The oil is divided into two major kinds; virgin and refined. Virgin oil is derived from fresh coconuts through several methods. Refined oil, which is often cited as RBD (refined, bleached and deodorized) is extracted from dry form of coconut, i.e. copra. It should be noted that unrefined coconut oil, derived from copra, is unsuitable for consumption and should be refined before its utilization.
Virgin coconut oil is chiefly composed of lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, linoleic acid, poly-phenols (responsible for the fragrance and the taste of the oil), fatty alcohols, vitamin E, moisture and minerals.
Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid that has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. What does all that mean?
The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. According to the Coconut Research Center (CRC), coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, and disruptions with inflammation especially in channel gastrointestinal as colitis, boils, and hemorrhoids. This oil may also help reduce inflammation in the body such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and phlebitis.
When applied to the skin, virgin coconut oil forms a chemical that protects the infected area from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and viruses. The oil is also popular as an effective remedy against bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues, which makes it very effective in skin care products.
Virgin coconut oil acts as an effective moisturizer on all skin types and is considered an excellent massage oil. The oil is a safe solution for preventing dryness, wrinkles, flaking and sagging by preventing premature aging of the skin. It is a very effective treatment against any type of acne and pimples, and an effective solution for infections or to help speed the healing of cuts and scrapes, because it is the source of antimicrobial agents. It is also an effective cure against several skin infections, and provides healing benefits to those suffering from psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
Virgin coconut oil can improve the health of your hair with regular use. Healthy hair starts from the inside out, so try adding a teaspoon or two of oil into your diet each day. When applied topically to the hair, virgin coconut oil is an ideal conditioner. By adding it to the outside of the strand, it can leave a glossy shine. When massaged into the scalp, it will combat dryness and dandruff. By repairing and strengthening the hair from damage, it can prevent split ends and encourage growth.
Adding virgin coconut oil to your daily diet can have a number of positive benefits on your health. It is easy to incorporate the oil into your eating routine. Simply take a teaspoon or two everyday on an empty stomach, or substitute coconut oil for vegetable or olive oil in your favorite recipes. This will add a subtle nutty flavor to your dishes, in addition to encouraging the health benefits listed below.
Because of its antimicrobial lipids and acids, such as lauric acid and capric acid, which are antibacterial and antifungal agents, virgin coconut oil can have a strengthening effect on the immune system. Besides strengthening the immune system against future attacks, ingesting virgin coconut oil can help combat current infections caused by bacteria or viruses, like influenza or the herpes virus.
Although virgin coconut oil contains saturated fat, it actually can be beneficial to heart health. The saturated fats, unlike those found in vegetable oil or canola oil, do not increase LDL levels, or "bad" cholesterol levels. This is because it contains lauric acid, which has been proven to actually reduce a number of heart conditions and reduce the possibility of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis.
Because of its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, virgin coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various skin care products such as body washes, soaps, lotions, creams, etc. So, indulge yourself and be sure to use products with virgin coconut oil or incorporate it into your own DIY skin care, as well as.