While looking at the benefits of coconut oil for hair, it must also be noted that there are some other amazing benefits as well. The coconut nut tree has been called the “tree of life” and there are some very good reasons for that name indeed! The scientific term for coconut is Cocos Nucifera, the cocos being coined by early Spanish explorers who thought the three indentations or eyes on the hairy looking coconut looked like a “monkey face.” The noble coconut is a great source of nutrition through its meat, juice, milk and oil. It has fed and supported populations of people all over the world for generations. It is a staple food for many indigenous cultures and among these people, it has long held great respect. Nearly one-third of the world’s population depends on coconut in some way for their food or economy.
The coconut is very nutritious and rich in vitamins, fibre, and minerals. It is considered a healing food due to its many health benefits even beyond the nutritional value. Coconut oil especially is prized for its extraordinary healing properties that far surpass the benefits of other dietary oils. It is used extensively in folk medicines by traditional Pacific and Asian peoples. Coconut oil is so highly regarded by the Pacific Islanders who believe it to be a cure for all kinds of ailments that it has long been referred to by them as the “tree of life.” It is only in recent times that scientists and modern medical scholars have written and studied the coconut’s many healing capabilities.
Traditional Medicine from Coconut Oil
In traditional folk medicine uses around the world coconut oil is known for treating a wide variety of illnesses including: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.
Modern Medicinal Use of Coconut Oil
Studies published in modern medical journals now confirm that treating many of the illnesses that traditional healers used (listed above) with coconut oil is effective. Many studies show that coconut oil or coconut in other forms may effect healing in a number of conditions including the following:
- The killing of viruses that can cause flu, measles, hepatitis C, AIDS, herpes, and SARS
- The killing of bacteria that cause throat and urinary tract infections; gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, ulcers and other diseases.
- The killing off fungus and yeasts that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.
- Kills off tapeworms, lice, giardia and other parasites.
- Improves digestion, and insulin secretion dissolves kidney stones
- Helps to prevent obesity and manage weight problems.
- Wards off infections.
- Supports the thyroid and increases the metabolic rate
- Provides protection from UV damage by sunlight
- Helps eliminate dandruff
Coconut Oil used to get a bad rap and thought to be unhealthy because it was associated with high saturated fats. However, it is now understood that the fat in coconut oil is unique and has many healthy properties that were not known before. It has been called the healthiest oil on earth due to its molecular makeup. This is why there is much more to coconut oil for hair and whole-body usage than meets the eye. For more information, read this post on fats and how they are comprised and what makes coconut oil different.