Coconut oil has become a health food headliner in recent years, endorsed by celebrities as a natural beauty treatment, and suggested for use in everything from cooking to cleaning. So, what is all the fuss about coconut oil and is it really worthy of all the hype?

Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts. Coconut palms are known as “the tree of life” in parts of Southeast Asia, India and the Philippines, providing food, oil and coir fibres. The oil itself is approximately 92% saturated fat, however unlike many other saturated fats, approximately 65% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides. MCTs are metabolised efficiently by the liver, so are more likely to be converted to energy instead of fat. Coconut oil, consumed in responsible doses as an alternative to long chain triglyceride saturated fats, may help support weight loss.

Coconut Oil’s Medicinal Properties

Coconut oil is considered to be beneficial in improving a variety of conditions, including poor digestion, dry skin, cellulite, wrinkles and hormone imbalances. Scientists are also investigating whether coconut oil could help treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Coconut oil consists of eight fatty acids, with Lauric acid accounting for 49% of its composition. Lauric acid is extracted from coconut oil to produce Monolaurin, a dietary supplement used to reduce inflammation and fight bacteria, yeasts and other pathogens.

Coconut Oil As A Beauty Treatment

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and melts evenly when heated. It has a delicious sweet tropical scent and feels luxurious when applied to skin. Coconut oil is perfect for use in cosmetics and beauty products, including:

  • Body creams, body butters, moisturisers and foot lotions
  • Lip balms and lipsticks
  • A base for body scrubs
  • A key ingredient in soap production
  • Hair conditioner and serums
  • Cleansing oils and make up removers

Coconut oil quickly absorbs into the skin, leaving it feeling softer and refreshed. While it is used extensively in beauty products and treatments, you can use coconut oil straight from the jar to enjoy these benefits, or create your own unique recipes. To gain the maximum health boosting properties from your coconut oil, look for cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil, which contains a higher level of nutrients than refined coconut oil.

Coconut Oil For Cooking

Coconut oil is slow to oxidise and lasts for up to six months without spoiling at room temperature. The high saturated fat content of coconut oil makes it ideal for use in baking, frying and spreading, as a vegan friendly alternative to butter and lard. Coconut oil has a mild, sweet nutty flavour, which balances bitter greens and adds a gentle coconut aroma to pastries and biscuits, sweet potatoes, curries and stir fries.

Household Uses For Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can also be used as a natural, chemical free polish for wood and as a nourishing leather conditioner. When incorporated into homemade cleaning products, coconut oil creates a rich lather and is a natural anti-bacterial. A little coconut oil mixed with bicarbonate of soda can help lift stains out of carpets and upholstery. Or you could use coconut oil to create a non-stick protective surface to pans and cake tins.

Coconut oil is certainly a versatile multi-tasker. It’s a good thing that a little goes a long way, as once you’ve tried coconut oil you’ll probably want to start using it everywhere!

Akoma Coconut Oil

At Akoma, our cooperatives produce both virgin cold pressed coconut oil and wet milled coconut oil from fresh organic coconuts, processed as soon as they have been harvested, to preserve the naturally beneficial nutrients.

Click here to view our full range of beautiful, organic coconut oil products and find out for yourself why everyone is going nuts about coconuts.