Coconut Oil is one of my all-time favorite self-help health aids because it’s easy to incorporate into your diet and health routine, inexpensive, and has soooo many benefits and uses, both internally and externally. If you don’t have some in your pantry and medicine cabinet, then you’re really missing out on a simple way to improve your overall health and well-being!
Organic coconut oil has been called the healthiest oil on earth, and the people of the Philippines and Pacific Islands have long referred to it as “the cure for all diseases.” In the U. S., coconut oil has been used as a key ingredient in many hospital I. V. solutions ever since medical research discovered that it has some rather amazing healing properties, including the ability to boost immunity, kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and increase energy and endurance. In addition, it reduces chronic inflammation, provides arthritis pain relief, supports thyroid function, improves insulin secretion, and relieves symptoms of prostate enlargement. Coconut oil also has the ability to:
- relieve symptoms of digestive disorders like colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers
- prevent and treat yeast and fungal infections, including thrush and candida
- feed the brain, keeping the mind, as well as the body, youthful and resilient
- prevent osteoporosis
- balance the body’s metabolism and control hunger cravings, promote normal thyroid function and help to prevent or control diabetes and hypoglycemia
- rejuvenate the skin and protect it against skin cancer, age spots, acne and other blemishes; applied topically, it conditions the hair, may reduce wrinkles and help clear up psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, dandruff, precancerous lesions, athlete’s foot, diaper rash, ringworm and other fungal infections
- kill the immuno-deficiency virus linked to HIV/AIDS
Pretty impressive for something that’s easily affordable and readily available—and smells soooo good!
But that’s not all. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) and, contrary to what we’ve heard in the past, it’s actually good for your heart. Years ago coconut oil was mistakenly thought to be bad for you because it’s a saturated fat, but that was before doctors started to better understand cholesterol formation and function in the physical body. The oil is high in lauric acid, which neither raises nor lowers cholesterol, and also contains vitamin E and carotene. It has a long shelf life (it keeps for months without refrigeration), resists rancidity, and can actually help with cardiovascular conditions. Plus, coconut oil encourages weight loss, and because it’s more easily metabolized than other fats and oils, it discourages fat storage and provides instant energy.
Take the oil “straight,” or use it in your cooking—unlike most other oils it stands up to high heat, making it ideal for use in sautéing or frying. Or add coconut milk or oil to curry dishes or use in a fruit smoothie made with 1 banana, ½ cup pineapple juice (Lakewood makes a good bottled juice that is organic and not from concentrate), and 1 cup Vanilla Enriched Rice Dream™ or unsweetened vanilla almond milk—add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, not only for taste, but to enhance insulin efficiency—and you’ve got a delicious and healthy drink.
Be sure to use a virgin/unrefined, preferably organic, oil because that way it still has the natural lecithin and other phospholipids intact that aid the body in emulsifying and digesting fats and oils. People even use it in place of butter on toast and for cooking popcorn, and its smell reminds me of a toasted coconut cream pie. As Homer Simpson would say (while drooling heavily, of course), “Mmmmm, pie.” You can now get it in any health food store, most supermarkets and through any number of places on-line.
For therapeutic use, take up to 3 ½ to 4 TBS. of oil (or around 10 oz. of coconut milk) a day, in divided doses, but be sure to start slowly and increase your intake gradually. Too much too soon may result in diarrhea or flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, headache, or nausea in some individuals. That’s because the medium-chain fatty acids in the oil kill disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and it takes time for your body to rid itself of the dead organisms and other by-products of the detoxification process.
And don’t forget the oil is good for your “outsides,” too. Add some to your bath water, or smooth on your skin for a completely natural beauty treatment—it leaves a wonderful smell that will have you thinking you’re vacationing on a beach somewhere in Hawaii. It can also be used to help condition your hair. Indian women coat their hair weekly, from tip to root, with warm coconut oil, which seals moisture into the cuticle and promotes hair growth—resulting in thicker, healthier strands. And some people even use the oil for brushing their teeth and as a deodorant. With so many benefits and uses, coconut oil is something no home should be without.
And now there are now a number of other coconut-based products available. Raw Food World carries coconut sugar crystals, an all-natural, nutrient-dense sweetener (yummy taste and smell), coconut nectar, and coconut liquid aminos. And don’t forget coconut flour, which is now becoming a popular health item, as well. It can be used in some recipes instead of wheat flour for those with celiac disease, or who are looking for an alternative to wheat. Unfortunately coconut flour can’t be substituted cup for cup because it soaks up much more liquid than wheat flour, but it does contain more protein and a lot more fiber, so you may want to experiment with adding it to your diet.
BTW, you can also get these products at Vitacost, and if you sign up for a free account at eBates.com (my favorite money-saving site) after the first time you shop and use their link to Vitacost for future visits, you earn cash back on your purchases. Yea!
Related Self-help Health posts:
A great resource for all things coconut is:
And for more information on coconut oil and a list of 160 (yes, 160!!) ways to use it:
And be sure to read my 5/11/13 post and this article at realfarmacy.com on using coconut oil to prevent and even help reverse Alzheimer’s. Also read my post about using coconut oil for oil pulling therapy….one of the best self-help health aids ever! And visit my other blog, Evolution Made Easier, for the post of 7/7/10 that includes an article on how to make your own all-natural, fluoride-free toothpaste using coconut oil. Also visit this blog post from Swanson listing 50 ways to use the oil, which includes recipes for lip balm and more. See, I told you the uses were endless!
So, what’s your favorite way to use coconut oil? Let me know in the comment section…. that way other readers can benefit from your creative genius. 🙂
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, including one on how to use coconut oil to cleanse and detox the body. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more self-help health tips, tools and information.