Coconut Oil: A Natural Antibacterial, Antiviral & Antifungal Medicine

by Shaun Damon

During a study of the South Pacific Islanders way back in the 1930s, it was noted that though these natives followed a high fat diet, heart disease and obesity was nearly non-existent. Similar findings were evident from research conducted on two islands in Polynesia in the 80s. The common thread between these two communities was that coconut oil played a major role in their dietary habits. Was it coconut oil that kept these people healthy? Experts believed that it was and several studies were conducted on the health benefits of this tropical oil.

It soon became obvious that coconut oil can be used in the treatment of a number of different ailments. Apart from hair and skin care, coconut oil can help reduce cholesterol levels, aid weight loss, increase immunity, improve digestion, remedy problems with the kidneys and the heart, strengthen bones, and fight off infections. The antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of coconut oil that make it such a potent remedy for such a variety of illnesses can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid. Lauric acid is not a substance found in nature. The body converts lauric acid into another compound called monolaurin, which is responsible for the antiviral and antibacterial powers of coconut oil. Monolaurin is what helps fight infections such as herpes and influenza. Recent research indicates that monolaurin may also help fight HIV infections but more research is still required in this field. Bacteria such as helicobacter pylori and giardia lamblia that causes digestive problems and listeria monocytogenes, the causative agent for listeriosis can be tackled with monolaurin from coconut oil. Though researchers still don’t know the exact role of monolaurin in fighting these types of infections, there is no dispute about its health promoting benefits.

Coconut oil also contains more than ninety percent of saturated fats but before you empty that bottle of coconut oil in a hurry, read on. The fats present in coconut oil are known as medium-chain fatty acids or MCFAs. Unlike most other vegetable and seed oils that consist of long-chain fatty acids or LCFAs, medium chain fatty acids are smaller and easier to digest. This means that your liver burns them up for energy immediately and does not allow for any storage thus making you leaner in the long run. It is because of a large percentage of MCFAs that coconut oil has been known to help speed up metabolism and encourage weight loss. The maintenance of insulin levels also reduces your risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Now that you know why coconut oil is so good for you, let’s find out the ways you can benefit from using it.

  • Healthy saturated fats found in coconut oil help prevent a number of problems related to the digestive system. Coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties reduce bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections that cause indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections.
  • When applied as a topical treatment coconut oil forms a protective layer on the skin that protects it from external pollutants and irritants. Skin rashes and bruises heal faster when treated with coconut oil whereas skin and hair gets moisturized and revitalized.
  • Coconut oil is considered to be a natural antibiotic and is used to kill the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea, throat infections and pneumonia.
  • The presence of MCFAs and their easy digestibility reduces the load on the liver and prevents liver disease in the long-term.
  • Massaging with coconut oil helps relieve stress and fatigue.
  • Studies show that coconut oil improves the production of insulin and helps control blood sugar levels. It is therefore an excellent natural remedy for the treatment and prevention of diabetes.
  • Ingesting coconut oil by cooking with it may help improve the absorption of important minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the body. Calcium and magnesium are essential for the healthy development of bones and as a result coconut oil treatments can help prevent osteoporosis. Similarly, coconut oil helps improve dental health and prevent tooth decay by encouraging the proper absorption of calcium and building healthier teeth.
  • Coconut oil can help prevent heart disease in a number of ways. Firstly it helps reduce fat accumulation and obesity by speeding up the body’s metabolism and converting fat to energy instead of storing it. As a result, the arteries and the heart are healthier and stronger and more resistant to disease.
  • The most recent research on the benefits of coconut oil includes the role of this oil on diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Initial research shows that coconut oil may help reduce the viral load of AIDS patients and prevent further infections and complications suffered by cancer patients. However, more conclusive evidence is required before any such natural treatments are freely recommended.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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