11 Surprising Benefits & Uses Of Coconut Oil
Wondering what coconut oil is good for? Well, this wonder oil benefits in skin care, hair care, weight loss, treating yeast infections, improving digestion and increasing immunity against a host of infections and diseases. The oil is used not just in tropical countries, where coconut plantations are abundant, but also in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. People are discovering the wonders this oil can create, and it is again gaining popularity throughout the world.
Let us look at some of the known benefits of this oil.
Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has several health benefits, the most important ones being its usefulness in hair care and skin care.
Do you know the reason for long and shining hair of women in tropical coastal regions? Yes, it is coconut oil. Women in tropical coastal regions of the world use this oil for their hair almost daily. This thick butter-like oil helps in healthy growth of hair and makes your hair shiny. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, which if unchecked can lead to various unhealthy qualities in your hair. This is the reason why it is used as hair care oil, and in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Now you must be thinking how to use coconut oil for your hair? Just apply it topically to your hair or use a coconut oil hair mask.
Worried about damaged hair? Again coconut oil is the solution. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that it provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.
By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is dandruff free, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs (yes, some people do get lice in their hair).
Did you know that coconut oil works great for skin? Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil that acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. Unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of this oil. Therefore, it has been safely used for thousands of years for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. Yes, you read it right – thousands of years! Coconut oil usage may be termed as a recent fad, but it has been there for ages.
It also helps in treating various skin problems, including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections. For this exact reason, coconut oil forms the base ingredient of various body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skin care. What more? It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging. The credit to this benefit goes to its well-known antioxidant properties.
Coconut oil is useful for weight loss too. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. Research suggests that it helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It is also easy to digest as compared to other edible oils and helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby, burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight. Several people focus on exercises to lose weight, from using indoor machines like leg press machines to outdoor exercises like running and playing sports. While this is a good approach to lose weight, including products like coconut oil enhances your weight loss efforts.
Coconut oil is also good for improving your immunity. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and Helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system, and thus, prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The saturated fats present in it have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Calcium is an important component of our teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in developing strong teeth. It also stops tooth decay. Recent research suggests that it is also beneficial in reducing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.
Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused by an excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans in the stomach. Coconut provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans.
Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effect of coconut oil is gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the patient an appropriate amount of time to get used to the withdrawal symptoms or Herxheimer reactions (the name given to the symptoms accompanying body’s rejection of toxins generated during elimination of these fungi). But in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their dosages of coconut oil, and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity.
Speeds Up Healing
When applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It is highly effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.
Keeping Organs Healthy
The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids in coconut oil helps in preventing liver diseases. This is because those substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing the workload of the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat. It also helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps to dissolve kidney stones. Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in keeping pancreas healthy by treating pancreatitis.