by Jillian Schonig
When my daughter was an infant she had pretty bad cradle cap. I tried the drug store remedies, and when those didn't work my doctor suggested I try a dandruff shampoo often used on adults. Not only were they expensive and smelled awful, the dandruff shampoo burned my daughters head and left a bigger rash than the cradle cap had been to start with. My sister suggested coconut oil to me, said one of her friends had used it for dermatitis. I then went to my local health food store, Sunny Farms to inquire about it. I was surprised that a big tub of it was under ten dollars!
Coconut oil is known to help relieve the itchy, flaky skin on infants heads as well as eczema on the scalp of adults is what I was told. Apply a light amount to the scalp and gently rub or use a light bristled brush to exfoliate the skin and rinse and it also acts as a deep conditioner for the hair and skin on the scalp. It is gentle, and effective, and if you don't wash it all off it is not going to irritate the skin. That is the problem I had with other products, you had to make sure to get them all off of her scalp or her cradle cap became worse than before.
My daughter got lice when she was two, and again, I turned to coconut oil as a "hair mask" to smother the nits. Not only did it kill all of the nits and the lice, but it didn't burn her head like chemicals in the store do.
I've heard that coconut oil also has great stress relief properties. You can use it as a massage oil on tired muscles and joints and the slight aroma of coconut is supposed to be very relaxing, while used as a hair mask and massaged in, the warm water of the shower and the relaxing aroma can make you feel like your at your very own spa.
A young woman on an on-line discussion board noted that the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and have made her regular. You can add a small spoonful to your food, cook with it, or in some cases it eat raw, but must be careful because if you add too much you will end up with an adverse effect and have extreme diarrhea, vomiting, or other unpleasant side effects.
If you read on the back of most store bought conditioners, skin care products, and some moisturizers you will find that coconut oil already exist in their ingredient lists. You can save a lot of money by adding coconut oil to foot creams as a deep moisturizer, hair conditioner as a mask, and salts to make a homemade scrub. I've also read it has antioxidant properties much like Vitamin E.
When purchasing coconut oil, it is recommended that you buy "Virgin Coconut Oil" because it has been minimally processed, and is usually not bleached, refined or deodorized. Virgin Coconut Oil has been described as "bursting with life force and energy."
If you look at cultures around the world, they have incorporated it into their lifestyles for years. I urge anyone to give it a try!