Before educating myself I began using refined coconut oil and experienced chest pain, probably from the oil. When I switched to unrefined virgin coconut oil the pain disappeared.
Refined Vs. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
After reading a lot of the different comments here I think it is really important for people to understand the difference between virgin, extra virgin and the general term of coconut oil and why they give such different results.
WHAT IS COPRA OR COCONUT OIL?
My husband is a Banaban islander from Rabi Island, Fiji and was not only raised on coconut and coconut oil as part of daily life but also cut copra to make a living on his small impoverished island. Copra or dried coconut flesh is what is made into basic COCONUT OIL. It is a completely different form of oil compared to Virgin or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil now on the market.
When he cuts copra he first gathers coconuts that have fallen on the ground, cuts the nut in half and removes the white coconut meat. The coconut meat is then usually dried on a rack over a fire (they call them copra smokers) which helps to dry out the coconut meat and it turns a grey colour and has a rancid smell. The biggest and most abundant amount of wild coconuts are found in remote villages scattered across the Pacific and Asia. Sometime it can take up to 3-4 months before the villagers can get their bags of smoked copra to the big copra mills in town. The mills are usually situated 100's of miles away from these villagers. The copra mills resemble a smaller version of a sugar crushing mill and processing of the copra is similar to that found in the sugar mills. The copra is pressed and because the coconut is very smoky or rancid they use chemicals to bleach and clean the oil. This happens in all the basic edible food oils today in the market place. This is also the reason why this style of COCONUT OIL (Copra) processing became known in the old days as poor man's oil or dirty oil.
But for people in the village they only used freshly processed coconut oil and the premium or special oils that their grandmother's made from freshly squeezed coconuts were put aside and bottled for the special ceremonies in the village. Today this special oil is known as Extra or Virgin Coconut Oil and any comparisons to the processing of olive oil should not be used. The term for Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in the Coconut oil industry today means that this form of coconut oil processing is the most unrefined and most natural form and no artificial filtering or expeller pressing (centrifuge spinning -also known as oil polishing) is used. The oil remains in its most natural form and retains a rich smell and sweet taste of coconut.
Today because of the high demand for Virgin Coconut Oil many unscrupulous manufacturers are getting cheap copra oils and running them through centrifuge spinning machines to clean up the oils and also state they are ORGANIC. While the centrifuges remove the smell and all flavour from the oils the Copra COCONUT OIL is a much thicker oil that will NOT quickly absorb into the skin and does contain TRANS FAT. Accept for a higher level of lauric acid it is very similar to all other trans fat food oils on the market due to the processing. If you put this type of oil on your skin it is just that OIL and will clog the pores of your skin.
WHAT IS EXTRA VIRGIN OR VIRGIN COCONUT OIL
Good quality Extra Virgin or Virgin Coconut Oil should taste and smell like coconut. It should be a very fine oil and will quickly melt in the palm of your hand with body heat. If it does not solidify or melt quickly you know it is a much thicker and inferior oil. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil should be in a natural form and gravity or natural filtering of the oil is used. This type of Virgin Coconut Oil will still retain a level of fine coconut particles and usually a very high level of lauric acid. This type or premium VCO should not contain any microbe activity or foreign matter. If wild forest coconuts are used and are very mature trees they retain a very high lauric acid level and the oil can retain a slight golden colour.
While some of the Virgin Coconut Oils currently on the market are crystal clear in appearance they usually are made from the soft immature coconut flesh before the nut hardens. This type of coconut processing usually makes it easy to remove the coconut flesh and extract the oil with fermentation or boiling off the liquid. Because the coconut is not as mature it usually has lower lauric acid levels and the smell and flavour of the oil is not as strong.
It must be remembered that all coconuts when opened will quickly ferment and unless the moisture is removed properly during processing the oil will sour. Good quality Virgin Coconut Oils should have a shelf life of at lease 2 years without any deteriorate of the oil at all. When cooking with Virgin Coconut Oil the oil will fry at very high temperatures. Good quality Virgin Coconut Oil can be mixed in both hot and cold drinks.
To reap the great benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil make sure you know the difference between VIRGIN COCONUT OIL and Copra (basic COCONUT OIL) found in today's market place and why they should not be confused.
Refined Vs. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Most commercial grade coconut oils are made from copra. Copra is basically the dried kernel (meat) of the coconut. It can be made by: smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying , or derivatives or a combination of these three. If standard copra is used as a starting material, the unrefined coconut oil extracted from copra is not suitable for consumption and must be purified, that is refined. This is because the way most copra is dried is not sanitary. The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities. Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life. This is the most common way to mass-produce coconut oil. The older way of producing refined coconut oil was through physical/mechanical refining (see Tropical Traditions Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil.). More modern methods also use chemical solvents to extract all the oil from the copra for higher yields.
