Organic unrefined coconut oil has a multitude of health benefits, which include but not limited to skin care, hair care, improving digesting and immunity against infections and disease. However, I’m going to focus on the health benefits it has for women over 50. Coconut oil has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system, for centuries. “Modern medicine” is starting to catch up, though, and has done much research regarding the health properties of coconut oil. First, lets look at the properties of organic unrefined coconut oil:
Properties of Coconut Oil
- Saturated fatty acids: most are medium chain triglycerides which assimilate well in the body’s systems. These fatty acids include lauric acid (helpful in dealing with viruses and disease), capric acids (converts into a powerful antimicrobial agent) and caprylic acid (rich in antimicrobial and antifungal agents).
- Unsaturated fatty acids: polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids
- Poly-phenols: These are responsible for the fragrance and the taste of the oil
- Derivatives of fatty acids: including betaines, ethanolamide, ethoxylates, fatty esters, fatty polysorbates, monoglycerides and polyol esters
- Derivatives of fatty alcohols: including fatty chlorides, fatty alcohol sulphate and fatty alcohol ether sulphate
- Vitamins and minerals: including Vitamin E, vitamin K and iron (mineral).
Pure Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil
It is extracted from dried coconut kernels, which are also called copra. It is crude, unrefined and without any additives. It is mainly extracted by compression of copra in a mill. Pure coconut oil has multiple uses such as edible oil, massaging oil, hair oil, cosmetic usage, as well as medicinal and industrial use.
Health Benefits for Women Over 50
- Hair Care: as we age our hair can take on a dull, dry appearance that just makes us look old. But, coconut oil (just a dab melted in your palms and then applied to the hair) can restore shine and actually help it to grow because it reduces protein loss. By massaging it into your scalp regularly, you can prevent and cure dandruff.
- Skin Care: coconut oil is an effective moisturizer for all skin types and there is no chance of any adverse side effects on the skin, as with mineral oil. It not only prevents dryness and flaking of the skin, but also delays the appearances of wrinkles and sagging of skin, that comes with aging. It’s also great for treating other skin conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and skin infections. I use organic unrefined coconut oil on my face and neck every morning and night, after cleansing.
- Heart Disease: Even though coconut oil contains saturated fats, it is beneficial for the heart because it contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps prevent high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil will not increase your LDL levels. It also protects the arteries, preventing atherosclerosos. AND, studies have shown that is may help to maintain healthy lipid profiles in pre-menopausal women.
- Weight Loss: Research suggests that coconut oil helps to reduce abdominal obesity in women. It contains short and medium -chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It’s easy to digest and helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. It increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, helping you burn more energy and ultimately, lose unweighted pounds.
- Immunity: The antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties in coconut oil help to strengthen the immune system. So, FYI, coconut oil can help to prevent influenza for us women over 50, among scads of other illnesses.
- Digestion: When used in cooking, coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system, preventing various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Healing and Infections: When applied topically to an infected area, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is highly effective in speeding up the healing process when applied to bruises to the tissue.
- Other Benefits: prevents liver disease, prevents kidney and gall bladder diseases and helps to dissolve kidney stones, treats pancreatitis, stress relief when applied to the head, helps to control blood sugar and improves insulin secretion and can prevent or treat diabetes, helps to prevent osteoporosis, stops tooth decay and prevents plaque and gingivitis.
According to the Coconut Research Center (yes, we have that), coconut oil kills the bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, & pneumonia.
There is some research that states that coconut oil is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease; however, there is no scientific evidence supporting this.
How to use and store coconut oil
Coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degrees Celsius or 76-78 Fahrenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperature rises considerably. It will melt quickly in the palm of your hand. You don’t need to keep it in your refrigerator.
For hair care, I just melt a tiny ball (maybe pea size or smaller) in the palm of my hand and then rub my two hands together until both hands are shiny. Then, I just run my hands and fingers over my damp hair, massaging it into the ends.
If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. It’s wonderful to fry your favorite fish in…adds a little somethin’ somethin’. Remember, you don’t need to completely switch to coconut oil, because then you will lose the other benefits of more traditional oils and dairy products.
Island Fresh SUPERIOR Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Cold-pressed and Unrefined for Irresistible Aroma and Taste, 54 Ounce
Please feel free to share with us how you use organic unrefined coconut oil and the benefits you’ve had in the comment space below.