I have always loved the coconut and all the delicious foods and treats made from them from coconut curry sauces to coconut rice, and yummy coconut ice cream!  But in all that time, I never really gave much thought to the coconut except as a versatile nut that provided food, treats, edible and non-edible oils, etc.  I certainly never thought of it as medicine.  Who knew?!  Before I tell you all about this mega “drug”, let me tell you a quick story about my personal experiences that got me hooked on coconut.

 Back in December 2008, I had a horrific toothache that turned out to be an infected tooth and needed to get shots to make the pain go away and yes, the tooth cannot be saved and I would need to pull the tooth to get rid of the infections.    But time, money and laziness later, the tooth was still in there and in September 2009, the pain came back, this time with an immediate vengeance and on a Saturday!  So I called my doctor sister in California looking for instant help and was a little puzzled when she told me to get some coconut oil and that should do the trick. Coconut oil? Now was I really supposed to believe that?  Sensing my reluctance, she brought on the resident expert – my younger sister, Niki who had brought on experts on her radio talk show in LA to provide dependable research information on the medicinal powers of coconut oil.  Niki went on to tell me that it really was an antibiotic and had a myriad of medicinal benefits.  Being adventurous, I ran out, bought it to use it for my tooth ache and 4 hours later, was free of pain!  Since that worked, I thought I would use it instead of going to the doctor for the harsh antibiotics that I would need to take for at least a week, when to my dismay, it turned out that I also had a sinus infection with my tooth infection!  How did I know this?  Well, the ghastly yellow stuff coming out of my mouth when I coughed and the pressure in my head certainly gave that away.

 So, how did I make out?  Well, by the next day, I was feeling much better and had lost the aches and pains.  The yellow stuff was still there but I was feeling human again.  I then discovered that if I held the oil up against the roof of my mouth, the stuffiness miraculously went away.  To make a long story short, within the week, I was free of the yellow crud and my life was back to normal all without any antibiotics, any Ibruprophen or other cold or sinus medicines.  I was really onto something here!  I’ll talk a little bit about the folks that I have recommended this natural remedy to and how they made out later after I tell you some more about this wonderful nature remedy – the virgin coconut oil!

 My research has revealed that today thousands of people are testifying to the tremendous health benefits they have experienced from the Virgin Coconut Oil.  The health benefits reported have included:

 *Weight Loss

*Increased immunity

* Increased metabolism

*Improving cholesterol levels

*Relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and HIV

*Maintaining proper digestion

*Dental care – I can personally attest to this

*Bone strength,

*Killing Candida and yeast infections

*Helping sluggish thyroids

*Killing viruses

*Improving digestive health

*Stress relief

*Increased energy levels

*Clearing up skin infections

*Hair care

* And more!

 How does it do that?

 The benefits of the coconut oil is primarily attributed to the presence of the acids; lauric, capric and caprylic acids.  Two thirds of coconut oil consists of Medium Chain Triglycerides.  These (MCTs) consist primarily of the fatty acids, lauric acid (48 percent), capric acid (7 percent) and caprylic acid (8 percent). These fatty acids and their monoglycerides are extremely powerful antimicrobial agents, effective against a broad range of pathologic bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.  Of the saturated fatty acids, lauric acid has greater antiviral activity than either caprylic acid or myristic acid.

 The human body takes the lauric acid and converts it into monolaurin which has been reported as being more effective in inactivating viruses and other infective agents than lauric acid.  Monolaurin dissolves the lipids and phospholipids in the envelope of the virus causing the disintegration of the virus envelope effectively lysing the plasma membrane.  In addition to viruses, several bacteria and fungi have also been reported to be suppressed by monolaurin and coconut oil.

 All across America, health care professionals ranging from MDs, chiropractors, nurses, nutritionists, and others are reporting patients who have seen positive results from using Virgin Coconut Oil.

 So what is the coconut?

 Coconuts are grown on palm trees and are found mainly in Asia, Africa, Central America and in North America in places such as Hawaii and Florida.  The coconut has an outer bark like exterior and is covered by a smooth green covering once grown but gradually changes to a brown color as they mature.  Once you cut through the bark, there is a hard shell surrounding the coconut which once broken, reveals a hollow center filled with “coconut milk” and the white “meat” area in the area around it. 

 For thousands of years, in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Pacific Islands, coconuts and the oil have been traditional staple foods.  Many of the traditional diets had 30 – 50% of their calories from the coconut.  Countries today where the coconut oil is still widely used, heart and vascular diseases is still not commonplace. 

 Even here in the United States prior to the early 1900’s, coconut oil was an important dietary fat and at that time cardiovascular disease was not common. Since then, the coconut oil has all but disappeared.  Instead most everyone now uses the soybean, corn or canola oils and the hydrogenated versions of these oils. While coconut oil research is revealing numerous health benefits, the domestic oils and their synthetic derivatives are suspected to be the cause of a host of health problems. 

 But, what about the fact that the coconut oil is a saturated fat that has always been reported as a danger to heart health?  What now makes the coconut safe and not just safe, but good for all these great benefits?

 Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, research has shown that it has a neutral effect on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Being a saturated fat, it is stable and not oxidized easily, probably explaining why it does not contribute to coronary heart disease.

 Can you use just any kind of coconut oil?

Coconut oil exists today in 2 grades; refined, bleached, deodorized (RBD) which is oil that has been subjected to high heat, filtration, and processed with sodium hydroxide and virgin coconut oil.  If RBD is properly produced, it can be eaten.  But the true essence of the coconut oil can be found in organic, virgin coconut oil which typically has 50 55 percent of lauric acid making it a particularly potent antimicrobial.  Virgin coconut oil has a distinct coconut smell and taste where RBD oil is usually bland, with no coconut taste or odor.

How do you use the coconut oil and how much can you use?

You can use coconut oil for all frying and stir frying. It is heat stable and has a shelf life of over one year. You can also use it as a direct substitute for butter, ghee, margarine and other culinary oils. When warmed (it needs to be liquefied, it solidifies at 70 degrees F) and combined with a culinary vinegar and herbs, it makes an excellent salad dressing. 

An adult will need an estimated intake of approximately 24 grams of coconut oil per day may provide protective levels which  is the equivalent of 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil, 10 ounces of coconut milk or 7 ounces of raw coconut. The coconut oil and monolaurin both demonstrated a beneficial result in reducing viral loads and improving white cell counts. Growing children probably need about the same amount as adults.

Here are some Safety Precautions and Side Effects

Coconut oil is food and can be consumed freely without any adverse effects. The only precaution is to keep your total calories within the range that is appropriate for your body type and activity level.

The comments here are not meant to provide medical advice but to provide insight into alternative ways to improve your health.  Make sure to check with your doctor if you are sick.