The coconut is a nourishing, strengthening dietary supplement. It is used in all stages of maturity. As a food, it is most valuable before it matures. Its jelly-like tender kernel contains various enzymes and is easily digestible. The milk of fresh coconut forms a valuable food for children suffering from nutritional deficiency. It has adequate natural minerals and high quality proteins which are valuable for growth and repair of the body.
The water of the tender green coconut, generally known as mineral water, is used as a beverage and a refreshing drink. A tender coconut, which is fully grown and only one month old, contains about 400 to 465 C.C. of water. It contains sufficient sugar in an easily assimilable form. It is an excellent tonic for health. The water of a single coconut contains sufficient vitamin C to meet the daily requirements of the body. It also contains several vitamins in the B group. These are niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, riboflavin, folic acid and thiamin as well as pyridoxin in traces. The water also contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, sulfur and chloride.
The coconut is an ancient and very effective remedy for intestinal worms of all kinds. A tablespoonful of the freshly ground coconut should be taken at breakfast, followed by a dose of castor oil after three hours. The process may be repeated until the cure is complete.
The mature dried coconut is valuable in the treatment of acidity. Its oil reduces the Acid secretion of the stomach and gives much relief to the patient.
Digestive System Disorder
Tender kernel of coconut is highly beneficial in the treatment of digestive system disorders. It is valuable in diseases like indigestion, colitis, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery arid piles. The tender coconut water is also an excellent remedy for flatulence, vomiting and dyspepsia. In vomiting, it is food medicine of great value when other methods of allaying it have failed.
Taken in therapeutic amount of 3 1/2 tablespoonfuls (pure or mixed with coconut water or food), coconut oil can remove the bacteria which causes ulcers.
Coconut milk, mixed with milk and pure honey, taken every night before going to bed, is an effective food remedy for dry cough due to throat irritation or due to excessive smoking.
Tender coconut water is very useful in fighting cholera. Eight to 12 ounces of this water mixed with a teaspoonful of fresh lime juice should be administered orally to the patient. It rectifies the electrolyte balance and neutralizes the acidosis of the blood. Coconut water is a known source of potassium-rich fluid, and since cholera patients can almost invariably take oral fluids following initial correction of shock and acidosis, the experts suggest intake of coconut water is a must for cholera patients.
The coconut water is a valuable cure for urinary disorders. It acts as a natural diuretic in heart, liver and kidney disorders such as scanty and suppressed urination.
Coconut water is highly beneficial in the treatment of bilious fever. It should be given frequently in small doses. Water should, however, not be taken immediately after taking coconut water. It may be taken after some time, if necessary.
It is a disease which causes swelling in the stomach due to fluid accumulation. Coconut water is valuable in ascites. The patient should be given two or three glassfuls of coconut water to drink. This quantity may be increased or decreased according to the condition and needs of the patient.
The oil extracted from the flesh of the ripe nut is an effective dressing for burns and scalds. It is of great value in the preparation of ointments as it penetrates the skin readily. The tar-like fluid obtained from the red, hot shell of a ripe nut is a rubifacient which causes reddening and warming of the skin. It is a household remedy for ringworm, itch and other skin diseases."
If I asked you which dietary oil provides the widest range of health benefits, what would be your answer? If I asked you what oil can protect you from heart disease, rev up your metabolism, help you lose excess weight, protect you from cancer, and prevent infectious disease, what would you answer? Is it olive oil? Flaxseed oil? Borage oil?...The answer is "no" on all three accounts. Is there such an oil? You bet there is. If I told you that this oil happened to be coconut oil, would you be surprised? Most people would.
Once mistakenly believed to be bad for the heart because of its saturated fat content, coconut oil is now known to contain a unique form of saturated fat that actually helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and hardening of the arteries as well as provide many other health benefits.
