Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cocos Nucifera

I'm inspired today by the coconut.

My friend Kristina, of Lovely Morning, one of my favorite blogs ever, mentioned coconut in her post about organic baby food. This led me to do a little research (as per my usual nerdiness) and voila - total blog inspiration.

There are so many uses for coconut in all its forms: meat, juice, milk, and oil, even coconut sugar (which i have just discovered after being warned that agave is no longer the healthy alternative sweetener, and am loving).

For years I have used coconut oil for cooking. Did you know it is the only oil that is stable enough to resist heat induced damage, so it's the least vulnerable to oxidation and toxic free-radical formation? That means it's waaaaaaay better for your health and well being than any other oil. If you're going to heat oil for cooking, use coconut oil. Seriously. And if you're like me, and you don't love the natural coconut-y smell (I don't always want my scrambled eggs to smell like the tropics), you can find Organic Coconut Oil that is refined, which equals no smell (but is not as totally awesome as pure unrefined coconut oil).

Pure coconut oil contains about 50 percent lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). MCTs are very easy to digest and are incredibly healing.

Nerd alert: When lauric acid is present in the body, it is converted into monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound which exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. It acts by disrupting the lipid membranes in organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them.

And guess what? I just learned from Kristina (mother of 5 month old Dashiell) that breast milk is the only other natural source that contains such a high concentration of lauric acid, which explains the drastic decrease of infections of all types in breast-fed babies.

If you want to nerd out some more about coconut, lookie here:
Coconut Research Center
or see what Dr. Mercola has to say about it.

And coconut is not just yummy, it is great for the SKIN!!

I have been using it for almost 14 years in my massage practice. It's got great slip and is so nourishing for all skin types. It is also considered a non-staining oil, so once it absorbs into the skin, it will not leave any residue on your clothes - or my massage sheets - bonus! It is phenomenal as an after bath moisturizer, too. Just use a small amount while your skin is still damp.

Remember my raves about RMS Beauty, Rose-Marie Swift's raw, organic makeup line? Well, guess what? One of her best sellers is her Raw Coconut Cream. It is a natural antioxidant (preventing free radical damage), is anti-aging, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and is, therefore, great for all skin types (including acne). Plus, it nourishes skin and lashes, and is the perfect make-up remover.

Last, but not least, coconut oil is an ideal hair conditioner. Work a good amount of the oil into the hair and leave it in as long as you like. Just remember to put a thick towel over your pillow if you sleep with it in, or you will get oil on your pillow. At Petite Spa where I work, we even do a Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil Hair and Scalp Leave-In Treatment. Pure Luxury!

C'mon, who doesn't love something you can feel great about eating AND slathering all over your body??


  1. It also makes a great lubricant... you know for when you're in sexy mode!