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05.12.2019 Feature Article

Coconut: The Tree of Life, Oil—More Effective Than Permethrin for Head Lice

Coconut: The Tree of Life, Oil—More Effective Than Permethrin for Head Lice
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To date, there are over 1,500 studies to be accessed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=coconut+oil proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil uses and benefits go beyond what most people realize, as coconut oil — made from copra or fresh coconut flesh — is a true superfood. It’s no wonder the coconut tree is considered the “tree of life” in many tropical locations.

There’s no doubt that many people are confused about whether or not they should consume coconut oil regularly, especially after the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2017 report on saturated fats titled Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association led by Frank et al . The truth is that while the AHA’s recommendation to reduce saturated fats in your diet is reasonable, it doesn’t mean that people can’t consume any of it says Dr. Axe. In fact, the AHA recommends sticking to 30 grams per day for men and 20 grams per day for women, which is about 2 tablespoons or 1.33 tablespoons of coconut oil, respectively.

The spotlight is that, AHA did point out that we don’t have to completely avoid saturated fats, and that’s because we actually need it. It works to enhance our immune function and protect the liver from toxins. And while the AHA is focused on how saturated fats may increase LDL cholesterol levels, we need to remember that coconut oil works to reduce inflammation naturally. Reducing inflammation should be everyone’s biggest health goal, as it is the root cause of heart disease and many other conditions.

So despite the hullabalo attached coconut oil in recent times, it plays a an important role in reducing inflammation, supporting cognitive and heart health, and boosting energy levels — this is just the few of the many coconut oil benefits.

It also has antifungal and virucidal effects against certain viruses such as HIV and herpes , influenza, measles , gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Coconut oil is easy on your digestive system and does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream, so for a quick energy boost, you could simply eat a spoonful of coconut oil, or add it to your food. To get more coconut oil into your diet, you can add it to your tea or coffee, in lieu of a sweetener. It will also help improve absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so taking a spoonful of coconut oil along with your daily vitamins may help boost their effectiveness.

Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged like many other oils (olive oil, for example, should not be used for cooking for this reason). Furthermore, coconut oil does not go rancid, which is a huge boon when you're making homemade concoctions. Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Since you would expect the small percentage of unsaturated oils naturally contained in coconut oil to become rancid, it seems that the other (saturated) oils have a powerful antioxidant effect.

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What Is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is made by pressing dried coconut meat, called copra, or fresh coconut meat. To make coconut oil, you can use a “dry” or “wet” method. The milk and oil from the coconut is pressed and then the oil is removed. Coconut oil has a firm texture at cool or room temperatures because the fats in the oil, which are mostly saturated fats, are made up of smaller molecules. At temperatures about 78 degrees, coconut oil liquifies. It has a smoke point of about 350 degrees, making it a great oil option for sautéed dishes, sauces and baked goods. It is also easily absorbed into the skin because of its smaller fat molecules, making it an excellent skin and scalp moisturizer.

Types of Coconut Oil

The many coconut oil benefits are only available with a good quality product such as:

Virgin coconut oil: Virgin coconut oil is the least refined and most beneficial. It’s made with copra, or dried coconut meat, that’s removed from the shell and pressed to extract the natural oils. Virgin coconut oil typically has a great nutty and sweet flavor. Within the virgin coconut oil category, there is an oil that’s been produced using a “wet-milling” method, which means that it’s extracted from fresh coconut meat, and oil that’s been produced with a dry method, as dried copra is used instead. You many also come across “extra-virgin coconut oil,” but there is not much difference between virgin and extra-virgin when it comes to coconut oil, so either is a great ideal.

Refined coconut oil: Refined coconut oil has gone through a refining process that involves bleaching and deodorizing the oil. Unlike virgin coconut oil, refined oils don’t have a clear coconut taste or aroma. Refined coconut oils are not recommended because many of them are made with high temperatures and harsh chemicals, both of which can destroy the oil’s beneficial antioxidants.

