Common Name: Coconut Oil
Latin Name: Cocos nucifera
Coconut Oil has been reputed as the panacea cure all for almost everything that ails you; from weight loss, boosting your immune system to healing your baby’s bum rash. Cosmetically it is one of the most used oils in the industry and is treasured for its protective and emollient properties.
Coconut oil has been prized throughout the ages by tropical island dwellers. The tree belongs to the Palm family and is the only species belonging to the Cocos genus. Despite its name, the Coconut is not a nut – it is a drupe, a fleshy, thin-skinned fruit with a stone at its center that contains the seed. It was liberally used by these communities (in South and Central America, Africa, India, Polynesia, the Caribbean, and most of Asia) on the body to protect against dryness, combed in the hair for health and shine and used on burns and cuts for a speedy recovery. Its uses are recorded as early as 1500 BC in Sanskrit for Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for illnesses of the mind, body, and spirit.
Medicinally coconut oil has many beneficial properties. It is a powerful destroyer of all kinds of microbes, bacteria and viruses and provides the body with high quality fat that is beneficial for optimal health. Its high in antioxidants and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties along with its high level of lauric acid making it a proficient anti-fungal.
Parts Used: Entire fruit (coconut meat, milk, residue)
Constituents: Lauric Acid, Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid, Linoleic Acid (Polyunsaturated Fats), Oleic Acid (Monounsaturated Fats), Polyphenols (Virgin Coconut Oil only), and Medium-Chain Triglycerides.
Actions: Emollient, anti-fungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, humectant
The many beneficial properties contained in coconut oil contribute to its popularity in the last several years. Its high concentration of Lauric acid is believed to help eliminate and prevent various viruses including herpes, influenza, measles, and various other bacteria’s.
Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and is easy on the digestive system. It does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream and is quickly converted by the liver into energy rather than being stored as fat. This makes it a excellent food preparation and has become popular with keto and paleo diets for its high fat and high MCT’s.
Externally, the presence of capric and caprylic acid contribute antimicrobial and antifungal properties, preventing the spread of harmful bacteria making it a helpful application for first aid treatments, athletes’ foot, diaper rash for use on acne-prone skin, and to facilitate wound healing.
As a moisturizer its benefits shine! An excellent emollient it is helpful for dry itchy skin and hair, helpful for sensitive and irritated skin. It provides hydration along with acting as a barrier on the skin surface, locking in moisture while protecting it making it prefect for topical treatments of eczema and psoriasis, diaper rash, sunburns and as a general moisturizer.
Other skin and hair benefits are it protects against harmful UV rays and prevents cellular damage, it strengthens hair follicles, and stimulating the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair, it improves the skins elasticity helping with signs of stretchmarks and premature ageing, along with having antioxidant properties helping fine lines and the appearance of aging.
The uses are truly quite endless both for fostering health and beauty from the inside and out. No wonder it has gained in popularity and is a valuable addition to both your kitchen and bathroom cupboard!