Coconut Oil!!! Contrary to what you have heard in the past, the saturated fats found in coconut oil are actually good for you! It’s also one of the earliest oils to be used as a food AND as a pharmaceutical. Studies on people who live in tropical climates and who have a diet high in coconut oil show that they are healthier and have fewer incidences of heart disease, cancer, digestive complaints and prostate problems.
So why the bad rap, you say? Well, since it is thought that ‘saturated fats’ are involved in heart disease, coconut oil has been considered a health risk. However, studies are finding that the evidence is circumstantial and flawed.
For example, coconut oil has a long and highly respected reputation in many cultures throughout the world, not only as a valuable food but also as an effective medicine!
In India: used in ayurvedic medicine
In Panama: the people drink the cocconut oil by the glass to help overcome sickness
In Jamaica: used as a health tonic for the heart
In Nigeria: used for all kinds of ilnesses
However, here on the “clayzmama says…” blog I want to talk about beautiful skin and hair!
Coconut oil has been used to make skin and hair soft and smooth with a rich, shiny luster. I use coconut oil for a skin lotion and hair conditioner. It also makes a super ointment for dry and wrinkled skin…….and no, I don’t have wrinkles…..but not necessarily because of the coconut. (holla to my mama!)
Check out the ingredients on your lotion bottle. Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, wrote the forward in the book penned by Dr. Samuel Epstein and Dr. David Steinman titled, “The Safe Shoppers Bible” and says:
“Consumers receive little guidance from product manufacturers, whose advertising and labeling are too often misleading and not objective sources of information. Government also offer little guidance. Indeed, while many local, state, and federal government agencies are entrusted with protection of the public health, most have failed to assure consumers that they are being adequately protected, or that they are being provided with full, if any, label disclosure of Carcinogenic (cancer-causing), neurotoxic (causing damage to the nervous system), orteratogenic (birth defect-causing) chemicals in their household products.”
Bottom line? You know those classic signs of old age; the brown freckle-like spots on the skin called lipofuscin or more commonly known as liver spots. It is a sign of free radical deterioration of the fats in our skin. They don’t ordinarily hurt or even show any signs of discomfort and if we couldn’t see them, we wouldn’t even know they were there. But they do affect our health and our appearance. I remember my grandmother had them and (gasp!) I have a few myself! According to The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, they also form in other tissues throughout the body — the intestines, lungs, kidney, brain and so on. They represent areas that are damaged by free-radical reactions. The more you have on your skin, the more you have inside your body and the more damage or ‘aging’ your tissues have undergone. He also says that once the spots develop, they tend to stick around for life, but you can prevent further oxidation and perhaps even reduce the spots you already have by using the right kinds of oils in your diet and on your skin!
Pure coconut oil is the WOO to the HOO. It prevents free-radical formation and the damage it causes. It can also help prevent the skin from developing liver spots and other blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight. How? (Oh, you are a questioning bunch, aren’t you?) Bruce Fife says that “the surface of the skin consists of a layer of dead cells. As these dead cells fall off, new cells take their place. As we age, this process slows down, and dead cells tend to accumulate, giving the skin a rough, flaky texture. Coconut oil aids in removing dead cells on the outer surface of the skin, making the skin smoother, enabling it to reflect light more evenly, creating a healthier, more youthful appearance. The skin ‘shines’ because light reflects better off evenly textured skin.”
BUT HOW?? I hear you…..A little oil (a couple of teaspoons) can be applied to your hair at night and washed out in the morning. You can even put on more oil, cover your head with a shower cap and take a long relaxing bath. After about an hour, you wash the oil off and style as usual. I wouldn’t advise sleeping in the oil and shower cap because that is when tragedy strikes, and next thing you know you are standing out on the street at 2:00 in the morning, talking to a reporter in your shower cap. Let’s not put ourselves in that position, ladies. Wash it out and style your hair.
Coconut oil is fabulous for dry lips! Take a small, cleaned out lip balm pot and smoosh (yes, its a word) the solid coconut oil inside. Apply as you would any lip balm, because the heat of your finger will melt it into smooth yumminess….(yes! stop questioning me! It’s a word!)
Got dandruff? Try virgin coconut oil as an effective natural remedy. Melt some oil and rub it gently into your scalp all over. Leave for a few hours or overnight, laying a towel down on your pillow to protect your bedding. Then shampoo out. You may need to shampoo and rinse twice, paying attention to the ends of your hair, as well as your scalp, to remove all traces of the oil.
Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.
It’s a superb natural product that should be incorporated into our daily beauty routine! So why the heck not??