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Coconut Oil Nutrition

Thousands of studies have been conducted to reveal the hidden benefits of this amazing superfood : namely healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These unique fats include:

  1. Caprylic acid
  2. Lauric acid
  3. Capric acid

About 62 percent of the oils in coconut are composed of these three healthy fatty acids, and 91 percent of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat. This fat composition makes it one of the most beneficial fats on the planet, as the USDA nutrient database proves. About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. In fact, coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on Earth. The body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that has shown to be somewhat effective in combating antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus and streptococcus.

Most of the fats we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a three-step process to be turned into fuel, as opposed to other fats that have to go through a 26-step process!

Interestingly, unlike long-chain fatty acids found in plant-based oils, MCFAs are:

  1. Easier to digest
  2. Not readily stored as fat
  3. Antimicrobial and antifungal
  4. Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
  5. Processed by the liver, which means that they’re immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat
  6. One tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 120 calories, 14 grams of fat, no fiber, no cholesterol and only trace amounts of vitamins and minerals.
  7. The cardinal point here is that, it’s the MCFAs present in coconut copra that makes it a true superfood, and it’s why coconut oil health benefits are so plentiful and amazing.

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6 General Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

In generality, coconut oil offers a truly remarkable collection of health benefits when included in daily diet. In addition to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is beneficial for:

  1. Promoting heart health
  2. Supporting proper thyroid function
  3. Promoting healthy brain function
  4. Strengthening your immune system
  5. Providing an excellent "fuel" for your body and supporting a strong metabolism that can aid in weight loss
  6. Maintaining healthy and youthful looking skin

While coconut oil is an ideal food for fostering health and beauty from the inside out, it also has a staggering number of other uses, from topical beauty applications to first aid treatments, to general household cleaning.

  1. Coconut Oil May Help With The Treatment of Different Conditions

Because of its antimicrobial and antiviral activity and other health benefits, it's a no-brainer that coconut oil deserves a place in your medicine cabinet. Some of the medicinal uses for coconut oil include:

Ear infections — Place a couple of drops into each ear canal. If the coconut oil has solidified, you can easily liquefy it by placing a small amount in a shot glass or other small container and placing it into a cup of hot water.

Skin rashes and irritations, including chicken pox and shingles — Simply apply a small amount to the affected area/s.

Fungal and/or yeast infections such as athlete's foot and ringworm. For fungal infections, you can mix in a small amount of oregano oil or tea tree oil.

Bug bites and bee stings: Apply a thin coat of coconut oil on the bites or stings to alleviate swelling and itchiness.

Cold sores — mix in a small amount of oregano oil, and apply at the first signs.

Frequent nosebleeds may be improved by regularly applying a small amount to the inside of your nostrils.

Thrush — Combine coconut oil and a few drops of peppermint oil. Swish the mixture around your mouth like you do with mouthwash. The antifungal properties of coconut oil will help in treating this condition.

Hemorrhoids and piles — You may mix coconut oil with a small amount of lavender essential oil for added healing power.

Vaginal dryness

Perineal massage— Expectant mothers can use it to massage the perineum daily, starting about a month or so before your due date, to help reduce your chances of tearing and/or the need for an episiotomy.

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  1. Coconut Oil for Mothers and Babies

For an expectant mother, various changes will take place in your body. You and your baby can both benefit from coconut oil even before you welcome your child to the world. To help you make your pregnancy as comfortable as possible or assist you in motherhood, here are a few coconut oil uses you can try out:

Stretch mark treatment — Expectant mothers can use coconut oil as a moisturizer for their stomach to avoid developing stretchmarks during pregnancy. Using coconut oil instead of chemical-based lotions provides you with a safer choice.

Topical solution for cracked nipples — Some breastfeeding mothers usually suffer from cracked or sore nipples due to different factors. Applying coconut oil can help in soothing and moisturizing them, without exposing your breastfeeding baby to any harmful chemicals usually found in other moisturizers.

Nutrient boost for breastmilk — Studies show that coconut consumption helps in doubling the lauric acid in breastmilk, a healthy fat that would aid your baby's immune system and brain development.

