Crazy for Coconut
Updated: Sep 18
Carrier oils used in therapeutic aromatherapy blending are extracted from vegetables, seeds, and nuts. They are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and are soothing, nourishing, and restorative to the skin.
Carrier oils like coconut are the best environments to blend essential oils because of their “fixed nature,” meaning they are stable and have a slow evaporation rate. Essential oils are known as “volatile,” which means they have a high evaporation rate. Using them with carrier oils helps to stabilize their nature, longer absorption of the essential oils and the additional benefits of the amazing nutrients from the carrier oils.
Coconut oil has been used for centuries as a vital source of food for health and general well being in traditional communities of tropical regions.
The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. Recent research verifies traditional beliefs that the coconut palm is “The Tree of Life.” Coconuts and virgin coconut oil have a significant role to play in a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Today you can purchase coconut products in many forms: oil, water, butter, milk, creamer, yogurt, and shredded.
The health benefits of coconut are vast. Studies have shown that populations in Polynesia and Sri Lanka, where coconuts are a dietary staple, do not suffer from high serum cholesterol or heart disease. Unlike other fats, the unique properties of coconut also contain a large amount of lauric acid, which is the predominant fatty acid found in mother's milk. Coconut has also been found to improve insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose and supports absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids while also providing beneficial dietary fiber, which improves digestion and metabolism.
Coconut oil is an ideal choice for general moisturizing as it serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin and can be used in skin and hair care. This mild oil is light and non-greasy is suitable for sensitive, dry, itchy, inflamed, and irritated skin. It will not clog pores and absorbs readily into the skin.
Organic, cold pressed and unfiltered coconut oil is the superior end product; it is solid at room temperature and will melt easily at 76°F for aromatherapy and product formulating. Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the whole; and refined coconut oil is refined, bleached, and deodorized. You will only receive the full nutrients and benefits from whole, organic and unrefined coconut oil.
Personal story: I have a wonderful cat “Micha” who is now 14. He is vibrant and is still a tree climber, garden buddy and spends most of his days outside when the weather is warm.
Recently, his fur was getting patchy. I tried giving him fish oils and he was just not that interested. Then he started not eating so well. Concerned, I took him to a veterinarian who suggested a topical cream. That didn’t work.
Fortunately, nature’s wisdom shined through… I was washing dishes one night and then put on a dab of organic coconut oil on my hands as a quick moisturizer. Then I sat down and Micha came over and sat on my lap. The next thing I know he is licking my hands vigorously and could not get enough. So, I got a ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil and he ate the entire thing. The next day he started eating well.
Since then I have given him a ½ -1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil on a daily basis. The coconut oil has assisted his digestive system, helped to move out any hairballs, he has gained weight and his skin and fur are looking good. I have checked with a local veterinarian and she agreed that coconut oil would be fine for cats.
Hooray for a happy, healthy cat and for an easy and natural remedy! Shanti Dechen, Director
Learn more about fantastic carrier oils in the Aromatherapy Certification Level 1 and Aromatherapy Level 2: Aromatherapy Product Formulating courses.