With the onset of summer, there is a natural shift towards things which are cooling in nature – be it the clothes we wear (cotton, linen) or the food we eat (sweet, cold, light liquids, hydrating fruits). No wonder then, that the humble coconut finds its way into the summer regime.
Coconut is one of the most versatile plants known to man. Not only is it valued for its taste, but also for its oil, which has nutritional as well as medicinal properties. Depending on the stage of growth, there are 3 kinds of coconuts available: baal, madhyam and pakva. Baal or tender coconut is consumed mostly for its water. It is rejuvenating and an ideal summer drink. It has pitta dosha pacifying properties and lubricates dryness in the body which is caused by ama (toxins). Half-mature or madhyam coconuts have less water content than tender coconuts, but more than mature ones and the water is milky. Out of all 3 kinds, these are considered the most nutritious, since they are a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Mature or pakva coconuts are characterised by less water content and firm pulp. This is the most common form that is used in cooking.
Besides its dietary usage, coconut is also popular for its oil. Coconut oil also finds mention in the Charaka Samhita as an alternate to sesame oil for ‘abhyanga which means massage.’ Coconut oil is excellent for skin and hair care. Following are some of the benefits:
It has a high presence of fatty acids which makes it an excellent moisturizer for skin, thus preventing it from drying or flaking. It is a rich source of Vitamin E, which leaves the skin soft, rejuvenated and young. The presence of anti-microbial agents prevents skin infection.
Coconut oil is rich in anti-oxidants which have anti-ageing properties. It prevents the skin from premature ageing, wrinkling and sagging. It easily penetrates the skin and is therefore also used as a base oil or as a carrier for other herbal, essential oils.
In addition to moisturising the skin, coconut oil is also an excellent conditioner for the hair. It provides the essential proteins that are required for nourishing damaged hair. Regular head massage with coconut oil ensures dandruff free hair.
Not only is coconut oil applied topically to reap its benefits, but it is also consumed for health purposes. Known for being healthy, stable and not going rancid, it is a popular cooking medium in most coastal tropical regions. South Indian and Thai cuisines in particular are coconut-based. It has numerous nutritional and medicinal properties:
– The saturated fats present in coconut oil are a great source of energy and help in relieving stress and fatigue
– Regular consumption helps in treating digestive problems
– Consumption of pure organic cold-pressed coconut oil reduces the risk of heart ailments and builds up a healthy immune system
– It reduces stress during metabolic activities and therefore promotes general health
– Its cooling properties also help in reducing inflammations caused due to burns and rashes
So whether it is for your beauty regimen or for your health, coconut is the way to go!
It is important to note here that the coconut oil to be used/consumed is pure organic and cold-pressed, refining and heat cause loss of many nutrients from the oil.
Lavender and Coconut make up a great summer concoction for nourishing and pampering your hair, being blessed with nature’s cooling and soothing properties. While coconut is the best-kept secret for healthy hair, lavender helps one relax in the scorching heat and protects from effects of a harsh sun. Organic and natural Lavender Coconut Hair Mask is available at Quinta Essentia Organics (firstname.lastname@example.org, +919999993534)