Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tropical Traditions -- Coconut Oil

Ah, Coconut Oil, what Jamaican household would be without it! 

For those of you who have been scared off coconut oil --when butter and oil were being vilified in favor of such man-made dangerous monstrosities like margarine-- welcome back to the sane side of life. 

Now that margarine and other supposedly-healthy man-made fats are  being shown as dangerous -- and less healthy than natural facts-- I'd like to introduce you to some of the tropical traditions of using coconut oil.

First: Jamaicans swear it alleviates congestion. Got someone with a nasty bronchitis or congestion? They'll tell you to get coconut oil, rub the person's chest and head. Sure, you'll end up with a gooey pillow and slip-slidey sheets but the phlegm and mucus will loosen. Jamaican mothers will often say "Find the mold on his head." Or maybe they say "find the mole." Whatever the actual spelling, they mean to find the center part of the top of the head and to slather the head with coconut oil. Trust me as a Jamaican mother, it works for me.

Second use for coconut oil. I found this one out the hard way. I once made the very bad mistake of getting into the shower after putting Vicks Vapor Rub on my chest. If you've never done that, don't do it. If you HAVE done it, you know whereof I speak. That sucker burns and burns and there is nothing to stop it. Oh, did I say nothing? Yes, you guessed it: The coconut oil stopped it. Just like that. Oh my gosh, it was like heaven. Again, I'm not saying this is some super-cure. I'm not saying it can alleviate inflammations. I'm just saying that I was waaaaaaaaay glad to have that coconut oil around. 

Third use for coconut oil: Battling nasty external fungal infections. Again, I'm not being medical here. This is personal, and anecdotal but here goes: I cannot eat raisins. If i eat them i end up with a nasty yeast infection and fungal bumps on my upper inner thighs. Embarrassing and painful. It might take three weeks to work off that nasty yeast infection. With coconut oil, the thing was gone in about two days...so, yeah...old wives tale proven true. . 

Fourth use: This kinda connects to the previous one. Except it's internal. My son was battling sinusitis. Trouble is sometimes a kid won't take it because coconut oil tends to be solid instead of liquid. So you might have to blend it with something like bananas or leave it on the stove to melt or warm up the spoon you use to dip into the oil. Again, I can only say that this is my experience. The kid felt wonderful after using it. 

Fifth use: internal agent against obesity. A little goes a long way but for those who need certain kinds of fats in their bodies, trying coconut oil helped me lose weight.  Might just be me but there goes. Of course I didn't over-do it.

There are other uses as well. http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/how-to-use-coconut-oil.htm

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