Coconut oil whitens teeth, boosts immune system, helps skin to glow
OIL PULLING – that is the ancient Indian technique of swishing coconut oil around your mouth as part of your oral hygiene – is a huge trend.
Enthusiasts for the practice claim that not only does it whiten teeth but that it also could add glow to skin, keep colds at bay and help exhaustion.
Now, new research has confirmed its benefits, writes Vanessa Chalmers for Healthista.com.
Celebrities ranging from bobsleigher Amy Williams to rap artist Tinie Tempah, and Made in Chelsea stars Lucy Watson and Jamie Laing are raving about oil-pulling.
The ancient Indian technique of swishing coconut oil around the mouth is a growing health trend.
The trend – popular among health junkies on Instagram – involves swishing a small amount of coconut (or sometimes sesame) oil in your mouth as part of your morning teeth-cleaning regime.
But does it really make any difference?
Until recently, there has been little scientific evidence to show the benefits of oil pulling.
Now, a new study published in April found the ancient Indian practice using coconut oil in the mouth could be an effective procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque-induced gum disease.
The research, published in the Nigerian Journal of Medicine‘s March/April 2015 edition, looked at 60 people between the ages of 16 and 18 who added oil pulling to their oral hygiene routine over a 30-day period.
Their plaque and gum disease levels were assessed on days 1, 7, 15, and 30.
After just seven days of oil pulling, levels of plaque and gum disease significantly reduced, and continued to decrease over a period of a month.
The researchers, from Kennur Dental College in India, said: “Coconut oil is an easily available edible oil.
“It is unique because it contains predominantly medium chain fatty acids, of which 45-50 percent is lauric acid. Lauric acid has proven anti inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.”
So, what exactly is oil pulling?
Oil pulling is increasingly being added to people’s morning brush and floss routine, but has been a traditional remedy for 3,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine – the ancient Indian healing system.
It involves taking a teaspoon of oil and swishing it round for five to 20 minutes before spitting it out and some of the further benefits attributed to it in Ayurvedic medicine include glowing skin, fresher breath and a better ability to fight colds, exhaustion, and dark circles under the eyes (although there are no studies on those though).
In Nigeria, the juice of the young spadix of coconut, Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae) is traditionally used for the treatment of diarrhea, diabetes and other ailments.
A locally produced coconut oil, prepared by cold press, the IHP-Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) tagged ‘Drugstore in a Bottle,’ is making progress.
The formulator, Prof. Maurice Iwu, said: “Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, studies have found that eating virgin coconut oil does not have adverse effects upon the heart. On the contrary, it appears to reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart attack.
VCO should not be confused with refined coconut oil produced from dried copra or so called partially hydrogenated coconut oil. Unlike refined coconut oil, which is produced through dry method from copra.
“VCO is produced through wet method, via coconut milk. There are many methods available for the production of coconut oil, so the source of the VCO for optimum health benefits is very important. It contains medium-chain fatty acids, which are much easier on the body than the long chain fatty acids found in many other cooking oils.
“VCO also contains some phenolic acids such as protocatechuic, vanillic, caffeic, syringic, ferulic and p-coumaric acids. The studies suggest that the antioxidant activity and other health benefits of VCO could be due partly to these phenolic compounds.”
Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil
Immune System Support
Consuming Virgin Coconut Oil helps to fight off disease and illness thanks to its antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. If you’re battling any kind of virus or infection, try taking coconut oil.
Cardio Vascular Health
Although Virgin Coconut is a saturated fat, several studies have found that eating it does not have adverse effects upon the heart.
It is believe that consuming extra Virgin Coconut Oil can help with the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Helps in controlling blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
Studies found that taking Virgin Coconut Oil every day had a significant reduction in abdominal fat.
When applied to wounds and sores, Virgin Coconut Oil prevents further staph infection.
Studies show that coconut oil is effective with treatment of alcohol-induced oxidative stress.
Wounds treated with Virgin Coconut Oil healed faster and showed higher collagen cross-linking.
Stretch Mark Prevention
Applying coconut oil to stretch marks after they have formed erases the stretch marks or greatly reduces their appearance.
Moisturizing your skin is the key to keeping it youthful and healthy and Virgin Coconut Oil can be used in place of lotion for a healthier moisturizer. When it is used, it also helps to fight bacteria and other skin problems including rashes, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, eczema, and psoriasis.
Coconut oil addresses problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and indigestion. Virgin Coconut Oil fights unhealthy bacteria in the digestive system and it also assists in nutrient absorption within the body. It has been found by many people to be beneficial for digestive system and it also assists in nutrient absorption within the body.
Virgin Coconut Oil can also be used to improve the health of your scalp and hair. One way it helps is by strengthening the strands and reducing protein loss during washing. Try applying a little bit of coconut oil on your hair to brush out tangles or massage a tiny bit on coconut oil on the scalp for a silky, strong, head of hair.
Others: Dental care, bones, pancreatitis, kidney, and liver health.