Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Secrets from Mother India: Coconut Oil

Living in India, one gets exposed to a whole new world. Every day is a day of learning and new lessons. From food, to customs, to history, to language, to culture, to nature, etc etc. Besides my spiritual studies here, I have also created a profound interest in natural healing, and what better place to learn about this than India! This country is so rich in its natural resources, fertile soil, and an abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables. I will be sharing with you some personal recipes which i discovered and tried over the last three years. This is not based on any doctor's prescription, but from books, ancient folk remedies, and trial-and-error i have come to a growing database of remedies.

Having (almost) become a South Indian mami by now, it almost self explanatory that the first item i will talk about is: COCONUT OIL.

Coconut oil is our life here. Literally. We have it during breakfast, lunch, dinner, on our face, on our bodies, in our hair, in the shower, in our soap, under our soles, in our lamps... i think you get the point! Simply said: its a blessing on earth! It has countless healing properties and utilities. 

Applying it to the hair works as a great nourisher. It gives life, strength, and fullness to your hair. It protects your hair from dryness and keeps the frizz under the control by locking in the moisture. Indian ladies here apply coconut oil to their hair every morning, as a routine just like we apply face cream. They all have beautiful, long and thick hair! 
If you're freaked out about the greasiness, you can apply it the night before washing.. Allow it to soak in your hair overnight, and you'll feel a great difference the next day after washing! Your hair will be soft, smooth, and shiny! 

Coconut oil works as a great moisturizer. Throw away those bottles and tubes of commercialized supermarket moisturizers filled with chemicals, and try this amazing natural solution! You can put it on either before taking a shower, allowing it to absorb into your skin, and then wash off the extra oil. Or apply it on your body after the shower as a body lotion. Your skin will be beautiful, soft and firm!

Nobody will suspect this one... In fact, in the west, the word "oil" and "acne" just don't go together! But this is an exception! A miracle exception! Applying coconut oil on the pimple overnight will definitely shrink it! You can also add a drop of tea tree oil to it, for even better results. Another option is to take a few drops of coconut oil and add turmeric (amazing antiseptic, anti oxidant, wound healer) to it, for antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Just make sure to have an old pillow case on your pillow! When Indian girls get their nose or ears pierced, they will apply this remedy on the piercing for several days/ weeks until it is healed. Nothing else!

Coconut Oil, Turmeric, Honey Face Mask
This is for the real dare-devils! Try this amazing facial mask. Mix a few tablespoons of virgin coconut oil with a teaspoon of turmeric and honey. Apply it all over your face. Yes you will be very yellow and scary looking! Leave it on for as long as possible.... and then remove it.. guess how? with a cotton pad and coconut oil! If there is still some yellow residue you can wash it off with your face wash. 
I love this recipe. Your skin will feel so soft! Pimples go away, and redness reduces drastically. It also really helps against scars. 

Make-up Remover
Throw away the expensive, stinging make up removers! A dab of coconut oil will wipe away all your make up in an eyes blink! No side effects. In fact, it's helpful against the dark circles too!

Coconut oil can give an immediate boost to your energy levels! It has a very high level of MCT (middle chain triglyceride), which the mitochondria (the energy centers of the cells) can directly access when consumed. 

This all sounds very technical, so to break it down: a spoon of coconut oil can very quickly create the necessary energy that the body is lacking! No more fatigue, tiredness, involuntary afternoon siestas! To read more about the energy benefits click here 

Cooking with coconut oil is much much much better than cooking with any other oil! Earth clinic writes this about it: 
Virgin coconut oil is a cholesterol-free saturated fat that is more than 40% composed of lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid well-regarded for potential potential benefits. For lauric acid and coconut oil overall, these health benefits include increased energy and metabolism, reduction in waist size, potential weight loss benefits, antibacterial effects, anti-parasitic effects, and thyroid benefits

Coconut oil can actually withstand high temperatures while cooking (unlike virgin olive oil), thereby retaining its antimicrobial, anti-protazoal and antibacterial properties. To add to this, it also has a pleasant taste and aroma.

To sum it up: Coconut oil is fantastic! Try to get a good quality virgin pressed pure coconut oil, and enjoy its greatness in whichever way possible. Take a spoon internally every day, apply it on your skin, and use it in your pan!

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