The coconut has long been used as a food source as well as a traditional or folk medicine remedy in many parts of the South Pacific, it’s native region. It is currently estimated that the coconut provides income or is used as a food source in over 1/3 of the world’s population. Recent research has proven what other people have known for centuries, the coconut is so much more than just a food.
How coconut oil benefits the hair and scalp
Not only does coconut oil have lots of health benefits, it also has some great hair and scalp benefits. If you have ever noticed women from the South Pacific, especially those that use coconut oil frequently, their hair is voluminous and shining like something from a John Frieda advert. Their scalps are healthy and soft, with no signs of psoriasis or flaking. This is because they use coconut oil to treat both their hair and scalp.
Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturiser, I can tell you from personal experiences with dry skin that coconut oil is great at rehydrating and protecting dry and delicate skin. It’s a great natural alternative to dry scalp shampoo’s which have endless added chemicals such as pyrithione zinc which can damage DNA in skin cells¹. Here at Organic Gods we implore you to always look for natural solutions to your problems, more often than not there is a natural solution that work as well if not better than “processed” alternatives.
Step 1: Extract two table spoons of coconut oil which should be in a solid state
Step 2: Rub into your scalp liberally and allow to soak in for 20 minutes
Step 3: Rinse out with warm water
Step 4: Repeat twice daily until your scalp is hydrated and flaking is eradicated
Other Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
The edible coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of a ripened coconut, either through cold pressing, milling or heating. With a high smoke point and abundance of MCT’s it’s an ideal oil for cooking with. MCT’s are stable in high temperatures and have been shown to increase levels of fat oxidation. The physical properties of the coconut oil are quite unique. Although primarily a saturated fat, the health implications of excess saturated fat do not apply. Typical saturated fats found in substances such as lard, contain long chain triglycerides, which are quite often hydrogenated and contains cholesterol. In coconut oil there are no trans fats and there is absolutely no cholesterol.
The health benefits have long been understood and used by people indigenous to the Philippines, once of the best sources of coconut oil. Long used for skin care, there are several other benefits from coconut oil including:
- Heart Disease: Coconut oil does contain a lot of saturated fat, but it does not contain harmful cholesterol. The saturated fat is made up of several different fatty acids, including lauric acid, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the body and reduce blood pressure.
- Weight Loss: MCT’s have been studied extensively and compared to both long and short chain triglycerides. In studies they have shown to enchance the level of fat oxidation. There has also been links with protein metabolism which has made it a popular supplement amongst athletes. It also helps maintain the endocrine system and keeps the thyroid gland functioning properly.
- Immunity: Coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that help the body fight off infections from bacteria and viruses.
- Skin care: Coconut oil has long been used for keeping the skin soft, supple and young. It is also great in helping prevent stretch marks from pregnancy, tanning and as a way to keep the skin moisturized. Coconut oil is also an active ingredient in many commercial lotions and skin care products.
Over Skin Treatments
When it comes to psoriasis of the scalp, it is great as a preventative treatment. Psoriasis, which is a skin condition that has raised red patches of skin with silvery-pearl scales, the itchiness that it causes is the one thing that bothers most people. Coconut oil is should not be used for an active outbreak, you can prevent further outbreaks by massaging it into your scalp at night just before bed time.
It prevents further outbreaks because it has several anti-microbial properties. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to be an abnormality of the immune system that caused the skin to grow too quickly. The immunity properties coupled with the anti-microbial properties make this wonderful and natural way to help prevent outbreaks.
¹ The topical antimicrobial zinc pyrithione is a heat shock response inducer that causes DNA damage and PARP-dependent energy crisis in human skin cells. Cell Stress Chaperones. 2010 May; 15(3): 309–322.
² The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes. Biomaterials. 2009:6035-40