CPHRL Research Lab

Evidence Based Health and Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

 

Coconut oil has been getting a lot of attention in the recent years, especially by online beauty bloggers. They just can’t seem to stop raving about just how amazing the coconut oil is.

And once you read this article, you’ll realize why you need to start using coconut oil too.

You have been using the commercially available skin care products of big brands for years. But the problem with using those factory made products is that they contain a load of chemicals in them.

When you regularly slather your body with so many chemicals and toxins, you are going to do more harm than good to it. Not to mention, those products cost a fortune.

This is where the coconut oil comes in. The uses of coconut oil are versatile – you can use it for healthier cooking option, skin care, improving digestive system and hair care, among others. Not to mention, it is considerably cheaper than its branded commercial counterparts.

So how can inculcate coconut oil in your daily life? Well, here are a few ideas:

1. Coconut Oil is Good for Heart

Instead of cooking in your regular oil loaded with chemicals that can raise your cholesterol levels and block your arteries, opt for extra virgin coconut oil.

Despite some prevailing myths regarding the unhealthy nature of coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content; using organic coconut oil is not bad for you.

As the Harvard Health blog explain, there are various types of saturated fats, depending on the number of carbon atoms in the molecule.

Coconut oil contains 50% lauric acid, a type of saturated fat that increases the good cholesterol levels in your body.

Another benefit of using coconut oil is that the coconut oil is a very stable substance. It has a high smoking point and does not produce free radicals easily. It also does not oxidize or go rancid for long periods of time, meaning you can use it safely when deep frying.

2 . Improves Your Dental Health

Coconut oil has been shown to be effective in preventing formation of plaque on the teeth and gum diseases like gingivitis.

Research conducted in 2015 at Kannur Dental College in India found that using the traditional practice of oil swishing or oil pulling ‘could be an effective adjuvant procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis.’

Oil pulling entails swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and between your teeth for 10 minutes. This process, when carried out on an empty stomach in the morning, pulls out the toxins from your body and gets rid of bacteria present in your mouth.

After applying the oil in your mouth, rinse it with warm water. Do not swallow the oil. After spitting out the oil, you can carry out your daily dental care regime of brushing with toothpaste.

3. Moisturizes Your Skin

Coconut oil contains nourishing contents and works as an economical, healthier and more effective alternative to commercially brought moisturizers.

The high fat content makes coconut oil makes it a great moisturizing agent for your body. And what’s more, the absence of petroleum by-products or water in coconut oil means that despite being high in fat content, it won’t clog your pores.

If you suffer from skin dryness, coconut oil will take care of your problem right away. It can also help with cracked heels. Just apply a thin layer of oil on your feet, cover it up with socks and continue with your work. Keep doing this until the cracked skin disappears.

4. Conditions Your Hair

A lot of the brand conditioners available today in the market contain coconut oil. This is because coconut oil contains nourishing agents which are able to penetrate the hair and thus prevent protein loss. The fat content means the makes your hair smoother and silkier.

But the problem with market conditioners is that they also contain chemicals that harm your hair. This is why you can use organic coconut oil to deep condition your hair.

Organic coconut oil need not be mixed with anything; you can use it as it is. Take a quarter sized blob of oil and apply it on your hair. If your oil is in liquid form, you can use 2 – 3 tablespoons. The proper amount depends on the length and thickness of your hair.

After applying the oil to your hair, tie it up loosely. The next day, wash your hair with a shampoo, preferably mild.

5. You Can Use it for Shaving

If you have ever shaved your body hair, you’d know that after running a razor blade on it, the skin becomes pretty dry.

As if the shaving creams aren’t expensive enough, you are now forced to cough up more for a moisturizer after you shave.

But what if you could shave and moisturize your body at the same time, and at a considerably lesser cost? Yes, you can use coconut oil as an alternative to shaving creams as well as moisturizers.

Unlike expensive shaving creams, coconut oil is available at cheaper rates. You also don’t have to lather layers and layers of cream on your legs or hands; just a layer covering the area is sufficient. With coconut oil, a small amount of oil will go a long way.

Applying oil on your legs to shave off the hair will let your experience the smoothest shave you’ve ever had. It also doesn’t gunk up on your blade like the shaving cream, and whatever little residue is there can be washed off with a jet of water spray from the shower.

6. Heals Your Wounds

Organic coconut oil has been used for centuries to heal wounds and prevent infection in them. This is due to the properties present in the oil that promote faster formulation of epithelial layer on the wound, enhance anti – oxidant enzyme activity and prevent bacteria from entering the wound.

If you burn your skin, applying coconut oil will provide you with much quicker and better results than if you leave it untreated.

The anti – bacterial properties present in coconut oil help heal wounds and prevent skin infections.

7. Perfect for Infants and Babies

Organic coconut oil can prove to be very beneficial for your baby’s skin. It is widely used in many countries to prevent dryness in babies.

Using coconut oil to massage your infant’s body twice daily will keep the skin moisturized and prevent it from drying out. Its molecular structure allows it to get easily absorbed in their skin. In pre-mature babies, this can prevent the loss of water through skin.

Coconut oil massage also prevents bacteria growth on skin and improves the condition of the skin, making it smoother and treating any minor cuts that children have due to playing.

In babies, virgin coconut oil can also be used to treat diaper rashes. This method is safer and better than applying cosmetic creams since those contain chemicals.

Applying a layer of coconut oil on the affected area won’t just treat infections; it will create a barrier to prevent any further infection.

The oil also contains anti – fungal properties which can be used to treat yeast infections in infants and babies.

8. Prevents Acne Outburst

Various researches and studies have concluded that the powerful anti – bacterial property of virgin coconut oil and the presence of lauric acid can significantly reduce acne problems and prevent them from re – occurring.

An article published in the Dermatology Times stated that coconut oil has been found to decrease the staphylococcal presence on the skin. It is a safe and economical agent for reducing bacteria colonization in the skin, which might be why it is so efficient in treating acne.

To apply coconut oil, clean your face with water and then dab some coconut oil, using your fingertips, on the affected areas. Repeat this process twice a day – morning and evening – till you get the desired results.

9. Improves Digestive Process

When used as a cooking oil, the medium chain fatty acids present in the oil are easier to digest and move easily through the digestive system, taking with them wastes and toxins out of the body.

As the fat present in the oil can be broken down easily during digestion process, the strain upon the digestive system is less, thus allowing it to function efficiently. When the system functions efficiently, there are no or minimal gastrointestinal issues.

It has anti – inflammatory properties which enable it to heal any inflammation or injury along the digestive tract, especially in people suffering from Crohn’s Disease.

The anti – bacterial properties found in the coconut oil helps make your gut healthy by preventing overgrowth of bad bacteria and fungi.

10. Keep Your Furniture Polished

Coconut will, with its high fat content and moisturizing properties, bring out the shine in your wooden furniture like nothing else.

To make this furniture polish, mix ¼ cup of melted coconut with 4 tablespoons of refined white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a bowl and mix well.

Take a cloth, dip it in the mixture and then use it to wipe the furniture.

You can also use simple organic coconut oil to treat any leather items you own. Use a cotton ball to rub some oil on the leather – this will disguise fading areas and make the leather shine like new.

 

References:

https://wellnessmama.com/5734/coconut-oil/

http://www.prevention.com/beauty/coconut-oil-cures-for-your-skin-and-hair

http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1069507/shaving-with-coconut-oil

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20523108

https://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby/coconut-oil-5-great-uses-for-coconut-oil-for-your-baby/

https://www.guthealthproject.com/how-coconut-oil-benefits-digestive-health-infographic/

 

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