RBD oil is also sometimes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. This happens mostly in tropical climates, since the natural melting point of coconut oil is about 76 degrees F, and already naturally a solid in most colder climates. Since coconut oil is mostly saturated, there is little unsaturated oil left to hydrogenate. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years. There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:
1. Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. Using this method, the coconut meat is quick dried, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means. (see our Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil)
2. Wet-milling. With this method the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. "Coconut milk" is expressed first by pressing. The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge. (see our Traditional Virgin Coconut Oil)
If you would like so see how they process the extra virgin oil, then go to youtube and you'll find it under.
The Cocovida virgin coconut oil production process...Take 11
Noticed a rash that looked like ringworm, found this site and decided to go with the coconut oil, can anyone tell me how long it takes to go away if I'm applying twice daily?
Hello everyone at EC. This website has taught me so much regarding my health. For the past week I've after reading so much good abt EVCO started taking it, however I came across this article which has me worried: http://www.healthcastle.com/coconut-saturated-heart.shtml
I need some help here. Any insight will be appreciated. Take care all.
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)
(North York, Ontario, Canada)
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)
Saturated Fat in Coconut Oil
Ive just started trying the Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and have read quite a bit here on your website and have read almost every single letter/email or comment. But Ive also read on another site that the oil is pretty high in saturated fat which is normally very bad for you and can cause heart disease and high cholesterol so how is it that so many people have claimed that it does the exact opposite? Is there a difference between the fat is from a fruit versus from an animal? Thanks and Im looking forward on seeing in the next few days how it will affect me.
(Englewood, Florida, Usa)
When I found out the long list of benefits for coconut oil, i bought some. Primarily for my 5 yr olds seizures, but figured we'd use here n there. My acne is clearing up- by moisturizing with it. My hair looks better-hot coconut oil treatment. And best yet, my 5 yr old has had noticibly fewer/calmer seizures this week! I'm just a geek on the net, not trying to sell anything, but wow. read up on it's versatility.
(Forest Park, Ohio, Usa)
Hi. I just read a whole lot about 'oil pulling' here on your site, what a strange idea... But with lots of valid uses! So, while considering giving this a try, I remembered that I still have a whole gallon of virgin coconut oil that my Dad bought, after much research on it's benefits, he never used it at all. You know, he was "old school". I believe he likely opened it, saw it as a gallon of really pricey fat, not quite remembering all the good claims it had made to it's use... Felt rather ashamed he'd probably been ripped off... Through no one's fault but his own, and closed it back up thinking... "~no way! ~"
The thing is... This was a few years ago. He has since passed, & adding that my daughter is highly allergic to coconut, I just felt it was better left alone, for the time being. (to rot?) OK, my daughter has now moved out. This gallon of fine virgin fat has been with me this whole time. I have been storing this gallon of (quite expensive) coconut oil, .. And yes, still I have it, sitting on the floor of my pantry.
OK, so I just now finally opened it up... yes, in the middle of writing this... But thought if it were rancid, I could save the trouble of asking/posting, here... But to my surprise, it was just as fine as could be. The surface hadn't even been touched! (I'm SO thankful that little furry green coconut babies didn't come oozing out..!! & I'll bet I've just stirred my dear old Dad's soul when I too, noticed that it looks just like a tub o' lard! ) Sorry, I don't mean to delay my point, or question, rather. I'm just in one of those writing modes, I guess...
So my question is: No harm in trying it out... Is there? Even being "aged", as it is? It doesn't smell like anything at all, but when I dipped some out into a smaller container & rubbed it into my hands and arms it got a light coconutty sweet smell to it, but not strong at all... Quite pleasing, really. Not at all rancid, sour or otherwise spoiled. I almost feel silly even asking, now that I've tested it out topically... & I suppose, if nothing else, I could make some kind of skin preparation from it! But since I've gone and typed all this out .... Maybe it will save someone else from having to ask. Or... Otherwise let the world know that it is probably ok to use even "aged" for... Ok, 2007, is when he floated on outta here, so... I'd give a likely guess at probably 6 or 7 years old, now. That's quite a long shelf life! Only due to its appearance, am I almost already comfortable with its future use, but, really, I know nothing about any kind of longivity for its health benefits to remain... I still value the opinion of an expert or knowledge of experience... Whichever...
So, please, do let me know if you see any adverse reasons for using this product!!! While I can't yet see myself spreading it on my toast, I don't forsee any harm if I were to swish it and spit it! I must say, it feels good to have that feeling of, "I just KNEW I'd find a use for ~that~.. someday! " I Thank you so much in advance for your consideration, and subsequent opinion/advice.
