Coconut for the Skin
The Sanskrit name for the coconut palm (See HC 030382.355) is kalpa vriksha meaning “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live.” Coconuts are 70at, most of which is saturated. Excellent for energy, they provide iodine, protein, beta-caratene, B-complex vitamins, and minerals. Young coconut water is similar to human blood plasma composition and was used in intravenous solutions by Japanese doctors in World War II. Topically, the water can be applied to rashes and has even been used as eye drops for cataract treatment. Coconut oil (coconut butter) is a very digestible saturated fat. It contains both short- and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are more easily digested by the body than long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil may also aid in lowering cholesterol, maintaining blood sugar levels, and restoring thyroid function. The sebaceous glands of human skin produce MCFAs which destroy certain bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Showering and soaps wash away this sebaceous oil, but coconut oil can act as a restorative, not only protecting the skin but moisturizing as well. The oil helps prevent scars and stretch marks and may aid in psoriasis treatment. Because of coconut oil’s high level of MCFAs, it is the most stable of oils and therefore has a longer shelf life than other oils; however, it should be stored away from sunlight and heat. Since other oils and fats can more easily become rancid, they can have a negative effect on the skin’s connective tissues. So while they may provide temporarily relief for dry skin, they actually can weaken the skin over time. Coconut oil can repair and nourish the skin, helping eliminate the harmful effects of sun exposure, environmental stressors, and what goes in and on the body. Recently, my mother and a friend have begun using coconut oil to moisturize their skin. While I have used coconut oil to brush my teeth for a few years, I have only occasionally used the oil on my skin as I don’t like the oily residue feeling. However, I have just discovered a product comprised of both the coconut flesh and the oil which absorbs beautifully.