Coconut Oil

By: Melanie Wood

In the village of Rangkasbitung near Banten lives a beauty: lithe, supple, and radiant. Before the mirror, she combs her long, luscious black hair. She’s 65 years old, but with the body, face, and health of her eldest daughter. What’s her secret? Virgin coconut oil.

Coconut oil has received some bad press in the west, historically because it solidifies at around 25 degrees Celsius – so northern hemisphere wisdom dictated that coconut oil, taken orally, would clog arteries and cause heart disease. Southern hemisphere wisdom dismisses this notion, not least because the body’s core temperature is stable at around 37 degrees Celsius.

Well, here we are in Indonesia: Land of coconuts – so, what are our southern hemisphere bothers and sisters doing with the oil?

Internal Benefits:

Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is a stable, saturated fat with a short carbon chain, which means it can be quickly broken down by the body and converted into immediate energy. This is why nasi uduk (rice with coconut milk) is such a popular breakfast food in Indonesia. A tablespoon of VCO can be taken daily to promote health, and up to three tablespoons if you are already ill. Hussein Sutadisastra of Java Traditions VCO explains: “The lauric acid content in VCO helps the body’s natural system fight bacteria and clear clogs in the bloodstream. Similarly, it’s anti-bacterial properties promote healing when applied externally to cuts or rashes. VCO also helps lessen migraine intensity due to its ability to improve blood circulation and carry oxygen. It is also effective against external and oral herpes symptoms.”

Hussein advices those new to VCO to take it moderately at first: “People can feel dizzy or get diarrhea the first time they take VCO. This is not symptomatic of the body being allergic to the oil, but that the body is expelling toxins quickly. I strongly recommend that someone new to VCO takes it in small doses to begin with, giving their body time to adjust to the new substance. “

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