The coconut oil with the most nutritional value is virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed oil. Read about how to use organic cold-pressed virgin coconut oil in this article.
Virgin cold-pressed oil is normally hand pressed.
Virgin unrefined coconut oil can also be machine pressed where heat is applied, however, it does not alter the nature of the oil.
The flavour is more intense when the coconut oil is cold-pressed.
The Best Coconut Oil – Coconut Palm Tree Extracts
You can tell a coconut is ripe when its colour turns brown. A fully mature coconut seed is normally 12 months old and this is when the coconuts start dropping naturally off the tree.
If you come from a tropical land or has visited any tropical country or island, then you must surely have assisted with any of the presentations of some sort of coconut processing.
Every part of the Coconut Palm Tree (Cocos nucifera) is utilised in some way or another and that is why it is also referred to as ´the tree of life.
The people from these tropical lands who are surrounded by Coconut trees usually take great pride in giving demonstrations to visitors on how to;
- climb a tree and pick coconuts
- deshelling or cracking the coconut
- draining or drinking the water
- shredding of the coconut meat
- milk and oil extraction
The Traditions of Coconut Oil
I´d like to share with you two beautiful videos, about the making of coconut oil. In both videos, you can appreciate the art and beauty of making virgin coconut oil. Most probably you can´t resist tasting or wanting to try coconut oil after watching.
This first video is so relaxing to watch it feels like meditating.
This other video here shows the dedication and rituals of some cultures (this is in South India) when producing coconut oil.
Properties & Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is abundant in Vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, and is excellent for anti-ageing.
Virgin oil is high in fatty acids, called medium-chain fatty acids or triglycerides (the incredibly healthy fat that is different from animal fat) of which 48% is lauric acid making it antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal.
According to studies by Michigan State University, USA, the monolaurin compound in lauric acid acquired from the coconut seed is similar to the same substance found in a mother´s breast milk and also has equal nutritional benefits.
What Can Coconut Oil Be Used For?
Virgin Coconut Oil for Hair Treatment
In South India, I have seen the majority of people with oily hair simply because they like to soak it in coconut oil and leave it in. India and other Asian countries have been using coconut oil for hundreds of years, and as a result, they have silky, healthy and strong hair.
The way I use it- I mix a scoop of coconut oil with half a spoon of castor oil and apply it to my hair once or twice a week. Leave it in for a couple of hours and then wash. This keeps the hair healthy and strong.
I did read in one article that some people experienced hair loss when using coconut oil, so it is good to make a test patch first in case you are allergic. Perhaps coconut oil just doesn´t go well with you.
Virgin Coconut Oil for Face
Coconut oil can be used as a makeup remover and also as a lip balm to avoid chapped lips.
Whenever I have the time (ideally you do this for 5 minutes each day), I do a face massage with coconut oil. I pour some oil in my hands, rub them together and place both hands on my eyes for relaxation.
Then I start massaging with my fingers on the acupressure facial points (I will be writing about this in another post soon) and give myself an uplifting massage to revitalise the skin.
If you can do this often it does help with blood circulation and will smooth out wrinkles whilst keeping the skin elasticity.
Virgin Coconut Oil for Skin
In Ayurveda, coconut oil is recommended for the Pitta dosha type due to its cooling properties. Coconut oil absorbs easily into the skin and is ideal as a base oil massage. There is no need to apply a large quantity. When in Samoa I was told if our skin looks shiny after rubbing in the oil, it means you should use less oil next time around.
For those that have tattoos, coconut oil is a good moisturiser and keeps the colours bright.
Coconut oil can also be used as shaving cream for sensitive skin.
100% pure essential oil soaps are gentle and delicate on the skin.
Coconut oil mixed with some salt is fantastic to use as a foot scrub.
Massaging coconut oil onto cuticles and nails keeps them soft and hydrated and do not frail easily.
Virgin Coconut Oil for Mouth And Teeth
I tried using coconut oil instead of toothpaste but I didn´t like it, so instead I do oil pulling.
Oil pulling – take a scoop of coconut oil in your mouth and do swishing for 10-20 minutes at least once a week. The longer you can hold it the better. It does feel a bit weird the first time you use it, as coconut oil tends to become thick in texture when you hold it in your mouth for so long but hey, it is worth the effort.
You will have healthy gums and I have noticed that since I´ve been doing the oil pulling, I am not getting any dental plaque on the inside area between the teeth anymore.
When you are ready spit the oil into a tissue and throw it in the bin, as spitting the liquid in the sink may cause blockages as coconut oil solidifies.
Virgin Coconut Oil for Cooking
The American Heart Association claims coconut oil is not good for the heart as it raises cholesterol due to its high levels of saturated fats. However, people from the tropics consume a high percentage of coconut cream or coconut meat and they are not known to suffer from heart disease.
I love the smell of coconut oil and I use it especially when cooking wok sautéed vegetables or chicken.
Virgin Coconut Oil Storage
Virgin Coconut oil comes in different types of containers, jars and bottles. Remember that pure oil has that nice white colour and it solidifies in cold weather. I shift the oil from tight neck bottles to a wider jar during winter for easy spooning. And I store it in the cupboard, never in the fridge, not even in summer.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and you are desiring to try virgin coconut oil if you are not using it already. Please leave any comments below. I´d love to hear from you.
https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/05/01/saturated-fats-why-all-the-hubbub-over-coconuts Saturated Fats by American Heart Association
http://www.coconutboard.gov.in/HealthBenefits.aspx#VirginCoconutoil Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil