Happy 1st International Yoga Day! It happens to fall on Summer Solstice.
The celebration of Yoga Day usually includes some sun salutations or Surya Namaskar, 108 of them to be exact. With the sun being at its highest arc in the sky, even one Surya Namaskar can set the heart racing. To make this International Yoga Day truly a celebration not a “heatabration”. Take the usual measures to stay cool and hydrated. Make sure you get plenty of electrolytes. Coconut Water is a good way to get hydrated and get some electrolytes while you are taking a break from today’s festivities. Using Coconut Oil internally and externally is also a great way to get the benefits of Coconut’s cooling powers. Here’s a little article we wrote that explains the Ayurvedic perspective of the Coconut’s Super Powers.
Light on Coconut Oil [Reprinted by Permission.]
Here’s our take on Coconut oil … IT”S GREAT! We’ve heard of people using it for all sorts of things, some unmentionable! It is clearly one of the best “kitchen home remedies” available. This is our take on Coconut Oil from an ayurvedic perspective.
Let’s illuminate coconut oil.
From an energetic perspective coconuts are Rajasic to Sattvic in nature. On their own they are considered to moderately pacify both Vata and Pitta and may aggravate Kapha if used in excess.
– Taste: – Sweet
– Virya: (effect on digestion) – overall cooling.
– Vipak: (long term or post digestive effect) – overall sweet.
There are many other qualities (gunas) to consider when evaluating the nature of a food from an Ayurvedic perspective. We consider texture, taste, drying, heating qualities, how the food is cooked as well as what it is cooked with. Environment and growth patterns tell us that the flesh of the coconut is hard, heavy and oily with a watery center. It is the fruit of a tropical tree. Native plants and fruits will always provide an antidote to the environment they exist in. Meaning the fruit’s cooling qualities provides an antidote to hot summer and hot environment. The qualities of hard heavy and oily can contribute to the aggravation of kapha, and are essential for vata stabilization. Pitta people just need the excellent cooling quality. The color white suggests that it is connected with the 7th or Crown Chakra. It is used on the top of the head as a hair tonic/oil as well as to cool down someone who is hot headed.
Coconut oil is excellent for external use. Use on skin for burns and sunburn for relief. If hair is thinning and/or falling out apply coconut oil to the scalp. Try using coconut oil for fungal infections of the nails. Coconut water, meat and shell have many uses as well but we are focusing on the oil itself.
Coconut oils is one of the healthiest oils we can use for eating and cooking. Unfortunately, it has been given a bad reputation in the past and over hype in the present. In the past, as Mary Enig points out, “The problem for coconut oils started when researchers fed animals hydrogenated coconut oil, which is completely devoid of any essential fatty acids. Coconut oil is classed as a medium-chain saturated fatty acid (MCFA) The body does not store it as fat, it metabolizes MCFA in the same way it metabolizes short-chain saturated fatty acids (SCFA) to produce energy.
Research has determined that MCFAs are easily broken down by saliva and gastric juices and are therefore readily absorbed from small intestine into the liver without calling for more digestive enzymes. Easy digestibility creates many health benefits providing a quick source of energy to promote healing. It is sited as helpful in conditions of excess wight, heart disease, high cholesterol, bowel conditions, candida and giardia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, thyroid and skin properties.
This is one of our favorite ways to use coconut oil with organic rainbow carrots.
Wash, cut off ends. Slice organic rainbow carrots
- Steam Carrots – about 5-10 minutes –
- Top with coconut oil – that’s it! or
- Make Sauce – Stir, organic powdered ginger and organic lemon juice into coconut oil then stir into steamed carrots. This sauce would add pungent and sour to the sweet tastes of coconut and carrots which balances out the sweet flavors for Kapha and the cooling effects for Vata.
Namaste everyone. Everyday is Yoga Day.