Coconut oil is a vegetable oil extracted from coconut kernel and nutmeat. The substance has a broad industrial application (including food industry) and is also used in medicine and cosmetology.
Coconut oil features antimicrobial, anti-oxidative, antifungal and soothing properties backed by decanoic, caprylic and lauric acids.
Inside the human body lauric acid converts into monolaurin able to kill off even pathogenic agents which cause flue, herpes, giardia and helicobacter pylori. This effect was described in Ayurveda – an ancient hallmark of Indian traditional medicine.
Composition of coconut oil
Coconut oil consists of saturated fats and mono- and polyunsaturated acids by 90%. Therefore, coconut oil should be eaten with caution.
The complete composition of coconut oil is as follows:
- Linoleic acid;
- Oleic acid;
- Lauric, decanoic, caprylic, palmitic and myristic acids;
- Polyphenols (gallic acid). They’re responsible for pleasant scent and flavour of the coconut oil;
- Fatty acid derivatives like ethanolamide, betaines and ethoxylates;
- Polyol esters;
- Fatty aid esters;
- Fatty alcohol derivatives;
- Vitamins E and K;
- Iron and other healthful microelements.
Coconut oil remains stable at high temperatures. Therefore, it can be used for cooking. It oxidizes slowly and can be stored for up to 2 years.
The use of coconut oil
Coconut oil is used for cooking, including frying, as a component in baby food, sweet snacks and as a cream substitute.
Industrial use of coconut oil includes manufacturing of biodiesel fuel used in tropical island countries instead of petrol.
Acids found in coconut oil are used in agriculture as herbicides. Manufacturers of cosmetics add this substance into soap, creams and body lotions. Coconut oil is also used in the manufacturing of natural cosmetic products for hair, body, and facial care.
Hair care with coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural ingredients for nourishing your hair and scalp. It can be used as conditioner for damaged hair, especially when your hair growth is subdued. When used in combination with head massage it can help you to quickly get rid of dandruff providing a long-lasting effect.
Here is one of the most healthful recipes used in hair care. Brew coconut oil and curry leafs for 2-3 minutes. Put the resultant mixture onto your head, put a warm towel on top and in one hour wash the mixture away with lukewarm water. Several procedures of this kind will make your hair stronger and well-hydrated.
Coconut oil for skin care
- The most preferable option is to use coconut oil for massage. Besides, pure coconut oil is a perfect substitute for expensive hydrating facial and body creams, particularly for dry skin;
- The way coconut oil influences your skin is similar to mineral oil. However, unlike mineral oil, coconut oil causes no side effects;
- Coconut oil is particularly beneficial for dry skin prone to peeling and cracking. Fats contained in coconut oil prevent dehydration;
- Coconut oil contains plenty of antioxidants. They prevent sagging skin caused by ageing and fend off wrinkles. Therefore, coconut oil is a pivotal component for anti-ageing care;
- Coconut oil provides relief for people suffering from such skin diseases as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and acute stages of herpes;
- Coconut oil is used as a main ingredient in the preparation of plant extracts and mixtures containing essential oils.
Coconut oil is one of the safest products. However, if you have allergies or skin diseases you should consult your medical practitioner before using it.