worm, sunburn, warts, rosacea, eczema, wounds, bacterial infections and athlete’s foot.