Diaper rash treatment — Because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties, coconut oil may help treat your baby's diaper rash and provide a protective barrier against other bacteria.

Natural treatment for cradle cap — Cradle cap is a common condition in babies where their heads start developing dry skin. While it's not uncomfortable for your baby, coconut oil can still be used to minimize the dry scales on your baby's head.

While it's commonly valued for its culinary and medicinal properties, coconut oil is also one of the best personal care products you'll ever find. The video above, featuring HolisticHabits blogger and coconut oil aficionado Sarah, recounts many of the beauty uses for coconut oil.

The second video includes a recipe making your own coconut oil-based deodorant. A previous article by Delicious Obsessions10 also lists no less than 122 creative uses for this household staple, including 21 DIY coconut oil skin care recipes.11 For example, coconut oil can be used to replace the following personal care and beauty products:

Makeup remover — Swipe on with a moist cotton ball. Wipe off with clean cotton ball or wet washcloth.

Facial cleanser — Massage a dollop of coconut oil onto face and neck. Wash off with wet washcloth and pat dry.

Body scrub — Mix equal parts coconut oil with organic cane sugar in a glass jar. Use the scrub on dry skin prior to your shower or bath.

Facial scrub: Instead of sugar, mix coconut oil with baking soda , or oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon, for a gentle facial scrub.

Shaving lotion — Apply a thin layer of coconut oil on area to be shaved, and shave as usual. The lauric acid in the coconut oil will also serve as an antiseptic for cuts that result from shaving.

Face and body moisturizer — You can use it either by itself, or add your favorite essential oil. (Make sure you're using a high quality essential oil that is safe for topical application.) The featured article12 also suggests whipping the coconut oil with an electric mixer to produce a fluffy moisturizer that stays soft and spreadable even in cooler temperatures.

When applied topically, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.

Eye cream — Apply a thin layer of coconut oil around your eyes to soften wrinkles and counteract thinning, sagging skin.

Cuticle cream — Simply rub a small amount of coconut oil around your cuticles to soften dry areas.

Deodorant — Applying a small amount of coconut oil directly onto your armpits can help keep odors at bay, courtesy of the oil's antibacterial properties. If you prefer, you can add a small amount of baking soda, or make a homemade deodorant using coconut oil, baking soda and arrow root powder. For directions, see the second video above. DeliciousObsessions.com also lists additional deodorant recipes using coconut oil as the base.

Bath soak — Adding coconut oil to your bath can help moisturize dry itchy skin (Make sure to scrub your tub afterward to prevent slipping!). Make sure the water is warmer than 76 degrees Fahrenheit though, otherwise the oil will turn to a solid.

Soap — Coconut oil is one of the base ingredients in many homemade soap recipes, such as this one by NourishingJoy.com14

Lip balm — You can either apply a small amount of coconut oil, as is, or make your own lip balm using coconut oil as one of the base ingredients. You can find all sorts of recipes online, but here's one by The Liberated Kitchen.

Toothpaste — Mixed with baking soda, coconut oil can replace your regular toothpaste. The baking soda will gently cleanse while the coconut oil's antibacterial action may help keep harmful bacteria in check. For recissspes using essential oils to spruce up your toothpaste, see DeliciousObsessions.com .

Insect repellent — Mixing coconut oil with high-quality essential oils may help keep biting insects at bay when applied to exposed skin. Effective choices include: peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, tea tree oil , neem, citronella (Java Citronella), geraniol, catnip oil (according to one study, catnip oil is 10 times more effective than DEET), and/or clear vanilla oil

  1. Hair Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is also known for its hair benefits . Most women seem to prefer using it as a pre-shampoo conditioner. Simply massage the coconut oil onto dry hair and leave on for about an hour or longer. You could even leave it on overnight. Just wear a shower cap to protect your pillow. Then, wash and style as usual.

When applied in this manner, the coconut oil inhibits the penetration of water into the hair strands, which would otherwise cause the cuticle, or surface of the hair shaft, to rise, making it prone to damage and breakage. Furthermore, when applied as a pre-wash treatment, a small amount of the coconut oil is able to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft during the wash, when the hair fiber swells slightly.

