Coconut oil has long been prized for its beneficial health properties. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal and is a natural antioxidant. Because of it’s free-radical fighting properties, it has also been shown to improve facial skin.
The documented uses of coconut oil, for both food and medicinal purposes, goes back nearly 4,000 years. However, in the 20th century, the prevalence of coronary heart disease caused many Americans to revamp their diets, cutting out saturated fats. The use of coconut oil dropped drastically.
The difference between virgin coconut oil and regular coconut oil is the process. Virgin coconut oil can only be made from the fresh meat of the coconut. Regular coconut oil is made from copra; the dried meat of the coconut. Refining is necessary to sanitize the coconut. This drains the oil of its scent and flavor.
The addition of “extra” before virgin coconut oil, is simply marketing, and there is no marked difference between the products.
Many people believe the free-radical fighting aspect of coconut oil fights premature aging of the skin. Coconut oil acts as a moisturizer, softening and soothing skin. Some people believe it prevents age spots, wrinkles and sagging and that it can help psoriasis, eczema and common skin infections, without any adverse side effects.
Virgin coconut oil is often the base ingredient in many lotions, soaps and skin care products. It is also used in various healing salves, creams and ointments for its soothing effects.
References and ResourcesCoconut Connections: History
Coconut Connections: What is it?
Coconut Connections: Home
International Wellness: Coconut Oil
Organic Facts: Health Benefits