Virgin Coconut Oil (CO) is one of those products we would hate to be without, it has helped us so much.
But that wasn’t always so, since I learned in nursing school to think it was terrible for you! You see, I worked in open heart surgery, and it was regarded as worse than butter! We thought butter and whole milk were bad. We actually taught patients that.
If you would have heard people talk about coconut oil 15 years ago, you would have thought it was poison, with more dangerous artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising, heart-attack-causing saturated-fat than pure lard or beef tallow.
So given all the attacks on its character, what has caused the turnaround in conventional thinking about coconut oil?
Scientists, many of whom are backtracking on accusations against it, have helped give virgin coconut oil its new bill of health.
How Virgin Coconut Oil Fits Into Our Story:
We found virgin Coconut Oil (CO) to be a godsend when one of our 4-year-old twins developed unusual stomach pain, behavioral problems, eczema, and food allergies to almost everything after being exposed to mold. He developed ‘leaky gut syndrome’, Candida albicans, and later tests showed a gut full of the terrible gram-negative bacteria known as Klebsiella. There were absolutely no good bacteria found!
As a retired RN and SAHM, I was researching everything, but we didn’t have the internet capacity then, so we decided to go through a traditional/ alternative medical collaborative group (weighted more toward alternative). It took a long time to restore such debilitating damage, but we did get our happy, healthy little boy back. During that time, our son did not grow an inch for over 6 years!
One of the functional doctors in the group eventual recommendations was to use unrefined, virgin coconut oil, Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Citricidal, Pau D’Arco, raw butter and raw avocados to kill the candida, heal the gut and the immune system, and it was at that point that we began to see restoration. Today, we still occasionally struggle with candida, but when it gets out-of-control, CO is our go-to medicine!
Virgin coconut oil is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. It’s the most nutrient-dense part of the coconut. Like butter, it is solid at room temperature. It doesn’t break down in heat or light and become rancid like many oils, and it smells heavenly.
The Most Important Benefits of Coconut Oil (CO):
- CO contains 40% Lauric Acid (second only to human breast milk), as well as Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid, which possess antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
- There is evidence that regular ingestion of coconut oil can help prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Often misdiagnosed and even dismissed, candida (yeast overgrowth) is culprit behind numerous health problems. The symptoms include fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, chronic coughs, frequent sinus infections, reoccurring fungal infections, blurred vision, sugar cravings and abdominal pain, to name a few. Taken regularly, un-refined coconut oil taken internally can provide the answer for candida.
- CO has been shown effective in Diabetes and has a measurable effect on blood sugar.
- As a overall healthy replacement for vegetable oils in any recipe.
- CO helps with weight loss and metabolism. Infinitely better than using aspartame!
- Take a tablespoon before each meal can improve digestive disorders.
- Study: Soybean Oil Is More Obesogenic (makes you fatter) and Diabetogenic (tends more to diabetes) than Coconut Oil and Fructose in Mouse:
- There is a growing body of evidence that saturated fat from sources such as coconut and palm oil, which are rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), may actually be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of the Metabolic Syndrome.
- Can help soothe psoriasis or eczema. Once virgin coconut oil healed my son’s gut, his extensive eczema cleared up on its own and many of his food allergies disappeared over time.
- Polynesian communities studied for whom coconut was the primary caloric energy source were found to have nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.
- CO helps prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
- CO may also be protective against liver cancer, though the protection may be nullified by concurrent use of soybean oil
- In cooking it has a high smoke point. It is stable and great for baking, deep-frying, sauté, or as a dairy-free replacement to butter.
- There is some evidence that the beneficial fats in coconut oil can help with depression and anxiety.
- Use as a completely natural baby lotion. Soothes diaper rash. Cloth diaper safe.
- Taken regularly (internally) coconut oil can help many, but not all, resolve acne.
- Use topically to kill yeast infections such as ringworm or athlete’s foot.
- It’s ability to control hunger and cravings is well documented.
- Studies show that coconut oil’s MCTs can enhance athletic performance.
- It can improve cholesterol ratios.
- Topically to speed up wound healing and heal or prevent infection.
- CO is used by adoptive parents to make infant formula that is closer to human breast milk.
- CO supports healthy thyroid function. Dr. Oz seems to be joining the bandwagon, and other doctors are mentioning the benefits as well.
- Women who eat it during pregnancy can enhance the long-term health of baby with respect to autism, allergies, asthma, food sensitivities and other chronic conditions.
- CO helps kill intestinal parasites.
- I have read it can help get rid of cellulite when rubbed consistently on skin.
- Use it for re-seasoning a cast iron skillet; it doesn’t go rancid.
- Anti-inflammatory properties help with arthritis, inflamed gums, and acne.
- Helps improve sleep when taken daily.
- It has been shown to increase absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- Use internally as part of the protocol to help remineralize teeth.
- Used by itself or with baking soda it is a naturally whitening toothpaste.
- Some evidence suggests that the MCTs in coconut oil are helpful for those with autism.
- Also soothes nursing mother’s nipples and defeats thrush in baby’s mouth.
- CO is my facial moisturizer of choice.
- Taken internally helps to speed recovery from urinary tract infections.
- Taken regularly, it can boost hormone production.
- When taken during pregnancy, it helps provide baby necessary fats for development.
- CO can be used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Soaking a tampon in CO and inserting the tampon for a few hours may be helpful.
- Rubbing it on your lips naturally clears up cold sores. I just did this, and it never formed blisters!!!
- Ingesting coconut oil daily can help with allergy symptoms.
Coconut Oil can be used in so many recipes! Here are a few ways that I have made:
- Is a great replacement for olive oil in The Best Homemade Mayonnaise Ever.
- One of the main ingredients in Best Ever Homemade Chocolate Bonbons and Coconut Snowballs and other delicacies is CO.
- The Best Power Bars Ever have contain lots of coconut oil.
- The best pastry crust ever is made using coconut oil as 50% of the shortening (recipe originally called for Crisco or lard. We substituted half butter, half coconut oil). The crust used for the Cornish Pasty has received rave reviews wherever it is served!
- For most breakfasts, my daughter makes a variety of egg recipes, including omelets/frittatas, french toast, and egg-in-the-basket. She always uses CO in the cast-iron skillet.
- It can be used for sauteing and caramelizing greens and onions, frying potatoes, and pan frying meats. Here, we show how we make greens and onions with coconut oil.
- You can even use CO in quick breads.
- We made the richest pie using chocolate for the filling and shredded coconut for the crust.
Want more research-based information instead of just my word? Browse through this list of peer reviewed research articles.
It’s worth mentioning that the best health benefits can be achieved through virgin CO that hasn’t been refined. Like olive oil, there are different kinds of CO depending on how the oil has been produced and refined. For external, non-medical uses such as skin and hair treatments, expeller-pressed or refined coconut oil will work fine.
Either way, coconut oil is incredible!