This first article of a series in which I will be describing various foods, herbs and Natural Health Science System techniques for building immunological resisting power, focuses upon coconut oil.
Immunity can be defined as: The ability to resist invasive pathogenic microbes and external conditions as well as internally generated infectious organisms, parasites and toxins that may damage tissues and organs. This ability can be referred to as immunological resisting power.
The effectiveness of one’s immunological defenses are dependent upon two interactive factors:
1) level of environmental challenges ((external factors that challenge the body to defend itself)
2) level of immunological resisting power
Accordingly, one’s relative proneness to disease is the product of the inverse variation of these two factors. The greater the environmental challenge and/or the lower the resisting power – the higher the risk of developing a disease (including an infectious one).
Conversely, the lower the environmental challenge and the greater the resisting power, the lower the risk of developing a disease.
Coconut oil is extracted from the meat (kernel) of ripe coconuts harvested from the coconut palm tree (Cocos nucifera). As coconut oil contains a high level of saturated fat it oxidizes much more slowly than most other edible oils and is thus resistant to rancidification.
It also contains an abundance of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are metabolized differently than the long-chain fatty acids common to most other oils. Short-chain fatty acids have fewer than 6 carbon atoms. Long-chain fatty acids, the most common dietary fats, contain 13–21 carbon atoms. MCFAs contain fatty acids that have a chain length of 6–12 carbon atoms. including capric acid, caproic acid, caprylic acid and lauric acid.
Lauric acid, which constitutes 50% of coconut oil, surrounds and destroys viruses. Monolaurin, a derivative of lauric acid, also exerts significant antiviral actions. After coconut oil ingestion, the body naturally produces monolaurin as a metabolite. Both lauric and caprylic acids are well-known for their value in combating Candida yeast infections and bacterial infections.
Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Ph.D. and Dr. Mary Newport, M.D., of Spring Hill Neonatology believe that coconut oil and lauric acid have potential in countering the COVID-19. They write: “Three mechanisms have been proposed to explain the antiviral activity of lauric acid and monolaurin: first, they cause disintegration of the virus envelope; second, they can inhibit late maturation stage in the virus replicative cycle; and third, they can prevent the binding of viral proteins to the host cell membrane.”
The MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) found in virgin, unprocessed coconut oil have been found to be antibacterial and antifungal agents and to exert antiviral activities that are effective against the cytomegalovirus, influenza, measles, herpes, hepatitis C and AIDS viruses. It can also help prevent listeria, monocytogenes, Helicobacter pylori and Giardia lambia (a protozoa) infections. The oil also contains vitamins and other nutrients that support immune function and health in general.
Coconut’s oils MCFAs are also used by the liver for fuel and cleansing. Unlike most stored fats, coconut’s oil’s MCFAs are used in various aspects of metabolism (i.e., the complete set of chemical processes that occur within a living organism that maintain life). These MCFAs are also blood cleansers and improve digestion. They have been found to lower the risk of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
It is best to begin with a small amount of coconut oil daily and increase over time. Coconut’s oil’s liver cleansing and antimicrobial actions can be quite strong and those who have a high total toxic load or are hypersensitive, may experience cleansing symptoms if they begin with too large a dose.
A Herxheimer Reaction is an immunological reaction to the endotoxins and other toxins that are released when there is a large kill-off of pathogenic microorganisms. An endotoxin is a toxic substance bound to a bacterial cell wall that is released when the bacterium ruptures or disintegrates.
Cleansing symptoms commonly occur when the body is detoxifying and the liberated toxins sometimes transiently create new symptoms or exacerbate the ones being treated. True cleansing symptoms, while often unpleasant, are actually evidence of right action by the body.
HOW I USE COCONUT OIL
I have been using organic, unrefined coconut oil daily in my diet for years and so am comfortable with using an average of 2 Tablespoons per day. Those using coconut oil for the first time may want to begin with a smaller amount, such as 1 teaspoon, and increase daily intake over time to 2 tablespoons per day.
