Scientific name: Cocos nucifera, Ayurveda name: Nariyal taila
Coconut oil has been the most used oil across India for both consumptions and for application on skin and/or hair. This tree is grown across south Indian states, especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala, various countries in East Asia and Oceanic countries. According to Ayurveda, the coconut tree has been referred to as kalpa vriksha because it provides things that are essential for living. Used as a base oil for various herbal oils, coconut oil on its own does not to be diluted before cooking with it or applying it on the body.
Benefits of using coconut oil:
How can coconut oil be used?
The most common way of using this oil is infusing it with herbs and using it for massages and topical applications. Since it is one of the most stable oils, the properties of the herbs are easily absorbed by the oil, making it a good carrier oil for medicated Ayurveda oils.
One of the oils recommended for gandoosha/kavala (oil pulling) is coconut as it has anti-bacterial properties and helps prevent oral diseases.
Another common way of using coconut oil is while cooking. The south Indian state of Kerala cooks most of its dishes using coconut oil and it not only adds a unique flavour to the food but is healthier compared to other cooking oils and helps in lowering blood pressure.
Using organic coconut oil does not result in side effects while consumption or topical application if one is not allergic to it. However, it is advisable for people with high cholesterol because the oil is said to contain a type of fat that can increase low-density lipoprotein which can result in health hazards.
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