Coconut oil has become the next big thing, and you’re probably seeing products made with it everywhere, but why is it so popular?

This versatile oil can be used for skin care, hair conditioning, weight loss, treating yeast infections, improving digestion, and boosting immunity.

Read on for the lowdown on why you should be using this wonder oil in your everyday life.

1. Hair Care

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Women in tropical coastal regions have long been using coconut oil to keep their long hair shining and soft. The thick, buttery oil helps promote healthy hair growth and gives a beautiful shine to it. It’s also effective in reducing protein loss, which can lead to unhealthy hair, and is also good at relieving and preventing dandruff.

If you have damaged, stressed hair, coconut oil can help by providing the proteins needed to heal and nourish damaged hair, and it encourages the re-growth process.

It’s very simple to use – just apply as needed to your hair, or use it as a deep conditioning hair mask.

2. Skin Care

Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil and moisturizer for all types of skin, and has been safely used for centuries in treating dry, flaking skin.

It also helps in the treatment of various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and others, and is often used as a base ingredient of soaps, lotions and creams that are used for skin care. Coconut oil has antioxidant qualities, and is also used to help skin in the fight against aging.

3. Weight Loss Aid

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Coconut oil contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in removing excess weight, and research suggests that it helps reduce abdominal obesity in women.

It’s easy to digest, and helps keep the thyroid and endocrine system functioning properly. It can also increase the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, and this may enhance weight loss efforts.

4. Strengthens the Immune System

Coconut oil can help keep your immune system running properly. It contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, and research has found that it helps to deal with viruses and bacteria responsible for herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV.

Coconut oil is also useful in fighting harmful bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes, Heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as Giardia lamblia.

5. Aids Digestion

The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties, and help in dealing with harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites that may attack the digestive system.

It also helps with digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, and assists in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

6. Oral Health

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Calcium in an essential component in our teeth, and coconut oil helps with the absorption of calcium by the body. Recent research shows that it’s also beneficial in reducing plaque formation, and plaque induced gingivitis.

7. Prevents Yeast Infections

Excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida albicans can cause a condition called systemic candidiasis in the stomach. Coconut oil can provide relief from the inflammation caused by candida, and it can be used internally or externally.

Other components of coconut oil that help in eliminating candida infections are capric acid, caprylicic acid, myristic acid, caproic acid, and lauric acid.

8. Quickens the Healing Process

Coconut oil forms a chemical layer when applied to infected areas that protects the infected part from dust, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It is also effective on bruises, as it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.

9. Helps Keep Organs Healthy

The fatty acids and medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil helps in preventing liver disorders. This is because these substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, which reduces its workload and helps prevent fat accumulation.

Coconut oil also helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases, and is useful in keeping the pancreas healthy to avoid pancreatitis.

10. Helps in AIDS and Cancer Treatment

Preliminary research has shown that coconut oil may help in reducing the viral load of HIV patients, and it is thought to play an instrumental role in reducing the viral susceptibility of cancer and HIV patients.

11. Could Boost Heart Health

There is some controversy over this claim, as there is enough research around to show that coconut oil isn’t beneficial to the heart due to the presence of saturated fats.

However, there is also research to show that coconut oil is good for the heart, with the lauric acid present in it actively preventing some heart issues such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

As with a lot of things, there is conflicting research, so it’s up to you to decide which one to believe. Consult a doctor before you start consuming coconut oil on a regular basis.