I love coconut oil and I am crazy about coconuts! There, I said it! Recently, I've been delving a little deeper into this wondrous drupe and exploring it's many facets, leading me nicely on to, skin nourishment and the benefits of the topical use of coconut oil.
Coconut oil can nourish us from the inside out. In cooking, coconut oil is the preferred choice over alternatives such as vegetable oil, as it is able to withstand high temperatures without the nutritional goodness of the oil or the food, being affected. But, do you know about the goodness it can provide to the outside?
Coconut oil is anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic - not many other foods can claim to carry out so many jobs, all at once!
Coconut oil is fantastic for our hair and is even used in dog grooming by adding shine to the coats of our furry friends! If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us, right?
It's good to note here, the different types of coconut oil that you may come across. Not all coconut oils are the same and we see words like, "pure" "mature" and "refined" on the labels of coconut oil containers. As a rule, these types of coconut oils are not the preferred option. These oils come from older coconuts that contain mycotoxins (moulds!) and 'purifying' processes take place whereby the coconut meat is bleached and refined, thus exposing it to chemical processes, increasing chemical intake on consumption of the coconut.
Keywords to watch out for are "raw", "virgin" and "cold-pressed" - all of which refer to young coconuts that undergo less processing and provide you with a nutritional coconut oil that is great for using with cooking as well as on the body too.
Skin complaints like, eczema & dermatitis or dry skin benefit from applying coconut oil - apply just before bed and allow to sink in overnight.
Recently, I developed a very painful crack in the side of my mouth which was causing me great discomfort. I decided to try some coconut oil on the affected area; I applied it before bed and left it to allow it to sink in overnight. The next day, it took me a number of hours to remember the discomfort I had experienced the day before and that was because, the pain and the crack, had totally disappeared! I was godsmacked and thrilled all at once!
In the kitchen, I occasionally catch myself on the cooker and find myself with mild burns as a result. I have found that, after running the affected area under cold water (as directed by First Aid procedures), applying a good thick layer of coconut oil works very well in soothing the sore as well as aiding speedy healing. Yet another benefit of coconut oil!
For skin nourishment and the benefits of coconut oil, try to crowd out processed food with the help of fresh vegetables, fruit nuts and seeds. If you suffer with skin complaints, the following foods should be avoided as they can upset the metabolism of fatty acids, encourage inflammation and create stress responses within the body:
Processed/ Refined foods
Wheat (all kinds: bread, pasta, cereals)
Sugar (sucrose, honey, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup and agave)
Dairy (all kinds: milk, yoghurt, cream, cheese and dairy containing products).
Hydrogenated oils (such as margarine, sunflower oil and vegetable oils as these contain harmful fats that will not help and could cause harm to the build up of the essential fats)
Stimulating drinks (containing caffeine such as black tea, coffee, coke and energy drinks).
Potatoes (not including sweet potato)
Peppers (red and green)
My homemade coconut salve
At night apply extra virgin coconut oil/ almond oil directly onto skin, allow to soak in and go to bed. Try this for a fortnight.
Coconut oil for tooth and gum health
'Oil Pulling' has become pretty big and you can use extra virgin coconut oil for this too. The oil pulling helps to remove toxins from the teeth and gums, with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-septic properties it makes it very good for oral hygiene.
Keeping those toothly pegs white
Pair coconut oil with turmeric! Grab a jar and give this recipe a whirl:
4 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. organic turmeric powder
0.5-1 tsp. peppermint oil (optional) - can use peppermint extract used in baking, just check ingredients for no sugar.
Place all the ingredients into the jar, mix well to form a paste. Use a teaspoon and try it out. If you prefer to have more peppermint oil, increase to 1 tsp.
How to use
Use a teaspoon of mouth oil everyday. Let the oil melt in your mouth, then swoosh and pull it through your teeth from 5 mins to 15 minutes a day.
Spit it into a tissue- (to avoid clogged drains). Be prepared, your toothbrush may turn yellow if brushing teeth afterwards. If teeth still look yellow rinse mouth with water, run the hot tap to ensure the coconut oil stays liquid through your drains! Keep in an airtight jar in your bathroom cupboard and use daily.