Coconut (C. nucifera) belongs to the Arecaceae (Palmae) family and the subfamily Cocoideae.
The flesh of the coconut is very high in healthy fatty acids. The composition of fat varies depending on the type and processing of the oil. Medium-chain saturated fatty acids make up approximately 90% of coconut oil with a slight contribution of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
What’s so good about Medium Chain Fatty Acids?
Medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA’s) are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by the body, while freely crossing the blood-brain barrier in the unbound form, which means it can be used by the brain as an energy source but also for neurological health.
What’s also great is that virgin (unrefined) coconut oil is affordable, readily available, delicious and completely natural. It’s also…
- Anti-carcinogenic (prevents the spread of cancer cells and enhances the immune system)
- Anti-microbial/ Infection fighting (bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, parasites and protozoa)
- An antioxidant (protects against free-radical formation and damage)
- Improves nutrient absorption (easily digestible; makes fat-based vitamins more available to the body – ie. vitamin A, D, E, K)
- Nontoxic to humans and animals
Coconut Oil for Personal Hygiene and the Body
- Age Spots (also known as liver spots) – applying coconut oil directly to the age spot will help it fade.
- After Shave – coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores. Great for razor burn!
- Baldness – combine coconut oil with lavender, rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, Jojoba oil, Grapeseed/ castor oil and a little cayenne pepper. Apply three times a day (or before bed) to affected area of hair loss and massage in. Coconut oil and these essential oils supports cell regeneration.
- Body Scrub – mix coconut oil and salt together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft. You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
- Bruises – applied directly to the bruise, coconut oil enhances the healing process by reducing swelling and redness.
- Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
- Burns – apply to burn site immediately and continue applying until healed. Will reduce the chances of permanent scarring and promotes healing.
- Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
- Cradle Cap – having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto scalp daily.
- Dandruff – coconut oil soaks into the scalp moisturizing dry skin and relieves symptoms of dandruff. It also helps to control oil secretion from the scalp, another leading cause of dandruff.
- Deodorant – coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda.
- Diaper Salve – very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
- Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
- Face Wash/ Soap – mix equal parts coconut oil with olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil and castor oil and use in place of soap when washing your face. Wet face, rub oil in and leave on for two minutes, rinse and pat dry. One teaspoon should be adequate.
- Hair conditioner/ Deep Treatment – use as a leave-in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest. For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
- Hair Gel/ Defrizzer – rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
- Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
- Lubricant – it is an all-natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant. Not compatible with latex!
- Makeup Remover – use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works!
- Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
- Moisturizer – simply scoop some out of the jar and apply all over your body, including neck and face. Often lotions are water-based and can dry out your skin even more.
- Nipple Cream – works great to nourish cracked, sore or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings.
- Acne Skin Fix – prone to oily skin or an oily T-zone? Use a pea sized amount underneath makeup or alone to reduce oil gland stimulation. Often acne prone skin is actually too dry, which signals your glands to produce more oil and clogs the pores.
- Pre-Shave – coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving.
- Skin Conditions – coconut oil can relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
- Stretch Marks – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.
- Sun Burn Relief – rub liberal amounts of coconut oil into the affected area.
- Sunscreen – It’s not high, but coconut oil does have an SPF of around 4.
- Swimmers Ear – mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.
- Tattoo Healing and Moisturizer – continued use of coconut oil on tattoos will help keep the pigment from fading. Used on new tattoos, coconut will hasten the healing process and decrease the chance of infection.
- Toothpaste – there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush.
- Wrinkle Prevention and Wrinkle Reducer – rubbing coconut oil on winkles and sagging skin helps strengthen the connective tissues to bring back that youthful look!
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So what is the best coconut oil on the market ?