This can also explain why so many rave about the oil's ability to prevent "the frizzies" in humid weather—this is another feature of its hydrophobic activity. More porous types of hair may find coconut oil particularly beneficial, such as African and chemically treated hair, as well as those suffering with any type of scalp problems, including dandruff.

Scientific Studies of Coconut Oil

According to medical research and the USDA nutrient database, coconut oil benefits the body in the following ways:

1. Proven Alzheimer’s disease Natural Treatment

The digestion of MCFAs by the liver creates ketones that are readily accessible by the brain for energy. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need for insulin to process glucose into energy. Recent research by Nafar F and Mearow KM 2014 titled Coconut oil attenuates the effects of amyloid-β on cortical neurons in vitro published in the journal Alzheimer Disease has shown that the brain actually creates its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. Also according to another research by Newport et al 2015 titled A new way to produce hyperketonemia: use of ketone ester in a case of Alzheimer's disease published in the journal Alzheimer Dementia proved that As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient loses the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.

2. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure

Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols. A randomized crossover trial conducted by Chinwong et 2017 titled Daily Consumption of Virgin Coconut Oil Increases High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Crossover Trial published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that daily consumption of 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil in young, healthy adults, significantly increased HDL cholesterol. Plus, no major safety issues of taking virgin coconut oil daily for eight weeks were reported.

By increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease . Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.

3. Treats UTI and Kidney Infection and Protects the Liver

Coconut oil has been known to clear up and improve UTI symptoms and kidney infections. The MCFAs in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Research also by Otuechere et al 2014 titled Virgin coconut oil protects against liver damage in albino rats challenged with the anti-folate combination, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole published in the journal Basic Clinical Physiology Pharmacology shows that coconut oil directly protects the liver from damage.

Coconut water also helps hydrate and support the healing process. Doctors have even injected coconut water to clear up kidney stones. Coconut is a powerful superfood, which is evident given all of these tremendous coconut oil health benefits

4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis

In an animal study in India conducted by Vysakh et al 2014 titled Polyphenolics isolated from virgin coconut oil inhibits adjuvant induced arthritis in rats through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action published in the journal International Immunopharmacology., the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil (VCO) reduced inflammation and improved arthritis symptoms more effectively than leading medications. In another recent study, coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells. It worked as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

5. Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer : one is the ketones produced in the oil. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose-dependent. It’s believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover.

And the second quality is the medium-chained fatty acid content in coconut oil. As the MCFAs digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known to increase the risk of stomach cancer. This study was conducted by Wroblewski et al 2010 titled Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Cancer: Factors That Modulate Disease Risk published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Rev iew. Another , research by Lappano et al 2017 titled The lauric acid-activated signaling prompts apoptosis in cancer cells published in the Cell Death Discovery shows that lauric acid found in coconut oil may have anticancer actions by triggering anti-proliferation and pro-apoptotic effects.

6. Immune System Boost (Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral)

Coconut oil contains lauric acid (monolaurin), which has shown in a research by Shilling et al 2013 titled Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile published in the journal Medicinal Food. , to reduce candida, fight bacteria and create a hostile environment for viruses. Many diseases today are caused by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites in the body.

You can replace grains and sugar in your diet with coconut oil as your natural fuel source when you’re sick. Sugar feeds the growth of bad bacteria. Instead, take one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily when sick, and consume plenty of vegetables and bone broth as well.

7. Improves Memory and Brain Function

In a 2004 study by James E. Galvin titled Optimizing Diagnosis And Manangement In Mild-To-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging , researchers found that the MCFAs in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects.

Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFAs are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin. Thus, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently.

8. Improves Energy and Endurance

Coconut oil is easy to digest and also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality unrefined coconut oil, you can get the most coconut oil benefits as its MCFAs are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy according to a study by Wang et al 2016 titled Effects of Long-Chain and Medium-Chain Fatty Acids on Apoptosis and Oxidative Stress in Human Liver Cells with Steatosis published in the Journal Food Science.

