By Sara Crow L.Ac
Coconut is a surprisingly talented traditional oil that has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years in tropical cultures. Coconut oil is derived from what is commonly called the ‘Tree of Life’, the coconut palm, known for its ability to meet a great number of basic human needs: food, fuel, and shelter.
In recent times, much research has been done on coconut oil confirming the vast health benefits celebrated by traditional cultures. As a saturated fat, consisting primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), coconut oil is not easily oxidized and does not cause harmful free radical damage like polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Therefore, it is a health-promoting stable oil with a long shelf life that robustly resists rancidity.
How coconut oil can help you:
1. Skin Moisturizer:
Coconut contains many healing fats for the skin. Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin. In addition to improving dry, rough and wrinkle-prone skin, coconut oil improves circulation, lifts and contours, reduces under eye bags, fights free radicals, and prevents stretch marks and lightens existing ones.
Coconut oil is thought to encourage the production of pregnenolone, a precursor to the body’s other naturally occurring hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. Pregnenolone is synthesized directly from cholesterol and is responsible in part for the health of our skin and for countless functions in our bodies. As we age, however, the body’s production of this valuable hormone naturally declines and levels of the hormones for which pregnenolone is a precursor also diminishes. Therefore, coconut oil used both internally and externally is a fantastic way to keep the skin looking healthy and youthful.
2. Health and beauty food:
There are well-documented advantages for including coconut and coconut oil in your diet. It supports a healthy inflammatory response, purifies the digestive tract, works to balance the microflora in the intestinal tract, nourishes the connective tissue, and lubricates the joints to name a small few. It’s a great addition to smoothies, healthy treats and is superior for baking, frying and sautéing.
Best Coconut, Turmeric Golden Milk
In a blender, combine 2 cups of warm to hot (but not boiling) water, 1 TBSP of our coconut oil, 3/4 cup of coconut milk powder, 1 heaping TBSP of organic turmeric powder (or 1 inch peeled fresh), 1 inch peeled fresh ginger root, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend for approximately 2 minutes on high. Pour into a mug. Add raw honey or stevia powder as desired. You can strain the ‘milk’ for increased creaminess and smooth texture.
3. Hair Masque:
The good fats in coconut oil are hydrating and protective against damage. It can increase the overall health of the hair, contributing to enhanced shine and luster. One study shows it has some minor benefits as a sunscreen, blocking approximately 15% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays (great for color treated hair).
Restorative Overnight Hair Masque
Apply 1-2 TBPS of coconut oil onto dry hair, making sure to totally saturate the ends. Lay a hand towel over the pillow to protect it from the oil. Wash out in the morning with a hydrating, gentle shampoo. A very small amount (size of a pencil eraser) can be used on dry ends to defrizz, hydrate and boost luster.
4. Superior Gum Serum & Oil Pulling Agent:
Coconut oil is purifying and nourishing for the teeth and gums, wonderful for tackling existing challenges and preventing future problems. To soothe angry gums and purify the entire mouth, apply to gums as needed. It can be used as an oil pulling agent. Use 1 TBPS (or more) of coconut oil to ‘pull’ through the teeth to mechanically remove debris and pathogenic factors from hard to reach places between the teeth.
Due to its importance in dental health, we’ve included it in our ‘Mouth Rescue’ Daily Dental Serum and Oil Pulling Treatment’ containing essential oils and other important botanicals for superior dental health.
5. Makeup remover and facial cleanser:
Coconut oil is a great alternative to harsh soaps and stripping facial cleansers. It effectively removes dirt, debris, and makeup while hydrating and protecting the delicate yin layers. Apply 1 teaspoon to dry face and neck. Wipe off with a warm, wet washcloth or organic cotton pad.
6. Weight loss:
Coconut oil has significant thermogenic properties and beautifully supports thyroid function and overall metabolism. The high concentration of MCFA’s found in coconut metabolize differently than most other fats we consume, contributing to beneficial effects on metabolism. Eating coconut oil increases fat burning and many studies show that it significantly boosts metabolism. One study, in particular, showed that it increased energy expenditure by 120 calories per day. FYI- the saturated fat found in coconut oil has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. The harmful fats to definitely avoid are artificial trans fats and processed vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids. Coconut oil, ghee, and butter are all excellent choices for cooking, especially for high-heat cooking methods like frying.
7. Problem skin:
Many skin problems arising from a combination of clogged pores and pathogenic factors can be benefited by coconut. Teenage and hormonal breakouts at any age, respond positively to coconut oil’s purifying properties. Swap out harsh soaps and foaming cleansers for coconut oil to wash the face. Apply 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to dry skin, rub in circular motions, and then remove with an organic cotton pad.
We’re sorry, but Floracopeia’s coconut oil is no longer available due to environmental issues in Fiji.
Floracopeia’s coconut oil has unique properties and additional benefits over most coconut oils on the market. We are so fortunate to have a fully sustainable coconut oil utilizing ethnobotanical practices. Our coconut oil is handmade, unrefined, containing a fresh coconut aroma and flavor. It is not subjected to high heat processing like most coconut oils on the market. Your coconut oil purchase keeps at room temperature for at least 2 years.
NOTE: *MCFAs and MCT are interchangeable terms