Three Ways to Feed Your Thyroid Coconut Oil
by Laurie Roth-Donnell, Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner
In a prior article, entitled Foods to Naturally Support Thyroid Health, I reported the incident of mild hypothyroidism in the United States was estimated at thirty percent in women. “Mature” women commonly confuse the symptoms of thyroid malfunction with those of menopause. Common symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, irregular periods, problems catching one’s breath and depression. Many go years without a proper diagnosis or treatment plan. One major line of defense is a proper diet and the importance of thyroid “friendly” foods, which include beans, herb teas, and friendly oils such as coconut, olive, flaxseed, and safflower.
The newest superstar of oils, organic virgin coconut oil, is a highly saturated fat, not from an animal source! It is rich in lauric acid, which stimulates thyroid function, while increasing metabolism to trigger natural weight loss. The oil’s increased popularity is evident by its presence on most grocery store shelves or online. Make sure you purchase the USDA certified organic, extra virgin unrefined oil, which contains 6.2g of lauric acid, 1g caprylic acid and 800mg of capric acid.
Organic virgin coconut oil is derived from the meat of matured coconuts, and is mild in flavor and an extremely stable oil, making it most suitable for cooking and appropriate in medium to high heat to 350 degrees. One tablespoon has 130 calories and 12g of saturated fat, with zero trans fats, no cholesterol and is gluten, sodium, and sugar free. It should be stored in a cool dry place, no refrigeration is necessary. The coconut oil remains in a solid state but will quickly transform to liquid at temperatures around 75 degrees. All health and nutrition properties remain the same in either the solid or the liquid state. Below are three easy ways to add it to your life.
Cooking with coconut oil is easy; simply substitute it for margarine, butter, shortening or any other cooking oil you have been using for baking and frying. It is also delicious as a spread or used in salad dressing. Add a tablespoon to your morning smoothie or any blended natural “green” drink.
FOR THE SKIN
Topically, coconut oil not only has a fantastic aroma, it is rich in lauric acid and used in a wide variety of skin and hair care products, including body and facial cleansers, soap and sunscreens. Some scientific research backs up the use of coconut oil and lauric acid in these products, and a number of studies have shown that coconut oil can help moisturize skin and treat skin infections. You can safely use coconut oil for cleansing, moisturizing, and keeping hair healthy with no worries that it will get into your body and raise your cholesterol levels. Be cautious when using as a facial moisturizer, as coconut oil can block the pores of susceptible people.
Below are a few simple ideas featuring coconut oil as a topical. It is fantastic for your skin and hair due to its deep penetrating, antibacterial and antimicrobial characteristics! When incorporated with simple essential oils, your skin becomes revitalized, and with a simple scrub, your circulation is enhanced and the skin renewal process begins.
Coconut Skin Polish
2 cups organic coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond or avocado oil
1 cup cornmeal
Essential oils of choice
Soften coconut oil, whip in the almond or avocado oil, blend in cornmeal. Select your choice of the following essential oils and add to the bottom of each jar, then pour in the oil/cornmeal polish; stir, and cover immediately to capture the entire aroma!
Essential Oils Guide:
Thyroid Stimulation: 15 drops lavender & 5 drops
lemon balm (per 4 oz)
Hydrating and Healing: 15 drops lavender, 5 drops lemon
balm, 2 drops geranium, 3 drops melaleuca (per 4 oz)
Lavender will calm and sooth your skin and relieve acne, sunburns, and insect bites. Lavender can be used aromatically and has a soothing effect to calm nerves, relieve depression, tension, and headaches. It is also great for throat and mouth problems like halitosis, throat infection, or whooping cough.
Lemon Balm is from the mint family and is an amazing herb, considered beneficial to your thyroid. Research shows that this herb may normalize the activity of overactive thyroid glands. It reduces the production of thyroid hormones and eases the symptoms associated with a hyperthyroid gland.
Geranium is a common ingredient in skin care products due to its healing properties and is widely used as a perfuming agent. It is attributed to enhancing mood, calming the nervous system and increasing circulation.
Melaleuca, commonly marketed as Tea Tree Oil, can be added for a deeper clean and will calm and soothe your skin. Tea tree oil is the essential oil steam distilled from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil is usually clear to very pale golden in color and it exudes a fresh, camphor-like scent. Kathi Keville of HowStuffWorks.com says this oil is often called a “medicine cabinet in a bottle” and is “effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses and stimulates the immune system.” I recommend using the polish twice a week; scrub it all over your body, and then shower.
FOR THE HAIR
When combined, coconut oil and rosemary essential oil stimulate the hair follicles to increase growth, strengthen the hair shaft and reduce graying. Research shows that coconut oil can prevent combing damage to hair so it is great for an after wash leave in conditioner.
Coconut/Rosemary Hot Oil Treatment
2 TBS coconut oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
Warm coconut oil and add rosemary. Massage into scalp and hair ends. Cover with warm towel and wait 20 minutes. Lather out with regular shampoo regimen.
Rosemary oil has a pronounced action on the brain and the central nervous system and is wonderful for mental awareness and clearing the mind, while having excellent brain stimulant properties, as well as improving memory. It helps with headaches, migraines, neuralgia, mental fatigue, and nervous exhaustion. The antiseptic action of rosemary oil is especially suitable for intestinal infections and diarrhea, easing colitis, dyspepsia, flatulence, hepatic disorders and jaundice and relieving pain associated with rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pain, and gout. It also helps arteriosclerosis, palpitations, poor circulation, and varicose veins.
The diuretic properties of rosemary oil are useful for reducing water retention during menstruation, and also with obesity and cellulite.
Keep in mind, in order to monitor your thyroid health, testing after the age of 35 is recommended. Please visit your primary care physician regarding testing and treatment options.
Live well and enjoy incorporating coconut oil into your new year!
Dr. Andrew Weil, (http://www.drweil.com)
The New Optimum Nutrition Bible, by Patrick Holford
Kathi Keville of HowStuffWorks.com
“Aromatherapy: An A-Z”; Patricia Davis;1999