There are many blog posts about the Cocos nucifera oil, most commonly known as coconut oil. If you type “coconut oil” right now on Google Search, you will find at least 30 million articles with it. It became a big sensation a few years ago. However it is far older than you think, and part of Ayurveda medicine. It is said that it is a miracle oil for skincare, culinary and hair. Who would have thought one single chemical, or oil would bring such wonders to the world.
Coconut oil is usually solid a room temperature (below 30 °C) due to its high content of saturated fat. It is made out of the exotic coconut fruit using several processes in the industry, however the methods mostly used at home are the wet mill, cold process and boiling the coconut.
The three methods are very well explained with some illustrations attached to guide you throughout the process. It is fairly easy to do as long as patience is one of the traits you have. Remember that most of the things done at home gives you control over the ingredients in it, instead of buying the store version. For people who have difficulties in getting or no access to foreign goods but have available coconut, then I say there is no better version than homemade. Visit the WikiHow page for information on how to make it homemade.
Let us agree the homemade version is much better for most of the products and coconut oil is not the exception. It is said that this miraculous oil is packed with all goodies for the human body such as saturated fats (acids such lauric, myristic, caprylic), some traces of vitamin E and proteins. Now imagine being both homemade and providing you with a long list of benefits? Do not believe me, read it for yourself in the following sections:
Due to the rich its composition, the coconut oil helps retain moisture present in the skin. The presence of vitamin E helps the skin to grow, repair, and smooths it as well. In combination with some sugar and essential oil, it makes a great skin exfoliate.
Recipe for Exfoliation:
Use two cups of sugar, one cup of coconut oil, some drops of essential oils and vitamin E to exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to remove dead cell and smooth it out.
Although coconut oil presents some benefits to the skin, it can be inappropriate for some types of skin. It is just like anything else, it does not fit “all sizes”, in this case skins. For example, people whose skin is prone to acne or fast to absorb the oil. For more information on this, visit the From the Bathtub.
Fatty acids in the composition of coconut oil are well known to moisturize the scalp and hair. Those acids have high affinity to the hair proteins, specially lauric acid. When it is used in the pre-wash, for example, it protects the proteins from the post washing effects. Those effects can be devastating for the hair as they can cause breakage and damage due to hair shaft rise.
There are several recipes for hair care using coconut oil, but plenty of times I just use plain coconut oil, after washing the hair with conditioner, and leave it for around 8 hours. The following step is to remove it using the same conditioner, carry on with life. The recipe below is used once a month by me.
Recipe for Hair Treatment:
Mix one cup favorite conditioner with 2 tablespoons coconut oil and some vitamin E to nourish the hair. Leave it on for a couple of hours and then wash it well with salt free shampoo and use leave-in conditioner with some coconut oil.
It has worked for me, and my dry hair has become better in texture and fullness. For more information on the effects of coconut oil in the hair, visit Mercola.
Contrary to what many articles say about coconut oil unhealthy effects on diet due to saturated fats, it is not as bad as it seems. This is also due to the same saturated fats as they promote the formation of good cholesterol or HDL in your body. The saturated fats are mainly composed of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The body treats each type of fat differently depending on the size of the chain. The MCTs can be easily metabolized because of the size of their chains and inert source of energy characteristic. Nevertheless, the coconut oil can only have a good impact in your heart health if used in small quantities, paired with exercise and a good diet, one rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and low in sodium, for example. For more additional information, visit the WebMD or SparkPeople.
Many people claim that coconut oil helps to improve the oral and body system health. Due to antibacterial properties in edible oils such as the coconut oil, gingivitis and dental plaque formation can be fought. It also helps with the bleeding gums, reducing inflammation and whitening teeth with the help of oil pulling. This is a technique achieved by swishing around the mouth one tablespoon of coconut oil for at least 10 minutes. After spit the oil in the trash can, rinse mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual. Although these claims are not fully supported by science/medicine, many Ayurvedic practitioners say it otherwise.
There are more benefits to adding coconut oil into your daily routine. Once again, it may not fit your daily routine due to skin type or you may not have the benefits stated above. A small research should be done before adding it so as to know the benefits and its side effects. It is important to know both good and bad sides of things for better decision making. Remember, we are in this world as learners, including me. I hope this small introduction was as interesting and helpful as it was for me.
Before you go, I would like to ask the following questions:
- How do you use coconut oil?
- Has coconut oil been beneficial for you?
Until next time, my Hungry People.