Last week we explored the use of coconut oil as a cosmetic product. This week we will discuss the medicinal and protective properties of this magical oil. Traditional Asian and South Pacific medicine has already been using the oil to cure of all types of ailments and illnesses for centuries. The Pacific Islanders believed the coconut palm to be such an important source of nourishment and medicine that they named it “the tree of life”. Only recently has modern medicine started researching and confirming the effectivity of coconut oil.
1. Increases energy: The saturated fats found in coconut oil are a great source of quick energy. It has been found to boost endurance and enhance physical and athletic performance. Moreover, it is believed to lessen symptoms in people with chronic fatigue.
2. Slows aging: Coconut oil, unlike other oils which deplete our body of anti-oxidants, is packed with anti-oxdants which are known to drastically slow down the aging process including macular degeneration (loss of vision), hair whitening, wrinkles and all that other fun stuff!
3. Infections/Microbial or Fungal Actions: The acids found in coconut oil contribute to it’s anti- microbial and anti-fungal properties. The oil can protect our body and reduce symptoms, internally and externally, from ailments such as Athlete’s Foot, rashes, ringworm and dermatitis.
*NOTE: The anti-funal properties of coconut oil have been found to be particularly effective against the candida fungus. Many alternative medical practitioners claim that an overgrowth of candida can lead to a number of health issues including infections, fatigue, and weight gain.
4. Healthy hair: Coconut oil is believed to keep hair strong and healthy. It is also thought to prevent dandruff, graying hair and hair loss!
5. Skin protection: Not only does coconut oil not softens the skin (it’s very rich in Vitamin E) but it also helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection. When ingested it supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
6. Digestion: If its a regular part of your diet, coconut oil can aid digestion and help relive symptoms associated with certain digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease and stomach ulcers.
7. Cancer: The saturated fatty acids found in coconut oil may help protect against many types of cancer including breast and colon cancer.
8. Protects your heart: Triglycerides present in coconut oil are believed to help lower bad cholesterol and clear artery blockages. Thus, cutting down the risk of heart disease.
9. Weight: Coconut oil is known to speed up your metabolic rate which results in burning off fats more readily. Furthermore, it is lower in calories than most other oils!
10. Cuts and bruises: Coconut oil supports tissue healing and repair. It’s anti-bacterial and skin protection properties also makes it an ideal natural alternative to other healing ointments. It also helps to reduce inflammation that may occur as a result of the injuries.
11. Organ function: There is evidence that the oil aids in the optimal functioning of your organs including: the kidneys, liver, bladder, gallbladder, prostate, thyroid, and pancreas.
12. Strong bones and teeth: Coconut oil improves the body’s absorption of minerals including calcium which ultimately translates as strong bones and teeth. It also helps protect against osteoporosis periodontal disease and tooth decay.
13. Immune system: Coconut oil is known to support and aid immune system functioning which helps to ensure an overall healthier body!
• Note: These benefits are supported by alternative medical practitioner and there have been few scientific studies backing these claims. This does not mean that coconut oil is not beneficial it merely means that modern medicine has only started discovering and confirming its benefits. It is also important to note that coconut oil is probably more effective in preventing illness and ailments than curing them!