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Coconut oil and Psoriasis

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  • Herne Aug 20, 2013 12:48 PM
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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?

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  1. Herne,

    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

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

    2. I always buy from :
      http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/
      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. Got some unrefined coconut and rubbed it into my arms. Very greasy and not being absorbed very quickly

        5 Replies
        1. re: Herne

          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

            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

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

              1. re: Entore

                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

                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. 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

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

                1. re: pinehurst

                  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

                    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

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

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        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

                          What brand/type are you using?

                          1. re: sandylc

                            Artisana raw and organic

                          2. re: Herne

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

                  2. 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

                      Deodorant? Really? Just rub it on?

                      1. re: sandylc

                        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

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

                    2. 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

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

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

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Tripeler

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

                          1. re: sandylc

                            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

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

                          3. 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

                              I'm glad you're pleased, Herne!

                              1. re: pinehurst

                                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

                                  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

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

                                    1. re: Herne

                                      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

                                        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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                          Happy for your good results!

                                    3. re: Herne

                                      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. 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!