Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Why I Drink Coconut Oil By The Spoonfuls

Yes, I drink coconut oil by the spoonfuls. Actually 2 tablespoons each day, usually after a meal like breakfast or lunch.

Let me just say this - in our tropical climate, coconut oil is liquid. It's a clear oil with a lovely coconut aroma. Reminds me of the coconut log sweets wrapped in red, green or blue cellophane that I ate when I was growing up. Some people still make these hard coconut candies but they're quite a rare breed. Maybe the sweet making involves lots of stirring or something.

Anyway, I need to say this because some of you live in non-tropical climes. And your coconut oil is more like coconut butter!

I discovered this in Hong Kong many years ago.

I carried with me a bottle of coconut oil - as a quick facial moisturiser, as a lip balm treatment at night before sleeping. It was my go-to oil for dry areas of my skin.

I wanted to show my friend, SP, this bottle of amazing multipurpose skincare oil only to realise the oil had hardened!

It was March in Hong Kong, and temperatures were about 15C and my oil wasn't runny any more. In fact it could not be shaken out of the bottle.

So I understand when some people who live in temperate countries say it's pretty awful to eat coconut oil. They usually mix it with some liquid (like a shake).

But here in sunny Penang, my coconut oil is always liquid and eating it is like taking cod liver oil, only better! (I hated the taste and smell of cod liver oil though cod liver oil is excellent for building immunity and contains Vitamin A and D.)

I have been slurping coconut oil for the past 6 months and I can say that it has made my skin smoother and more supple. Not sure if it helps my hair growth (as I do go for my monthly henna hair treatment) but I do feel that generally my skin texture is finer. This is clearly visible on my upper thighs. I used to have coarser skin on my thighs as well as calves.

With my regular intake of coconut oil, my skin on the thighs and calves seem finer and less dry too.

I also use coconut oil on my lips at night (when I remember to do so) as a lip treatment. At the same time, I also use coconut oil on my eye brows (to help them grow!).

I used to use it on my face but I found it too oily. Now I'm using rosehip oil but that's just because I am trying to get rid of some blemished skin on my cheek and upper eye lid. Rosehip oil isn't oily and is easily absorbed compared to coconut oil.

The other benefit of coconut oil is that it contains lauric acid. The other source of lauric acid is breast milk.

Coconut oil is made up of 50% lauric acid which makes it nature’s richest source of lauric acid. Lauric acid is a powerful antimicrobial agent, used in both food preservation as well as in drugs and nutraceuticals.

Besides drinking it, a friend of mine, Mariam, uses coconut oil for oil pulling which simply refers to a technique of gargling with coconut oil to prevent plaque and dental problems. You simply spit it out after 15 minutes. 

I don't get pimples but 2 weeks ago, I got one on the side of my nose. Immediately I applied a drop of coconut oil at night and within 2 days the pimple disappeared. 

Finally here are some interesting debates about coconut oil. This older article writes about the famous Dr Mehmet Oz debunking coconut oil despite a case study of a Mr Newport getting better after taking 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for his Alzheimer's! 

I actually like Dr Oz (no thanks to watching lots of Oprah in the days when I still subscribed to Astro's channels but these days I've unsubscribed as I am now watching more Netflix and HuluPlus via AppleTV) and am quite disappointed that he is adamantly against coconut oil. (But if you read the comments under the article, someone actually says Dr Oz is now into coconut oil!) 

For drinking purposes, I buy my extra virgin coconut oil from Jusco's organic section (Country Farm brand). The same oil can be used on the skin and hair. After all anything you can drink or eat is safe enough for slathering on your skin. Plus coconut oil enhances your kidneys' function. 

The other thing is that coconut oil helps you lose weight. I am happy if I can get rid of that stubborn flab around my waist. To be honest, I am pear-shaped so lots of excess fat kind of puddles around my hips! Still I was encouraged when I read this fact about coconut oil. 

I don't know if coconut oil helps in waist reduction BUT I can say the waist isn't enlarging which is always good. On an aside, I weighed myself today. I am at 63.5 kg but Nancy, my friend, says that I can afford to be 63kg as I am 5 feet 6 inches tall! 

My other habit now is to eat half the portion of rice at dinner and substitute regular rice with Bario red rice (from the highlands of Sarawak). Bario red rice is another post for another day but I can say it is tastier than brown rice! 

Anyway, if you're looking for more information on coconut oil, check out these resources: 

In the meantime, if you've been eating/drinking coconut oil regularly too, let me know what you've discovered. Is your skin more supple and moisturised? Do you feel any different? More energised? I'd love to hear your thoughts.