Monday, March 26, 2012

Coconut Oil, Natures Remedy

The use of coconut oil for cooking is now common knowledge but there are many health benefits in using coconut oil  for  hair, skin, stress relief, weight loss, lowering cholesterol and relief from many ailments including heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes to name a few.  

Good Fats

The composition of coconut oil is more than 90% fats including a few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  But don’t be alarmed by the high fat content of this oil, these fats are good for the body and beneficial in many way.

Hair Care

My main use of coconut oil is on my hair. Coconut oil is great for adding nutrition to the hair as well as shin and softness. It helps alleviate dry scalp and dandruff and works as a great massage oil on the scalp to nourish the hair follicles and promote healthy growth. It also helps nourish dry hair acting as a natural conditioner free of harmful chemicals which prevents damage and breakage. I use coconut oil before washing my hair. I apply organic virgin coconut oil to damp hair because I find that the oil absorbs into the hair easier if my hair is damp. I start at the scalp massaging the oil throughout and then work my way down all the way to the tips of the hair. I apply extra oil to my ends because your ends are the oldest part of your hair and can be the most fragile and damaged. I leave the oil in my hair anywhere from 2 hours to overnight and wash it out thoroughly with shampoo before conditioning as usual. This treatment leaves my hair soft and shiny. I also use a very small amount of coconut oil after styling my hair to add shine and help protect my hair from drying out.

Most of the human hair that is used in the making of wigs, weaves, toupees, extensions and other hair pieces are made from hair collected from India. Indian hair is thought to be excellent for making these products because it tends to be healthy and shiny. One of the staples for hair and skin care in India is coconut oil, women and men use coconut oil after they bathe to maintain their lustrous locks.

 Skin Care

Another way I use coconut oil is on my skin during the winter months. Coconut oil may be a tad bit too oily to use in the summer and heavy moisturizers tend to make me overheat. Personally I often opt for a lighter less oil based moisturizer during the warmer months but you can use it all year round. Coconut oil helps alleviate dry skin leaving it soft and smooth and is said to be safe for all skin types unlike some other oils used for skin care. It can also prevent dryness, flaking and reportedly helps fight off wrinkles. Coconut oil can also help those suffering from psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and skin infections.

 Cooking, Weight Loss and Diet

You can also cook with coconut oil, some people prefer to use refined coconut oil for cooking because it does not give off the strong odour of coconut that the organic virgin oil does and the flavour of the coconuts does not seep into the food. The Organic virgin brands have a very strong coconut odour which is liked by some and disliked by others. I use coconut oil to fry my eggs and vegetables and ingesting coconut oil can help people who suffer from high cholesterol and diabetes. It can also aid in weight loss by boosting the metabolism, healthy functioning of the thyroid and burning energy. It may also help improve digestive system functioning and the absorption of nutrients as it is high in antioxidants. You can use coconut oil to replace butter as a spread on toast and there is a long list of products that are made from coconuts that you can use to cook with such as coconut milk, cream and flour.

 Make sure the coconut oil you buy is pure coconut oil, coconut oil should be the only ingredient listed and there should be no chemicals or additives. Although refined coconut oil still retains some health benefits after the refining and bleaching process the best coconut oil to purchase is organic virgin or extra virgin coconut oil which is pricier than the refined versions.

 For more information about the health benefits of coconut oil there are numerous sites on the internet you can find information. Here is one site that you can check out for a long list of medicinal uses of coconut oil:

 Note: some people can be allergic to coconut oil, before using it would be a good idea to make sure you have no allergies to the oil.
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