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Coconut oil and Psoriasis

Herne Aug 20, 2013 12:48 PM

I am being encouraged to try using Coconut oil bother externally and internally to reduce the cosmetic effects of Psoriasis. Can anyone provide info on the difference between internal and external use --beyond rubbing on the skin and drinking some. What is the difference between refined and unrefined oil?

  1. b
    bluefirefly Aug 20, 2013 12:55 PM


    The main difference between refined and unrefined is that refined is processed, i.e. most refined coconut oil is bleached and deodorized to remove impurities but that also removes the scent and flavour in the process. (If you've ever opened a jar of unrefined, you'll notice a really nice sweet coconut smell. The refined stuff doesn't have much of a scent at all.) When people talk about coconut oil being bad for you, they are referring to the oil being hydrogenated, but that isn't the case for unrefined.

    Unrefined (raw, organic, virgin) coconut oil is actually one of the healthiest oils out there to use on the body and to eat. In terms of cooking, it has one of the highest smoking points (refined will have a longer shelf life but I would suggest buying smaller amounts of unrefined if you're worried about it going bad.)

    Just an FYI that coconut oil fluctuates between solid and liquid due to temperature (it melts very quickly) but that's ok and it does not require refrigeration.

    Like most foods, unrefined, the way nature made it, is best if you'd like to keep things natural and get the most benefits for your skin. Personally, I'd use the best (raw, unrefined, organic, virgin - all if available) both internally and externally - your skin is the largest organ of your body, and whatever you put on it gets absorbed internally.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bluefirefly
      Herne Aug 20, 2013 06:42 PM

      Thanks bluefirefly. I think I'll look for unrefined oil in a Loblaws store in Leaside that has a large natural food section.

    2. Ttrockwood Aug 20, 2013 07:25 PM

      I always buy from :
      They have great sales and a very high quality product.
      I use coconut oil for cooking and baking frequently-
      On toast instead of butter
      On roasting or sauteed veggies
      In baking recipes instead of veg oil
      As a swap anywhere you would have used butter
      My favorite is mixing the liquid coconut oil with cocoa powder, then pour on ice cream- it's like an all natural magic shell! It firms up and has a great flavor.
      I also have had a Tb mixed into hot coffee or hot chocolate-really luxurious.

      1. h
        Herne Aug 21, 2013 10:53 AM

        Got some unrefined coconut and rubbed it into my arms. Very greasy and not being absorbed very quickly

        5 Replies
        1. re: Herne
          sandylc Aug 21, 2013 07:50 PM

          Really? I find it to disappear pretty quickly. It is very light compared to lotions. I use it on my face, body, and even in my curly hair to tame frizz. Great stuff!

          1. re: sandylc
            Herne Aug 21, 2013 09:01 PM

            Really. Perhaps I used too much. I'l follow the earlier suggestion by EWSflash and use less and apply it to a damp arm(s)

            1. re: sandylc
              Entore Aug 24, 2013 05:57 AM

              Any idea how coconut oil compares to sweet almond or argan oil for application on skin as moisturizer? Thanks.

              1. re: Entore
                sandylc Aug 24, 2013 11:01 AM

                None at all! I do sometimes use plain, raw shea butter when I need something extra.

                I think any natural raw oil from a good source might be a great moisturizer.

              2. re: sandylc
                debbiel Sep 2, 2013 06:18 PM

                I did this for a couple of years. And then over about two months, I started noticing a white filmy residue on my clothing. That wouldn't come off without a LOT of scrubbing, washing, scrubbing, rewashing. So I put the coconut oil back in the pantry for cooking only.

            2. OCEllen Aug 21, 2013 12:58 PM

              I mix the unrefined with a little honey and have a couple teaspoons of it every day as 'dessert' after lunch. It's good for the brain, too!

              8 Replies
              1. re: OCEllen
                pinehurst Aug 21, 2013 01:07 PM

                An octogenarian friend of mine (a very active hockey grandma) swears by it, same as you do OCEllen!

                1. re: pinehurst
                  Herne Aug 21, 2013 01:37 PM

                  What does the octogenarian identify as its benefits?

