Coconut contains lauric, capric and caprylic acid that our bodies converts linto monolaurin, reputed to be helpful in fighting viruses and bacteria that cause diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial properties also helps in fighting many harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Used extensively in Asia, coconut oil is used for hair and skin care, stress relief, balancing cholesterol levels and weight loss. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength.
As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, although its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled a list of potential benefits of coconut oil in both traditional and modern medicine.
More than ninety percent of coconut oil consists of saturated fats, along with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Saturated fatty acids: Most of them are medium chain triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well in the body’s systems. Lauric acid is the chief contributor, representing more than forty percent of the total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids: Linoleic acid.
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: Oleic acid.
- Poly-phenols: Coconut contains Gallic acid, which is also known as phenolic acid that gives it its fragrance.
Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair and is used extensively in India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. It helps promote healthy growth of hair and is effective in reducing protein loss that can lead to healthy hair such as split ends.
Used extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care, it is commonly applied to the hair on a daily basis. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that coconut oil provides protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue, i.e. damaged caused as a result of the expanding and contracting of hair due to the uptake and loss of water.
By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, can aid in controlling dandruff, even if your scalp is chronically dry.
Coconut oil is beneficial for heart health because of its high content of lauric acid, which helps to manage conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you those found in vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
Skin careCoconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. <2>Other Benefits
- Weight loss - contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight.
- Strengthens Immune System - contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Digestion - prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- Candida - provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida. Its capacity to retain moisture keeps the skin from cracking or peeling.
- Healing infections - applied to infected areas, coconut oil speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues and forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and viruses.