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Written by Mary-Claire Akinyemi, Health & beauty writer
In the mood for Coconut Oil
You’ve either done the raving or had someone singing the praises of the miracle oil known as coconut oil. Though the debate about its origin is still subject to debate, all from the fruit to the oil and even shell of the Cocos Nucifera has been used worldwide for centuries. Rich in Vitamin K, which is mostly found in dark leafy greens and is essential for healthy bone formation and the regulation of normal blood clotting, coconut oil also contains the powerful antioxidant Vitamin E. Whether it’s for culinary, cosmetic or health purposes, here’s why you’ll be falling head over heels for organic coconut oil.
One hundred and..
Loved by all from actress Elsa Pataky to reality star Kourtney Kardashian, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil has many uses, reportedly over a 100, but we’ve narrowed it down to 8 ways to use it.
1. As a nourishing emollient
Coconut oil has the unique ability to deeply penetrate the skin without leaving a greasy residue. It can be used on its own, or mixed with shea butter and a soothing essential oil such as lavender to make a rich and soothing body cream that provides all day hydration to the skin. A rich source of anti-oxidants and vitamin E, regular use of coconut oil has also been known to reduce fine lines and spots caused by aging.
2. As a healer
Because of a host of anti-bacterial properties, coconut oil has been known to soothe irritated skin and treat all from scars, cuts and sunburns. Vitamin E is essential to healthy skin as it aids with the repair of damaged cells caused by all from over exposure to the elements to skin ailments including eczema and acnes scarring.
3. As a 2-in-1 Cleanser
Gentle and non-irritating, coconut oil can be used as a makeup remover, and much like our organic jojoba oil, as a cleansing oil. A small amount of coconut oil will effectively remove all traces of makeup and excessive dirt, leaving the skin clean yet deeply hydrated. Coconut oil can also be used a base for an easy homemade face and body scrub. Combine small amount of unrefined coconut oil with brown sugar or baking soda and massage into the face and/or body. After a few minutes, rinse the concoction lukewarm water or wipe away with an unbleached muslin cloth until all of the excess oil has been removed.
4. As a natural deodorant
If you’re looking for an alternative, non-toxic and inexpensive deodorant, we recommend you give coconut oil a try. Even natural alcohol- free deodorants may contain traces of aluminium which can cause skin irritation and hormonal imbalance. As little as a finger of coconut applied on clean, dry underarm area will work as an effective yet gentle antiperspirant.
5. As a deep conditioner
Whether it’s quickly taming frizzy hair or treating your tresses overnight, coconut oil can serve as a deeply moisturising and entirely natural hair conditioner. Simply rib a generous amount into the palms of your hand and apply it to the hair, working from root to the tip. It can also be applied directly to the scalp to help treat dandruff and other scalp conditions.
6. As an alternative cooking oil
By now you’ve been swayed by the many external benefits of coconut oil, but it also works its wonders internally too. Instead of the standard cooking oils and butters, coconut oil has been known to give a subtle flavour to omelettes and even dairy-free spread for sandwiches and baked goods. Because coconut oil can handle heat better than most vegetable oils, it is perfect for stir-frying or sautéing vegetables such as chard and kale, noodles and even fish and poultry. And if you’re looking for a nutritious alterative way to dressing your salads or greens, coconut oil makes a flavoursome base to homemade salad dressings. Simply combine a spoonful to coconut oil, vinegar, raw honey and pinch of sea salt. Whisk all together until smooth and gently heat until the mixture is liquefied.
7. As a metabolism booster
A table spoonful (or two) of coconut oil can add texture not to mention a unique flavour to homemade green smoothies. Containing healthy fats including lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid, coconut oil has been found to support the immune system and boost thyroid function as well as a sluggish metabolism. If consumed daily, we recommend it is used sparingly.
8. And..the go-to for new mothers
Equally effective in treating post-pregnancy stretch marks as it is for soothing a persistent nappy rash, coconut oil is gentle enough to work for delicate and mature skin. Simply apply a small amount on the stomach and thigh area up to 3 times daily to treat stretch marks. And for your little one, coconut oil can be safely used as a body cream or to soothe irritated or inflamed skin caused by or contact with chemicals or tight-fitting nappies.
Opt for organic
Carrier oils, hand lotions and even lip balms knowingly contain toxins and artificial fragrances to help preserve their shelf life. As the largest organ of the body, the skin easily absorbs the chemicals applied topically. In turn, many of these chemicals are the culprit of a range of allergies and skin sensitivities, which is why we recommend that you buy organic coconut oil whenever possible.Plain and simply, organic stands for pure and unrefined. Studies have also shown that by choosing organic over conventional, refined products, you will be always ingesting a higher percentage of vitamin and nutrients.
Organic lies at the heart of our ethical brand and we pride ourselves in sourcing only premium, ‘certified organic’ ingredients to ensure that you get the very best, and our organic, cold pressed coconut oil is no exception. Sourced from Sri Lanka (incidentally one of the best places to source from), our extra virgin organic coconut oil is made from the cold pressing of fresh, raw coconuts in heat controlled environment under 49 Celsius.
When melted it will appear as a clear liquid and have a clean coconut scent. As with the rest of our carrier oil range, when searching for unrefined coconut oil, remember that colour, texture and scent will always indicate its quality and efficacy. Unless stated otherwise coconut oils available for purchase at supermarkets or speciality stores will be refined, meaning they have been heat extracted and treated with various types of chemicals. They will have an off-yellow tint, be odourless and therefore not offer the same health or nutritional benefits as their organic equivalents.