Coconut was first cultivated in India along the Malabar Coast thousands of years ago. Coconut agriculture then became prevalent in Sri Lanka around 2000 years ago. Countries such as the Philippines, Malayasia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea are also heavily into coconut cultivation.

Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a true “superfood.”

There are many uses for Coconut Oil, but we will address mainly the topical benefits, it is commonly used for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of skin and hair. Top uses of coconut oil include:

Skin moisturizer

Nourish scalp and increase hair growth

Carrier oil

Coconut oil is 100% fat, 80-90% of which is saturated fat. This is why it hardens at cold or room temperatures. Fat is made up of smaller molecules called fatty acids, and there are several types of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil. The predominant type is lauric acid (47%), with myristic and palmitic acids present in smaller amounts. Also present in trace amounts are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and can reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses, since almost half of the fat in coconut is lauric acid, which helps destroy active bacteria in the stomach and mouth. 

Some studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture content of the skin. This is why coconut oil forms the base ingredient of a number of body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skincare. What’s more, it may delay the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin, which normally accompany aging. And it may also reduce symptoms of eczema.

It may also aid in treating various skin problems that include the following:

Eczema & psoriasis: Topical application of virgin coconut oil can reduce the severity of these conditions.

UV radiation: Research suggests that the use of coconut oil protects the skin against the harmful effects of UV rays.

Dermatitis: Virgin coconut oil can be used as an effective way of managing atopic dermatitis.

Antimicrobial activity: Monolaurin is an active component of coconut oil which has been found to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal in nature. It aids in protecting  against the harmful effects of bacteria that can cause pimples and other skin infections.

Candida, also known as systemic candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused by an excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida Albicans.  Coconut oil can provide relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Capric acid, caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid, and lauric acid all found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans.

Finally, coconut oil may also help fight fungus that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush.