There are no miracle cure-alls, silver bullets, or magic pills that will get you trim, fit and healthy, but after an exhaustive search and rigorous testing, The Sherpa has pinpointed a few natural health therapies that DO help and ferreted out the scams to may be shocked by what we've discovered.

Coconut Oil: A Saturated Fat that’s GOOD for You?


Posted Wednesday, Oct. 6th, 2010


Imagine you are walking the beach on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii.  All around you, people are surfing, hiking, jogging, swimming and paddleboarding.

Suddenly it becomes obvious which of your fellow sand dwellers are tourists and which are locals.  Not only do the locals have a glow about their skin and trim figures, but they also seem to be oozing with abundant health and energy to spare!  Plus, there isn’t a sniffle, cough, runny nose or apparent headache in sight.

What on earth can their secret be?  Is it the sun?  The stress-free life?  The salt air?  Those things may play a role, but the real secret lies within the world’s largest seed.

Coconut: A Nutrient Powerhouse…

The Malaysian and Polynesian cultures have revered the coconut for centuries.

Not only has this largest-known seed yielded food and water for hundreds of thousands of people, it also contains nearly all of the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

In addition to a whole host of amino acids, coconut is also a great source of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, as well as vitamin C and riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Coconut oil contains all of these nutrients and more.  It also contains 90 percent saturated fat, which puts it right smack in the middle of the great fat debate.

The Saturated Oil Debate…

Coconut oil is extracted from the dried flesh of the coconut.  It is also a source of plant-based saturated fat, the very fat doctors and nutritionists alike have been telling us to avoid like the plague.

While it’s true that coconut oil is 90 percent saturated fat, 45 percent of that fat is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that converts in your body to monolaurin.

Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immune system.  It is also known to promote normal brain development and contribute to healthy bones, as well as protect against viruses and bacteria.3

Despite these purported health benefits, many opponents of coconut oil point to the high concentration of saturated fats as a reason to avoid it.

While there may be an argument to avoid saturated fats coming from animals that have been raised using conventional feedlots and fed an unnatural diet of corn and soy, the fat in coconut oil is actually a medium-chain triglyceride.  These fats are more easily digested than other fats and are quickly metabolized, giving you a great source of energy.

Also, your body uses medium-chain triglycerides differently than other fats.  Most fats are stored in your body’s cells.  But the fat in coconut oil goes directly to your liver, where it is converted into energy.

In layman’s terms, that bacon and cheese omelet you ate most likely sits around in your cells waiting to be burned up or stored as fat for later.  However, coconut oil gets shipped directly to your liver, where it is put to work to help you get up and get going.

Back to Those Benefits…

Let’s take a closer look at the supposed health benefits.

Coconut appears to be anti-just-about-everything:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-pyretic (it reduces fever)
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacterial

A pharmacological study1 of virgin coconut oil found that it reduced inflammation in rats.  The same study also found that when researchers induced hyperthermia (excess heat) in the rats, the coconut oil helped to reduce fever (anti-pyretic) and ease pain in the affected rats.

Researchers concluded: “The results…suggest anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic properties of virgin coconut oil.”

In other words, it reduced inflammation, eased pain, and reduced fever.  That’s not bad…for rats.  However, we would love to see this type of study tested in humans.

On the antifungal front, researchers studied the effect of coconut oil on Candida (the fungus common to yeast infections), as compared to fluconazole, a common antifungal drug.2

Fifty-two different isolates of Candida were obtained from clinical specimens.  Of these, Candida albicans was the most common isolate used.  This is important, as this form is the common cause of diaper rash, vaginitis, thrush, and yeast infections.

All isolates were tested to see how susceptible they were to both virgin coconut oil and the antifungal drug.  Researchers found that Candida albicans had the highest susceptibility to coconut oil when the coconut oil had a 1:4 dilution, as compared to fluconazole, which needed a 1:2 dilution to be as effective.

Translation: They needed less coconut oil, compared to the drug, to fend off the fungus.

In simpler terms, the coconut oil worked better (in a smaller quantity) than the drug.  Once again, nature beats man’s inventions.

When it comes to antibacterial properties, one study in particular found that virgin coconut oil helped to treat skin infections.3

Researchers performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 26 people who had atopic dermatitis, a skin condition that often includes painfully dry skin that is highly susceptible to a nasty bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus.

Researchers had half the group use virgin coconut oil twice a day for four weeks at two noninfected sites.  The other group used virgin olive oil, also applying it twice a day for four weeks.

When the study started, 20 of the 26 participants tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus.

At the end of the study period, only one of the virgin coconut oil users (5 percent) tested positive for the bacteria, as compared to six users (50 percent) in the olive oil group.  The coconut oil also relieved the users’ dry skin.

Researchers concluded that coconut oil might be useful for treating bacteria, fungi, and viruses.  While we agree, we’d like to see this type of gold standard study repeated with a larger participant pool, as well as with a variety of bacteria strain, just to be sure.

Heart and Weight Benefits Too…

Advocates of coconut oil also point to its cardio-protective and fat-burning properties, as well as its antibacterial benefits, etc.

According to a population study4 of about 2,500 people from the Polynesian islands of Tokelau and Pukapuka, high coconut oil intake has no effect on cholesterol levels.

