Unrefined Coconut Oil

2013/07/09 by Tagged with:   
Posted in: HealthLeigh's Bees

Cocos nucifera

Cocos nucifera

Unrefined Coconut Oil
(from Cocos nucifera)

I’ve been including coconut oil in my salve recipe because I find it really makes my skin glow. Since I’ve been using it for the past several years I’ve not had itchy or scaly skin, instead my skin always has a smooth and silky feel. I find the coconut oil is readily absorbed by my skin and any extra can easily be toweled off. Because of the wonderful traits of coconut oil I’ve completely stopped using any other moisturizer.

—Leigh

 

Description:
Derived from the fresh flesh of mature coconut palm fruit, Coconut Oil has long been valued for its nourishing properties for the body, both internally and externally. It has historically been a mainstay and primary source of fats for traditional tropical cultures. Externally, it’s best known for its extraordinary ability to heal and soothe the skin.

Medicinal Use:
Antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antiprotozoal, antifungal, anti-inflammatory immune-system booster, emollient, soothing.

Topical/External Use:
Coconut oil has been used externally to treat dry skin, poor circulation, minor burns, small scrapes and cuts, insect bites, sores, sunburn, stretch marks, age spots and psoriasis. An excellent oil for massage therapy, it is also used as a base for many natural bath products and cosmetics, including soaps, moisturizers, lip balm, hair conditioner, tinctures, ointments and salves.

Internal Use:
Sautéed bitter greens, stir-fries, vegetables, meats and eggs, oatmeal, baking, ice creams and other desserts, eaten by the spoonful directly from the jar.

For culinary use, Coconut Oil is an exceptional dairy-free fat for vegan baking, it provides a delicious counterpoint to bitter greens in sautés and is enjoyed daily by many by the spoonful. Its high-saturated fat content inhibits rancidity and gives this all-purpose emollient a shelf life of two years or more.

Consumption of coconut oil was until recently seen as a dangerous source of saturated fats, based on studies of highly processed partially hydrogenated coconut oil—the bright-orange one found in movie theater popcorn—which is a source of unhealthy trans fats. The Virgin Coconut Oil product is another story, requiring no bleaching or additives to achieve its naturally white color. Coconut Oil’s star feature is a high content of lauric acid, a “medium chain” fatty acid credited with antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer and immune-boosting properties. Higher in phytonutrients (antioxidants) than its refined counterpart, Unrefined Coconut Oil has an intoxicating coconut taste and smell though should not be used to cook at temperatures higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use refined coconut oil for temperatures up to 450 degrees.

Product Selection:
Since not indigenous to the United States, I seek out the highest quality extra-virgin oils on the market for use in Leigh’s Bees Salves. I’ve found one source of Cold-Pressed, Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil and though it is more expensive I think it is worth it.  —Leigh

To find out more about Leigh’s Bees Salves, which feature Unrefined Coconut Oil, visit agroliving.com and leighsbees.com.

 


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