Not just in the kitchen – Coconut Oil

24 Dec

As more and more people are discussing the benefits of coconut oil, let me give you a background of how coconuts are used in my community. Hailing from the Western part of India, my family roots trace along the coastal regions. Thankfully my spouse’s family also comes from a coastal region from the south of India. Both our families are aware of the different uses, traditional, religious whatever the need is for this wonderful tropical fruit called ‘Coconut’. I will be listing down the uses of mainly coconut oil however, for centuries Coconut in India has been considered sacred enough to be offered to the Hindu Gods. Because of its variety of uses of this amazing fruit is undoubtedly holy indeed. The husk is used for making coir which is found in brushes, mats, mattresses, baskets, fishing nets etc. The flesh is used for cooking countless items of food and to extract coconut milk . The trunk of the tree is used to make furniture or charcoal. The shell is turned into a variety of handicraft items. The leaves make a good roof or brooms. The coconut water is filled with electrolytes and is super hydrating, the water without fermentation is known as ‘Nira’ and once fermented is ‘Toddy’. It can further be used to make wine or sugar. Finally, the oil extracted has the following uses:

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  1. Coconut oil is mainly used for cooking.
  2. A regular good hot oil massage on the head will help in growing long and thick hair.
  3. The oil is also used as a moisturizer, try some immediately after a bath.
  4. If suffering from dandruff, mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in coconut oil as needed for covering the entire scalp and massage it lightly,leave on for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with shampoo.
  5. I remember as kids we were told to rub oil in our hair and body whenever we went out to play Holi(festival of colors). It would help in washing off the colors easily.
  6. If you suffer a minor burn, applying coconut oil helps in healing the burn faster.
  7. A mosquito, ant, bug bite has swollen your precious skin, a little oil rubbed on the bump will ensure the swelling goes down quickly and stops the burning sensation too.
  8. Cracked heels or lips, coconut oil works well.
  9. Prevent stretch marks in pregnancy, massage coconut oil daily and watch them melt away.
  10. I remember when my mom removed her make-up she always used coconut oil on a piece of cotton.
  11. Mix in some sugar for a lovely body scrub.
  12. A mix of clove and coconut oil is great for pain in the gums.
  13. The oil can be treated as a natural multipurpose skin cream for rashes, etc
  14. I remember when I had pain in my ears, my dad crushed a garlic pod and mixed it with warm coconut oil, strained and poured a little in my ear, how relieved was I!
  15. Apply some warm oil on a cotton swab inside the nose for a dry nose in winter.
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