Investigators tracked folks who consumed a high-fat diet derived primarily from coconuts — every meal contained coconut in one form or another.  The researchers reported that the participants’ overall health was very good, and that vascular disease was uncommon.

In fact, even though these people were consuming high amounts of saturated fat in the form of coconut oil, they did not seem to have high cholesterol.  Coronary heart disease, colon cancer, and other bowel disorders were rare as well.

The lead researcher, Dr. Ian Prior, concluded that there was no evidence that high saturated fat intake from coconut oil had a harmful effect.

This conclusion seems right, and then some.  Not only does the coconut oil appear to not hurt, it also seems to be beneficial when it comes to gastrointestinal health.  However, that cannot be stated conclusively without evaluating the participants’ entire diet.

Interestingly, when it comes to weight loss, it appears that coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides are the very reason it is effective.

It turns out that when you eat coconut oil, your body uses it more quickly rather than storing it as body fat.  In this way, those medium-chain triglycerides are thermogenic—meaning that they actually speed up your metabolism, burning more calories and giving you more energy.

For example, according to several online sources, farmers from the 1940s wanted to fatten up their livestock, so they gave them coconut oil.  However, the animals became leaner and more active.

This is quite intriguing, but cannot be attributed to any credible source, but we did discover a human study that seems to back this up.

In a study of people in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, where coconut is a staple food, researchers found that their metabolic rate was an average of 25 percent higher than people in the U.S.

However, like the farmers/livestock example, we cannot substantiate this commonly cited study either.  Both appear to be perpetuated by the same author, who never cites the studies he is pulling from.

Though the mechanism of action of medium-chain triglycerides and fat-burning makes sense physiologically, we were ready to dismiss the connection between coconut oil and weight loss due to a lack of clinical evidence.  Then we came across several studies which included a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study from Brazil5.

Researchers tested the effects of coconut oil on 40 women between the ages of 20 to 40, with clinical abdominal obesity (waist circumference of more than 88 cm).  Half of the group received a daily dose of either soybean oil or coconut oil for 12 weeks.  Both of the groups were instructed to follow a balanced, low-calorie diet and to walk for 50 minutes each day.

At the end of the study period, those taking the coconut oil had a statistically greater loss of waist circumference that those taking the soybean oil.  The coconut oil users also had a statistically higher level of HDL (good) cholesterol and a lower LDL/HDL ratio than the soybean oil group.

Both groups enjoyed a decrease in their body mass index (BMI).

So, those using the coconut oil lost weight, lost inches around their waist, increased their levels of good cholesterol, and improved their bad to good cholesterol ratio.  Not bad for a big seed!

Using Coconut Oil…

At the very least, it is clear that coconut is not bad for you and that there is a significant difference between the saturated fat in coconuts and the saturated fat in animals.

Also, there appears to be strong evidence that coconuts are an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory food.  Plus, the research behind its heart and weight benefits seems well founded.  Therefore, we support the use of coconut oil…for health as well as taste.

As it turns out, coconut oil is also a great option for cooking due to its high smoking point (350°F for unrefined and 450°F for refined).  This is a culinary way of saying that you can sauté and bake with coconut oil and not worry about it turning into a trans-fat before your eyes.  Plus, coconut oil is very stable.  It has a two-year shelf life and won’t turn rancid, even in warm temperatures.

So give coconut oil a try.  Just be sure to choose organic, virgin coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and is non-GMO.

We are sure that after a few days with this outstanding oil, you’ll be loco for coconut, too!


1Intahphuak, S, et al.  “Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil.” Pharm Biol.  2010 Feb. 48(2):151-7.

2Ogbolu, DO, et al.  “In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria.” J Med Food.  2007 Jun. 10(2)384-7.

3Verall-Rowell, VM, et al.  “Novel actibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.” Dermatitis.  2008 Nov-Dec.19(6):308-15.

4Prior IA, et al.  “Cholesterol, coconuts and diet in Polynesian atolls—a natural experiment; the Pukapuka and Toklau island studies.” Am J Clin Nutr 1981. 34:1552-61.

5Assuncao, ML, et al.  “Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and antrhopometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity.” Lipids.  2009 Jul. 44(7):593-601.

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  • Michae

    This is a test

  • Dr.Bettycgaw

    A great article to debunk the myths about coconut oil.

  • Denise Brown

    Interesting article and I have read about coconut oil previously.
    However, regarding the weight loss using coconut oil, would not this have
    happened because of the low calorie diet and exercise program?
    Most times I read about weight loss products, somewhere in small print
    there is a referral to it being used in conjunction with a calorie controlled
    diet – hence the reason for the weight loss.
    I have also read about coconut oil being used for ‘brain function’
    because of the MGT . What is your opinion on this aspect, please?

    Will wait to hear.

    Denise Brown

    • Hey Denise,

      That’s a good point, thanks for bringing it up. We try to only include research where we can isolate the effects of whatever it is that we are reviewing. In several upcoming articles, we rejected several studies because it wasn’t clear what the variable was that was causing or generating the benefits.

      We strive to review only natural health therapies and solutions that have been proven to work both in the lab as well as in practice. We haven’t done any research into how coconut oil may affect brain function, but I can say this: you are what you eat and your brain is mostly made up of fat so if you are eating highly process hydrogenated oils, transfats, rancid fats, etc., it will dramatically affect your brain function. On the other hand, if you eat healthy fats, it should help improve it. We’ll make sure to do a review of natural health therapies specifically for improving brain function in the new year.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Flbooks7

    add some to your whey protein smoothie in the morning…. it’s amazing the energy you get from it

    • Jeff

      I do the same thing. It becomes a little frothy… so if you don’t mind that it works great. I also add cinnamon too.

  • su

    Loved this article. It verifies everything I’ve been learning about coconut oil.

  • Gina

    Very educational piece of article. we should share this with as many as we can. Good info!

  • ryan

    Where can we buy good virgin coconut oil? Thank you for your great effort on this article. Enjoyed it.

    • Hey Ryan — excellent question. You can do a google search on “virgin coconut oil” to find some very good brands. Here at Natural Health Sherpa, we’ve personally used coconut oil from Tropical Traditions, which is of very high quality. Expensive, but you get what you pay for.

  • Thanks for the great article. I am cooking with coconut oil since 3 months and the entire family is in better shape now due to better cholesterol levels and more active thyroid.

    • Cwrigor

      I tried coconut oil three years ago, bought from a local health food store. When I tried to cook with it , everything taste like soap. It cost to much to try again. So how does your food taste when using it. Did I just get a bad can? Thanks, Sylvia

      • Hey Sylvia,

        Sorry to hear about your bad experience — you may have gotten a bad can or just a bad brand. When you buy it, make sure you are getting virgin coconut oil. Quality does matter when it comes to coconut oil. I personally don’t like the taste of coconut, but I use coconut oil every day and love the taste of it.

        • Joel

          Virgin organic coconut oil is good. But extra virgin organic coconut oil is delicious! Best brand I’ve found is Garden of Eden extra virgin organic – it’s noticeably better tasting than the last virgin brand I’ve tried (NOW brand, which is not bad), and so I assume it’s also better nutritionally. Found in most “health food” stores.

      • Omi-Opa

        I use it all the time and I love the taste, and it doesn’t taste like soap. It smells good to.

  • Sweetbay

    The article doesn’t say how much coconut oil is recommended. Can we get some guidance on this? Other than that, this is all good stuff.

    • Hey Sweetbay,

      Thanks for your question — you should start with 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil per day, typically taken with meals, and work your way up to 2-3 per day. Make sure you do something with it though so you don’t get bored — e.g. put it in your morning shake, cook your eggs with it, etc. If you make it a part of what you eat, it’ll be much easier.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Cheryl

    You can’t beat coconut oil for the many health benefits it offers us. I live in Hawaii and import extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil. Over the years the feedback from my customers has been extremely positive with regards to health issues and the impact coconut oil has made in healing and making them feel healthy again. So, please if you have not yet discovered coconut oil do yourself a favor and do so.

  • C. Stead

    WOW! I am so grateful to you for sharing this info. on “The Big Seed” and the many benefits of cooking with coconut oil! BONUS!

  • Bill

    Coconut oil absolutly lowers cholesterol. It also is the one oil that will NOT turn rancid. Since using it, I have discontinued Lipitor.

    • Bill,

      Congratulations on getting off of Lipitor — focusing on lowering cholesterol missing the point about why it might be high in the first place. Keep your eyes peeled as in a few weeks we’ll be doing a review of saturated fat and cholesterol and why they are NOT the cause of heart disease, despite what so many have been lead to believe.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • I am going to try this. I may benefit from its benefits.

  • Bogipepper

    Way cool,but the problem is only 4% of the public take the time to spead their money in real health food stores. Wall mart isn’t a provider. Parma is still the advertiser, and they know how to spend their money. They tell the doctors and the doctors tell us it is our fault our livers’ are bloated as well as our bodies. Give thanks this week for the start of gallbladder removal season, comfort foods give comfort on dealing with family and friends. Bye the middle of January the comfort will be with the surgens that act like liver flushes don’t exist. Happy holidaze.

    • Too funny — and yes, unfortunate that more people don’t spend time shopping for healthy food. I for one, however, have been pleasantly surprised by how many people are turning to natural choices as they are realizing that that are actually cheaper RIGHT NOW. It’s a long road, but we have to start somewhere.

      Your Naturally,

      The Sherpa

  • Coconut oil and olive oil are also the only cosmetics I use – and they work wonders!!
    Not to mention that the price beats the usual skin products – which contain colors, fragrances and preservatives. I use the same grade organic virgin coconut oil that I use in cooking.

    I don’t use it sparingly in cooking. The dumbest thing you can do when you want to lose weight is to cut down on good fats. You will always be hungry and will eat more. I still have the weight I had at age twelve – and you’d probably be horrified how I bathe my food in olive oil and coconut oil. But I don’t do junk – and I eat tones of veggies. Also fish and a bit meat. No dairy, no sugar, no artificial molecules.

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

    • Alexa,

      Excellent points — keep it clean and natural, simple common sense in our opinion. Most people do indeed make the mistake of thinking they can lose weight by getting rid of fat, and instead unfortunately load on on the very things they should be avoiding — processed carbs that turn quickly into sugar, crank up insulin levels…you know the drill.

