King coconut (cocos nucifera var. aurantiaca) water is a popular drink in Sri Lanka of which the demand grows rapidly during summer due to its cooling effects and great taste. Apart from being a healthy, nutritious and a natural beverage, the oil extracted from the mature king coconuts can be used to enhance the beauty in a natural way without having to worry of any side effects. King coconut oil is an excellent hair as well as skin conditioner apart from its medicinal uses to treat headaches, eye ailments and catarrh. 

In the villages of Sri Lanka, people extract king coconut oil at home for their personal use such as to treat hair related problems and to obtain a healthy scalp. By adding various herbs into the king coconut oil, they enhance the oil to treat for ailments and hair related problems.  The newly extracted king coconut oil emanates a blissful aroma and can be used in aroma therapy treatments too.

EXTRACTING KING COCONUT OIL AT HOME

Homemade pure virgin king coconut oil is void of any toxic substances or chemicals and is a wholesome oil to treat hair and skin. In store-bought king coconut oil, preservatives and fragrant agents are added which contain a lot of chemicals that can be detrimental to the skin as well as hair. Therefore extracting king coconut oil at home can be a better option. The process is easy, albeit takes a little time and labour.

To extract approximately 200ml of king coconut oil, you need half a dozen of well matured king coconuts. The king coconuts should be matured in the tree itself. The white nut meat inside the well matured king coconuts are as hard as the meat in ordinary coconut.

The first step of extracting pure king coconut oil is the scraping of coconuts using a coconut scraper. Then squeeze the king coconut adding water to scraped coconut. Extract the coconut milk to a large bowl. Cover the bowl and leave it aside overnight.

The following day, you can observe the cream of king coconut milk formed on the surface. Remove this cream using a slotted spoon into a large pan or a pot. Heat the cream at a medium high heat until the cream hardens and becomes brownish crispy flakes.  Stir the cream occasionally. You can see the bubbling oil above these brownish flakes and can feel the fine aroma when the oil is ready to be strained. Leave the oil for five to ten minutes to cool and strain using a clean cotton cloth to a container. Using a funnel, drain the oil into a glass bottle.

To enhance the properties and the aroma of king coconut oil, you can add dried vetivaria (Vetiveria zizaniodes) or saw-wort (Saussurea lappa) roots into the bottle and to be applied on hair.    

ADVANTAGES OF KING COCONUT OIL

King coconut oil is known for its hydrating properties. Hence, the oil can be used for moisturizing the skin. Dermatologists agree that regular application of king coconut oil on dry skin can help get rid of dry and flaky skin. When applied on skin king coconut oil absorbs and moisturizes the skin deeply.

The newly extracted aromatic king coconut oil can be used as a massage oil and the blissful aroma will calm the hectic mind relieving the tiredness of the body. King coconut oil can be applied to prevent the skin from looking prematurely older. There are many causes for premature aging such as harsh UV rays of the sun, unbalanced diet, stress, pollution and prolonged use of chemical beauty products.  When applied king coconut oil on the skin before bed, the oil layer on the skin acts as a protective cover against the sun and pollution the next day even after the oil is washed off. This also keeps the skin smooth and supple throughout the day.

Although waxing is recommended to get rid of unwanted hair, it cannot be done to remove unwanted hair especially in pubic areas. Use of chemical hair removing cream can be extremely  harmful in such areas. Although removing hair using a razor can cause roughness and dryness of the skin, you can apply king coconut oil in place of a shaving cream. The oil will nourish the skin while restoring the lost moisture during shaving process.

If you have cracked heel, apply king coconut oil and massage before going to bed. As the king coconut oil hydrates the dried skin, it can be applied on dry and chapped lips to restore the moisture.

King coconut oil can be applied in eye area to treat dark circles and puffiness. Since king coconut oil does not contain any chemicals, it can cause no harm to the skin of the delicate eye area. You can gently massage skin around eyes using a few drops of king coconut oil to nourish the skin around your eyes.

King coconut oil can be applied on the scalp to obtain healthy hair. King coconut oil conditions the hair and prevents hair from being frizzy, dry and damaged. The regular application of king coconut oil can reduce the hair fall and discolouration of hair.

Apart from its wide uses as an external application, king coconut oil can be included in a healthy diet too. King coconut oil is rich in nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and disease fighting fatty acids such as lauric acid. It helps increase the healthy cholesterol in the body namely HDL (High Density Lipoprotei) and is easily digested.



This article was appeared in Ceylon Today newspaper

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