Despite their name, coconuts aren’t nuts. They’re actually the fruit (scientifically termed drupes) that drops from the lovely palm fronds atop the beautiful palms inhabiting tropical areas of the world. Named by sixteenth-century Spanish settlers, coconut derives from the Spanish word coco, used to refer to the skull. They coined the term because they thought the three indentations on the fibrous outer coating resembled a skull’s two eyes and nose.
Now, let’s dive into the miraculous benefits of this well-known oil.
1 Increase Nutrient Absorption
One benefit of coconut oil is that it increases the body’s absorption of necessary vitamins and minerals—by as much as eighteen times—when you add it to foods or consume it prior to eating. Put a single tablespoon into your food, or take 1 tablespoon 1 to 3 times per day to ensure that your body can absorb and utilize the nutrients you need.
When your body is deficient in vitamins or minerals, it is forced to limit the processes in which those elements are used—it may even extract those essentials from the existing stores found in the blood, organs, and bones.
2. Sharpen Mental Clarity
Whether you’re feeling sluggish in the morning, out of energy in the afternoon, or simply find yourself slipping into a “brain fog” at any time of the day, coconut oil use can help. By adding 1 to 3 tablespoons of the oil to your daily diet, you can dramatically improve your mental alertness and maintain a higher level of cognitive functioning throughout the day. You can also add a dollop of it to your coffee or tea for a quick “pick me up.”
With medium-chain fatty acids that are quickly and easily digested, coconut oil has special stimulating effects on brain functioning that no saturated fat provides. Ingesting it benefits your brain by providing immediate and long-lasting energy.
3. Fight Fungal Infections
For fighting fungal infections, the benefits of the oil’s natural healing capabilities exceed those of products provided at your local drugstore—in fact, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in June 2007 advised that “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections.” When the body succumbs to a fungal infection, a number of possible afflictions may arise, ranging from mild discomfort and fever to severe bouts of infection that spread to other parts of the body.
To help prevent against fungal infections, use:
+ 1 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
+ Consume each day (neat or added to food).
To topically aid fungal infections, use:
+ 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
With a cotton ball, apply the oil to the affected area of the skin as often as 5 to 10 times per day.
4. Soothe Dry Skin
Uncomfortable dry skin can affect any part of your body. Not only do you want to get rid of dry patches on your skin, you want a dry-skin soother that also provides protection from infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and microbes that can attack the vulnerable areas of the skin that have become cracked and irritated by dryness. Using the oil on your skin delivers intensive moisturizing benefits, while simultaneously providing antibacterial, antiviral support for damaged skin.
1. Apply a thin layer of the oil to dry patches of skin.
2. Allow the oil to be absorbed into the skin for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Reapply the oil as often as needed.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and you can give it support by consuming just 1 to 3 daily tablespoons of the oil.
5. Nix Acne
Acne is a reaction to bacteria that has been absorbed into the skin’s cells or that is causing an encapsulated blockage of one of the skin’s sebaceous glands or pores. The clogging of the pores, which are responsible for purging bacteria, dirt, grime, and germs that cause irritation, can lead to redness, irritation, blackheads, whiteheads, or acne. Products that contain salicylic acid, a powerful synthetic acid intended to kill bacteria that cause acne, can actually cause more irritation and can lead to other conditions including dryness, overproduction of oils (in response to the dryness), inflammation, and possibly contribute to wrinkles.
With antibacterial properties from lauric acid, coconut oil can be applied directly to the skin of the face and/or body—wherever acne is prevalent. Soak a cotton ball in liquefied oil and apply a light coating of oil to your skin as often as desired.
6. Stimulate Hair Growth
If you’re seeking a safe, natural way to stimulate hair growth, look no further than coconut oil for hair health. Its moisturizing properties help to maximum moisture retention at the base of the hair shaft. The oil also benefits and stimulates collagen production, due to its lauric acid and capric acid that combine to promote the regeneration of skin cells and hair follicle production, which can help improve hair quality and encourage new hair growth.
Use this simple procedure to optimize hair growth by protecting the new hair’s structure and delivering powerful phytochemicals and vitamin E to the scalp:
+ ½ cup of coconut oil
+ Massage oil into your scalp and hair. Allow the oil to be absorbed for 1 to 3 hours, or up to a day if you have the time. Rinse, then shampoo and condition as usual. Repeat the process every 1 to 3 days to maximize results.
7. Whiten Teeth
One of the little-known benefits of the oil’s uses is that it can help naturally whiten your teeth. You can enjoy coffee, tea, and red wine without developing the yellowish or grayish discoloration that often results—and without the chemicals contained in popular, commercial teeth-whitening products.
Combine three simple ingredients to brush away stains, whiten teeth, and prevent future stains. It works quickly—and you don’t have to refrain from eating and drinking for hours before and after the procedure.
+ 1 teaspoon coconut oil
+ 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (the unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic version)
+ 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
+ 1 tablespoon water
Combine all the ingredients. Sip the concoction; swish throughout your mouth and over your teeth for a minimum of 1 minute and up to 5 minutes. Spit out the mixture and brush teeth as usual. You can repeat the process as often as necessary throughout the day.