Article by Kaniz F. Shah
|Botanical Name:||cocos nucifera|
|Hindi Name:||copra, naarial|
|Popular Name(s):||wonder oil,coconut|
|Parts Used:||fruit (kernel), milk, peel|
|Habitat:||Tropical areas (Hawaii), SE Mediterranean, Pakistan. India, Arabian Peninsula|
|Effect / Energy:|
|Extraction method:||from dry or wet kernel|
|Oil blends with:|
|ph:||(fresh) 5.5-7.8, (milk) 6.1-7.0|
Coconut got its name form the Spanish word “coco”, meaning “head” because of its head-like features. Coconut oil also called, wonder oil, has been used for a long time by people living in tropical regions where coconut trees grow abundantly. It is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm.
The sweet and refreshing scent of coconut oil is an added bonus to skincare and hair care products! It is a major ingredient in most natural soaps and many body and hair care products.
Health Benefits of Coconut:
Coconut oil is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are good for the human body. Therefore, it is extensively used in the food, medicine, and beauty industry.
Digestion:Coconut milk is often used to help with digestive disorders including diarrhea, parasites, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease. Too much consumption, however, can lead to constipation.
Sexual Lubricant:Coconut oil can make a good natural lubricant, but it may damage condoms.
Other benefits:It has been proven to be helpful in boosting metabolism, the prevention of heart diseases and some cancers, and it is used as a natural and effective anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal cure. Coconut oil has also been used to curb hunger pangs and, therefore, aid in weight loss.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair:
Coconut oil has been used since ancient times in India for hair health, shine and strength. It is rich in lauric acid, has a high affinity for hair protein, and easily penetrates inside the hair shaft, which is due to its low molecular weight. This helps to reduce protein loss in both damaged as well as undamaged hair.
Coconut oil has a high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not easily broken down nor evaporated, being very stable. It does not let moisture escape, thus keeping hair moist and soft, which prevents breakage of hair and makes it a great conditioner for both hair and skin. It is also known to help prevent lice, dandruff, split ends, and hair loss.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin:
Effective Emollient and Skin Nourishment:Coconut oil contains mostly fats, so it acts as an emollient providing a softening and soothing effect, thus preventing itchiness and dryness. Small wounds (caused by acne or pimples) also soften and heal quickly. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that are absorbed into the skin where they can be directly utilized for nutrition and energy. This nourishes the skin and provides the energy your skin needs to heal and maintain itself. It moisturizes dry and hard skin and is a natural and healthy remedy for chapped lips and cracked feet.
Antiseptic, Anti-Microbrial, Soothes Acne:Coconut oil possesses proven antibacterial and antifungal properties that limit the amounts of microbes on the skin and kill the bacteria that cause acne and pimples. It also aids in healing various conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
Anti-aging:To combat devastating free radicals in the skin, our bodies need adequate amounts of antioxidants. Coconut oil contains two anti-oxidants: ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid. It improves the quality and appearance of skin by eliminating dead skin cells and reducing flaking skin, making your skin look younger and healthier. It also may be used as a natural sunscreen.
A Perfect Massage Oil:Because the oil is easily absorbed into the skin, it makes a great massage oil to soothe aching muscles.
An Effective Natural Deodorant:The microbe-killing properties eliminate body odor caused by bacterial growth, making coconut oil a great natural and refreshing deodorant. Try mixing arrowroot powder with coconut oil to make a natural deodorant.
Makeup Remover:Coconut oil is a popular and effective makeup remover for the eyes and skin. It is gentle, natural and much healthier than most products found in the market.
WARNING:This article is for informational purpose only. Coconut and coconut oil is not a treatment for any disease or condition. It is generally safe when used on the skin or hair, but to ensure safety, it is best to do an allergy test. Consult your doctor before using for medical purposes.
- Reports of Coconut Development Board of India.
- Graedon, Terry. Cancer. The Peoples Pharmacy Quick and Handy Home Remedies. By Joe Graedon. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2011. 58.