I usually keep the focus of my blog strictly Lyme and tick-borne disease but today I'm feeling a bit rebel and feel the need to talk Coconut Oil! Yes.....I fully admit, my old and now new again, obsession!!
See when I was being treated for Lyme, Ehrlichia and Babesia and taking a billion pills/herbs a day and on a strict Gluten Free Diet, Coconut Oil was only a small part of my daily routine and with the medication/herb routine I had, it was close to impossible to pin-point which things were helping with what! And honestly I didn't care - I used to tell my LLMD "Just stick me with like 20 IV's and get this (we'll pretend I said "Crap") out of my system!". I'm sure my fellow Lymies can relate ;)
But as I'm now symptom free from Lyme and the other mentioned co-infections.......the positives of the few things I take (Coconut Oil, Flax Seed, Maca Root and a Daily Vitamin) are much easier to see and correlate. So let my preaching begin...........
The first thing I tend to hear when I mention Coconut Oil to people is......"fats aren't good for you". And in some sense they right......BUT CO's saturated fat is what they call a medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCT's are processed differently then long chain triglycerides in that MCT's are quickly sent to the liver to be used for energy, whereas, LCT's are often stored in the body causing an increase in body fat. CO increases your bodies metabolism therefore helping you burn calories more efficiently.
Coconut oil consists of three saturated fats: Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, Lauric Acid. It has been shown that lauric acid (the saturated fat in CO and also found in breast milk) increases the good cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels and increases the immune system. Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need.
Coconut oil can help restore normal thyroid function. When the thyroid does not function optimally, it can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol. This is certainly one benefit I've found since I began using CO and Maca Root again. I was "borderline" hypothyroid after my Lyme treatment and now with the addition of these, I've noticed I have more energy and have even lost a few pounds (what girl doesn't love that?).
I also no longer suffer from dry eye or sinus dryness which kept leading to sinus infections. My skin looks moisturized (even without the CO on) and....this one still blows me away......the scar from the eyebrow ring that I took out 12 years ago is healing!! For 12 years I was left with an indented scar on my eyebrow and within 2 months its almost flat. My mom would tell you the 12 years was karma for "self-inducing" a scar on my face lol.
Another amazing quality of CO is its antifungal and antimicrobial ability. Coconut oil is great for treating systematic yeast infections, which most of us Lymie's have from months or years of antibiotics. Many people actually report a herxheimer effect when starting CO, so I suggest you start slow (1tsp per day and work your way up to 3-4tsp). I am now taking about 3tsp. per day and no longer have sugar level crashes either :)
Below is a very incomplete list of the health benefits of Coconut oil:
- Antifungal (yeast, athletes foot) and Antimicrobial
- put directly on a cut, blister or burn
- eye make-up remover or to diminish age spots
- anti-aging moisturizer
- As a natural SPF 4 sunscreen
- Psoriasis and eczema
- prevent or reverse Alzheimers
- lowering bad cholesterol
- stabilizing the thyroid gland
- decrease allergies but rubbing CO inside your nose
- decrease cellulite
- weight loss (speeding up the metabolism)
- improving sleep
- a tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat
- can help relieve the itch of chicken pox or poison ivy
- increase absorption of calcium and magnesium
- helps remineralize teeth
- helps with anxiety/depression
- as a natural deodorant
- a natural baby lotion and can even be used for diaper rash
- speed up recovery from UTI's
- cold sores
- increase mental alertness
- boost circulation and help those who often feel cold
- increase the length of your eyelashes
- stabilizing blood sugar
- increases your immune system
- dandruff (use as a conditioner)
- treats ringworm
- prevents gingivitis
- eliminates lice
- natural lubrication (most sites recommend not using this with latex)
- soothes pain due to teething
- cradle cap
Honestly, I could go on and on and make this a "Coconut Oil ~ 500 uses" post, but I'm sure anyone interested, will do their own addition research. It's definitely worth trying ~ people have been using this for thousands of years and still rave about it!! So whats the harm in trying??
Lastly and Most importantly, when picking a Coconut Oil to use - go with organic unrefined (refined means it has been dried and bleached and therefore looses many of its natural properties). Best of luck and as always ~ email with any questions :)