Coconut oil is a natural and tropical oil which is made from the dried coconut fruit of a coconut palm tree. Owing to its many health benefits, its use is becoming increasingly popular.
Coconut oil is very beneficial for the skin being a skin softener, skin exfoliant, and a protective sunscreen. It is packed with proteins, which will make sure your skin remains healthy and rejuvenated. Coconut oil is traditionally used as an option to many anti–aging creams available on the market today due to its antioxidant properties, preventing skin wrinkles and premature aging. Coconut oil is a common ingredient in many skin care creams used worldwide by women and men every day.
It has been estimated that about 100 gr of coconut oil contain about 0.1 mg of vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential for the skin health contributing to skin repair, skin growth, skin softening and skin protection. Coconut oil is packed with saturated fats as well, which helps it moisturize the skin.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin
The health benefits of coconut oil for the skin are known worldwide. Coconut oil, being a natural oil, without any additives and chemicals, is known to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. In tropical parts of the world, people commonly apply coconut oil on their skin, just as we use protective sun creams.
Coconut oil is a well-known skin softener. If you have dry skin, you can use a natural product such as coconut oil and you can notice the remarkable effects very soon as your skin will be as soft as possible. If you have hardened or cracked feet, coconut oil will do the work too. Within a couple of days, your feet will become softer and look beautiful.
Coconut oil is also a great natural exfoliator for the skin. Any dead skin and dirt from your face and body will get away and your blocked pores will open without any irritation. Usually after using any exfoliant, your skin becomes irritated and red, however with coconut oil, this problem is solved as no skin irritation is experienced.
Coconut oil is great as a lip softener, being a healthy alternative to many lip balms available on the market today. The biggest difference is that coconut oil is all-natural without any chemicals, compared to lip balms you buy at the nearest grocery store. Even if you swallow coconut oil, it does not harm you. It will have only additional health benefits for you.
Researchers have shown that regular use of coconut oil is effective for the treatment of several skin disorders varying from skin acne to eczema and even psoriasis. It looks like the coconut oil works as an antimicrobial by treating a skin infection. It also helps recover and heal any skin damage or visible skin marks regardless of their cause.
One more advantage of coconut oil is that it can be used as a makeup remover. Yes, you read it right. Even though coconut oil is not commonly used as a makeup remover, it is good to know that you can use it to remove makeup from your face. Coconut oil is healthy and natural, so you need not worry about any chemicals harming your skin, especially when you have very sensitive skin and just couldn’t find the right products to use for your skin type.
How to Apply Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil comes in jars, either as liquid or solid. Take some coconut oil on your palm, rub the palms together and apply the coconut oil directly on the skin in the desired area of the body. Keep in mind that you will only need a small amount of coconut oil to protect and nourish your skin for a long period of time. Don’t make the mistake that most do by applying too much coconut oil. The human skin can only absorb a certain amount of the coconut oil applied. If you use too much coconut oil and too often, you will end up having oily and greasy skin.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Coconut oil has wonderful health benefits for your hair as it is rich in carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins which will make your hair healthy and beautiful.
Coconut oil is a great natural remedy for hair loss used since ancient times. A mixture of sage leaves boiled in coconut oil when applied directly to the scalp will improve your hair health and prevent your hair from falling. Another great recipe for hair loss is by mixing lime water with coconut oil.
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid so it penetrates inside the hair shaft, protecting your undamaged hair and recovering your damaged hair. It also keeps your hair soft and moist, thus preventing your hair from breaking due to its high moisture retaining capacity.
Coconut oil is also a great hair conditioner. Make sure to apply some warm coconut oil in your hair before going to sleep and wash your hair the next morning. If you repeat this process every couple of days, your hair will be strong, healthy and conditioned.
