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Coconut Oil: Myth or Miracle?

What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is 92% saturated fat and composed of a blend of fatty acids. Some studies have shown the fatty acids of coconut oil may affect cholesterol levels, but it is unclear if the results are positive or negative. Experts say if you consume coconut oil, it should be 7-10% of your dietary intake (Zelman).

What else can you do with coconut oil?

While the results of coconut oil on your diet are unclear, coconut oil has been fully embraced by the beauty community and naturopaths as a miracle worker. It may help:

  • remove toxins from the body and boost the immune system (Fife)

  • improve dental health (Haupt)

  • act as a moisturizer and antibacterial for the skin (Verallo-Rowell)

  • work as a natural SPF (Fife)

  • improve the quality and strength of your hair (Ruetsch)

  • treat Herpes (Deborah)

  • act as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (Intahphuak, Hayatullina)

  • treat Candida (INH)

Coconut Oil Pulling (see our blog article)

Oil pulling is an ancient Auryvedic practice believed to remove toxins from the body.

Push and pull 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and then spit it out. Never swallow the oil because it’s filled with toxins (Fife). You can use olive or sesame oil, but coconut oil is the most pleasant tasting and popular for its immune boosting and antibacterial properties (Haupt). It’s important to use raw, unheated coconut oil because heating and reheating it releases carcinogens (Srivastava). Coconut oil users will immediately notice a difference in their dental health (Haupt) and with further use you may notice a change in your skin and over all health (Fife). Fatty acids, such as coconut oil, have also been shown to hinder tumor growth (Wolters).

Coconut Oil for Your Skin & Hair

Put it in your hair too!

As an emollient or antibacterial you need only about a dime size of coconut oil for each

area of application and gently rub into the skin (Verallo-Rowell). Coconut oil pulling and application are especially helpful for acne, psoriasis, and eczema (Verallo-Rowell & Fife). Coconut oil works as a natural SPF of 8. It should be applied liberally for that purpose and cocktailed with another oil with SPF properties (Fife). Coconut oil can also be used as a pre-shampoo hair mask to reduce swelling of the cuticle which can damage the scale structure. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft better than mineral oil and works to preserve the hair. A coconut oil hair mask can be done 2-3 times a week for beneficial results (Ruetsch).

Coconut Oil for Herpes

Coconut oil has been studied for Herpes Simplex Type I and II as an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. It is recommended to ingest coconut oil and coconut milk as well as applying coconut oil topically for the virus. Coconut oil and milk are rich in lauric acid which helps to ward off the herpes virus for all sub-types. Coconut oil and/or milk should be taken daily to kill the herpes virus and prevent future irritations (Deborah).

Science confirms the healing potential of coconut oil because of its antimicrobial properties. However, no medical studies support using coconut oil as a herpes treatment.

Coconut Oil as an Anti-Inflammatory & Antioxidant

Raw, unheated coconut oil has been shown in animal studies to decrease chronic inflammation, such as arthritis, as well as acting as a mild analgesic. The expression of inflammatory genes were decreased with coconut oil supplementation (Vysakh, Intahphuak). Oxidative stress and free radicals are seen as a biological cause of osteoporosis, therefore supplementing antioxidants such as coconut oil, provide repair through decreased swelling and bone loss (Hayatullina).

Coconut Oil for Candida

many say this can heal candida

Candida is an overgrowth of fungus in your gut, but it affects the entire body. Candida

can cause everything from sinus infections to blurred vision. A diet consisting of candida-killing foods and abstaining from processed foods and sugar is the general recommended treatment for candida. Supplementing coconut oil to your diet can prevent and kill Candida. By changing your diet and supplementing coconut oil can starve the fungus, hinder growth, and ultimately end a Candida infection. Candida can be resolved with this treatment in as early as 7 days or as long as 30 days, it depends on the severity of the infection (INH).

Whether you’re eating, drinking, pulling, or applying coconut oil, it’s clear there are many benefits for usage. Be careful to select a raw, unprocessed coconut oil for the best results. So pick up a jar at your local store, open it up, and experience the magic of coconut!

Stay strong, Thrivers!

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