Natural Eczema Treatment With Virgin Coconut Oil
The Coconut Fruit
Natural Eczema Treatment With Virgin Coconut Oil
A natural eczema treatment can be found in the use of virgin coconut oil. In fact, I have gotten great results with its use on my dry eczema skin. As it is, I have to be careful not to use products that contain fragrance or chemical substances. I have found that natural oils make a far better alternative in helping to moisturize and hydrate my skin. What is particularly useful to know is that the constituents of natural oils are perfect for the body. Virgin coconut oil is now touted to be one of the best natural eczema treatments that you can find around.
What Is Eczema?
The term "eczema" or "dermatitis" has been used to describe a group of skin problems where the skin becomes itchy and inflamed, and thus red splotches become visible. On a larger scale, eczema is also grouped with the classic allergy diseases, asthma and hay fever, in a complex that is termed "atopy" (from the Greek word "atopos," meaning "out of place").
Eczema is always marked by dry skin. The eczema skin cannot protect itself from increased rate of evaporation, and the loss of moisture leads to further dryness. In turn, the dry skin gets more irritated and itchy, leading to increased scratching that worsens the rash. The itchy, red rash can affect the entire body. Many people get it in the joints of the arms, the inside of the elbows, the joints of the leg, and especially at the back of the knees.
Natural Eczema Treatment Versus Steroids
The conventional method for treatment of eczema is by way of steroid application. However, long-term use produces side effects like "thinning of the skin," leading to increased vulnerability to bacterial infection and the risk of aggravating the problem of eczema. Alternative health experts also suggest that any form of drugs increases toxicity to the body and this can create other health problems.
Introducing Coconut Palm as "The Tree Of Life"
Coconut oil comes from the coconut fruit. The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. The coconut is an important staple in many tropical islands. Perhaps you do not get to see this fruit often enough in the supermarkets but nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some extent for food and their economy.
Coconut is highly nutritious. It is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, it possesses health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Pacific Islanders call the coconut palm "The Tree of Life", claiming that the oil can be used to cure several diseases. It is a claim that has now been confirmed by research.
Dr. Mercola Endorses Virgin Coconut Oil
Medium-Chain Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Makes the Difference
Coconut oil was previously mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content. However, it is now established that not all fats are the same. The fats that are truly "bad" are trans fats, whereas the fat in coconut oil is unique and different from most all other fats.
Coconut oil is composed predominantly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). It is the MCFA that give coconut oil its healing benefits.
The majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.
MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have any negative effect on cholesterol and hence, protect the body against from any form of heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. The best sources by far are from coconut and palm kernel oils.
Lauric acid, known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, contributes about 50% of the fatty acid in coconut fat. Lauric acid, which is also contained in mother's milk, is the most essential fatty acid for the building of an immune system. In the body it is converted to monolaurin, a powerful monoglyceride that destroys lipid-coated viruses (such as cytomegalovirus, HIV, herpes, and influenza) as well as pathogenic bacteria.
Coconut Oil to Heal Eczema
The MCFA help restore damaged skin by penetrating into the cell structures of the connective tissues. Hence, it is excellent as a natural eczema treatment, or for other skin disorders as well as for anti-aging purposes. It also helps prevent the skin from developing liver spots by destroying free radical formation.
MCFA in coconut oil help to prevent fungal and bacterial infections in the skin. At least one type of bacterium feeds on the sebum of our skin, breaking down the tryglycerides of the coconut oil into free fatty acids. When they are broken apart into free fatty acids, they become powerful antimicrobials, killing disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
The combination of the slightly acid pH of the skin and the MCFA provides a protective chemical layer on the skin that prevents infection from disease-causing organisms.
When you bathe or shower, ordinary soap tends to wash off the acid mantle of your skin. Applying coconut oil helps to restore the protective layer of your skin. Coconut oil penetrates quickly, keeping your skin soft. It helps to reduce any inflammation and is healing to wounds, blood blisters and rashes. Herbalists have been known to use coconut oil as an ingredient to prepare healing salves and ointments. A home remedy for eliminating plantar warts and athlete's foot is to mix coconut oil and crushed garlic.
To reiterate, associated benefits of coconut oil for eczema skin include:
- Reduces inflammation.
- Supports tissue healing and repair.
- Supports and aids immune system function.
- Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
- Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
- Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
Other benefits of coconut oil include:
- Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption, supporting the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Improves bowel function.
Choose Organic and Virgin Coconut Oil for Treatment
It is best to select coconut oil that is both organic and virgin for a natural treatment for eczema.
Why organic coconut oil? Dry eczema skin can be a symptom of a highly toxic body. Hence, the last thing you want to do is to use a product that is not produced organically.
Why virgin coconut oil? Virgin coconut oil is made by using fresh coconut meat with little or no processing, or what is called non-copra.
Most commercial grade coconut oils are produced from copra. Most of the copra, the meat of the coconut, is dried under the sun in the open air where it gets exposed to insects and molds. The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD means refined, bleached, and deodorized. Both high heat and chemicals (e.g. solvent extractions) are used in this method.
A fragrant smell is characteristic of virgin coconut oils. Copra-based refined coconut oils have no taste or fragrance due to the refining process.
Recipes Using Coconut Oil as a Key Ingredient
With so many facts found about the coconut oil, there are now cookbooks written for its use as a key ingredient in recipes. As an Asian living near the tropics, I have been brought up eating food that makes use of the coconut. My all-time favorite is the coconut rice. We cook this, with other accompanying dishes, every time we have guests from other parts of the world coming over for dinner.
Recipe for Virgin Coconut Oil Vinaigrette
Coconut oil vinaigrette is a tasty salad dressing. You can also add minced garlic, parsley, onion powder, cayenne powder, dill weed, Parmesan cheese, or Dijon mustard to the recipe below for some variations.
- 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar
- 1/2 cup liquid virgin coconut oil
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Wisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Store in glass jar in refrigerator and warm to room temperature before using.
- Pour over fresh salad vegetables as needed.
Recipe for Coconut Basmati Rice
You would not want to miss out on trying this recipe if you are a rice lover!
- 3 cups long grain rice (I like Basmati)
- 3 cups coconut milk or 1 can coconut cream mixed with 3 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 6 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 1 onion, sliced
- sea salt to taste
- Slice and fry the onions in coconut oil until they are golden brown.
- Fry the almonds lightly. Set both aside.
- Put rice, coconut cream, water and salt in a saucepan (or rice cooker).
- Bring it to boil on medium heat and boil until liquid is gone.
- Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking until rice is well cooked and fluffy.
- Gently stir with a fork.
- Garnish with fried raisins, onion and almonds. Serves: 4-6.
Recipe for Organic Carrot Cake With Virgin Coconut Oil
Who would have thought that virgin coconut oil can be used to make carrot cake? Here is this absolutely delicious recipe for it . . .
- 8oz organic grated carrots
- 8oz organic soft brown sugar
- 6oz organic virgin coconut oil
- 4oz organic plain wholemeal flour
- 2oz organic chopped walnuts
- 2 organic free range eggs
- Grated zest of 1 organic orange
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Beat all the above ingredients together and place in a baking tin greased with virgin coconut oil.
- Cook in preheated oven at 180 deg C/350 deg F for 45-60minutes.
- To ensure that cake is ready, check with a metal skewer. The cake should not stick on to the skewer!