Since then, we have been extremely successful in battling mom's arthritis. The bone distortion can't be reversed (that I'm currently aware of, but I won't stop looking for information), but the pain is virtually gone! After 3-4 weeks of eating unrefined, organic virgin coconut oil on a daily basis (3-5 tablespoons a day), her pain diminished to only occasional low levels if she over uses her hands. The arthritis pain developing in her elbows, knees and ankles hasn't flared up since she started, and her hands rarely feel discomfort, even in winter when the cold made it nearly unbearable for her. This has sustained for nearly two years now!
She was able to stop the very expensive glucosomine/chondroiton/uber supplements she had been trying, and now she thoroughly enjoys her virgin coconut, eating it and using it to clean her face nightly, as a skin moisturizer, lip salve, cooking. One of her favorite ways to ingest it is a tablespoon in her morning coffee, with 1/4 cup of fresh coconut milk she makes from organic, natural shredded coconut. The woman is coco for coconuts! And so am I!
It didn't take long to find the very best coconut oil, in terms of quality and health benefits, that I could. Offered by what has become one of my favorite "go to" shopping websites, Tropical Tradition's Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is by far the best quality, best tasting and most beneficial (in terms of natural, sustainable and nutritional, across the board) available. After learning how it's harvested, treated and the benefits to the people who harvest, as well as their families and community, I was convinced that this is a truly exceptional product.
However, there are several good coconut oil products out there. BUT, just be sure to do a little research. Be sure it's non-GMO, organic, and unrefined. It must be virgin, too, in order to get the full nutritional and health benefits.
The old false beliefs that coconut oil is bad for our cholesterol, etc., stems from when the only coconut oil available was altered into a trans fat. But there is an incredible amount of supporting documentation and case studies that prove how extremely beneficial virgin coconut oil is today, and it truly is a "miracle food" in mine, and many other people's, opinions. Just ask my mother! I would be sold on it just from her pain relief alone, but with all the other research I'm reading, it goes so much further than that. (They are even finding it is helping slow down, and in some cases actually reverse, Alzheimer's!)
So, I am a true believer in natural, virgin coconut oil. A coconut-ophile, if you will. The more I learn, the more I use it. I currently use it in so many ways:
- a hair conditioner
- skin moisturizer and lip balm
- face cleanser and moisturizer/night cream
- toothpaste base (with a little aluminum-free baking soda and xylitol, with drop of peppermint essential oil)
- tooth whitener (oil pulling)
- deodorant (plain or with a drop or two of grapefruit essential oil)
- I ingest 4-5 tablespoons a day through cooking and adding it to foods (hot and cold)
- feed it to my dog (who suffered from arthritis in her hips, back leg joints and in her lower back, and now she acts like she did when she was a puppy, and lost 12 lbs she'd gained from not wanting to move when she hurt so much)
- make my own "Vicks" cold rub (add drops of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils--works GREAT!)
- use it to season my cast iron pans
- polish my wood furniture...
- and I buy coconut oil-based soap!
I know I'm forgetting some uses, but that's all on a regular basis. And I can't imagine not having coconut oil in my daily life now!
I also buy natural, dried organic shredded coconut to make fresh coconut milk (a very easy process if you have a stick blender and a French press style coffee maker!).
One last point... virgin coconut oil definitely has a coconut flavor. To me it's fairly mild, but it is there (and I love the flavor and scent). However, there are times that even I don't want to taste coconut in my food (such as scrambled eggs or deep frying), so I keep Tropical Tradition's expeller pressed organic coconut oil on hand for those times, since it is deodorized (naturally). It reduces some of the nutritional benefits, but not enough to worry about. The bulk of the benefits are still present. (Caution: not all expeller pressed coconut oils are beneficial. I like the careful and old fashioned method Tropical Traditions uses on their expeller pressed coconut. I've found many that use chemicals or methods that make the oil virtually useless for nutrition and health benefits. So be sure to check what your brand's methods are for pressing the oil, and its quality, before purchasing. Especially if you are interested in the health benefits of coconut oil.)
So, there you have it. Now you know why I'm absolutely coco for coconuts, too! I hope you'll start utilizing this incredible nutritional resource, because the benefits are nearly endless, and so many skin ailments and other physical conditions can improve from this miracle of nature!