Why You Can’t Do Without Coconut Oil

   

Coconut oil (cocos nucifera) has been known to offer many benefits for maintaining good health. Not only is it used for cooking but also in treating illnesses, as part of skincare regimes and so much more.

For centuries, the flesh and water of the coconut has been enjoyed by many. Over 1,000 studies have shown coconut oil to be among one of the healthiest super foods around. The oil is produced by extracting the dry coconut meat or the fresh coconut meat called copra from the coconut palm tree. Despite the name, coconuts are technically not nuts but a drupe (a fruit with a central stone containing a seed.)

The oil is produced by extracting the meat from the fruits of the Palm tree. Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil is made from the white fleshy meat, while refined coconut oil uses the dried flesh.

 

Difference between Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil has a lovely coconut scent and flavor and is made from the fresh meat using an expeller pressed method which involves no chemical being used. It is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Refined coconut oil doesn’t have much of a coconut flavor or aroma and is made from the dried meat. The oil goes through a refining process which involves bleaching and deodorizing. Beneficial nutrients are often lost when high temperatures and harsh chemicals are used.

 

Benefits of Coconut oil

Moisturizes and Hydrates

Coconut oil is a great moisturizer due to its healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids. These amazing fats include lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. They help the skin to lock in moisture and feel soft and smooth.

Infections

The fatty acids in coconut oil can help protect the skin against infections while the anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antioxidant properties work to heal wounds.

Face cleanser

Coconut oil is perfect for cleansing the face and very effective as a makeup remover due to its antimicrobial properties. It also helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

Though coconut oil can be used on all skin types, it is also comedogenic, meaning it can potentially clog pores. Therefore those who are prone to acne breakouts may want to be extra careful and start with a patch test.

Insect Repellant

Using coconut oil as a bug spray is a better alternative to those that may contain chemicals and toxins. You can choose to add an essential oil such as peppermint, lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, sage or cedarwood.

Oral Hygiene

Oil pulling is an effective way of cleansing the mouth of toxins and helping to combat gum disease. Simply swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, spit out and rinse. A drop or two of an essential oil such as tea tree, peppermint or clove can be added.

Hair Growth

Lauric acid found in coconut oil can help improve the health of the hair. Using the oil can reduce hair thinning and help hair grow longer and thicker. Start by gently massaging a small amount into the scalp 2 – 4 times a week.

Lip Balm

An excellent emollient, coconut oil will help to nourish and moisture the lips if these are dry and cracked. Due to its antiseptic and antibacterial nutrients, it can also protect lips from germs and infections.

Stretch Marks

The moisturizing and hydrating properties in coconut oil can help to minimize the appearance of stretch marks leaving skin with a plump texture. And the anti-inflammatory properties encourage collagen production which speeds up the reduction  of stretch marks.