Antimicrobial Properties Of Coconut Oil

by Fiamma Barbieri

Coconuts are native to Southeast Asia and have arrived in various parts of the world, becoming very precious. However, few people use it for natural hygiene, where it can be of great support.

Lauric acid is the primary fatty acid (50%) of coconut fat. This fatty acid is well known for its antimicrobial properties, in addition to being a precursor of monolaurin, a substance that stimulates the immune system and is also found in breast milk.

A precursor is a substance that triggers the production of another substance when ingested. For example, monolaurin is produced in the intestine from the consumption of lauric acid. Likewise, the capric acid contained in coconuts works in a similar way to lauric acid and is a precursor of monocaprin.

Coconut oil has various antimicrobial properties that can serve us:

  • Antibacterial: research has found that exposure to lauric acid inhibits the growth of Clostridium difficile bacteria. It is important to clarify that the antibacterial properties of coconut oil act only in lipid membrane bacteria, which cause diseases such as ulcers, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, among others.

  • Fungicidal: it has been observed that it can help to regulate different types of Candida fungus.

  • Antiviral: lauric acid is used against viruses such as HIV.

Some of the uses of organic and virgin coconut oil for hygiene are:

  • Head lice prevention: apply a small amount of coconut oil in your roots, and rub it from the scalp to hair ends. Leave for a while and then rinse.

  • Natural coconut oil toothpaste: homemade toothpaste that contains coconut oil and other ingredients such as essential oils and baking soda.

  • Oil pulling: Ayurvedic technique that consists of swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria and promote oral hygiene.

  • Makeup remover: replaces commercial makeup removers and cleanses face impurities.

  • Shaving cream: coconut oil helps to maintain a clean and hydrated environment.

  • Lubricant for antifungal purposes: when a woman feels some imbalance in her vaginal flora, she can use coconut oil to prevent a fungal infection.

To get the most of the benefits mentioned above, it is essential to make sure that the coconut oil is organic and virgin, like the one produced by Franklin Baker

References:

Shilling, M., Matt, L., Rubin, E., Visit, M. P., Haller, N. A., Gray, S. F., & Woolverton, C. J. (2013). Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. Journal of medicinal food, 16 (12), 1079-1085.

Ogbolu, D.O., Oni, A.A., Daini, O.A., & Oloko, A.P. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of medicinal food, 10 (2), 384-387.

Vala, G., & Kapadiya, P. (2014). Medicinal Benefits of Coconut Oil. International Journal of Life Sciences Research, 2 (4), 124-126.

Shilling, M., Matt, L., Rubin, E., Visit, M. P., Haller, N. A., Gray, S. F., & Woolverton, C. J. (2013). Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. Journal of medicinal food, 16 (12), 1079-1085.

Vala, G., & Kapadiya, P. (2014). Medicinal Benefits of Coconut Oil. International Journal of Life Sciences Research, 2 (4), 124-126.