Today, many triathletes use coconut oil as their source of fuel during training and races for long-distance events. You can make a homemade energy fuel by mixing coconut oil, raw honey and chia seeds together. Simply put together one tablespoon of each and consume 30 minutes prior to exercise.

9. Improves Digestion and Reduces Stomach Ulcers and Ulcerative Colitis

Coconut also improves digestion as it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium and magnesium. 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.

Coconut oil can help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Candida imbalance, in particular, can decrease stomach acid, which causes inflammation and poor digestion. All this together means coconut oil benefits digestive health and helps treat or prevent stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis. This study was conducted by Ria et al 2016 titled Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Health: The Potential Beneficial Effects of a Medium Chain Triglyceride Diet in Obese Individuals published in the journal Nutrients .

10. Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease and Pancreatitis

The MCFAs of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas according to a study by Jakob et al 2001 titled Influence of intraduodenally infused olive and coconut oil on postprandial exocrine pancreatic secretions of growing pigs published in the Journal Animal Science.

Additionally, this superfood is so easy to digest that it has been known to improve the symptoms of gallbladder disease as well. Replace other long-chain fats with coconut oil to improve gallbladder and total body health.

11. Improves Skin Issues (Burns, Eczema, Dandruff, Dermatitis and Psoriasis)

Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize, making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions .

It protects the skin and has many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. In addition, the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions. There’s so much unrefined coconut oil can do for skin .

12. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Oil pulling with coconut oil has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help heal periodontal disease. Plus, research shows that in addition to offering several oral health benefits, oil pulling with coconut oil also has beneficial effect on overall health. Coconut oil is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling due to its high concentration of antibacterial MCFAs.

By swishing the oil in your mouth, the oil denatures the bacteria and sticks to it. Removing oral bacteria greatly reduces your risk of periodontal disease. If you want to heal your gums and repair your teeth, I recommend coconut oil pulling three times a week for 20 minutes a day.

13. Prevents Osteoporosis

Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis .

Another of the amazing coconut oil health benefits is that it increases calcium absorption in the gut. Research on osteoporosis has found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure in subjects, but also decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis.

14. Improves Type II Diabetes

When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they’re considered insulin-resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes.

The MCFAs in coconut oil help balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process. They take off the strain on the pancreas and give the body a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions, which can prevent insulin resistance and type II diabetes.

15. Coconut Oil for Weight loss

Because of the energy-creating abilities of coconut oil and the fact it’s a no-carb oil, it is no wonder that it is beneficial in losing weight. It helps burn fat and calories, decrease appetite, and in studies it was especially helpful in losing belly fat.

Coconut’s ability to help you shed fat has been well-established. A 1985 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health proved that a single injection of capric acid resulted in “initially rapid, then gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats.

It might seem counterintuitive to assume that eating coconut oil (a fat) will contribute to fat loss, but it is actually quite logical. The key to understanding this phenomenon lays in the multidimensional ability of the MCFAs to control a variety of physiological processes.

For example, in the 1985 study mentioned above, it was discovered that capric acid shows significant improvements in thyroid function, helps lower resting heart rate and assists your body in burning fat for energy.

More recently, the Obesity Research Journal published a study from Boston University Medical School that gives us a clue why MCFAs have fat-burning ability. Testing the effects that MFCAs have on fat breakdown, adipose (fatty) cells in rats were pretreated with caprylic acid . They observed that fat breakdown occurred at such a significant level that it literally mimicked the characteristics of fasting.

Fasting, in this sense, is not to be regarded as negative, but positive in that the body uses its energy reserves most effectively and speeds up the breakdown of needless fat reserves. In the words of the researchers who conducted this study, “Such changes could contribute, in part, to weight loss in animals and humans associated with dietary medium-chain fatty acids.”

16. Building Muscle and Losing Body Fat

Research suggests that MCFAs aren’t just good for burning fat and decreasing metabolic syndrome; they are also great for building muscle. The MCFAs found in coconut are also used in popular muscle-building products like Muscle Milk™.