      Yours Naturally,

      The Sherpa

    • Speweth

      oh my, this sounds like a miracle food. too good to be true? yes

  • Anonymous

    i am a huge fan of coconut oil. i use it on my skin exclusively as a moisturizer and it is fantastic. i also cook with it a lot. it is amazing to saute fish and greens. i find that the taste of greens – all kinds, but especially bitter greens – is exalted by coconut oil. sauteeing fish in it makes the fish taste magnificent. i use tropical traditions gold label mostly, and if you get it on sale from the website (and they run buy one get one free frequently), or buy a large size, it is not really expensive at all. i also get nsi brand from vita cost which is really well priced and the coconut taste and aroma are very pronounced, more so than the tropical traditions brand. but i love coconut anyway so it’s not hard to love the oil.

  • KenGeorge

    In the island of Jamaica we used coconut oil a lot until in the 90s when we were introduce to soy oil by the USA.
    When I came to this country 20 years ago the doctors were surprise at how good my choloesterol was. As a child we used it instead of lotion and my skin was very refine and we had no skin problem in my country then.
    I did not have any weight issue then , we eat the coconut flesh ,we drink the water we use the milk in just about every recipe. We used coconut milk instead of butter and people were skinner and healthier than now. I truely believe all he findings in the article as I have prove of them.

    • Thanks for the endorsement! We are fans of coconut as well.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Tanakainmaui

    I’ve tried cooking with coconut oil and did find that it changed the taste of the food (sometimes not for the better). From reading the responses, it looks like you can just take the oil like a supplement and even use this same oil as a “lotion” for your skin? Or should I buy the lotions that have coconut oil in them? Which is better?

    • aj

      I cook with EVCO all the time. I buy mine on Amazon…there are 2 kinds I get there — one that does have the sweet taste to it which I use for taking a spoonful or for moisturizing, and the other has no taste at all which I use for “frying” my foods or replacing other oils in recipes.
      I love the stuff and feel so much better about cooking with it.
      My cholesterol & triglycerides have been slowly lowering since I began using it.

      Just buy the good plain extra virgin coconut oil and use it for everything!

    • All you need it the coconut oil itself to use topically.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Tanakainmaui,

    If you buy cosmetics with coconut oil, you just pay more – AND get a load of coloring, fragrances, preservatives. I’d stick with the real thing!

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  • Jdamek

    Fantastic article on coconut oil.An eye opener.Cheers,John.Sydney.Australia

  • Robin

    Have used coconut oil for several years. But am mystified by this notion that it must be “virgin” unbleached unrefined. My understanding is that what matters about it is that it has those saturated fatty acids such as lauric, capric, caprylic. They are resistant to oxidation so being “unprocessed” or “virgin” is irrelevant. And if the oil is refined etc it just means more of those desirable components and less of the more perishable elements. I suspect the constant insistence on virgin / unrefined/ unbleached etc is just (a) simplistic analogy with other things, and or (b) selling the more expensive more profitable product. I’ve only used KTC brand “refined bleached deodorised” myself – or as the bottle says 100% pure.

  • Ocelot

    I love that your articles cite the literature source of the studies at the end. So many articles make claims and assertions “this study proves this, and that study refutes that” never saying when, and by whom, and you never know if any of it is real. I live near a medical school library, and on subjects of health that are important for me – I do my homework. Thank you for your professionalism.

    • Ocelot,

      Thanks for your kind comments. That’s our goal here at Natural Health Sherpa — to cut through the bogus claims and hype by looking at the actual science and research that stand behind natural solutions. We then add a component that’s sorely missing — common sense. Keep on the lookout for more natural health therapy reviews coming soon.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Peterwal

    This is an answer to many of my questions!!

  • Mary Connor4

    Some doctors, off hand can’t remember their names, have found it could help reverse alzheimers!

  • Maryanne

    very interesting topic.Although I donot like coconut I may try the oil for cooking.

  • Robin,

    The question what the difference between “extra virgin” and “normal” coconut oil is, intrigued me, and I tried to investigate a bit.

    Of course, “bleached doesn’t sound good. How do they bleach it, with which agents, through what processes?

    But it seems there is no difference. Crude coconut oil is a messy stuff – dirty-looking, odorous. I myself have bought virgin and non-virgin, and in the cannister they both look the same: snow white. Taste is also so same.

    Coconut oil needs to be filtered several times and boiled for hours to take out the crudities. Haven’t found any information on the bleaching , though.

    To me at seems as if “extra virgin” is a marketing trick because it is not really the brownish original fat.

    Thank you for an interesting question!

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

    • Dr. Alexa,

      We have to disagree. The problem is there are several different ways to process coconut oil, and like everything, some are better than others. However, the average consumer doesn’t know which process was used. By buying organic, virgin coconut oil, you can avoid this dilemma.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Terri

    I’ve been using coconut oil on my feet for for over a year. That plus a potassium spray and it has totally solved my athletes foot challenge. And of ocurse keeps my feet nce and soft too.

  • Perry45

    Have found coconut oil to be helpful as an antifungal. Also has a mildly sweet taste for cooking. Just remember to use at medium to low heat.

    • Perry,

      Coconut oil actually has a very high smoke point (360 degrees F), meaning it can be used at high heats before breaking down into a trans fat. This makes it an even better option than olive oil and even butter for sauteing and baking.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Ruby Flores

    Thank you for the information I well try Coconut oil

  • Marian

    I grew up on coconut oil,for your hair,your skin and in your food,our sweetbread,coconut cake,tulum, and almost everything we cook.My mother would make it,so i know how to make it from scratch.I was brought up in Trinidad and Tobago.When i came to New York i heard that it would cause heart attack,so i stopped,but now that i got this information i am sure going back to my coconut oil.

  • Sigal

    Very interesting. How much should you use daily for candida or for lowering colesterol levels?

    • Qigonghealer

      I have patients using coconut oil in varying amounts for candida. They find their own level and you can’t overdose. Those with a bad infection usually start with two teaspoons three times a day. It is OK for topical use too. You need to cut out all sugar and flour products to stay clear of candida. her are other natural sweeteners to use, so avoid stuff like aspartame, Equal etc.

      You really need to check the cholesterol bit a lot deeper. It is a great hoax and in fact those with slightly elevated cholesterol are better off than those with low levels. I wish all the people who author these columns would cite their studies into cholesterol and then look further. Look uop Ancel Keyes, and the Cholesterol Hoax. As for good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, that’s more propaganda from BighPharma not wanting to lose the billions they make on statin drugs. Interesting thing is that statins cause muscle weakness, and the heart is a muscle, so they contribute to the very thing they are supposed to prevent. You need cholesterol and it is part of every cell in your body. Read up on why you have cholesterol in some other natural health columns like Natural News,, The People’s Chemist. If anyone tells you some fruit or vegetable gives you high cholesterol walk away. Cholesterol is produced in the liver and no plant has a liver. Like Marian, I loved in the islands, in the South Pacific and I know what a healthy food coconut is.

      • We agree with you on the cholesterol issue. Check out our other article on ginger for cholesterol. It’s more of an oxidation issue than cholesterol itself.

        Naturally yours,

        The Sherpa

  • Please send me all the informations and how to buy your product in India
    call me +919330329992

    • Ktdanita

      You can purchase organic extra virgin coconut oil online at You can also use my discount code( DAN611 ) for $5.00 off of your 1st purchase. Best of health.

    • Gautam,

      We do not sell any products. You should be able to check online for organic, virgin coconut oil that will ship to you.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • cynthia

    I tried coconut oil for a short while, Ikept hearing not so good things about it so I stopped using it. But reasonly I have begun to hear more good things and your article really helped me to see the good things so I think I’m going to give it another try.

  • Alans

    i did a studie on my self with nutrent dense pigs fat fed good proteen and vegs i used the pigs fat as a snack for six weeks lost 7 kgs my hba1 went from 8.9 to 7.2 ldl went down hdl went up all bloods were near perfict my doctor told me to stop all meds and insulin good fat is good

  • Ester

    i want to try a homemade coconut oil so I am sure it is really virgin coco oil. can you please tell me how to make homemade coco pil. thanks and GOD bless this website

  • SabitaThawani

    In Asia, a weekly scalp massage with coconut oil gives thick hair. We also use it as moisturiser in the bath.. after rinsing off soap, rub coconut oil all over body and rinse. This is easily available at Indian grocery stores.

  • Miriam Ahuvatel

    Thanks for the information .I will buy some in the healthfood store and use it. Miriam from Jerusalem

  • Riatheaussie

    I just bought virgin coconut oil and in 2 days my very dry skin with some rashes cleared up

    • N2organic

      did you take it topically or internally?

  • Anne

    Be sure the oil you buy has the delicate, wonderful fragrance and taste of fresh coconut. I get mine online. I tried some from a health food store, but it smelled and tasted unpleasant; it must have been the processed kind. I’ve been using coconut oil for some years, am slim, and have low LDL and very high HDL.

    • Sheila

      Hi! Anne,
      Which online store do you buy your coconut oil from? I’ve never used coconut oil and would like to try it in my cooking and on my skin. Thanks for your help.


      • That’s the beauty of coconut oil! You can eat it, cook with it, or even use it topically as a moisturizer.

        Naturally yours,

        The Sherpa

    • Fininqui

      hi Anne , I am thrilled with the article and liked your input, could you tell me where online you get yours, and thanks a million

    • Marcibird

      I bought some online and it tasted rancid. I couldn’t even get it down so I too would be very interested in a delicate tasteful brand. Please post where you buy yours.Thanks so much. Marci

    • Anne,

      Buying virgin and organic should help with that.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa



  • Rlmoseley

    thank you for the news of the oil i need sometheng to help my boold i have tryed just about everything to get my boold down findly it’s down 149 then gooesup back and forth i will try to keep in touch i thank you very much
    robert L, moseley thank you again

  • Nasreen Kabir

    But then does every diet published forbid coconut oil saying its a saturated fat. I was told diabetics should not use coconuts. Am very confused

    • Nasreen,

      Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but because of the way your body metabolizes it, it isn’t the same chemically as, say, butter or red meat.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Sandy Halliday

    Yes, there are many benefits of using coconut oil. Bruce Fife popularised the Coconut detox or clense. I wrote a blog post about it here.

  • Eawrose29

    Interesting will certainly give it a try

  • M Hewston

    I put it into my Valley of the Moon Coffee (Organic), eggs, pancakes and every day cooking . It is Great !! Food taste so much better.

  • Pam

    I used it to cook with, in porridge, on my toast instead of butter …. and everywhere I would have previously used olive oil for cooking and butter for everything else. I also put small amounts into vegetable and fruit smoothies, and mix a little with tahini paste and molasses for the best toffee ever. And, it’s so good for you. I have dropped from 136 pounds to 112 pounds without trying, and my health is excellent.

    • OOHHHH! We love the toffee suggestion. Thank you!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

    • Your toffee sounds wonderful!  Could you give us more specific directions?  Thank you!

  • Phyllisbiron

    I love your articles but it is very very very distracting to try and read them with that side-bar right next to the article. hate it.

  • wonderful article…I love it and support it 100% without a doubt…
    thanks for a great job…we need more articles like this one…
    Frank, Nutrition Specialist

  • Tammychambers40

    Is there anyone who shouldnt use cocnut oil? Maybe someone with low blood sugar or hyperthyroid – just asking?


    • Tammy,

      We haven’t seen anything to this effect, but we’ll keep our eyes out and let you know. Of course, moderation with all things in life is key.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Peggy

    Great News!!

  • Theresa

    Brilliant – thanks


    Toka Guyana S.A I am 69 yrs old and most people in Guyana used Coconut oil
    which is a staple oil we used coconut in all forms and we are very healthy.

  • Seupersaud Toka

    One can save money by making their own coconut-oil.1st step you grate the dry
    coconut 2nd step you wash the grated kernel with clean water.3rd step you put it
    in a piece of cloth and squeeze the coconut milk dry,when you are finished you put
    the milk in a container add a pinch of salt and leave to settle.After a day all the fat
    will rise to the top of the container,4th step take all fat out and put in a cooking pot
    and boil,gradyally turning it to prevent it from burning,as the byproduct gets darker
    you will start to inhale the sweet aroma of the oil,out the fire,and allow to cool,5th
    step strain oil and use,the byproduct can be eaten add a little brown sugar to the
    taste. Toka Guyana S>A

  • Alex

    I use coconut oil instead of butter on my home made whole wheat bread, Alex

  • Hi everyone,,Start using pure virgin coconut oil in place of butter. Its rather expensive but worth every cent..Alex

  • Confidential

    it’s good stuff

  • Yeshavant


  • S Dragon

    Coconut oil was discussed & recommended on the Dr Oz show this week – that will surely boost people’s interest! I wish he’d made more of a distinction between the refined & unrefined product though; I’ve never been sure myself how much of the benefit we are losing during the refining process — something I’d like to see in a future article. I make my own lip balm by mixing about 1/2 ounce of melted organic extra virgin coconut oil with about a 1/4 tsp of Vit E oil (from the drug store). Pour into a tiny pot & let it set in the fridge. Does wonders for the lips up here in the cold north. :)

  • You can find organic, virgin coconut oil in most health food stores.

    Naturally yours,

    The Sherpa

  • That’s the beauty of coconut oil. You can eat it, cook with it, or even use it topically as a moisturizer. Great stuff!

    Naturally yours,

    The Sherpa

  • Sam

    Love coconut oil! Once or twice a week, we make organic popcorn in an air popper, then put extra virgin coconut oil, a bit of Himalayan Crystal Salt, and a little cayenne pepper on it (you could try different seasonings). You wouldn’t believe how good it is! So “buttery” and delicious. Have turned family and friends on to it, and they all love it too.

    • Sam,

      OOHHH! Thanks for the recipe! Just make doubly sure the corn IS organic to avoid the GMO issue!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

      • ephemeral

        Fortunately, popcorn is not GMO yet, so no worries.

  • Nina Potter

    Thanks for the tip on the 2 year shelf life.  I was worried about my oil going rancid but it smells SO good, I thought it had to be still good after 9 months.  Yeay!
    I cook my organic pop corn in Xtra Virgin Organic Coconut oil and then spread a Tablespoon+ of my Dad’s homemade pure Maple Syrup in the bowl before tossing the popped corn in it.  With the Himalayan salt, it’s fantastic!  I tried it with butter but it was better without.  (Warning – it’s addictive!)

    • Nina,

      When can we come over for movie night! That sounds amazing!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

    • sheila a

      have someone shake the bowl of popped corn back and forth while pouring on the maple sryup and none of the maple will find the bottom of the pan.  YUM! YUM!  it will all be on the popcorn—no waste.

  • Eithnecarey

    Where can I buy this wonderful product as I cannot find in any stores.

    • Mary

      I get mine @ Natural Grocers(Vitamin Cottage) Whole foods hhas it too and probably any vitamin Store. Call Vitamin stores and ask

    • You should be able to find it in most natural food stores, health food stores, and even a few national chains in the “natural foods” aisle.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Bro. Jeffrey

    Hotep (Peace)
    Asante Sana ( Thank You ) For Being as The Creator Made You

  • Wild

    Is there a coconut supplement out there that is recommended?



    • Wild,

      We recommend using the actual oil. Look for organic, virgin varieties.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Mary

    How much should  one take and how often  With food or without food    Mary

    • Mary,

      Use coconut oil AS a food. You can cook with it, add to smoothies, whatever your creativity can come up with!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Gwynhr

    I’ve been using coconut oil for over a year in every way possible and loving it.  I just got a new batch in quantity, extra virgin, unrefined cold press process with 5 year shelf life and it tastes like soap.  What causes that taste. When I first started using coconut oil I had had some on my shelf for several years before I started using it and it was fine so I don’t think it’s a question of age??

    • doctoralexa

      Sounds like something went wrong on manufacturing. Bring it back! Don’t use it!

      Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  • xena59

    How much coconut oil should be put in a beverage?

    • doctoralexa

      In a beverage? Coconut oil is hard at room temperature – like lard. You don’t want that in you beverage, unless you use it in a blender for a smoothie. There I would use just a tiny dollop – just enough that you take up the vitamin A from the fruit and vegetables. .

      I fry with coconut oil, and put olive oil in salads, and for simmering.

      Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  • Garth Crockford

    Dear Sherpa, your readers might like to know there are two types of coconut oil …oil from copra (the dried endosperm of the nut), and virgin coconut oil (there are industry standards for VCO, but basically it is oil pressed from FRESH endosperm of the nut). “Copra” oil is produced in huge quantity by factory process, is inexpensive, bland, and has had much of the “goodness” removed by processing, but is excellent as a cooking oil. VCO properly made has all the goodness of the fresh coconut …I think of it as concentrated vitality.

    I appreciate the Sherpa site is about healthy lifestyle, I hope you don’t mind my promoting my interest.

    I’m a retiree and keep myself active through volunteering in community development in the Pacific region. I’m now in the Philippines, where coconut is big business but the coconut farmers are among the poorest of the rural poor. Generally these subsistence farmers live a hand-to-mouth existence, they make copra (the only option open to them) and derive little income because the copra industry is controlled by “established interests”. Three community-based micro enterprise VCO production units that I’ve had a hand in setting up as an alternative income stream have successfully produced quality VCO but have struggled to continue simply because of local economics …insufficient disposable income for what is a “luxury item” here. And the scale of production is not suffient to tap and international market.

    If there is a business-man or organization among your readers interested to know more I’m Garth at e.garth.c A steady buyer is all I require in order to progress this community-benefit program.
    Thank you for your website.

  • Aprildayz

    What a wonderful article and thank you!  I LOVE coconut everything, but ESPECIALLY coconut oil! I tell everyone and anyone who will listen to me about the wonders of coconut oil.  I put it in anything I can possibly put it in or on – soups, smoothies, homemade mayo, stir-fry, popcorn, coffee (yes, put a little in your hot coffee in the morning – yum!).  I make sure my 2 children get their coconut oil every day – I sneak it in everything. 

    Actually, the main reason for my comment today is to tell everyone about a mixture I drink 3 times a day, every day.  I had gotten bacterial pneumonia some time ago and was put on 2 rounds of antibiotics.  The 1st round seemed to do the trick but I quickly started to relapse after about 1 -2 weeks after finishing my antibiotics.  I was put on a different type of antibiotics for another 2 weeks, but I could feel the pneumonia was still lurking in my lungs and the cough just never really went away.  I was given a narcotic cough syrup so I could get a little sleep at night, steroids for my nose, inhaler, etc…..  My 2nd round of antibiotics ended and I was still coughing that deep cough, still weak and tired all the time.  I decided to do what I do best and find a natural way to ease my cough and maybe get some healthy sleep.  I found a post where someone said to put 2 tbls. of organic, raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg’s with the “mother”) and 1 tbl. of raw honey in a mug with hot water (just like you would if you were making hot tea) and mix it up and sip it.  They promised that before you could finish 1/2 of the cup your coughing would stop.  It was AMAZING! It worked! Of course when I made my 2nd cup of ACV/Honey “tea” I naturally added about 2 tsp. (at least) of my organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil (I personally love “Garden of Life” Extra Virgin – Organic Coconut Oil – Cold Pressed).  It didn’t take too long before my cough was gone and my health was back.  Now, I’m not naive and I realize that 2 rounds of antibiotics were in my system but I was seriously starting to believe that I had COPD (chronic bronchitis) or that this pneumonia was going to win.  I admit that I was legitimately scared.  I have quite a bit of knowledge regarding alternative and holistic healing methods but I had not been diligent with my coconut oil and my ACV at the time. For some this “tea” with these 3 ingredients will have to be an acquired taste and for others they will love it the 1st time trying it.  Either way, it is a wonderful way to get your VCO every day!  I really believe this drink is a blessing!

    Drink up and enjoy!

    • Shirley Gekler

       I am going to try the tea – Thanks

  • W Hanekamp

    Virgin coconutoil is also usefull in the treatment of alzheimer, parkinzyn, MS , authism .my girlfriend, who had to stop antiseasure medication was put on 2 teaspoons of this oil a day to replace the medication she could no longer take by her specialist.WH

    • Jaime

      This gives me an idea. I am going to try taking 2 teaspoons a day for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and see if it helps. I know they have given people with RLS some of the same medication people take for seizures. It would be great if this does work, since there would not be the side effects that you can get while taking RLS medications, such as becoming very sleepy or falling asleep during the day time.

  • Shirley Gekler

    Thank you Natural Health Sherpa for this yet another great article.  You advise that this product has anti-virual – anti-fungal – anti-inflammatory – anti-bacterial – anti-pyretic (reduces fever).  You also advise that that saturated fat does not join that fat around the middle, but is actually used by the body to provide additional energy today (not stored for later use).

