BY Shiva Rose
Since starting my web site The Local Rose, I have had the great pleasure of discovering natural non-toxic beauty products. I have many favorite brands that choose to illuminate one’s skin without using chemicals. However, when in a rush or traveling, I find myself gravitating to a simple standby that can be used as face moisturizer, hair smoother, makeup remover, internal supplement and cooking oil. I recently learned the hard way, just how much I use coconut oil. On my trip to the Tuscan countryside this summer, I forgot to pack some with me thinking I could get it there. It seems I was mistaken, though olive oil is a wonderfully beneficial mainstay, I really felt the void in my daily routine when combating dry hair and skin. The days in the Tuscan river and by the pool took their toll and I felt like a drier more brittle me with out the magic salve.
I first became addicted to the oil when I was in Kauai a few years ago and could feel how drab and dry my hair had become from the sun and the sea. It has been a mainstay in Ayurvedic medicine along with ghee (clarified butter for cooking) to help enhance women’s beauty and well-being. So that summer I started using the oil (sparingly) on my hair before and after swimming and it really helped moisturize and condition my locks and skin. I was able to locate it at the various health food stores on the island. It also is great to travel with since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Recently when my boyfriend of four years and I broke up, I could barely eat. But I did manage to swallow a spoonful of the oil every day just to get some form of fat so my cheeks didn’t go from hollow to sunken. I had read in some Ayuredic literature that the oil was great for calming one’s nervous system since it actually coats your nerve endings. (I am happy to report that my guy and I are back together again . . . and so are my nerve endings!)
It can balance the hormones; help with thyroid health, keep skin supple, lower cholesterol and more. The benefits of the oil are derived from the fact that it is made up of 50% lauric acid and that it is a saturated fat, which is better for you than trans fats. Lauric acid can also be found in breast milk, which is why it is such an amazing immune booster. Lauric acid is wonderful for preventing heart problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Some people think that since Coconut oil is a saturated fat that it’s harmful, but that is the case in most vegetable oils, not coconut oil.
Coconut oil is also very beneficial for our bones. It improves our ability to absorb important minerals like calcium and magnesium. This is ideal for women reaching middle age who need to be mindful of osteoporosis. For people who are watching their weight, coconut oil is ideal since its fat content is easily converted into energy and it doesn’t lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries.
Coconut oil is incredible as a skin moisturizer and in treating eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. I simple rub it on my face or body. As a hair smoother I just rub a bit between my hands and smooth down over my hair. An actress friend of mine takes some with her to sets and photo shoots just in case she needs to reign in some frizzy hair.
I also try to eat a spoonful a day in addition to cooking and baking with it. I simply substitute coconut oil in recipes calling for canola oil or butter. My children and I love to have sautéed kale in coconut oil for our daily dose. For breakfast a piece of whole grain toast in the morning with coconut oil spread on top is quick and easy.
The best part of having my site is that I can actually share my passion for discovering natural secrets to others. I am now moving on to the world of Manuka Honey and non-toxic cinnamon! Perhaps a treat made with all my favorite ingredients is in order: a honey, coconut, and cinnamon treat! It is comforting to know that with all the expensive, chemical laden products on the market, one can get a quick home beauty treatment from a common health food staple.