Practical Magic: Coconut Oil – The Oil of Life

Coconut Oil - The Oil of Life

Name: Coconut Oil

Most Commonly Found: Coconut oil is commonly found in supermarkets, convenience stores and department stores. It can also be purchased online. It is found in food, beauty products, medicine and by itself.

Stone Cold Facts: Coconut oil is an edible oil, which is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It's highly regarded from its various applications in food, medicine and industry in general. It has a high saturated fat content, making it slow to oxidize and thus resistant to rancidification, making it so that it lasts for two years without spoiling.

While various health organizations advise against high amounts due to its amount of saturated fat, it's now being recognized for its various health benefits. 

[Related: 50 of the Best Uses for Coconut Oil]

What to Heal: Coconut oil has numerous health benefits, topically, medically and as a food.

Despite being high in saturated fat, it's actually fat burning. Consuming two teaspoons a day in men and women has been proven to reduce belly fat in one to three months, as well as lipid levels (GreenMedInfo). 

It lowers cholesterol and boosts metabolism. 

It's also brain boosting; a study, published in 2006 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, showed that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (most plentifully found in coconut oil) in 20 subjects with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment, resulted in significant increases in ketone bodies. It can also help with epilepsy. 

It's also wound healing, since it accelerates re-epithelialization, improves antioxidant enzyme activity, and stimulates higher collagen cross-linking within the tissue being repaired. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties and fever-reducing properties. 

It also works as well as conventional drugs in reducing seizures. It's anti-fungal. It also has been proven to boost testosterone levels and reduce a swollen prostate. 

Coconut oil also reduces oxidative stress within the bone, which may prevent structural damage in osteoporosis bone.

[Related: 14 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil]

For those looking to have fun in the sun, it's been shown to block out UV rays by 30 percent. It can also be used to make homemade deodorant, natural baby lotion and diaper rash cream. It can also help with stretch marks from pregnancy. It's been shown to heal head lice. It can be made into conditioner and can be used on nail cubicles. It hydrates dry, cracked feet by coating the feet in oil and sleeping overnight with socks on. It can also be used as a make-up remover. It can be made into body scrub with Epsom salt or can be used with baking soda as a toothpaste. It can stimulate hair growth and help with frizzy hair. 

[Related: 7 DIY Beauty Hacks Using Pantry Staples]

It can be used in minor scratches and skin rashes as a natural antibacterial ointment. It can soothe bug bites and can reduce the itch.

When taken daily, it can improve help with allergies, sleep and mood. It can also help with hot flashes. 

Put in in coffee, along with butter to make bulletproof coffee.

[Related: The Benefits of Oil Pulling: Why I Love It & How to Do It]

Related Chakras: Coconut oil helps strengthen and heal the lower two chakras. It's a sturdy fruit with a protective layer, paralleling the Root Chakra's boundaries. It's also nourishing and soft, helping the Sacral Chakra open up. 

History + Lore: Sanskrit Ayurvedic medicine texts written about 4,000 years ago discuss the health benefits of coconut oil.

Filipino people call the coconut palm tree (cocos nucifera L)—which grows mostly in Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and other Southeast Asian countries—the “tree of life” because of its highly valued and respected source of plant-based fats that have been used both as an energy-dense food and as folk medicine (Today’s Dietitian, Vol. 15 No. 10 P. 56).

It's also largely used in tropical regions, including South and Central America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Micro-, Mele- and Polynesia and most of Asia.

Early European explorers, including Captain Cook, wrote about the communities across the Pacific using coconut oil as an integral part of their daily lives. 

During World War II, coconut water was administered to soldiers intravenously to provide sterile hydration and is still used today in remote areas for these medical purposes.

Photo Cred: Core Walking