Asian and Polynesian people who rely on coconut and coconut oil as a part of their daily diet have the lowest heart disease rates in the world. Some of these people get as much as 50 percent of their total daily calories as saturated fat, primarily from coconut oil. If coconut oil caused heart disease, as some people used to believe, these people would have all died off centuries ago. Those populations who consume large quantities of coconut oil have remarkably good cardiovascular health. Absent are the heart attacks and strokes characteristic in Western countries where coconut oil is rarely used.
Excerpts from article written by Bruce Fife, N. D.
Coconut oil and weight loss
With all the miracle cures and special diets around us, we should be getting more slender and healthy by the minute. But notice people in your local supermarkets and restaurants today and decide for yourself whether that appears to be true. After a three-decade run as the national obsession, dieting to become slim by eating less fat or skipping meals simply has not worked. The only things really getting thinner are our wallets.
We have been taught that fat and oil are bad for our health because they clog our arteries, make us fat, and have us falling apart in no time. For the past few decades, the official story has been that the dreaded killers have been the saturated fats. These are often found in the bodies of large animals and are usually not contributed to our dinner plates willingly.
Have you ever eaten a big meal, but still felt hungry? Perhaps you even have felt the need to nap for a while afterwards. These responses are due to the carbohydrate portions of the meal, rather than the fats or oils. Fats and oils are released into your blood much more slowly and steadily than carbohydrates.
Coconut oil does not inhibit the effects of the thyroid hormone, while many seed and grain oils have been proven to do so. Because a faster metabolism burns more weight off your body, a stronger thyroid function -- along with some physical exercise -- will help you lose excess body fat, or avoid your putting it on in the first place.
Excerpts from Use Fat to Lose Fat by Dr. Thomas Lee, M. D.
Coconut Oil and HIV
A Philippines research study shows that the coconut oil can delay as well as reduce HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) which spreads AIDS. The breakthrough may come as a light at the end of the long dark tunnel in the worldwide fight against AIDS.
The study, carried out by the government's San Lazaro Hospital and pharmaceutical giant United Laboratories since 1989, discovered that coconut chemical lauric acid inhibits, delays and reduces the spread of HIV virus. Lauric acid is the basis of monolaurin and sodium lauryl sulfate which were found as the active chemicals promising in controlling HIV.
On July 19, 1995, Dr. Mary Enig, noted biochemist and nutritionist, was quoted in an article published in The HINDU, India's National Newspaper as stating that coconut oil is converted by the body into "Monolaurin" a fatty acid with anti-viral properties that might be useful in the treatment of AIDS. The staff reporter for The HINDU wrote about Enig's presentation at a press conference in Kochi and and reported on Dr. Enig's observation the Monolaurin helped in inactivating other viruses such as measles, herpes, vesicular stomatitis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that research undertaken so far on coconut oil also indicated that it offered a certain measure of protection against cancer-inducing substances.
Here is a recent report published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a leading Philippine Newspaper:
HEALTH Secretary Manuel Dayrit stirred the national adrenalin at the Senate hearing on SARS recently when he unveiled virgin coconut oil as a potential cure for viral epidemics such as the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
While the senators cackled over the appellation ‘virgin,’ Dayrit was careful to mark the word ‘potential.
Dayrit is well aware of the potential of virgin coconut oil. His own father, Dr. Conrado Dayrit M.D., has been successful in using virgin coconut oil since 1980 to combat the AIDS virus among AIDS patients in the San Lazaro Hospital.
The elder Dayrit is currently conducting test applications of virgin coconut oil to SARS patients in cooperation with The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine at Alabang.
Medical director of the Potenciano Medical Center (formerly Polymedic), emeritus professor of pharmacology, University of the Philippines and past president of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Dayrit has been quietly at work on 14 patients ages 22 to 48 on a shoestring budget.
The elder Dayrit's work has been documented in the research book The Healing Miracles of Coconul Oil, written by Bruce Fife, American doctor of naturopathy, and cited by the Michigan State University's Department of Chemistry and Pharmacology.
