“What? Ridden on a horse?’
‘You’re using coconuts!’
‘You’ve got two empty halves of coconuts and you’re banging them together!’
– Monty Python
Good news! Coconuts are useful for more than trying to convince people you’re riding horseback!
As you can probably tell by the fact that we sell Coconut Milk Soap and all of our soaps contain coconut oil, we are seriously IN LOVE with coconuts at Lotus! This amazing fruit was named coco, which means “monkey face”, by Spanish explorers, and its oil has been called the healthiest oil on earth. Much recent research has confirmed what tropical civilizations, where coconut makes up a daily portion of food intake, have known for thousands of years – this stuff is powerful and really, really good for you!
General Health Benefits
Although 90% of the fats in coconut oil are saturated, they are medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) which are assimilated well into our bodies, unlike their counterpart long chain fatty acids (LCFA’s). MCFA’s differ from LCFA’s in that they do not have a negative effect on cholesterol. On the contrary, due to its high content of lauric acid (a MCFA), coconut oil has been shown to help protect against heart disease. Coconut oil actually has the same amount of fat per tablespoon as olive oil! It also contains Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and iron. People in tropical climates who have a diet high in coconut oil are healthier in general and have a lower occurrence of heart disease, cancer, colon and other problems than unsaturated fat eaters. It is also thought to increase the metabolism, which has the effect of increasing pancreatic function in diabetics, which in turn can lessen their dependence on insulin shots. Who knew, right?
Beyond its benefits as a food, research is emerging that points to coconut oil as being highly antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial, mostly derived from its high level of lauric acid. In fact, there have been several studies and cases of anecdotal evidence of AIDS patients consuming coconut/coconut oil and lowering their viral load to undetectable levels!! Wow!
Even Dr. Oz is on board the coconut oil train, and recently talked about it on his show!
Health Benefits to the Skin
We love coconut oil (and milk) for its beneficial properties in bodycare and skincare. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, making it solid at room temperature, but allowing it to melt quickly when it comes into contact with your skin, which makes it a wonderful ingredient in leave-on products, such a creams or lip balm. Once applied to your skin it may act as a barrier to free radical formation and provide protection from them, while softening skin and preventing/reducing age spots and sun damage.
As an ingredient in handmade soap, in addition to the antibacterial properties Coconut Oil brings, the coconut’s high content of lauric acid contributes to a soaps cleansing abilities and creates a nice, hard, long-lasting bar of soap.
I think you’ll agree that coconut oil is a pretty amazing, NATURAL way to keep your skin looking great, and potentially address other health issues! Ready to get your hands on some handmade bodycare with all that Coconut Oil has to offer? Try our Handmade Coconut Milk Soap (in which we use both the coconut’s oil, AND its milk in place of water), Lip Love, or Body Frosting at Lotus!
Cassy Zobel is the owner and founder of Lotus | Handmade Artisan Bodycare. She can be reached at 214.504.4333 or cassy (at) lotussoap.com