Another great property of coconut oil for hair is dandruff prevention. Coconut oil when mixed with castor oil and lukewarm water is a great recipe for treating and preventing dandruff. For better and faster results, you should massage your scalp with the above – mentioned mixture. Another coconut oil recipe for dandruff is mixing at home coconut oil and sesame oil, which needs to be applied to the hair for about 30 minutes, followed by hair shampooing and hair wash.
Coconut oil protects against lice as well. Lice can be quite embarrassing and in many cases, it is quite difficult to eliminate them completely as they tend to come back again and again. The chemical components available on the market for lice treatment can damage your scalp and hair. A healthy option for lice treatment is coconut oil.
Coconut oil also protects your hair from turning gray and is effective in preventing and treating split ends. Coconut oil when mixed with almond oil can help eliminate or minimize the problem. Coconut oil is great even for dry hair.
Coconut Oil Pulling
We all can’t imagine our day without brushing our teeth or flossing them regularly to keep them healthy. However, our ancestors did not have toothbrushes, toothpaste and tooth floss yet most of them lived a healthy life with their teeth intact even in their old age. One of the reasons is they used natural ways to take care of their teeth, such as coconut oil pulling.
Coconut oil has many health benefits among which it is also a great way to remove the bacteria and protect your teeth and gums. Nowadays, coconut oil pulling is becoming popular. Primarily, coconut oil pulling was used in Ayurvedic medicine due to its great oral detoxification properties. For this purpose, take one tablespoon of coconut oil directly into your mouth for about 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t swallow the coconut oil, but spit it out and rinse the mouth immediately with warm water.
Coconut oil pulling works by sucking all the toxins from the oral cavity, creating this way a clean oral environment. By keeping your oral cavity healthy and free of toxins, germs and food debris, you will prevent caries and other diseases of the oral cavity.
For centuries, Ayurvedic medicine has recommended coconut oil pulling for its effectivenes in treating the following problems:
- Healing bleeding gums
- Whitening teeth
- Fighting bad breath
- Curing tooth decay
- Preventing cavities
- Reducing inflammation
- Healing cracked lips
- Soothing dry throat
- Boosting Immune system, etc.
Coconut oil pulling is recommended about 3 to 4 times per week for healthy teeth. Oil pulling is recommended in the morning with an empty stomach, even though you can try it at other times during the day before you have a meal. It usually takes about a week for the first results to become noticeable. Coconut oil pulling is even recommended during pregnancy.
Coconut Oil for Cooking
Recent studies suggest that coconut oil may not be harmful to our health as it was believed before. Today, more and more families are using coconut oil for cooking. If you like the flavor of coconut, you can use unrefined coconut oil while preparing your favorite recipes. If you are not a real fan of the coconut flavor, refined coconut oil is available with a neutral taste and flavor.
Coconut oil due to its ability to withstand high cooking temperatures is great for many baking, roasting, frying or sautéing recipes. Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point of around 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coconut oil is especially preferred by the vegan popularity as it is a perfect replacement for butter. However, if you use coconut oil instead of butter when preparing your recipes, use 25% less oil than the butter you use for the same recipe.
Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
Coconut oil has some great effects on the metabolism as well as it contains a unique combination of fatty acids. Certain studies suggest that coconut oil reduces the waist size. However, it has been estimated that it does not lead to significant weight loss.
Coconut oil contains large amounts of medium–chain fatty acids which are stored in the adipose tissue lesser compared to long–chain fatty acids. These medium–chain fatty acids have a different metabolism than other types of fat, being sent directly to the liver where they are used for the production of energy needed for the human body. Coconut oil has also thermogenic effects, meaning that it helps burn fats easier and quicker when compared to other fats.
Another great effect of the medium–chain fatty acids that coconut oil contains, is the reduction of appetite. It also increases the feeling of fullness, which also reduces the number of calories you will take during a day. On the other hand, coconut oil is rich in saturated fat and calories, meaning that if you consume too much coconut oil, it will give you some extra calories. It is recommended not to consume more than 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, about 30 grams, each day. Coconut oil pills are another great option when trying to lose weight.