The vast majority of heavily produced supplements, however, use processed forms of MCFAs. By eating actual coconuts instead, you get the “real deal.” I recommend adding two tablespoons of coconut oil to a muscle-building shake daily.

17. Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair Care

If you have dandruff or dry hair, coconut oil has the perfect fatty acids to help improve these conditions . In fact, there is so much coconut oil can do for hair . You can make homemade coconut lavender shampoo to improve your hair and use straight coconut oil as an all-natural hair conditioner.

To get rid of dandruff and thicken hair, massage one tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with 10 drops of rosemary essential oil into your scalp for three minutes. Then shower 30 minutes later.

18. Candida and Yeast Infections

A study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found the capric acid and lauric acid in coconut oil made for an effective natural treatment for candida albicans and yeast infections.

To effectively kill candida and treat yeast infections, remove processed sugar and refined grains from your diet and consume plenty of healthy fats. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily as a supplement.

19. Coconut Oil for Anti-Aging

According to research published in the medical journal Food and Function , coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow aging. Coconut oil works by reducing stress on the liver and lowering oxidative stress.

Also, researchers found that coconut oil may support detoxification because of how it works with the liver. To naturally slow aging, take one tablespoon of coconut oil with antioxidant-rich berries for breakfast. You can also apply it directly to skin for additional health benefits and smoothing.

20. Coconut Oil for Hormone Balance

Using coconut oil benefits your hormones as well! Coconut oil may help naturally balance hormones because it’s a great source of saturated fat, including lauric acid. Studies have found that coconut oil may be an excellent fat to consume during menopause and also may have positives effects on estrogen levels.

In order to naturally balance hormones, reduce sugar and grain consumption and load up on healthy fats from coconut, avocado, flax seeds and ghee. You can also consume other coconut forms, such as coconut butter or coconut water.

21. Coconut Oil—More Effective Than Permethrin for Head Lice

According to research published in the European Journal of Pediatrics, titled Clinical trial showing superiority of a coconut and anise spray over permethrin 0.43% lotion for head louse infestation, ISRCTN96469780 by Burgess et al 2010, a combination of coconut oil and anise was found to be nearly twice as effective as the commonly prescribed permethrin lotion for the treatment of head lice . According to the authors:

"We designed a randomized, controlled, parallel group trial involving 100 participants with active head louse infestation to investigate the activity of a coconut and anise spray and to see whether permethrin lotion is still effective, using two applications of product 9 days apart. The spray was significantly more successful (41/50, 82.0%) cures compared with permethrin (21/50, 42.0%...). Per-protocol success was 83.3% and 44.7%, respectively.

Thirty-three people reported irritant reactions following alcohol contact with excoriated skin. We concluded that, although permethrin lotion is still effective for some people, the coconut and anise spray can be a significantly more effective alternative treatment." [Emphasis mine]

Isn't it wonderful to see how nature provides us with so many effective solutions to so many of our ills? And does so in a way that is oftentimes more effective than our chemical drug concoctions! Another anecdotal Hawaiian head lice treatment is to first soak your hair in vinegar and leave it in to dry (don't rinse). Next, coat your hair with coconut oil over night. I'd recommend sleeping with a shower cap to protect your bedding. The following day, the nits reportedly comb out easily.

22. Oral Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

As mentioned above, coconut oil mixed with baking soda makes for very simple and inexpensive, yet effective, toothpaste. It's also a great alternative if you want a fluoride-free toothpaste but don't want to spend the extra money, since they tend to cost more than most regular, fluoridated toothpaste brands.

Another oral health technique where I believe coconut oil can be quite beneficial is oil pulling. This technique has significantly reduced my plaque buildup, allowing me to go longer between visits to the dental hygienist. (Adding fermented vegetables to my diet has been another game-changer in my oral health.)

Oil pulling is a practice dating back thousands of years, having originated with Ayurvedic medicine. When oil pulling is combined with the antimicrobial power of coconut oil, I believe it can be a very powerful health tool. Sesame oil is traditionally recommended, but it has relatively high concentration of omega-6 oils. Therefore, I believe coconut oil is far superior, and, in my mind, it tastes better. But from a mechanical and biophysical perspective, it is likely that both work.

