Coconut Oil - 2
|Melting Point||25 - 27C|
- FOLKLORE AND TRADITIONAL PLANT USES
- As it lathers rather easily coconut oil is used in the making of white soaps (especially those that will float in water): it is also a source of fatty alcohol for the manufacture of soapless detergent.
- The hard shell is burnt for charcoal and the coir (outer fibre) is a valuable raw material used in the manufacture of rope, mattresses, mats etc.
- Copra, the dry kernel of the coconut, no longer white but brown and shrivelled, yields two thirds by weight of the oil and the cake resulting from extraction provides animal fodder.
- In India the coconut is considered to be the fruit of aspiration; a coconut is split at the beginning of functions to gain the blessing of the gods, whether launching a ship or making a film.
- The coconut provides milk, water, cream, and oil to Ayurvedic medicine for use in the treatment of burns, hair loss, dissolution of kidney stones, heart and circulatory problems (Patnaik 1993).
- THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES - INTERNAL USE
- The fractionated coconut oil contains triacylglycerols with a medium chain length (principally C12 and C14) and it is used in the diet of cystic fibrosis sufferers.
- This is because the high proportion of medium chain length fatty acids make the oil more easily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract (Evans 1996). It is used in suppositories because it softens and melts with body temperature.
- THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES - EXTERNAL USE
The oil is frequently used in massage creams because of the properties.
- COSMETIC USE
Coconut oil makes the skin smooth and satin-like, although it has been known to cause skin rashes. It is much used as an emollient for the skin and as a hair pomade and because of its lubricating properties the oil is used in lipstick and soap formulations.
- Many hair conditioners contain coconut oil because it is beneficial to dry hair, and those tropical races who anoint their hair with coconut oil from childhood seldom go grey or bald. The oil aids tanning and does not filter the sun's rays.
- CULINARY USE
The deodorized fat has been used as a substitute for butter and in the manufacture of margarine.
Coconut oil can cause an allergic reactions in some people (winter 1984), especially the solvent extracted oil.
Bruneton J 19995 pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, medicinal plants. Intercept, Andover p. 136
Evans W C 1996 Trease and Evans pharmacognosy. Saunders, London p. 187
Patnaik N 1993 The garden of life. Aquarian, London
Trease G E, Evans W C 11983 Pharmacognosy, Bailliere Tindall, London p. 333
Winter R 1984 A Consumer's dictionary of cosmetic ingredients. Crown, New York p. 73
- Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy Massage, Len Price with Ian Smith and Shirley Price.
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