About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil, also known as copra oil is an edible oil is extracted from the kernel of a coconut. Oil can also be squeezed out from the meat of ripened coconuts which are produced from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). This versatile oil is popular throughout the world. A native to tropical regions, coconut oil has several uses and benefits pertaining to hair, skin and overall health.
Properties of Coconut Oil
- Coconut oil is a colourless liquid and becomes white in its solid form
- It has a pleasant smell of coconuts with a melting point of 25-degree C and a smoking point of 3500 Fahrenheit.
- Composed predominantly of saturated fatty acids (94%) with about 62% of medium chain fatty acids in them.
- Oxidises and reacts with acids and bases
- Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid is a dominant component found in the oil
- Traces of Vitamin E, Vitamin K and iron are found in this oil
Types of Coconut Oil
There are broadly two types of coconut oils
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Refined Coconut Oil
This oil is extracted from copra which is dried coconut meat. Producers add chemicals to extract as much oil from the copra. Also, many a times sodium hydroxide is added to enhance the storage life. Refined oil can further be classified depending on the process of refining the coconut oil. These are:
- Expeller-pressed coconut oils
- Refined, bleached, deodorized (RBD) Coconut oil
- Hydrogenated coconut oil
- Liquid coconut oil
Virgin/ Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Also known as pure or unrefined coconut oil, this oil is extracted from fresh or dried coconut (copra). A quick dry process or a wet mill procedure is used for extraction. As both the processes are quick, there is no addition of chemicals or bleaching agents. Hence the extracted oil retains its distinct flavour and aroma.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
Coconut oil is an all-natural solution for treating a myriad of hair problems. The oil’s microbial properties and its dominant fatty acid content can strengthen hair and scalp and enable hair regrowth
- Hair Growth Stimulant: Coconut oil penetrates deep into the hair follicles and stimulates hair growth
- Restores Scalp Health: The antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties of coconut oil fights against problems such as insect bites, lice and dandruff
- Acts as a Conditioner: It is an all-natural conditioner which can condition, shield hair from heat and environmental damage
- Adds Shine: Coconut oil adds sheen and softness to the hair
- Prevents Split Ends: Coconut oil adds to hair length by preventing split ends and breaking of hair.
- Prevents Hair Loss: Coconut oil treatment reduces the protein loss from damaged hair and slows down hair loss.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin and Face
- Serves as a Moisturizer: Coconut oil melts on the skin on applying. It seeps into the skin and moisturizes it deeply
- Acts as a makeup remover: Coconut oil acts as a natural makeup remover. It can remove the toughest greasy makeup while at the same time is gentle even for a baby’s skin
- Antibacterial Shield: The antibacterial properties of coconut oil protects the skin from pathogens
- Using coconut oil regularly can help prevent acne causing bacteria. Learn more about the benefits of coconut oil for acne here.
- Tackle Fungal Infections: Coconut oil can tackle fungal infections like yeast infections and ringworm
- Sunburn Protection: Coconut oil offers protection against sun. It has a soothing effect on tanned or burned skin
- Anti-Wrinkle Effect: It is collagen which preserves the elasticity and smoothness of the skin. The triglycerides in the coconut oil restores the damaged skin collagen therein reducing facial wrinkles
- Prevents Premature Aging: The anti-oxidant quality of coconut oil prevents the skin from further damage due to oxidative stress. Also, when applied on face and skin, coconut oil serves as a barrier to environmental pollutants and dirt. It moisturizes the skin by sealing in the moisture
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Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can treat a number of medical conditions which are enlisted below:
- Addresses Fatigue: Coconut oil majorly comprises of saturated fats which can be a major source of energy and can help combat fatigue and tiredness.
- Acts as an Anti-oxidant and Anti-aging agent: The saturated fats in the coconut oil have anti-oxidant properties which can reverse macular degradation, greying of hair as well as skin wilting
- Antimicrobial Agent: The fatty acids in the oil have antimicrobial and antifungal action against certain enzymes. Conditions like Athlete’s Foot, itchiness, dermatitis and ringworm are effectively addressed.
- Effective Candida Treatment: The antimicrobial action of coconut oil is effective in Candida treatment
- Acts as a Vermifuge: Effective against stomach roundworms and tapeworms
- Addresses Digestive Issues: Chronic digestion problems can be cured by taking coconut oil regularly
- Prevents Cancer: The saturated fatty acids which are abundantly found in coconut oil can guard against many cancers
- HIV: A very recent research has placed some hope in coconut oil and its capability in combatting the HIV infection
- Helps Clear Blocked Arteries: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil reduces bad fat and clears blockages. This reduces propensity of having a heart attack
- Aids in Weight Loss: Coconut oil stimulates the metabolism of the body by burning fats which eventually results in weight loss.
Coconut Oil For Your Beard
Maintaining a healthy and long beard is a dream that few guys can achieve. While there are factors like genetics and etc. that you have no control over, there are thing you can do that can prove to be beneficial. It moisturizes not only your skin underneath the beard, but also nourishes your beard itself. Regular application of Coconut oil on your beard can help you grow the beard you have always wanted.
Uses of Coconut Oil
- Insect Repellent
- Relieves Chapped lips
- High smoking point ensures its suitability for sautéing and frying
- Acts as a natural energy booster when combined with Chia seeds
- Popcorn topping
- Acts as a non-stick cooking spray
- Acts as a throat lozenge
Coconut Nutritional Value
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How to Apply Coconut Oil
On the Face
- Coconut oil can be applied to dry skin of face after washing and towel drying it gently
- Take about ¼ teaspoon oil and rub both your palms with it
- Gently massage the oil into face with both the palms
- Wipe away any excess oil with a soft towel after about 5- 10 minutes after the oil has been absorbed into the facial skin
Know More: Benefits of Coconut Oil For Face
On the Hair
- Heat coconut oil to slightly lukewarm temperature.
- Take about a palmful of oil and massage it into the hair scalp with slow circular motions
- You can wrap a warm towel around your hair for the oil to deeply penetrate the hair follicles
Know In Detail: How to use coconut oil
Coconut Oil Dosage: How Much of it is Safe?
Consumption between 10-20 grams of coconut oil per day can be consumed to gain benefits.
Possible Side Effects of Coconut Oil
- Though coconut oil is said to cure constipation, it can also lead to loose motions and diarrhoea.
- Acne breakout reaction can occur in some people
- Candida die off symptoms
Coconut Oil: A Buyer’s Guide
Where to Buy?
Best Brands that Sell Castor Oil
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