The health benefits of coconut oil are many and varied according to what and who you are prepared to believe. I’ve never been one for taking so called health benefits at face value without good reason. I am a dedicated skeptic in most cases, especially for major claims. With the rising popularity of coconut oil so too there has been a rise in the number of fantastic claims – it has been credited with curing everything from baldness to cancer. I am not a medical expert but this is my take on the subject, for what it is worth.
The Curse of Popularity
It seems that when a natural product gains a little popularity, all of a sudden it is elevated to almost magical status by some expert or other. Coconut oil is indeed a very useful, natural ingredient and in my opinion it has many good benefits – but keep it real. Have you checked out my article about the uses of coconut oil? This will give you an idea of how widespread its uses are becoming.
When it comes to serious medical conditions, call me old fashioned, but I prefer to rely on my doctor and modern medicine. For minor ailments I might give an alternative treatment a go – just to see. Beware of claims around serious issues, remember that some people might swear that coconut oil cured their baldness – but that doesn’t mean that it really did!
Some of the Claimed Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
There is quite often a slight basis for some of the claims but they should be taken in context. I have read that it cures skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. These can be very serious conditions and you should always take a doctors advice before attempting to treat them yourself. Now I do know that coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer and it is easily absorbed by the skin – we use it in lotions, creams and homemade moisturizer. These properties may well be helpful in the treatment of a mild flare up of psoriasis and to ease the symptoms – but as a cure? If you have ever seen severe skin conditions you will know what I’m talking about. Another thing to remember is that what may work for one person may not work for you.
Take the case of using coconut oil for cuts and ulcers. It has been used for centuries in tropical countries to treat cuts and is said to prevent infections. Now when one of my kids has a small graze from a fall, I might smear on a little coconut oil and it does seem to do the trick. If they come in with a serious head wound – we are going to the emergency room! What I’m trying to say is to apply some common sense. Recognize that there are benefits but don’t just read something and believe it.
Some of the more extreme claims include treatment for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. If only it were that simple the world would be a better place and modern medicine could stop a lot of research. The claims about weight loss, heart disease and diabetes all relate to the fact that coconut oil is now seen as a healthy fat in our diet but do not mean it will cure anything. I have written about coconut oil and weight loss in more detail and there is no doubt there is some basis in fact – but only as part of a wider approach to a healthy lifestyle.
See coconut oil for what it is – a useful, natural product with beneficial properties. Don’t believe all you read about it and do not expect miracles – then it won’t disappoint.