Coconut oil has been ingested as a food and used medicinally for thousands of years, going back to the ancient Indian medical practice of Ayurveda. It has many benefits due to its unique structure, and can be used in hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion/metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, cancer, dental care, and bone strength.
Coconut oil is officially a "Saturated fat", which usually conjures up fears of obesity and heart disease. This is unfounded in the research literature, but has become ingrained in our "conventional wisdom". The main type of fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid, a Medium Chain Triglyceride that is solid at room temperature and does not go rancid. Don't let the word triglyceride fool you. Coconut oil does not negatively affect your Cholesterol levels. The faulty logic that it is solid so that it must clog your arteries is inaccurate. That means the solid strawberry you recently ate must do the same thing, right? Most other vegetable oils become rancid at room and body temperature and are known to contribute to hardening of the arteries. For more on this I suggest you go to WWW.CHOLESTEROL-AND-HEALTH.COM for the latest information on the cholesterol-heart connection.
The magic of the medium chain fats is that they kill germs by being disruptive to their outer coating. The oil made by your skin is similar, and serves to protect us through this function. That is why using coconut oil topically for healthier skin is so popular.
A less well known use is to swish your mouth with virgin coconut oil. The oil acts to kill germs in your mouth as it does when used on your skin. You will notice that your teeth will feel much cleaner afterwards, and remain so for longer periods. I have been doing this for a long time and swear by it. Take a solid teaspoon full and let it melt in my mouth. Swish it around for one minute or longer, and then swallow it afterwards for extra health benefits!
You can purchase coconut oil on the internet, or in many health food stores. Stick to virgin organic varieties for quality purposes. Unrefined versions will taste like coconut. If you are not a fan of this taste, you can try Refined Coconut oils. I urge you to try this for a week and let me know what you experience!