I'm am writing to let you know I am using coconut oil for the last week, external use on my chest area and face and it has worked wonders on my sinus and chest infections. I suffer a lot with chest infections and I have noticed this is getting rid of the infection from chest and head area. I just started to use it for skin condition and noticed it was getting rid of infection. So now I am going to start taking it internally to reap the benefits.
I'was totally fed up with the above symptoms. I spent 4 months of last year fighting my health problems... did some research into evco.. and thought why not.... well let me say i cannot believe the difference this oil has made to my overall health... look truly i recommend anyone to give it a go..... you have nothing to lose and so much to gain....!
Hi, I read the book by Mary Newport on Alzheimers and she talked about coconut oil and I then started reading web sites to find out more.
I was hit by a car in the abdomen at 3 and flew 15 feet and hit a firehydrant with my head, so I have trauma to the brain, ADHD , Dyslexia and memory problems and learning challenges... so I followed some things I read and started on a tsp a day in my oatmeal and put a little on my skin and it soaked right in. My skin is EXTREMELY SENSITIVE , but NO Problems with the coconut oil. I am up to 3- 7 tsp. a day and coat my face neck hands and feet daily. dry heels are GONE.
I got a little acne at first and I've always had some but I haven't had any in a while , just kept putting the oil on the outbreaks. Hope it helps.
I have been using organic virgin coconut oil for quite a while now and must say... wowwww... I aIso use it for cooking, and applying it on my lips and face and have noticed the great changes.. I eat from the jar around 3-4 teaspoons a day and love it not to mention the great favor it adds to tea. I can only say anyone that is having problems with it especially in their bowel movements must be using a cheap imitation brand. I have tried both the jar brand and also by the bulk at bulk barn in canada. It's also a little cheaper at around $8.75 per kilo or 2.5 pounds.. I will be using it for ever now and everyone I talk to loves it in cooking with their foods and also in their salads by melting it down in a pan.
(Wanganui, New Zealand)
I am new at this so hopeful this makes sense. I really need some information on using VCO. I have a skin condition that is like psoriasis, but worse. Having tried so many prescription medication that did not work (now I don't take any prescription medication for the condition), I wanted to try a natural remedy. I have been using VCO for about a week all over my body. At first my skin seems to get smoother. Now it is tightening and then swelling. If you can imagine having a bump with a head on it that is being squeezed, well that is how my face and neck feels. The VCO seems to be drying my skin. I have been applying the VCO literarily day and night.
1. Can you use too much VCO on the skin?
2. Have anyone's condition gotten worse before seeing results with VCO?
3. Should I take the VCO internally?
4. What are the side effects, if any, of using VCO externally?
5. How long should I be using the VCO before I see postive results?
(Central, Vt, Usa)
(New York, Ny)
Grandmother Guffys Method for forever soft, clean, ageless skin.
My grandmother Guffys skin was as soft and smooth as a babys butt till the day she died at 94. One day, when I was a younger woman constantly on the go, she noticed how dry and ashy my skin was and elected to tell me about her method of bathing. It was the only thing she said she did to keep her body clean and soft. First, she never took long baths (and NO, she did not smell). She said bathing dried out skin. Second, she never used hot water on her skin. Third, she never needed lotions. I listened; yet, despite the evidence before me, I did not take her advise. Hot showers were invigorating, I exclaimed. Who ever heard of not bathing, I secretly thought. Why do not the young listen! For years now I have suffered with extremely dry and itchy skin. FINALLY! I recalled my grandmother Guffys bathing method for clean, itch-less, soft, ageless skin. Here it is:
1) Massage 2-3 tablespoons of (antibacterial, anti-fungal) coconut oil over your entire dry, naked body, but not your face. Be sure to include your private areas and feet - get utterly greasy with it! Let it soak 5 minutes.
2) Take a clean, white, DRY bath cloth, folded in fours and scrub your entire body. When one side of the cloth gets cruddy, refold to a clean side of the same cloth. Don't forget private areas.
3) Shower/rinse in very lukewarm to cold water and ONLY wash your private areas with diluted baking soda and water or an organic non-soap or as I sometimes do, diluted ACV.
3) Get out of the shower and barely pat dry.
Believe! This works! People who touch my skin always exclaim at how soft it is AND my husband who has scratched my back many a time has taken to gently rubbing my arms a lot. Just try it! It is not real expensive or hard to do and results are quick. If you are allergic to coconut oil, switch to a light olive oil or sesame oil. Soon you will do as I did - throw away all your bathing soaps and bottles.
(Orange City, Florida, Usa)
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)
(Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada)
(Los Angeles, Usa)
I have been looking for a remedy for smooth skin. Tried olive oil but found it too greasy and had breakouts on my face. I want to try coconut oil on the skin. would be glad if anyone has used it could share their experience with me. Thanks.