What is psoriasis?
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is an autoimmune condition of the skin that causes raised patches and dry skin. People affected by psoriasis are often uncomfortable, reporting stinging, burning, and itching sensations in affected areas. Oftentimes, the condition can be diagnosed visually by a healthcare professional, and a variety of treatment options are available. While there is no absolute cure for psoriasis, coconut oil is a great alternative to other OTC psoriasis treatments, as it is a natural way to find relief for the condition. Coconut oil is made by extracting oil from the meat of a harvested coconut and can be used to treat dry skin without harsh synthetic chemicals.
How can coconut oil be used to treat psoriasis?
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has great anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, making it a beneficial treatment for psoriasis for a number of reasons.
As a home remedy, coconut oil can be ingested or applied topically as a treatment for psoriasis. Apply after showering and washing your hands or any time you need relief from psoriasis lesions. The oil will be absorbed into the skin in approximately fifteen minutes and can be applied as necessary for maximum psoriasis relief.
Experts suggest that consuming one to three tablespoons per day while also applying the oil to the affected areas will help to alleviate the discomfort associated with psoriasis. Since it is a natural food product, coconut oil is great for cooking. You can add it to smoothies or use it as a natural coffee sweetener. Since it can withstand great heat, it is a great substitute for other cooking oils and can be used instead of butter as a spread on bread or drizzled over popcorn to add sweetness. Ingesting coconut oil will help to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis from the inside out.
Coconut Oil and Saturated Fat
While fat, particularly saturated fat, has earned a bad name for itself, it’s important to realize that our bodies actually need fat to function properly. Healthy fats, known most commonly as Essential Fatty Acids, are often found in unsaturated fats. Those suffering from psoriasis are encouraged to consume these good fats to help improve the function of the immune system. Since coconut oil is considered a saturated fat, its health benefits are often overlooked.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid, not a long-chain fatty acid. Medium-chain fatty acids can be metabolized much more quickly than long-chain fatty acids. Consequently, this means they are dissolved in the small intestine more quickly, preventing them from being turned into belly fat. For this reason, coconut oil is often a better alternative than products like butter that consist of animal-based fats, which are not metabolized as quickly. Even though experts are still comparing the detrimental and beneficial effects of coconut oil, no conclusive evidence exists that consuming a moderate amount of coconut oil will have a negative impacts on your health.
Who can use it?
While most people can topically use coconut oil for psoriasis treatment, ingesting the oil may not be suitable for everyone. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, small amounts found normally in your everyday diet are safe to consume; however, doctors caution against supplementing the amount typically found in your daily diet. Because of its high saturated fat content, those with elevated LDL cholesterol are also cautioned about their daily intake of coconut oil, although the effects are arguable. Generally speaking, while no one has issued specific warnings regarding the amount of coconut oil that should be consumed, it is highly advisable to consult a healthcare professional before ingesting large amounts. If you are concerned about how ingesting coconut oil will affect you, you might consider topical application only until you can speak with your doctor.
What kind is the best for treatment of psoriasis?
Coconut oil comes in many different varieties, and as with most oils and supplements, different kinds of coconut oil are more appropriate for different purposes. When using coconut oil to treat psoriasis, it is important that the oil you select is unrefined extra virgin coconut oil. Organic oil is even better but is sometimes more difficult to find. Although there is no permanent cure for psoriasis, those who suffer from its symptoms can find natural relief through deliberate use and application of coconut oil.