Like with any other healing substance, the correct dosage of coconut oil varies from one individual to the next. There is no universal dosage for any nutritional or medicinal substance. A general rule is: Start with small amounts and increase as tolerance and level of benefit dictate.
I typically have a seed or nut milk for breakfast and always include 1 Tbsp. of organic, unrefined coconut oil or coconut butter (made by pureeing the coconut meat (from which the oil is extracted) into a nut butter; it consists of approximately 65% coconut oil).
Here is my basic seed, or nut, milk recipe.
Add to blender:
12 oz. pure water
7 Tbsp. of seeds or nuts (Note: nuts should be soaked overnight to soften them and render their nutrients more bioavailable. Seeds do not require soaking.)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk powder
1 Tbsp. organic, unrefined coconut oil or coconut butter
2 to 3 Tbsp. fresh (or organic, unsweetened, frozen) fruit such as apple, apricots or blueberries
1/2 to 1 tsp. of organic, raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp. astragalus root extract powder (an immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, heart tonic used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine; I use a 10:1 extract powder).
Blend until creamy. Serve. Stir between sips to keep all the solids in solution.
Serve with: a chopped apple, a sliced mango or a bowl of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or some other seasonal fruit such as peaches with 1 Tbsp. chia seeds and a few tablespoons of organic, unsweetened coconut flakes mixed in.
I prefer raw sunflower seeds when making my seed milks. Raw almonds also make a highly nutritious and satiating nut milk. Of course, you can experiment with other seeds or nuts such as sesame seeds, hemp seeds, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts.
Be sure to purchase your seeds and nuts from sellers who store these items in dark, temperature-controlled, cool rooms. Heat and light oxidize (i.e., rancidify) the fats in nuts and seeds. Never purchase seeds or nuts that are stored on store shelves or in bulk bins at room temperature with free light exposure. These will likely already be rancid to varying degrees. Rancid fats increase harmful free radical activity in the body.
In the evenings, my wife and I always prepare steamed vegetables as part of our dinner meal. When these have cooked and are ready to season, we add in a mixture of oils including raw coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and raw sesame butter. Sesame seeds are an excellent food for building up the body’s yin.
Yin represents the energy that is responsible for moistening and cooling bodily functions. Yin declines with age, especially beginning in the late 30s. When yin is depleted the body begins to show signs of heating and drying due to a deficiency of the moistening and cooling functions necessary to maintain homeostasis.
Coconut oil can also prove of good service when applied to the skin – the body’s largest organ and first line of defense against invasive pathogenic microbes. The skin is an absorptive medium and, in this era of coronavirus, should be supported in its efforts to block the ingress of of harmful microbes. Coconut oil, applied to the skin, may serve as a natural shield against potentially invasive viruses and bacteria.
The following is a simple essential oil formula that, when applied to the skin, supports immunological resisting power.
Carrot seed 2 parts
Eucalyptus 3 parts
Frankincense 3 parts
Lavender 3 parts
Lemongrass 3 parts
Pine 2 parts
Ravensare aromatica 3 parts
Tea tree 3 parts
Once this blend has been prepared, dilute it with unrefined, coconut oil. The proper dilution will vary among individuals. Often I use a 5% dilution (5 drops of the essential oil blend : 95 drops of unrefined coconut oil). Some people may prefer a greater dilution (e.g., 2% or 3%). Each person has to individualize her or his own use of healing foods and natural medicines.
Unrefined coconut oil is often solid at room temperature but can easily be liquefied by placing the jar in warm water for a few minutes (the time will vary according to how much oil is in the jar).
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I always apply an immunological resisting power support blend (mostly my ImmunEssence blend) before going to town to run essential errands. The areas of application I generally use are: upper chest, mid-to upper breastbone (the thymus gland is located behind this portion of the breastbone), throat, axillary (armpit) region; inside surface of the arms from armpit to wrist (the Lung meridian courses down the inner surface of the arms) and the solar plexus (one of the main power centers of the mind/body organism).
I will be back in touch next week with a discussion of Deficient Yin and lowered immunological resisting power.