The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of this palm tree. Every part of this palm can be used. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of “water” and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk.
The coconut flesh can be consumed raw, cooked, extracted—you can do almost everything with coconut.
The trunks are widely used in the rural areas in Indonesia for building houses. The leaf ribs can be used for brooms. The leaves are used for food-wrapping.
We already talked about the benefit of coconut water. Now, let’s talk about the benefits of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is excellent massage oil that acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, especially dry skin. It is a great solution for preventing dryness and flaking of the skin. And the good news is: coconut oil can delay the appearance of wrinkles of sagging of skin!
Not just that, coconut oil is also a wonderful cure for many skin disorders. The fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil can reduce inflammation internally and externally, so it is great for treating psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. In addition, the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin problems.
Did you ever wonder why many hair products contain coconut oil? The reason would be the ability of coconut oil to reduce protein loss. Coconut oil provides essential proteins for nourishing and healing damaged hair. By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your hair will be shiny, thick and strong, and your scalp is free from dandruff.
Coconut oil is also a great styling agent. If you often use hair dryers, flat irons, or curling irons, those will zap the moisture out of the hair shaft, causing it to be brittle and prone to tangling. Coconut oil helps to prevent this type of thermal damage, and when used in the proper amount for your hair texture and length, tames frizz and hair fly-aways. It can be applied throughout the day for touch-ups.
Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. Research suggests that coconut oil helps to reduce the abdominal obesity in women. Twenty minutes before mealtime is the best time to take your coconut oil as it will significantly reduce appetite and help you to feel full more quickly and be satisfied with smaller portions.
Mix 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil in a mug and add hot water or herbal tea. Stir to melt and drink. Here is the guideline to determine how much oil to consume before each meal:
- 41-59 kg, use 1 tbsp coconut oil before each meal for a total of 3 tbsp per day
- 59-82 kg, use 1.5 tbsp coconut oil before each meal for a total of 4.5 tbsp per day
- Over 82 kg, use 2 tbsp coconut oil before each meal for a total of 6 tbsp per day
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL) in your body, but also help to convert the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterol. By increasing the HDL’s in the body, it helps promote heart health, and lower the risk of heart disease.
Antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid with their antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties in coconut oil strengthen the immune system. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV.
Internal functions of coconut oil occur primarily due to it being used as cooking oil. It helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. If coconut oil is taken at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective, as they are readily available to be digested and used by the body.
When coconut oil is applied to infected areas, it forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air fungi, bacteria and viruses. Coconut oil is recommended to be applied on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues. Coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.
There are primarily 6 varieties of coconut oil:
- fractionated, and
- extra virgin.
When you want to buy coconut oil, first of all, you need to decide why you need it and where you are going to use it. Your choice should be based on your need. Below is a list of the purposes and the type of coconut oil to buy.
- For cooking, it’s preferable to buy refined coconut oil
- For weight loss, buy virgin coconut oil are suitable
- For good health, virgin or organic coconut oil are way to go
- For massaging, it’s good to buy pure or refined coconut oil
- For hair, pure or refined coconut oil work the best
- For medicinal uses, make sure you use virgin or virgin-organic coconut oil
Got any more suggestions on uses of this amazing oil? Your comments are most welcome!