    Recently I read an artical by a Heart Surgeon, where he admitted that it is hard for him to admit that all of that reduced saturated fat, information was wrong information.  —  But that is the information which has been given for a long number of years across North America.  Also have seen it recommended recently for Alzheimer, Parkington’s, MS, Autism and Epilepsy.

  • Garth Crockford

    Shirley G. I refer you to an excellent paper by Mary Enig “The Oiling of America” that shows the manipulations of the US seed oil industry to denigrate coconut oil and remove it as a commercial competitor. Look it up on the web.

  • It seems like every week they uncover something new regarding the benefits/uses of coconut oil, but it’s quickly pushed to the wayside or even hidden from the public because if word got out that something as readily available, cheap, and NON-PRESCRIPTION as coconut oil could be used to treat things like Alzheimers, autism and MS, certain you-know-whos would lose a lot of money…

    Just sayin’.

  • K-Man

    What are the best brands to buy and best place to buy? I want to try this to help me reduce weight as well as help my memory.

  • The natural thing boost up your body in that manner that you cant be imagine or think so by using that you can improve your deficiencies.Thanks for sharing 

  • Use coconut oil AS a meals. you are able to cook dinner with it, add to smoothies, no matter your creativity can provide you with.

  • it seems to  be
    good .it provide me that kind of information which i wants..thanks to owner
    for tese nice posts…lets hope i am visit here again in future..

  • Mother2

    Fabulous! I am ready to start my clean healthy lifestyle. I have succeeded once a couple years ago, but slowly fell back into old habits with busy lifestyle. No More! I have too many health complications that I need to focus on for the sake of my health. I truly enjoyed reading this article and the benefits of the Superfood. Coconut oils are very tasty. The best comes from the coconut plant itself:) Yummy!

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  • Lindsay

    I started a few years ago to suffer from dermatitis on my scalp – itchy, flaky, sore, ending up with strips of skin just peeling off – looks and feels awful. From an online blog I got the idea of using coconut oil. It works!! I apply it about every ten days, onto the scalp (this gets pretty messy) leave it for 30-45 minutes then wash off. Not only does it stop itching, it softens up and heals existing hard skin. Added benefit is it conditions the hair too. The dermatitis is not cured, it comes back, but is now just a minor irritant. The oil is easier to apply when it is just set but not hard (ie at about 20-22 degrees, it sets at 23-24). I have a friend who rubs it into her hair and leaves it there, she has beautiful healthy hair. I found when I did that some hair fell out – so test this first. That is why I rinse it out after 30-45 minutes.

  • Meryl Beck

    This is a great article on coconut oil. May I use it for my blog, giving you credit, of course.

  • Monica Ledlie, Nutritionist

    Coconut oil = have been using that now for years , after coming across it via Dr. Bruce Fife…………for everything from cooking with right down to hair conditioner and face/body moisturiser. I am using brand Biona which suits me fine and have again started ‘oil pulling’ which means getting bacteria etc out of the mouth by ‘oil pulling’ (see book on that by Dr. Fife) before they get into the blood stream and cause havoc in the system. Couple of years ago my husband, after angioplastie, was in a very bad shape and we took him out of hospital and, being a practitioner of natural nutrition, I cared for him at home. We got him home in an anorexic state with MRSA and c-dif virus and, we got rid of those with coconut products, i.e. coconut milk/ water/ and the oil……brilliant and the best stable medium chain fatty acid around……and, therein lies the difference as it by-passes the pancreas and goes directly into the liver mitochondria across the double-sac membrane = permeating into that = without needing insulin………….so leaving the pancreas to do jobs needed. And, also excellent for lowering cholesterol (there are also other ways of doing that) without needing mega side-effect statins.

  • Peggi

    I have coconut oil in the refrigerator, but haven’t used it. Am wondering does it affect the taste of food you use? Do you taste it if you fried chicken in it? for instance? I have drunk it before, but couldn’t get past my brain that I was drinking an oil.

    • Nan Paulson Perkins

      I’d take it out of the frig. It is much easier to use when melted, but don’t microwave it cuz it could mess up the molecules. We fry everything in it, and even bought a deep fat fryer to make sure we get enough coconut oil. I’ve cooked fish and chicken in it. All taste really good. Just try it. I fry grn beans, and anything I can think of in it. It’s delicious! I also use it as a moisturizer.

  • Breia

    I am on Oahu right now, and have noticed the same with the locals. I have been casually studying their diet and have noticed that in addition to the coconut oil, the native Hawaiians seem to eat the proper ratio of omega 3-6. This could have been a factor that went unnoticed in the studies cited here from other countries. I think that a huge driving factor in Americans’ obesity/disease epidemic has a lot to do with their horribly out of whack omega ratio. The evidence seems pretty clear that this is the case. The mechanism is unclear but the best proof seems to lie in the fact that (in general) omega 6 is pro-inflammatory and omega 3 is anti-inflammatory. When the ratio is correct in the diet (about 2:1 omega 6-omega 3) better health is seen. Most Americans sadly come in at a whopping 30-1.

  • Jeff Knaus

    Great post… I’ve been using it for years and it’s fantastic!

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