What are the properties of coconut oil? What health benefits does it offer? How do you use it? Let’s dive in!
To many civilizations, the coconut tree has a special meaning, to the point it’s often called the “tree of life”. In some places, it enables survival and sustains entire communities. With no access to drinking water, the liquid contained in the green nut, approximately 1 pint (0.5 liter), is invaluable.
From this fruit, people extract coconut water, coconut flesh, milk, coconut cream, and coconut oil.
Coconut oil, a short history
Coconut, scientifically named “Cocos nucifera“, belongs to the Arecaceae family. Coconut trees flourish in tropical regions and made their mark in Europe during the 15th century. Its oil remains one of the oldest fats used in cooking in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Though slowly replaced by soybean and corn oils, coconut oil offers notable health benefits. It also boasts antiviral and antifungal properties.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut in Medicine
Coconut oil boasts a significant amount of lauric acid monolaurin, proving surprisingly effective for treating fungi and eczema. This active ingredient also plays a key role in preventing infections from some viruses, like herpes and the flu. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial.
Coconut oil also addresses heart and thyroid issues. It even boosts the immune system and is a perfect addition to a weight loss diet. And it also helps tackle issues related to bad cholesterol.
Cosmetics and Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a amazing when it comes to hair. It’s often one of the ingredients when making shampoo. Use it as a hair mask, and you’ll notice reduced hair fall and healthier locks.
Its skin moisturizing qualities shine, especially for dry and sensitive skin.
A lot of hair care products contain coconut oil, which also makes for great skin massages. Been dreaming of way to shave more naturally? Coconut oil has your back—or face!—as a smooth shaving foam.
Coconut Oil in Cooking
Coconut oil in cooking is not only very healthy; it also elevates the aroma and flavor of dishes. And you can substitute it for other oils if you have to reduce bad cholesterol in your diet.
Coconut Oil Uses
In the kitchen, coconut oil not only cooks food but fries it too. It can also play a role in salad dressing preparation, though you have to melt it beforehand if you live in a cool-climate place. For skin care, place a little coconut oil in your palm, then massage hands, arms, legs, and feet. Repeat this daily.
Smart Tip about coconut oil
To keep the goodness of coconut oil, seal the container tightly to stop oxidation and store at room temperature or in the fridge. Keep it away from heat sources, and your coconut oil can last for far more than 6 months.