The scientific name for coconut is cocos nucifera. According to the Coconut Research Center, early Spanish explorers called it “coco” which means “monkey face”. The indentations on the hairy nut looked like a monkey to them. The word nucifera means “nut bearing”.
There are several terms that are used to describe the process of making coconut oil – refined, virgin, and fractionated… but what’s the difference? The term “refined” refers to oils that are made from “copra”. Copra is the meat of the coconut that has been sun dried, smoke dried, or kiln dried and has picked up impurities. To remove these impurities the oil is refined, filtered through bleaching clays, and heated to deodorize it. This is also known as fractionated coconut oil.
Fractionated coconut oil has had the smaller fatty acid triglycerides separated from the whole coconut oil to give us an oil that, because it has no carbon-carbon double bonds for oxidation to occur, will never go rancid. Fractionated coconut oil has an infinite shelf life. It consists completely of saturated fatty acids therefore absorbs more readily into the skin. This makes it ideal for massage therapy. Fractionated coconut oil is said to wash out of sheets very easily with no staining. It is a very light oil and as such will spray through a sprayer quite easily. It leaves the skin feeling silky smooth without feeling greasy. Fractionated coconut oil is colourless and odorless. It is an excellent multi-purpose carrier oil.
Some of Green Valley Aromatherapy’s essential oil ready-to-use products are made with fractionated coconut oil, in order to provide a sterile base for adding essential oils and extended shelf life.
A recent article stated that head lice in certain geographical regions have gradually been becoming resistant to the chemical products that used to help us manage these unwelcome infestations. Some are calling the resistant head louse a strain of “super lice” which show increasing resistance even to tried and true essential oil remedies like tea tree oil. There is new evidence to suggest that coconut oil may be a super alternative, suffocating the lice and making it hard for them to stay on the hair shaft.