Unfortunately, local research into coconut oil as medicine failed to take off on a larger scale since pharmaceutical companies were not interested in funding research of a natural readily available substance that they cannot protect with a patent and charge exorbitant prices for.
What makes coconut oil, virgin at that, a potent healing food for an extremely health-challenged world?
In nutritional terms, coconut oils are rich in medium-chain fatty acids (known as MCFA) of vital nutrients and protective anti-microbials lauric and capric acids. These anti-microbial fatty acids are of the same substance found in mother's milk that protects infants from infectious illnesses when their immune systems are yet immature. This is the same rationale that drives pacific islanders to feed their babies with coconut water from young nuts as a natural infant formula.
Even pharmaceutical companies have recognized MCFAs found in abundance in coconut oil to make them a primary ingredient in infant milk formulas.
It is this powerful antimicrobial/antiviral information that the elder Dayrit is tapping in his search for a cure, if not an immune defense against SARS.
In the ongoing test applications, Dr. Conrado Dayrit's prescription is 4 tablespoonfuls of virgin coconut oil a day ‘to keep viruses at bay’.
How to use Coconut Oil
As cooking oil, it is ideal for use, having a high resistance to heat, and the ability to remain whole without losing its chemical composition despite exposure to high temperatures.
Coconut oil does not lose the properties [Lauric Oil] that help the immune system respond in a beneficial manner, even when used for cooking. So use Virgin coconut oil for all your cooking needs.
As salad oil, Virgin Coconut Oil is also ideal for use, given the natural and health-treating benefits provided by its essential ingredients. Create you own salad oil.
A hair conditioner, it embellishes the hair, leaving it soft and silky.
(In certain countries, the pulp is used as a balm to stimulate hair growth; a small amount of virgin coconut oil massaged into the scalp at night conditions both the hair and scalp. Virgin Coconut Oil will clear your scalp of dandruff and give you immediate relief from itchy scalp. Coconut oil is used in sun products and foam baths, but it can also be added in products for dry and damaged hair given its sheathing properties. The elders in the Philippines claim that the reason their hair does not turn gray is because of the virgin coconut oil. They also credit the virgin coconut oil for the reason the older generation have long healthy black silky hair.)
As a massage oil and body lotion, it leaves skin soft and smooth, relieving dry skin itchiness and other skin diseases, making the skin supple. (It is used to make Monoï for example, an ancient Tahitian word meaning "scented oil" in the reo-maohi language, made from Tiare Gardenia blossoms and coconut extract from the Cocos Nuncifera variety. It is more popularly known now as a natural skin care product used by the island dwellers of French Polynesia. The elderly of the Philippines have used raw coconut oil as their before or after bath lotion for hundreds of years.)
Frequently asked questions about Coconut Oil:
Why do some say coconut oil is bad for you ?
How much coconut oil should I take ?
Does coconut oil need to be kept in the fridge ?
What happens when virgin coconut oil is heated ?
Will heating virgin coconut oil turn into hydrogenated oil ?
What's the best way to use virgin coconut oil ?
How is virgin coconut oil different from other coconut oils found in stores?
Is it better to use organic virgin coconut oil ?
Are all coconuts naturally organic ?
Could there be side effects when taking virgin coconut oil ?
Are coconuts a nut, fruit or vegetable ?
Are there Omega 3 fatty acids in virgin coconut oil ?
1. Why do some say coconut oil is bad for you ?
While this claim has been widely disproved in many scientific studies and journals, unfortunately this perception is still around.
The tropical oils were very popular in the US food industry prior to World War II. The US is the largest exporter of soybeans. The well oiled marketing machinery funded by the soy bean and corn industry and supported by the American Heart Association was committed to change the American Diet, calling among others, for the substitution of saturated fats for polyunsaturates. The Prudent Diet, as it was called, left a legacy which still haunts us today. 40 years on, this conceptual change in the eating habits of Americans has negatively influenced and changed the dietary regimes of societies all around the world that were initially not even affected by America's particular meat, potato and milk diet. So determined was the pursuit of the American industries in converting their claims into magnificent billboards of health and wealth that even small island nations in the South Pacific were converted by this powerful marketing machine to change centuries of dietary traditions of tropical oils to importing polyunsaturated fats. Today heart disease is still on the increase and obesity, linked to the “new” American diet, is a major social problem worldwide that has governments worried about the health care cost of future generations. The U.K. and Australia unfortunately, are racing to catch up to their allies with a large percentage of the population being defined as overweight.
