Natural Medicine For General Health
Coconut has many well-known health benefits. It is used in many cosmetics, soaps and skin creams. It is a great, healthy substitute for dairy milk and cream.
In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, coconut kernel has been used for dysuria, coughs, bronchitis, and to help prevent the greying of hair.
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Pacific Island peoples traditionally use large amounts of coconut in the daily diet. These peoples of Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and other Pacific Islands, are famous for their good looks, wonderful teeth and hair, and strong, well-built bodies. These attributes are due to the high consumption of coconut and fish, which are the most important components of the Pacifica diet.
In Africa, traditional medicine uses coconut oil for healing wounds and for skin infections.
In some parts of South East Asia, coconut oil has been used to treat tooth decay.
In Central America, coconut is used with salt to treat colds and throat infections
The main active healing ingredients of coconut are contained in the coconut oil.
Coconut contains 45-50% of a fatty oil known as lauric acid; 13-20% of myristic acid; 7-10% of palmitic acid, 5-10% of caprylic acid; and quantities of stearic acid, linoleic acid, and caproic acid.
Coconut contains 3-5% free fatty acids.
Studies have indicated that coconut oil could be an effective anti-cancer agent: An inhibiting effect has been observed ‘on the growth of carcinoma cells of the colon in vitro’.
Coconut contains a good amount of caprylic acid. This is a compound with antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Caprylic acid is used in some pharmaceutical preparations to combat candida albicans. It is probable that caprylic acid in the diet helps prevent cancer from developing.
Coconut oil helps to keep the teeth healthy. Eating fresh coconut provides cleansing fibre which keeps the teeth clean. Caprylic acid, and other antiseptic agents within the coconut oil, help to combat bacteria in the mouth.
For Hair Health: Coconut oil encourages hair growth and helps prevent the greying of hair. Eat fresh coconut, or use the milk or cream in curries and casseroles several times a week to boost your fatty acid intake.
Apply the cream or milk externally to the scalp once or twice a week as a conditioner for the hair. Leave on for an hour or more, then wash out with good quality soap or shampoo.
For Skin Health: Coconut in the diet helps keep the skin smooth and elastic. Coconut oil can be also be used externally on the skin.
For Candida Infection: The caprylic acid in coconut can help prevent candida infections. For Bowel Health: Including coconut in the daily diet can help keep the intestines healthy and free from parasites.
Sources: PDR for Herbal Medicines, published by the Medical Economic Company, Montvale, New Jersey, 2000