Oil pulling involves rinsing your mouth with the oil, much like you would with a mouthwash. The oil is "worked" around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for a period of 15 minutes. If you are obsessive like me and want even better results, you can go for 30-45 minutes. This process allows the oil to "pull out" bacteria, viruses, fungi and other debris.

The best time is in the morning before eating breakfast, but it can be done at any time. I try to do it twice a day if my schedule allows. When done, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with water. Avoid swallowing the oil as it will be loaded with bacteria and whatever potential toxins and debris it has pulled out.

When done correctly, oil pulling has a significant cleansing, detoxifying and healing affect, not only for your mouth and sinuses but for the rest of your body as well. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in your mouth, and these germs and their toxic waste products can contribute to plaque accumulation and tooth decay, in addition to secondary infections and inflammation throughout your body.

Oil pulling may help lessen the overall toxic burden on your immune system by preventing the spread of these organisms from your mouth to the rest of your body, by way of your bloodstream

14 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil Around the House

Last but not least, coconut oil can be used for a number of household tasks otherwise relegated to more costly, and potentially toxic, alternatives. Following are 14 creative yet practical uses for this fantastic oil:

  1. Clean, condition and sanitize your wooden cutting board. Use whenever the wood starts to look dry.
  2. Use when making compost tea for your garden to reduce foam.
  3. Use as a metal polish. Make sure to test a small area first.
  4. Moisturize and soften leather goods as you would using other leather conditioners.
  5. Season your cast iron pots and pans22 using coconut oil in lieu of lard or corn oil.
  6. Lubricate squeaky hinges and sticky mechanisms with coconut oil instead of WD-40.
  7. Clean and condition wooden furniture in lieu of furniture polish. Make sure to test a small area first.
  8. Lubricate your guitar strings.
  9. Clean soap scum from your shower using a small dollop of coconut oil on a damp cloth. Spray the area with white vinegar and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth.
  10. Clean your hands and paint brushes with coconut oil after using oil-based paints, in lieu of mineral spirits.
  11. Clean and condition the inside of your car by adding a small amount to a soft lint-free cloth. Rub in and wipe off excess.
  12. Clean and sanitize your mouth guard by applying a thin layer of coconut oil. Leave the coconut oil on when not in use. Rinse before using.
  13. Cleanse and add a glossy finish to indoor plants by wiping the leaves with a small amount of coconut oil on a lint-free cloth.
  14. Remove chewing gum from virtually any area, including carpets and hair.

Final Thoughts

  1. Dr. Axe answered this important question: Is consuming coconut oil good for you? The answer is a resounding yes! In appropriate amounts (about 2 tablespoons per day or less), pure coconut oil benefits are immense, and they don’t stop with these scientific reviews. Coconut oil helps the body in so many ways, which is due, in large part, to their medium-chained fatty acid content. Not only that, but coconut oil for dogs has benefits as well!
  2. MCFAs are easier to digest, are quickly used for energy, help to boost cognitive health, work to improve HDL cholesterol levels and more.
  3. You can use coconut oil in so many ways — from your cooking and baking, to adding it to smoothies and coffee, using it as an ingredient in DIY natural remedy recipes, and using it for oil pulling.
  4. Remember to always opt for a pure, unrefined organic version to get the best coconut oil benefits.

Disclaimer: As pertains to all my previous articles, they are for educational purposes and not to be use as substitute to medical advice.

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD, Is an honorary Professor of Naturopathic Medicine with research interest in Naturopathic & Holistic Urology, Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine. President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine- Formulated of FDA approved Men’s Formula for Prostate Health, Women’s Formula for wellness & Nyarkotey Tea for cardiovascular Health. 0241083423 or 0541234556

Raphael Nyarkotey Obu
Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, © 2019

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine –Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca City, Cyprus. He is the president of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine at Tema, Com 7 Post Office, affiliated to Da Vinci College in Cyprus and the Column Page: RaphaelNyarkoteyObu

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