Studies were done to show that coconut oil, and all saturated fats, were bad for one's health because they raised serum cholesterol levels. However, these studies were done on hydrogenated coconut oil, and all hydrogenated oils produce higher serum cholesterol levels, whether they are saturated or not. Recent research shows that it is the presence of trans fatty acids that causes health problems, as they are fatty acid chains that have been altered from their original form in nature by the oil refining process.
Although many studies at the time had also shown research to the contrary, the mud stuck and by the mid 60’s the reputation of all saturated oils in America had been destroyed.
Critical modern research is starting to show that dietary changes based on the evidence presented by these early studies were at the very least premature and at worst placed the health millions of people at risk. However, time will only tell whether the greatest crime of this initiative will have been the bundling of all saturated fats, whether from meat, dairy or vegetable source together under the one label: Deadly Diet.
The travesty of this action was that one of nature’s most amazing resources, tropical oils, and especially coconut oil with all its functional, nutritional and pharmaceutical possibilities, has been lost to modern medicine for decades. Although saturated, coconut oil is structurally, pharmaceutically and behaviourally different to any other natural oil or fat.
However, we have reached a critical time in our history when society is in dire need of a cost efficient, abundant, natural and effective anti-bacterial and anti-viral remedy. Modern medical research has allowed us to scientifically dispel many of the theories of the recent past and show the complexity of our modern lifestyle and diet. More importantly however, this critical research into coconut oil has pinpointed the one aspect that makes the case for coconut oil to be reaccepted, not only as a legitimate part of our daily diet, but also as a potent natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial remedy of the future.
In addition, numerous studies now show that the high lauric acid content of coconut oil is very beneficial in attacking viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, and that it builds the body's immune system just as human mother's milk does, which also contains lauric acid. Promising studies have been done on patients suffering from immune deficiency diseases, such as AIDS. With polyunsaturated seed oils now largely replacing coconut oil in the American and British diet, there is a huge deficiency of lauric acid that was present prior to World War II. The need for quality coconut oil, like Virgin Coconut Oil, is greater than ever!
2. How much coconut oil should I take ?
Researchers state that the optimal amount for an adult is between 3 and 4 tablespoons per day. This equates to the amount of medium chain fatty acids a nursing child would consume in one day from mother's milk. It is best to use coconut oil three times a day at meal times. We recommend that you begin with a smaller amount and build up to the recommended dosage if necessary.
3. Does coconut oil need to be kept in the fridge ?
No, it does not need to be kept in the fridge. Indeed, it will become as hard as a brick if you do keep it in the fridge. In tropical climates, the oil is traditionally not refrigerated and is always liquid. In colder climates, at least for most of the year, the oil is solid. It can be made liquid by standing the container in a pan of warm water - never microwave! The natural antioxidants give it a very long shelf life. Store out of direct sunlight.
4. What happens when virgin coconut oil is heated ?
Coconut oil is not destroyed by heat. The medium chain fatty acids are very resistant to heat and even commercial oils heated to very high temperatures retain their MCFA's. Coconut oil is one of the best and safest oils to use in cooking, because it does not turn into a trans fat on heating like other seed oils (including olive oil).
5. Will heating virgin coconut oil turn it into hydrogenated oil ?
Hydrogenation is not caused by heating coconut oil during cooking. It is an industrial process where hydrogen molecules are introduced into the oil to make it solid at room temperature. It chemically alters the oil and creates harmful trans fatty acids. It is perfectly safe to heat coconut oil for cooking.
