July 11 2020 – Henrieta Haniskova
The Coconut tree belongs to the Palm family and is the only species belonging to the Cocos genus. For centuries, the oil produced from coconuts has been a staple ingredient in beauty products that were made and used by communities all around the world.
Despite its name, the Coconut is not a nut – it is a drupe, which is a fleshy, thin-skinned fruit with a stone at its center that contains the seed. Throughout history and even today, mature coconuts are processed so that oil can be obtained from the kernel, charcoal can be obtained from the hard shell, and the fibrous outer husk can be used to create rope and matting.
The use of Coconut Oil has been a prolific and fundamental aspect in the lives of many societies all around the world, especially in tropical and coastal regions such as South and Central America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Micro-, Mele- and Polynesia, and most of Asia. The uses for this oil were so respected that as early as 1500 BC they were recorded in Sanskrit for Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for illnesses of the mind, body, and spirit.
In South Asia, Coconut Oil was frequently used in hair products to keep it lustrous, moisturized, thick, and dark. It was used on the skin to facilitate the speedy healing of burns, bruises, cuts, and wounds as well as to soothe aching muscles and joint pain. In Zanzibar and India, Coconut Oil was used in the candle making process and to provide light. Even the British explorer Captain Cook wrote favorably about the attractiveness of communities that surrounded the Pacific Ocean and that used Coconut Oil extensively.
For native Samoan healers as well as for Central and South American healers and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners, Coconut Oil was used as a remedy for treating illnesses and healing wounds. Many mothers on the island used Coconut Oil to massage their children in order to promote the growth of strong bones, to protect their skin against blemishes, and to prevent illness and infection.
In the countries to which coconuts are native, people used them to make baskets, utensils, and musical instruments. They found a greater number of uses when they learned that the flesh could be used for more than just food and drink, at which time they began extracting the oil of the coconut by boiling the milk. They applied this oil as a natural sunscreen, a moisturizing conditioner for dry and damaged skin and hair, and as a treatment for head lice, among other uses.
Used cosmetically or topically in general, Coconut Oil can penetrate the skin easily, due to the small size of its molecules, which are almost as small as essential oil molecules and which allows essential oils to be readily absorbed into the skin when combined with Coconut Oil. Without clogging pores, Coconut Oil offers excellent emollience to dry, itchy skin and hair, remaining suitable for sensitive, inflamed and irritated skin. In providing hydration, it creates a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, locking in moisture to soften, lubricate, and cool skin and hair while preventing future dryness as well as fungus. Used in a topical cream, Coconut Oil soothes and cools irritated areas of skin such as those affected by the discomforts of conditions like Athlete's Foot, Psoriasis, and warts. It effectively soothes sunburns and blisters, removes dead skin, and promotes the growth of newer, healthier skin for a glowing complexion.
Used therapeutically, Coconut Carrier Oil is reputed to be effective for boosting metabolism and promoting the burning of more energy. It is believed to be able to control blood pressure and cholesterol while soothing discomfort caused by liver and kidney problems. It is often used to improve digestion and insulin secretion and to control blood sugar. It can also promote stress relief when used in a relaxing massage.
Coconuts are derived from the Cocos nucifera botanical, which is a large palm tree that can grow up to 30 m (98 ft.) tall. Its long leaves are pinnate and its trunk is smooth. Coconuts can be further classified into Tall and Dwarf types. The Coconut is not a true nut; rather, like other fleshy fruits that have thin skin and a seed-filled inner stone in their centers, it is a drupe much like an almond, cherry, olive, or plum. Recent research shows that Coconut oi causes about 1/4 of the allergic reactions of mineral oil, which is commonly known as Baby oil.
Coconuts are first collected and the ones used for “copra,” that is the dried inner flesh or the “meat,” are split open in the field with an axe. The Coconut’s meat is scooped out, amassed, and taken to a drier, which can be as simple as solar drying or a rack over a fire. It can also be as sophisticated as a kiln. The drying process can take up to 4 days. To produce 1 ton of copra, approximately 6,000 fully mature coconuts are required. The copra is bagged and taken to a large-scale industrial oil-seed mill by which time the copra will have gone rancid, especially if the mill is overseas. At this point, the extraction process begins.
Though coconut oil at varying quality can be extracted in different ways, we only use the Extra virgin (first pressing) organic oil, cold pressed for the hughest nutritional value.
Used topically, Coconut Oil cleanses and nourishes skin, leaving it soft and silky. While healing and relaxing the body in a massage, it quickly and deeply hydrates the skin, locking in moisture. To cleanse the skin while moisturizing and reducing the appearance of aging, a small amount of Coconut Oil can be gently massaged into the face. This method works as a lotion that simultaneously removes makeup while nourishing the skin. For a massage to reduce the appearance of cellulite, Coconut Oil can be mixed with essential oils before being massaged into the affected areas. Its high fatty acid content makes Coconut Oil deeply moisturizing and, by massaging a generous amount into feet, damaged heels will enjoy intense hydration.
Used medicinally, this anti-oxidant is known to also exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is known to help balance blood pressure as well as blood-sugar levels, cholesterol and hormone levels. Coconut Oil has traditionally been used to soothe wounds, rashes and burns. It can treat fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot and can repel bugs and insects such as bees, flies, and mosquitoes. The high level of Lauric Acid content in this anti-fungal oil helps eliminate the harmful bacteria inside cold sores. Applying it directly to a sore will relieve itching and pain while promoting faster healing. By hydrating skin and promoting the growth of newer, healthier skin that is more elastic, Coconut Oil helps reduce the appearance of discoloration caused by stretch marks and dark blemishes. Massaging Coconut Carrier Oil into the hands and cheeks can help prevent the appearance of age spots. It is gentle enough to be used on baby skin, making it suitable for relieving diaper rashes and other skin irritations. For a cold remedy, Coconut Oil can be mixed with Peppermint or Spearmint Essential Oil and rubbed into the chest to relieve congestion and boost circulation.
Benefits of using Coconut oil
The main chemical constituents of Coconut Carrier Oils are: Lauric Acid, Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid, Linoleic Acid (Polyunsaturated Fats), Oleic Acid (Monounsaturated Fats), Polyphenols (Virgin Coconut Oil only), and Medium-Chain Triglycerides.
Le's see what this means in it's effect on our skin
•Assimilate quickly and completely into the body
•Eliminate and prevent various viruses
•Eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi
•Facilitate wound healing
•Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
•Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
•Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
•Improve skin elasticity, especially for prematurely aging skin
•Offer intense moisture
- COSMETIC: emollient, protectively hydrating, lubricating, cooling, soothing
- MEDICINAL: regulating, balancing, stress relieving, digestive, anti-fungal, detoxicant