The Rising Popularity of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and fresh coconutNowadays, we’re becoming more and more aware of the benefits of using natural products. Reports on carcinogens in everyday processed products ranging from cooking oil to cosmetics have led to a return to nature in many of the day to day products that we use.

Coconut oil used to get a bad rap in health food circles, but at the time most coconut oils available were refined, hydrogenated oils. Nowadays we know that any refined, hydrogenated oil is bad for you and more and more people are turning to natural coconut oil as a superfood, cosmetic product and natural medicine.

Given the multitude of uses for coconut oil, it’s hardly surprising that the demand for it has soared. Let’s look at a few examples and why coconut oil is gaining ground against products with similar uses.

Popular Uses of Coconut Oil


There’s been a lot of media attention around the synthetic ingredients used in everything from soaps to skin-creams. Parabens, preservatives and synthetic additives that improve the texture of creams have been implicated as a possible cause of cancer leading consumers to search for natural alternatives. Coconut oil is widely used as a make-up remover, massage oil, skin and hair conditioner, and by some, even as a form of sun protection (SPF is about 8). Consumers report that it helps to promote healing of scar tissue and reduces wrinkles – it just costs a lot less than commercial skin care products.


Just when we thought we were safe using Sunflower oil in cooking, the news broke. Cooking, particularly at high temperatures breaks down most cooking oils causing the release of toxic compounds that can affect our overall health. Coconut oil, on the other hand, doesn’t break down as easily, making it a healthy alternative for health-conscious foodies all over the world.

Medicinal properties

Coconut oil contains a fatty acid that is very seldom found in nature: Lauric acid. Lauric acid is also found in breast milk and is believed to have anti-microbial properties. Capric acid and Caprylic acid are also present, resulting in a powerful antioxidant, antifungal and antimicrobial action.

Of course, coconut oil is also soothing when applied externally. These properties have led to coconut oil being used to treat everything from Acne to haemorrhoids, cradle cap in babies and even as a treatment for head lice when combined with apple cider vinegar. When taken internally it lowers cholesterol and is said to improve sleep quality. It has even been used in the treatment of Kidney problems and Alzheimer’s Disease. The list of applications for this versatile natural oil seems endless.

Super Food

Our search for the healthiest foods and ingredients has led to certain foods being classed as ‘super foods’ and coconut oil is one of these. Health conscious consumers cite its benefits as including its use as a weight loss aid, immune system booster and digestive aid. It’s also said to boost brain function and since the medium chain triglycerides it consists of are easier for the body to deal with than saturated fats, it is reputed to have none of the health risks associated with consumption of fats.

The ‘new’ household necessity?

Although virgin coconut oil is not yet on everyone’s shopping list, more and more consumers are beginning to see it as a household necessity with a multitude of applications and benefits. Buying health food, cooking oil and skin-care treatments all at once is easy with coconut oil and even the commercial skin care industry is taking note of the increased demand for coconut oil as a natural skin care remedy.

As we become increasingly aware of the health risks associated with modern living and lifestyles, there is a definite trend towards a return to natural products. Thanks to its wide range of applications and enormous health benefits coconut oil is one of the natural products that spearheads this return to nature.