Coconut Oil pg.2

External Benefits

Coconut oil brings life and luster back to hair, and can be applied either before of after showering. Massaged into the scalp and left for twenty minutes before showering produces visible results:volume and sheen. For an even more luxurious treatment, massage coconut oil into the hair and scalp before sleeping, and wash out the following morning. If your ordinary shampoo cannot remove the oil, use Pear’s Soap instead. VCO counters lank, lackluster hair and dry, flaky scalps.

VCO does leave a pungent aroma when applied to the skin or hair: this can be ameliorated by following an old kampung recipe: add jasmine, frangipani, or other traditional flowers to the oil, place in a container, and marinate underground for two weeks. If you live in an apartment and have no ground, under the bed will suffice.

Put a dish of coconut oil in the fridge – it will whiten and harden and can then be used as a cool lip-balm or moisturizing stick. In this solid form the oil can also be used as a substitute for butter, or can be added to oatmeal or porridge.

Coconut oil is used extensively in skin care products, and Indonesian fishermen use it to counter sun damage; indeed coconut oil is a common ingredient in sunscreen and beach products. Coconut oil can also be used as a lubricant during sex – although shouldn’t be used with condoms.


The term virgin is applied to oil which has been processed without heat. Virgin coconut oil is pure white and has not been refined, bleached or deodorized: instead it is cold-pressed by being squeezed and fermented using a yeast extracted from the heart of the coconut. In contrast, industrial cooking oil is extracted with steam from copra (dried coconut meat) and is refined, bleached, and deodorized.

Over 125 different products can be made from the coconut tree – little wonder than that it’s dubbed the tree of life! Suddenly, being stranded on a deserted tropical island sounds ripe with possibility.

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