As far back as 4,000 years ago, Ayurvedic medicine recognized coconut oil benefits and used it for its medicinal properties. Today more and more of us are finally learning how to use coconut oil in our modern lives, as well.
Just a few of the claimed benefits and uses of this special oil are:
These are just a fraction of the numerous health benefits of coconut oil that we'll look at below.
I'm still surprised so few people are unaware of all coconut oil benefits. Some still think it's an artery clogging fat thanks to an anti-saturated fat and anti-tropical oil publicity campaign in the mid-1980's funded by the soybean industry. These claims have been proven false over and over but the soybean industry doesn't want the public to know.
Not all saturated fats are the same.
Fats can be divided into 3 categories, depending on how long their molecule chains are. There are short, medium and long chain fatty acids. The short and medium chain fatty acids are beneficial to health, and coconut oil consists mainly of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), or medium chain triglycerides.
Many of the coconut oil benefits can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and of course its antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. These antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties help explain why coconut oil is used to help boost the immune system.
The lauric acid - also found in human breast milk - also boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria and viruses. We should all use how to use coconut oil for these health benefits alone.
Coconut oil benefits many of your organs, like your heart and kidneys, but is especially beneficial for your hard-working liver. Your liver is the focus of harmful microbes and has the job of neutralizing toxins and free radicals. MCFA's in the oil assist in maintaining your liver's health by destroying these microbes and minimizing free radical formation.
Other health benefits of coconut oil include:
It is important for the coconut oil benefits to be the best, that the oil has not been highly processed. We love the Gold Label oils from one of our affiliates, Tropical Traditions. The quality is higher, which means you can really feel the benefits compared to processed or hydrogenated oils.
When looking into the sustainability of coconut oil, it appears that the Philippine and Indian governments are taking action to make sure coconut growers are acting responsibly and sustainably for the healthy future of their palms. It actually appears that many of the large growers are concerned about their product and their environment and act responsibly simply on their own without the government intervention.
Here are some of the steps that they are taking in order to ensure a sustainable product:
There is no reason for your coconut oil to be heated or highly processed. The old-fashioned, sustainable way where the coconut is allowed to mature and air dry preserves the nutrients and reduces industrial pollutants, such as what is offered through our affiliate, Tropical Traditions.
As with any product we consume you have to know your provider in order to know if the product is truly being harvested responsibly, both for the environment and for working conditions. Research your supplier and make sure you trust their practices.
There are so many options for that we've broken down how to use coconut oil into several different articles:
The healthiest coconut oil for any therapeutic benefits is one that isn't heated in processing and is organic. The higher the quality, the more properties and benefits you'll receive.
This is why we love and support our affiliate, Tropical Traditions. They offer so much research and information and many more natural, organic products for your health.
Plus, new customers who purchase here get a free book!
Their book, Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people's lives, and how it can change yours, includes the research behind coconut oil benefits, over 100 testimonials from coconut oil users and over 85 recipes to incorporate these health benefits into your life easily.
April Sheets is a peaceful parenting, babywearing and unschooling mom of three, an alternative medicine and natural immunity advocate, and raw food loving, juicing enthusiast. She is a lactivist, intactivist woman "altruistically trying to save the world from itself." Learn more from Sheets at Primitive Mommy: Instinctual Eating, Parenting and Living.
Learning about coconut oil benefits is one simple way to live healthy and sustainably.
When you're ready for a few more steps check out the articles below.
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
#1-174 For references on this or other pages, please visit environmental articles.
*Please read our disclaimer regarding all health opinions shared on this site,
as well as our advertising and affiliate disclosure.
*Any health-related topics shared on this site are solely the opinion of the author or guest author. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Sustainable Baby Steps is not a replacement for your own best judgment or a medical professional where indicated. Always consult your own opinion and/or your health care provider when making important health care choices. Read our entire disclaimer here.