/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » things i love thursday: coconut oil

I haven’t done a Things I Love Thursday in a while, but I realized this past weekend that I needed to do one for coconut oil.  Seriously – I think the stuff is AMAZING.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat (and that’s not bad for you – read about it here) and is multi-purpose in our home.  It is loaded with MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid – all of which are phenomenally healthy for us.  The MCTs stimulate metabolic function (that means you’ll lose weight if your body is carrying more than it wants to), brain function (read at Coconut Keytones about how Alzheimer’s disease can be actually REVERSED with it), and lubricates your body from the inside-out.  Lauric acid is present in mother’s milk, but after weaning, we rarely get the amount that is healthy to stimulate our immune systems.  With a mere 3.5 tablespoons per day, we can get the same amount of lauric acid as is present in a full-day’s nursing for an infant, thereby boosting our immune system and overall health.  And oddly enough, when there is sufficient natural oil in your system (not vegetable oil or other synthetic oils), dry skin goes away.

I also use coconut oil on my hair.  Research has shown that CO is the ONLY oil which actually bond with the keratin (protein) in hair – making it the natural choice for hydrating your locks, ending frizzies, and returning any curls you have to a springy-health.  I use it once a week now that I live in the desert – my hair loves it.  My curls are manageable, beautiful, and my hair is crazy-soft.  I also use it sparingly to style my hair (scrunching the curls when they are wet) and if I decide to straighten my hair with a flat iron, I use a tiny amount on each section before I straighten it – the heat of the iron makes the oil bond with my hair in a new way and the finished style is straight and soft, as well as smooth.

Of course I cook with CO – between butter and coconut oil with an occasional splash of sesame oil, we’ve moved to a traditional-food eating plan and love it.  I put CO in my coffee every morning (an easy way to get the proscribed 3.5 T per day), and when my skin is particularly dry, I rub it in and let it moisturize me from the outside, too.  There is never a greasy residue or oily feel when using it, as it absorbs quickly and well.

We also use CO as an intimate lubricant (ahem) and found that my incidence of yeast infections and other female unpleasantries went away.  When I researched the reason for this, I read that glycerin, which is in most commercially-available lubricants, turns to SUGAR after three months of air-exposure.  Which means that women are more prone to infection and reproductive-tract issues when they introduce sugar in to a potentially off-kilter system that might be too acidic or already have high levels of yeast (systemic candida).  Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and is hypo-allergenic.  It doesn’t stain bedclothes, either.

A good quality CO will be solid in ambient temperatures of 75F or less and liquid above those temperatures.  I moved from the “Land of Almost-Never Liquid CO” to the “Land of Almost-Never Solid CO” and have yet to have any coconut oil in our home be the white, solid stuff I knew in Michigan.  You can find good COs that smell and taste like coconut or some that are steam-deodorized, but do your research before buying and know if what you’re using is RBD – Refined, Bleached, Deodorized.  That is one kind of CO you’ll want to avoid – and I don’t have enough space here to explain why, so Google it and read about RBD on your own, please.

If you’re concerned about tree-nut allergies, please be aware that although coconuts grow on trees and are called “nuts” (hence their name), they are NOT the same as tree-nuts.  People who have nut allergies react to the protein in the nut; there is virtually no protein to react to in coconut oil.  It is a hypo-allergenic product and I really believe it will enrich your life and your health.

For more Things I Love Thursday, hike over to The Diaper Diaries and check out the posts there!  :)

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