Coconut oil is a miracle worker in many ways. It is a beauty agent and it has immense health benefits. Other than hair, it is a perfect form of moisturiser and makeup remover. Food cooked in coconut oil is healthier and can help in digestion. Learn more about it, in the weekly column by Anumita, exclusively in Different Truths.
Growing up in India during the 70s and 80s, all girls and boys had one thing in common, coconut oil in their hair. There was stipulated time in the day, mostly evenings, for the ritual of oil massage into the scalp of most women, in India. Each house had their own ritual of oil massage. My Ma or Thakuma (grandma) would warm up the oil a little and add few herbs in it. Then we would sit down on the floor over a grass mat and wait for the magic fingers to work through each hair root.
Often during such oil massaging ritual I would feel sleepy, it had such a soothing effect. It removed tension from the mind and body.
Coconut oil is a miracle worker in many ways. It is a beauty agent and it has immense health benefits. Other than hair, it is a perfect form of moisturiser and makeup remover. Food cooked in coconut oil is healthier and can help in digestion.
Let us go through some of the benefits pure coconut oil has. We will be talking about the use of virgin coconut oil, which is essentially the first extract. When the coconut goes for the second extraction it loses some of its essential components and so is less effective. But, that does not mean it cannot be used.
Pure coconut oil is one of those magic portions which helps hair growth, hair health, and scalp treatment. Periodic use of coconut oil would help with hair loss and dandruff control. Just a few steps would help and work wonders for your hair.
Fill a large bowl fill with warm water and nestle a smaller bowl inside it with scoops of coconut oil. The smaller bowl should sit in stable and not float or take in water from the bigger one. Wash and dry your hair. Let the coconut oil reach the right temperature. With the pad of your fingers, massage oil into the scalp, parting hair with a comb, from time to time. Run the fingers through the length of the hair and let the strands get coated. Use a shower cap or a warm towel and wrap up the hair. Let the oil sit for a minimum of 30 mins or an hour. The longer the oil stays, the better it will soak in. Then wash it off with lukewarm water. If your hair is on the oily side, use a mild or herbal shampoo to wash it off.
Coconut oil clears scalp and improves the health of the hair. With repeated use, your hair will have a shine and body, and your scalp will be dandruff and itch free.
Every skin needs moisturising. After the face is washed it strips it off the oil and leaves a dry skin, even for those with oily skin. Virgin coconut oil is very light and needs only a tiny bit. For those with dry skin, use only about one-fourth teaspoon of coconut oil at room temperature. Those who have oily skin could may use the same amount but warm it up a little. With the oil in your palm, massage it on your face, with circular motions. Let it seep into the skin. For most dry or normal skin type people the oil will blend in. Oily skin needs a warm water wash after five minutes. Do not use soap again. Pat dry your face.
Makeup removal is a must after each day. Washing face is not adequate for cleaning face after a whole day of makeup and grime. Most makeup removers are loaded with chemicals. The most natural and effective way to remove any makeup is using coconut oil. Dab a cotton ball or a remover pad with virgin coconut oil. Then slowly remove makeup from your face. It is gentle enough to use around the eyes. It can be reapplied around the eyes after the face is washed. It acts as a wonderful under and upper eye cream. Talk about multi-tasking!
The skin of our whole body needs care too. Soap erodes away the oil protection from the skin of our body. With perfume, deodorants and other body lotions, the pore of our skin often gets clogged. After the shower, just before bed, apply coconut oil all over the body. Appling, it during the skin still wet, helps the oil to be absorbed easily. Massage the oil all over the body in long continuous sweeps along the muscles and the contours. Pay extra attention to the elbows, the underside of the arms the back side of the legs, feet and the heels. These places are often ignored and tend to dry faster.
With repeated use, your skin would retain its glow and feel much softer.
Coconut oil is perfect for cooking. It is used in baking instead of lard or butter. It has the perfect amount of saturated fat. The use of coconut oil in cooking directly or indirectly helps prevents heart disease and high blood pressure. The saturated fats increase healthy cholesterol (HDL) and fight the bad cholesterol (LDL) by converting them. Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFA’s in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them.
Studies show that the use of virgin coconut oil in food has helped heal memory issues. It boosts memory and is been considered for treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Its properties help to strengthen the immune system.
With so many uses and benefit, it would be perfectly alright to be nuts about coconut oil. Give you’re the extra care for the inside and outside of your body by using virgin coconut oil.
©Anumita Chatterjee Roy
Photos from the internet.
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