- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Coconut oil information
Benefits of coconut oil
Unless you are living under a rock, you likely have noticed that more and more companies are including coconut oil as an ingredient in their products. However, coconut oil isn’t just being used by companies- it is also popular in the DIY (Do-it-yourself) community. New and existing products are continually containing coconut oil because of the perceived benefits.
Here are a few benefits of coconut oil that have been realized:
- Natural and renewable (good for continued use)
- Good, neutral smell (not overbearing)
- Multiple skin care uses (cross functional and effective)
- Edible (non toxic)
- Biodegradable (environmentally friendly)
- Sold in common retail stores (accessible)
- Found in many popular products (proven)
If you would like to add benefits (or perceived benefits) then please add them into the comments section of this hub. I will review them to see if we consider them benefits that can be added to this section.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this natural ingredient.
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Rocky history of coconut oil
Why hasn't coconut been as mainstream as it is now? Does it seem that coconut oil is only now really catching its stride in the food and health product industries? Well, coconut oil has had a rough history to get where it is today.
For, coconut oil at one point was rising in popularity several years ago. However, that all changed when a consumer report was released in the 1990’s regarding the fat content found in movie popcorn (http://www.cspinet.org/nah/popcorn.html). Scientists are always trying to prove or point cause. This approach can help and harm perceptions of ingredients and products though.
In result, the saturated fat report caused manufacturers and retailers to abandon coconut oil for canola and other oils. This really hurt the perception of coconut oil. It would be 10+ years before coconut oil started to gain its popularity back.
99 Coconut oil uses
Negative public perception of coconut oil
People's perception of the oil's high saturated fat drove the sales and interest of coconut oil down into the ground. It was a common target when referring to "bad fat" oil.
As we've seen with other products that are tainted by the negative public perception, it is a hard road back for people to accept the product/ingredient once again.
One example of this is the E. coli outbreak disaster of Jack-in-the-box in 1993. This company was gaining market share and popularity until an outbreak sickened 732 customers. The perception of Jack-in-the-box crashed and burned. All it took were undercooked burgers to slow growth of an entire franchise.
Only now is the JIB food franchise really moving on from that major setback. Coconut oil is rebounding, but it did take quite a while for the public's perception to be changed.
Coconut oil poll
What are your thoughts on coconut oil?
101 Coconut oil uses
Coconut oil reemerges into thousands of products
Despite the rough history, coconut oil is roaring back into popularity. You don't have to go far (gas stations, grocery stores, health food stores, online shops, fast food restaurants, etc.) to find a product that has a "contains coconut oil" label.
However, there are still skeptics and cautious people that do not accept the oil. It may take several years for the more conservative consumer to forget the negative things said about coconut oil. Once they can see the benefits of the oil then they will likely be cheerleaders for its continued use.
Truly, if eaten in high quantities, coconut oil does contain a lot of saturated fat. However, if you use the oil as an application for dry skin or other hair and body hydration issue then coconut oil can be used continually.
We consider coconut oil an essential ingredient to solid lotion bars and other personal care products. It is great hydrator and moisturizer that sticks with the skin. It has also been said to help heal skin issues (including eczema, etc.).
How coconut oil is made
We have a quick explanation below, but you can go here for a more detailed list of instructions of how coconut oil is extracted from the fruit (http://confessionsofablogvixen.com/2013/08/how-to-make-fresh-coconut-oil-at-home/).
Coconut oil is made by removing the inner layer of coconut fruit from the shell. The white coconut fruit sections can then added to a vat to be shredded, stirred, and pressed. This takes the solid portions of the coconut out of the mixture.
Separate the coconut milk from the shredded parts (press through strainer of some sort). Once the juice/milk is obtained, it will need to be separated (cooling helps separate the milk/cream). Scraping the cream from milk, once cooled, will give you the section that contains the oil. Once heated, the cream extracts the oil that can be used for your health products.
Let us know if you would like to provide a better explanation for the extraction of the coconut oil.
Common uses of coconut oil
There are so many ways to use coconut oil and it seems that new uses are popping up every day. Here is a short list that could branch out into hundreds of uses:
- Cooking oil (recipes)
- Personal care products
- Liquid lotions
- Solid lotions
If you would like to add your own items that contain coconut oil, then leave it in the comments below and I will add it to the list.
107 Coconut oil uses
Negatives of coconut oils
Although there are not too many negative perceptions associated with coconut oil at the present time, any product or ingredient has negatives. We have to attempt to be impartial. So, here are a few items that some may consider negative aspects of coconut oil:
- High saturated fat content if used constantly in cooking
- Some may not like the smell of coconut and not want it in their personal care products
- Although a popular oil, it is still an oil… and some do not oils in general. Some do not like the feel of oil in their lotions, etc.
- Can be expensive in comparison to other oils
- Is it just a trend or will this oil stick around?
Up and coming use for coconut oil
Coconut oil has been added to almost any nameable product. It is just the trend, but it also has many benefits. One product, solid lotions, is one that is emerging quickly as a go-to health product for dry skin.
Solid lotions, especially those that want to use natural products will often use coconut oil. It smells nice has many health benefits. It is also a renewable oil. The solid lotion stick uses less water than regular lotion because liquid lotions are made up of 50% water on average. The coconut oil allows the solid lotion to use less water but be an effective moisturizer (and spread evenly).
Coconut oil is known to help healing, so it is perfect as an ingredient for skin products. It has been widely distributed for lotion and other products that treat dry skin, eczema, and other damaged areas.
What are some companies that have used coconut oil in their products? Parched Lotion Sticks use coconut oil along with other organic ingredients. Coconut oil is the moisture base of the product that keeps the skin hydrated and helps with healing. Beeswax is also an essential ingredient but that will be featured in a future Hub.