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The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is one of our most highly recommended carrier oils for skin care, plus it’s a great nutritional supplement as well, at about 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. Many people seem to overlook it for something more “trendy” or “new”, but coconut oil is really a fantastically therapeutic oil, and belongs in many skin care blends.
Virgin coconut oil does need to be melted if it’s solid before blending — it “freezes” at about 70 degrees. But once in your blend, it will remain liquid. Coconut oil has been recognized for its anti-inflammatory and alagesic properties for the skin. (1) In addition, it has shown antibacterial and anti-fungal properties in laboratory research. (4)
The oil is composed of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which may be where its therapeutic actions result from.
As a beauty care agent, it is hailed as the finest of scalp massage oils, encouraging growth of shiny, strong, healthy hair.(2) It has even been recommended for those with thinning hair, and whether with coconut oil or another carrier, it has been suggested anecdotally that regular massage can help stimulate dormant follicles. We recommend using both Tamanu and coconut together for this purpose, as research on Tamanu oil has shown it can stimulate cell proliferation and collagen production.(3)
Skin Care and Coconut Oil
For skin care, it is highly recommended in blends for support of many skin conditions. It is an excellent moisturizer, and all its properties can help with eczema and psoriasis(5), as well as formulas for the reduction of appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years as a health-enhancing skin moisturizer because it is ideal for all skins types, including dry, rough and wrinkled skin.
It’s also recommended as an after-sun skin care oil, due to it’s anti-oxidant properties.(6) When the skin is exposed to UV rays, oxidation of your skin cells is one of the features of skin aging.
Further, again because of its antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties noted above, it can confidently be included in every skin care blend you can think of.
It can be blended with other base oils as well, because of its multitude of therapeutic properties, which will synergize with really every other carrier.
Nutrition and Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is made up completely saturated medium-chain fatty acid (remember: not all saturated fats are bad!), coconut oil contains no cholesterol and does not form dangerous trans-fatty acids. The medium-chain fatty acids (MCT’s) in coconut oil may possess health benefits by requiring less energy and fewer enzymes to digest, allowing the body to quickly convert the MCT’s into usable energy. Even better than olive oil for lowering overall cholesterol levels, coconut oil is stable at high temperatures (up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit), making it an excellent choice for use in cooking.
Coconut oil is one of nature’s most versatile and health-enhancing fats. Studies show that coconut oil supports the health of the thyroid gland (7), which regulates the necessary anti-aging steroids progesterone, DHEA and pregnenolone. These steroids are required to help prevent heart disease, senility, obesity, cancer and other degenerative diseases associated with aging. Coconut oil also contains capryllic acid as well as lauric acid, both of which have been researched for their anti-microbial activity. (8,9,10). It has long been known that caprilyc acid is the most potent yeast-fighting substance (11), making it an excellent choice for those working with releasing candida and other inner ecology imbalances. Transitioning to coconut oil as one’s fat source may support normalizing blood sugar levels (because of lowered sugar intake) while increasing energy, building a healthy immune and nervous system and reducing the overall stress on one’s body through all the mechanisms mentioned above. Many sources recommend consuming coconut oil consists in daily doses of two to three (or more) tablespoons for an adult.
- Pharm Biol. 2010 Feb;48(2):151-7. doi: 10.3109/13880200903062614.
Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil.
Intahphuak S1, Khonsung P, Panthong A.
- J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-92.
Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.
Rele AS1, Mohile RB.
- Planta Med. 2016 Jul;82(11-12):961-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-108205. Epub 2016 Jun 9.
Biological Activity of Polynesian Calophyllum inophyllum Oil Extract on Human Skin Cells.
Ansel JL1, Lupo E2, Mijouin L2, Guillot S3, Butaud JF4, Ho R1, Lecellier G5, Raharivelomanana P1, Pichon C2.
- Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.
Verallo-Rowell VM1, Dillague KM, Syah-Tjundawan BS.
- Int J Dermatol. 2014 Jan;53(1):100-8. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12339. Epub 2013 Dec 10.
The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial.
Evangelista MT1, Abad-Casintahan F, Lopez-Villafuerte L.
- Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Apr;40(4):393-400. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0351. Epub 2015 Feb 9.
Coconut oil supplementation and physical exercise improves baroreflex sensitivity and oxidative stress in hypertensive rats.
Alves NF1, Porpino SK, Monteiro MM, Gomes ER, Braga VA.
- https://wellnessmama.com/36/thyroid-problems-coconut-oil/, Ray Peat Ph.D.
- Food Microbiol. 2015 Aug;49:166-72. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2015.02.009. Epub 2015 Feb 21.
Synergistic antimicrobial activity of caprylic acid in combination with citric acid against both Escherichia coli O157:H7 and indigenous microflora in carrot juice.
Kim SA1, Rhee MS2.
- Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2016 Dec;48(6):765-767. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2016.09.002. Epub 2016 Sep 29.
Antibacterial activity of caprylic acid for potential application as an active antiseptic ingredient in consumer antiseptics.
Kim SA1, Rhee MS2.
- J Dermatol Sci. 2014 Mar;73(3):232-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2013.10.010. Epub 2013 Nov 7.
Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of capric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: a comparative study with lauric acid.
Huang WC1, Tsai TH2, Chuang LT3, Li YY1, Zouboulis CC4, Tsai PJ5.
- https://draxe.com/caprylic-acid/, Dr. Axe, Caprylic Acid: The Saturated Fat that Fights Candida, Infections & Acne