Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, or Copra oil, provides health benefits in the form of; weight loss, skin and hair care, increased immunity, boosted energy levels, strengthening bones and promoting a healthy digestive system. Coconut oil is also very stable at high temperatures so is ideal for frying as it doesn’t easily break down to create harmful by-products like most of the common polyunsaturated vegetable oils do.

Where do Coconuts come from?

Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm tree, known as Cocos nucifera, which is primarily found in the tropical and subtropical regions such as Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and parts of South and Central America. Coconuts have a tough outer husk, which protects the edible white fruit and refreshing coconut water inside. These versatile fruits are not just a source of nourishment but also provide materials like coconut oil, milk, and fiber.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Here are some of the beneficial ways that coconut oil can be used:

Coconut Oil Boosts the Immune System

The human body carries normal levels of a substance called monolaurin. This substance assists in increasing our immune system by warding off many harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. Monolaurin levels in coconut oil help improve a compromised immune system while also increasing the body’s proper nourishment and energy levels.

Monolaurin derives from our body’s natural production of lauric acid. Coconut oil’s main component is lauric acid, which is among a group of medium-chain triglycerides in the saturated fat group. Unfortunately, because of the negative publicity of saturated fats, the superior benefits of coconut oil have been widely overlooked.

Coconut Oil for Fungal Infections

Coconut oil is a popular home remedy that is believed by some to have antifungal properties, which could potentially help in managing fungal infections like ringworm. Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can affect the skin, nails, or scalp, and it is caused by various dermatophyte fungi.

Scientific studies suggesting that certain compounds in coconut oil, such as lauric acid, may exhibit anti-fungal properties, however the effectiveness of coconut oil in treating ringworm can vary from person to person.

Here are some considerations:

Anti-fungal Properties of Coconut Oil

Lauric Acid: Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, which has been shown in some studies to have anti-fungal properties. Lauric acid is also found in abundance in breast milk and is known for its antimicrobial effects.

Caprylic Acid: Another medium-chain fatty acid in coconut oil, caprylic acid, is also believed to have anti-fungal properties.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Ringworm

Apply a thin layer of coconut oil directly to the affected area.
Repeat the application several times a day.
Some people prefer to mix coconut oil with other anti-fungal essential oils, such as tea tree oil or oregano oil.

Scientific Evidence for Coconut Oil and Ringworm Treatment

While there is some promising research on the anti-fungal properties of coconut oil components, more studies are needed to establish its effectiveness as a standalone treatment for ringworm.

It’s important to note that ringworm is a contagious condition, and it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. In many cases, over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or prescription medications may be recommended by healthcare providers for more effective and targeted treatment of ringworm.

If you choose to use coconut oil as a home remedy for a fungal infection, it’s essential to monitor the progress of the infection and seek medical advice if there is no improvement or if the symptoms worsen. Individual responses to home remedies can vary, and professional guidance ensures appropriate care and treatment.

Coconut Oil to Reduce Appetite and Support Thyroid Function

A common misconception of coconut oil is its association with weight gain when in fact the opposite is true. Coconut oil consists of 50% lauric acid, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. Also included is myristic, caprylic and palmitic acid.

The presence of these acids helps to reduce appetite while increasing proper function of the thyroid. This does not mean they are an appetite suppressant rather they allow a healthy level of food consumption and provide longer time duration of feeling full. The increase in metabolism and thyroid function assists in our body burning fat calories rather than storing them.

The presence of medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil allows the rapid digestion of these acids before they reach the intestinal tract whereas other oils contain slow digesting long-chain triglycerides. These particular long-chain triglycerides also trigger the body’s fat storing function ultimately resulting in weight gain.

Coconut Oil is Great for Hair and Skin

Hair and skin reap coconut oil benefits by receiving high levels of antioxidants, which effectively combat free radicals. Free radicals promote the bodies aging process by weakening skin tissue whereas antioxidants work to combat free radical levels. In addition, a natural derivative of coconut oil is Vitamin E. This vitamin strengthens skin tissue and hair follicles while retaining skin and hair’s optimum condition.

The antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties in coconut oil (lauric and caprylic acid) ward off skin infections such as acne and blemishes as well.

Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil combats free radicals and cholesterol. The presence of high free radical levels damages the body’s artery walls. Once damage occurs, walls of the arteries start collecting cholesterol or plaque buildup. If left untreated this build up causes life threatening artery blockage resulting in hardening of the arteries, strokes and heart disease.

The healthy acids provided in coconut oil help to heal the damaged artery walls while reducing harmful free radical levels. In addition, a healthy level of coconut oil promotes good cardiovascular health benefits.

Coconut Oil Helps Absorption of Calcium and Magnesium

Coconut oil increases our body’s absorption of many beneficial substances such as calcium and  magnesium. When these substance levels increase, they promote strong bones and healthy teeth conditioning. Healthy teeth ward off cavities, which cut down on tooth decay while strong bones ward off osteoarthritis.

In addition, the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil help the effects of arthritis by increasing our body’s’ absorption rate.

Coconut Oil to Help Fight Arthritis

Microorganisms in the body can create infections and secure themselves deep within joint membranes causing damage and creating arthritis. Antibiotics are unable to penetrate deeply enough into joint membranes making these microorganisms immune to antibiotics. However, the deep absorption rate of healthy fatty acids reaches these joint membranes, destroying the infection-causing microorganisms.

The healthy acids in coconut oil help to correct the joint damage of arthritis while fighting and warding off further infection.

How to Use Coconut Oil

Setting a container of oil in warm water will sufficiently melt coconut oil as it comes in solid form. Recommendations include starting with one tablespoon of organic/virgin coconut oil daily while increasing to three tablespoons daily; one tablespoon taken after each meal.

For individuals unable to stand pure doses, including it in drinks or recipes requiring oil will help.

Hair treatment involves massaging two tablespoons into hair and scalp and leaving on overnight followed by a shampoo in the morning. Skin treatment involves massaging the oil onto your face and body as you would a daily moisturizer.

Coconut as a Cooking Oil

As mentioned above, coconut oil is known for its stability at high temperatures, making it a popular choice for cooking methods that involve heat. The stability of an oil at high temperatures is often referred to as its “smoke point,” which is the temperature at which the oil begins to break down, smoke, and produce harmful compounds.

Coconut oil has a relatively high smoke point, and its stability is attributed to its composition of saturated fats, primarily medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The smoke point of coconut oil can vary depending on the type of coconut oil (refined or unrefined), but in general, it ranges between 350°F to 400°F (175°C to 205°C).

Here are some considerations for which type of Coconut Oil to use:

Refined vs. Unrefined

Refined Coconut Oil: Refined coconut oil often has a higher smoke point compared to unrefined (virgin) coconut oil. The refining process removes impurities and certain components, increasing the oil’s stability at higher temperatures.

Unrefined (Virgin) Coconut Oil: Unrefined coconut oil has a slightly lower smoke point due to its natural and minimally processed state. It retains more of the coconut flavor and aroma.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Herb Notes / Side Effects

Not all individuals may tolerate coconut oil and temporary side effects may include bouts of diarrhoea. It is important to start by consuming small doses while slowly increasing to the daily-recommended three-tablespoon dosage intake. This allows your body time to become properly acclimated to virgin or organic coconut oil. Many individuals should be aware of allergic reactions as well.

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