6. What's the best way to use virgin coconut oil ?
There are many ways to use coconut oil and incorporate it into one's diet. Since it is a stable cooking oil, one can simply replace unhealthy oils in the diet with VCO. Since it is a solid most of the time at room temperature, it can be a butter or margarine substitute for spreads or for baking. Any recipe calling for butter, margarine, or any other oil can be substituted with VCO. Many people simply eat it by the spoonful. VCO can also be massaged into the skin for external applications.
7. How is virgin coconut oil different from other coconut oils found in stores ?
Most coconut oils on sale in the UK are RBD (refined, bleached and deodorised). The determining characteristic is a distinctive fragrance and taste of coconuts present in virgin coconut oils. Tasteless, odourless, waxy oils are probably made from copra, not fresh coconuts. There are many ways of refining coconut oil made from copra, some healthier than others, but virgin coconut oils start out with fresh coconuts, and don't require further refining as the natural antioxidant properties make very stable oils.
8. Is it better to use organic virgin coconut oil ?
Yes! It's better to incorporate as many organic natural foods in the diet as possible to reduce the amount of dangerous chemicals entering the body.
9. Are all coconuts naturally organic ?
No. It is argued that all coconuts are grown organically but this is a huge misconception. In many areas there is cross-cultivation of cocoa trees and other crops such as vanilla, which are planted in the same areas, and agents are often used to keep grass and weeds manageable.
10. Could there be side effects when taking virgin coconut oil ?
Yes, there could. The lauric acid in coconut oil is antibacterial, anti-protozoal and antiviral and there could be a "die off" effect as offending organisms are removed from the body. This could cause diarrohea (not in itself a bad thing under the circumstances) but it could be inconvenient. It is probably best not to start with the daily recommended dosage of 3 to 4 tablespoons but build up to it over the course of a few days if necessary. Spread out whatever amount you decide to take over the course of the day (three times with meals is best) and reduce your intake if there are side effects. It is unlikely, but some people could possibly have an allergic reaction - although coconuts do not fall under the classification of being a nut.
11. Are coconuts are a nut, fruit or vegetable ?
The meat of the coconut is usually referred to as fruit, and the coconut itself is the nut (or seed). This will reproduce into a coconut palm tree if allowed to. Coconut oil is classified as a "vegetable oil".
12. Are there Omega 3 fatty acids in virgin coconut oil ?
No. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids.
“Medical Research has shown that coconut oil helps the immune system respond in a beneficial manner. That the monolauric and lauric acid derived from coconut oil is an appropriate choice of lauric acid for promoting health and as an adjunct treatment to viral diseases, monolauric is used by the body to produce high levels of anti-microbial activity.”
Here are what the experts say:
“Coconuts play a unique role in the diets of mankind because they are the source of important physiologically functional components. These physiologically functional components are found in the fat part of whole coconut, in the fat part of desiccated coconut, and in the extracted coconut oil.
Lauric acid, the major fatty acid from the fat of the coconut, has long been recognized for the unique properties that it lends to non food uses in the soaps and cosmetics industry. More recently, lauric acid has been recognized for its unique properties in food use, which are related to its antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal functions.
Now, capric acid, another of coconut’s fatty acids has been added to the list of coconut’s antimicrobial components. These fatty acids are found in the largest amounts only in traditional lauric fats, especially from coconut. Also, recently published research has shown that natural coconut fat in the diet leads to a normalization of body lipids, protects against alcohol damage to the liver, and improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response.
Clearly, there has been increasing recognition of health – supporting functions of the fatty acids found in coconut. Recent reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about required labeling of the trans fatty acids will put coconut oil in a more competitive position and may help return to its use by the baking and snack food industry where it has continued to be recognized for its functionality. Now it can be recognized for another kind of functionality: the improvement of the health of mankind.”
Dr. Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., F.A.C.N.
Source: Coconut: In Support of Good Health in the 21st Century