In recent years, the coconut is becoming more than just a staple reserved for recipes in the kitchen. In particular, the oil that can be extracted from its interior has gained popularity due to being a beneficial commodity. But in the era where essential oils, such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil, are becoming more recognized for their aromatherapeutic and antibiotic properties, it is important to ask the question: is Coconut Oil an essential oil?
Is Coconut Oil an Essential Oil?
It is important to make this distinction and know that coconut oil is not an essential oil. It is considered a carrier oil as well as an edible oil used for cooking and baking.
However, as a carrier oil, coconut oil maintains special properties that allow it to be able to dilute essential oils. This makes coconut oil great for helping those essential oils be transferred to the skin, hair, or any other areas where essential oils can be applied.
Types Of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil does not evaporate and can actually change from a liquid to a solid depending on whatever temperature that you choose to place the substance in. This makes coconut very versatile based on your needs and desired usage.
Not only this, but there are two types of coconut oil: refined and unrefined.
- Refined coconut oil is made through the chemical bleaching and deodorization of the dried coconut meat.
- Unrefined coconut oil, also known as virgin or fractionated coconut oil, is when the oil is extracted freshly from the ripened coconut and does not include any chemical component for processing.
What Kind Of Coconut Oil Should I Use For Essential Oils?
As a carrier oil, coconut oil can be used in conjunction with essential oils. If you choose to use coconut oil with the application of your chosen essential oil, it would be in your best interest to reach for the unrefined or virgin coconut oil rather than the refined version.
This is because, in its virgin form, the oil has not gone through any chemical processing which will limit the probability of any unfavorable side effects occurring on your skin or body making it safer to apply to the skin.
Is Coconut Oil Healthy Or Not?
Whether it be a liquid or a solid, a common question is how healthy is coconut oil for you? The data on this matter is inconclusive at this point, but here are the details for you to review: In either form, coconut oil has a high concentration of saturated fat (80% to 90%) compared to other edible oils that you may consume, such as vegetable oil or almond oil.
High levels of saturated fat are also linked to increases in cholesterol and high cholesterol has also been linked to cardiovascular issues.
Additionally, many of the coconut oil products present in grocery stores contain the main fatty acid: lauric acid as opposed to the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that have been associated with increased metabolism and weight loss benefits.
The fact that common coconut oil contains the long-chain fatty acid, lauric acid, the high metabolic rate effects are not comparable to coconut oil made only with MCTs. In light of these revelations, it is imperative that your coconut oil intake should not be consumed in excess and limited to moderate quantities based on a balanced diet of unsaturated and saturated fats.
Coconut Oil Health Benefits
With that being said incorporating unsaturated fats such as coconut oil does have additional health benefits. For instance, if you are able to find coconut oil with a higher concentration of MCTs, and then it would be beneficial to grab those products off the grocery store shelves because coconut oil with a greater concentration of those fatty acids has shown to aid in weight reduction, heart health, as well as improved in energy output. Additionally, coconut oil aids in the prevention of ailments such as liver disease and asthma symptoms.
In terms of cosmetic uses, coconut oil stimulates hair growth and is a natural strengthening treatment. Coconut oil can also be used as a moisturizer providing relief for those suffering from dry skin conditions such as eczema.
The oil has antifungal and antimicrobial properties aiding in the elimination of harmful bacteria and pathogens and also contains some properties that aid in the healing process.
Coconut oil can also be used in conjunction with essential oils for aromatherapy as well as a topical agent used in massage therapy able to be penetrated into the skin preventing the formation of stretch marks and cellulite.
Ways To Consume Coconut Oil
Not only can coconut oil be applied topically to the skin, hair, and nails, it can be incorporated into your cooking routine as well.
Coconut oil can be utilized as an oil base, similar to vegetable oil, in recipes that call for sauteing or frying. The oil also can be used as a substitute for butter in baking dishes such as cookies, cakes, and other pastries.
If you’re really looking to increase your coconut oil consumption without committing all that time to cooking or baking, you can add a teaspoon or tablespoon of coconut oil to your daily drinks such as your coffee, tea, or smoothie too!
Coconut Oil As Carrier Oil
As a carrier oil, coconut oil is easily blendable with other oils and will not diminish the properties of the other oils that it is mixed with.
The fact that it actually accentuates the properties of other oils makes it an effective and efficient facilitator of topical treatments.
What Essential Oils Smell Good With Coconut Oil?
The benefit of coconut oil is that it is malleable and has the potential to be combined with multiple other substances for a variety of consumption methods.
It isn’t a problem for it to be mixed with other oils and so it depends on your personal preference as to what essential oils you choose to blend with the coconut oil.
If you have a sensitivity to the coconut scent, it would be beneficial to choose an essential oil that contrasts with the natural coconut scent that the coconut oil emits.
For instance, tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil are two oils that have a very strong, earthy scent that would overpower the coconut scent if you so choose.
Contrarily, floral essential oils such as rose or jasmine tend to have a light fragrance and would mix well with the coconut scent without overpowering either aroma.
Is Coconut Essential Oil Safe For Dogs
Due to the fact that our furry companions tend to have heightened and sensitive senses of smell, it would be in your best interest to use your discretion and monitor the reactivity levels of your pets when they are introduced to essential oils mixed with the coconut oil.
Be cautious when they are exposed to them because the oils could potentially have harmful effects on their physical well being. It could be helpful to consult with your veterinarian before presenting any essential oil within their general proximity.
How To Make Coconut Essential Oil?
Although coconut oil can be easily mixed with other essential oils, the process of making coconut oil into an essential oil is pretty involved with heavy chemical usage and advanced techniques of CO2 extraction.
So it is advised to abstain from attempting to convert coconut oil into an essential oil on your own. However, there are some companies that do sell coconut essential oil and are available for you to purchase the premium grade extracted oil.
Although it has been around for some time, it is evident through the variety of uses that coconut oil offers that this product should be a newfound staple in the pantry.
Its health benefits range from weight regulation to increased moisturized skin, making it not only an essential product reserved for the kitchen pantry but also one to be incorporated in your skincare routine as well.
Its versatility is phenomenal and it will prove to create a significant impact in your daily life if you choose to grab it during your next outing to the grocery store!