                  I have to admit that after about 4 hours it might look a little better.

                  1. re: Herne
                    pinehurst Aug 21, 2013 01:39 PM

                    Hi Herne,

                    She (like OCEllen) believes that it keeps her mind sharp.

                    ETA: She stirs a couple of teaspoonsful into her morning coffee.

                    1. re: Herne
                      EWSflash Aug 21, 2013 05:49 PM

                      Try putting a little less of it on damp skin and rub in well.

                      1. re: EWSflash
                        Herne Aug 22, 2013 08:44 AM

                        Ok less applied and rubbed in well. Much better result. Still a little greasy and comes off on the leather in my car but much better today. I'll cut back again tomorrow. My original introduction was to use coconut oil and brown and white sugar. Anyone know what the sugars are supposed to do?

                        1. re: Herne
                          sandylc Aug 22, 2013 09:00 AM

                          What brand/type are you using?

                          1. re: sandylc
                            Herne Aug 23, 2013 05:53 AM

                            Artisana raw and organic

                          2. re: Herne
                            pinehurst Aug 23, 2013 08:21 AM

                            If used externally, I would bet the sugars are exfoliants.

                  2. j
                    Janet from Richmond Aug 23, 2013 08:02 AM

                    I buy unrefined, organic off of Amazon.
                    I use it as my only face cream, as a face cleanser, body moisturizer and deodorant. I am obsessed with the stuff.

                    It also makes a kick-butt grilled cheese sandwich.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Janet from Richmond
                      sandylc Aug 23, 2013 09:54 AM

                      Deodorant? Really? Just rub it on?

                      1. re: sandylc
                        Janet from Richmond Aug 23, 2013 10:00 AM

                        Yep...I can't use chemical antiperspirants because they make me break out. For years I used Tom's brand deodorant and when I started using coconut oil on my face, I read where it is a good deodorant & it is!

                        I slather it all over my body and face when I get out of the shower and then dry off. It also keeps my towel from getting musty. I have become a coconut oil freak...lol

                        1. re: Janet from Richmond
                          sandylc Aug 23, 2013 10:10 AM

                          Yeah, we don't do the antiperspirant, either. We do the Thai deodorant stone. Interesting to hear that about coconut.

                    2. a
                      amazinc Aug 23, 2013 11:53 AM

                      sandy.......what's a Thai deodorant stone? Is it the salt crystal I got from the health food store many years ago or
                      a different product. Thanks.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: amazinc
                        sandylc Aug 23, 2013 04:27 PM

                        Yeah, that's it. Works really well if you use enough.

                      2. Tripeler Aug 23, 2013 06:28 PM

                        It's not just the psoriasis, but rather the accompanying heartbreak.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Tripeler
                          sandylc Aug 23, 2013 07:08 PM

                          UGGHHH....I was hoping no one would type that one.....!

                          1. re: sandylc
                            Tripeler Aug 27, 2013 09:50 PM

                            I managed to restrain myself only for the first three days, then I just couldn't help myself. I hope they aren't still running that commercial these days.

                          2. re: Tripeler
                            coney with everything Aug 26, 2013 05:46 AM

                            Prolly have to be of "a certain age" to appreciate that :)

                          3. h
                            Herne Aug 27, 2013 04:13 AM

                            I've been using coconut oil on my forearms for about a week and I have to say there is a cosmetic improvement. Rather than a series of red spots, the forearms are now virtually a spot free area that is slightly redder than should be expected. So there is a cosmetic effect at least for me. The oil remains greasy and slow to be absorbed despite a reduction in the amount and I have managed to get it on the car window and even the side of the car.
                            In general I am much more presentable and at virtually no cost.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: Herne
                              pinehurst Aug 27, 2013 04:14 AM

                              I'm glad you're pleased, Herne!

                              1. re: pinehurst
                                1sweetpea Aug 27, 2013 05:00 AM

                                My husband bounces around, using various oils topically, from coconut oil to neem, to argan and jojoba, for his psoriasis. All of the oils keep his skin more lubricated, but none actually chases away the psoriasis. He leaves oily elbow and finger marks around the house. I'll support virtually any natural remedy, but the only one of the oils that seemed to have an impact was the neem, but even it was only temporary. The neem's odour and capacity to stain was a deterrent, too. Natural oils can't hurt. They might improve the skin's appearance, by virtue of sheer lubrication, but I don't buy that any of them can actually eliminate the lesions from psoriasis.

                                1. re: 1sweetpea
                                  sandylc Aug 27, 2013 10:17 AM

                                  I'll risk my remark being removed by saying something very important here: Any skin condition is very likely to have digestive issues as the root cause.

                                  1. re: sandylc
                                    Herne Aug 27, 2013 12:40 PM

                                    I suspect that our genes play a large role in skin diseases.

                                    1. re: Herne
                                      sandylc Aug 27, 2013 12:54 PM

                                      True - we all have inherited weaknesses/strengths. The reason I say digestion is a possible key is that we don't get rid of toxins very well when our digestion is compromised, and our skin is one of the big three toxin processing/eliminating units in our body...and after all, we can inherit digestive weaknesses, too...?

                                      1. re: Herne
                                        mcf Aug 27, 2013 12:55 PM

                                        Yes, and in the case of psoriasis, the source is apparently pituitary over activation. Pituitary disorders appear in many family members, often with different manifestations.

                                    2. re: 1sweetpea
                                      Herne Aug 27, 2013 12:40 PM

                                      Well I have to admit I have a much more respectable presentation this week than I have had for the past 10 months or so. I had relied on sunlight to have a major positive effect in the past 10 summers of so but that did not happen to the same extent this summer. But I don't suggest that psoriasis is caused by a coconut oil deficiency and I expect the effect to be short term although I intend to carry on with the stuff this fall and winter. Nothing has been as helpful cosmetically as coconut oil

                                      1. re: Herne
                                        1sweetpea Aug 27, 2013 12:52 PM

                                        Sunlight helps my husband a bit too, but only a bit. I'm quite sure the digestion element mentioned above by Sandylc is a major component for him, but that's up to him to address. The oils most certainly don't make his psoriasis any worse. My only point was to say that they're only helpful to a point.

                                        On a slightly different bent, using a black cleanser made from Moroccan olives and their pits, along with an exfoliation mitt, was also effective, when followed up with applications of high grade argan oil. Best of luck to you, Herne. My husband suffers greatly with his psoriasis.

                                        1. re: 1sweetpea
                                          Herne Aug 28, 2013 01:03 PM

                                          Thanks for the best wishes 1sweetpea. My psoriasis is the not the cause of great suffering. Once or twice a month in the morning it itches at the top of my arms for perhaps 2 minutes but that is it. Never any pain so far. I washed my car this afternoon to get the coconut oil and the dirt off that had collected on it and all went well.

                                        2. re: Herne
                                          sandylc Aug 27, 2013 12:54 PM

                                          Happy for your good results!

                                    3. re: Herne
                                      thursday Aug 27, 2013 11:04 PM

                                      I used to make organic beauty products, many featuring coconut oil, and it's a silly tip but I'll give it all the same: If the oil isn't absorbing well, just before you leave the house, give yourself a very quick rubdown with a paper towel just to sop up the excess: prevents the stains on the car seats, etc. When you have the time, let it sit on damp skin as long as you can to make sure it gets absorbed as much as possible, but when you have places to go...

                                    4. Will Owen Sep 3, 2013 03:01 PM

                                      I know nothing of coconut oil's effects applied directly to skin, and have never bought any of it, but our house soap for the last 25+ years has been Kirk's Coco Castile, made from coconut oil exclusively. No color, no scent added; lathers generously in this rock-hard water we have in SoCal, and yet it rinsed right off in Nashville's super-soft river water. Good stuff. My grandparents used nothing else; I started using it out of nostalgia, and quickly was reminded that my bathwater at their house curiously had no soap scum.

                                      I will look for the oil, though - my skin is just fine, but I love trying different cooking oils!

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