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How Do I Find The Best Brand of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil?

written by: Chrissy Dean•edited by: BStone•updated: 7/16/2010

Not all brands of virgin coconut oil are alike. Find out some of their differences, and how to choose the one that's right for you.

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    Coconut Oil in History

    Sri Lanka (morguefile) 

    The use of coconut oil dates back thousands of years. There are many historical documents indicating its use within Africa, India, and South America for its medicinal properties as well as as a source of nutrition. During these times, coconut oil was considered a lavish commodity used by the rich and powerful. Today coconut oil can be used as a healthy alternative to other cooking oils. It will not go rancid like other vegetable oils when exposed to high heat and the fatty acids and nutrients in natural coconut oil are really beneficial. Learn how to find the best brand of organic virgin coconut oil.

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    Uses for Coconut Oil

    Melting Coconut Oil (Morguefile) 

    As a moisturizer, coconut oil is considered an industry secret among many models and actors. It can help to treat skin conditions such as eczema, and has even been shown to treat acne. Virgin coconut oil contains two of the most powerful antimicrobial agents, and kills many of the organisms which cause acne. It is also readily absorbed by the skin, rather than just sitting on it and clogging pores.

    As a dietary supplement, coconut oil is said to treat skin conditions from the inside out, as well as help one lose weight, improve overall health, and possibly even extend lifespan. The push to remove all saturated fats from commercial food has caused many to cringe from the thought of consuming it on purpose, but the fact is that the body actually needs some. Those living in areas where coconut oil is consumed regularly have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and colon disease than those who live primarily on unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats alone.

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    Virgin vs. Extra Virgin

    With a title like “virgin coconut oil", you’d think one is the same as the rest, that there is one formula for all. However, this is not quite the truth. For instance, you may be wandering around a health food store and find virgin coconut oil right next to extra virgin coconut oil and think “what’s the difference"?

    Virgin oil is obtained by machines directly from the source, without any processing done to alter its makeup. This means no radiation, no chemicals, nothing added or taken away. However the oil in the bottle may be from many different sources. Extra virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, is cold pressed using no heat at all, and generally all comes from the same region.

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    Choosing Among The Possibilities

    Popular brands of virgin coconut oil are Nature’s Way EfaGold, Nutiva, Now Foods, and Garden of Life. The difference between these brands is that some, such as Nature’s Way and Nutiva, are 100% organic while others are not. If a product is not labeled as organic, it could mean that fertilizers and pesticides were used during the growth period of the coconuts.

    The best brand of organic virgin coconut oil is a personal choice. There is not much use in using non-virgin oil, but the choice between virgin and extra virgin is left to personal preference. It is said that extra virgin oil is more potent and therefore results are seen more quickly with its use, but these claims have not been substantiated by science. Organic versus non organic again is more of a personal choice. Those concerned with green living will most likely go for organic, and it may be beneficial to be 100% sure your oil doesn’t have any nasty chemicals in it. However those who consider the cost difference too great may be willing to go with non-organic.

    The bottom line, really, is the best brand of coconut oil is the one that works! User reviews on the internet may be able to help you make the decision, as you can get a tiny preview of the product before purchasing it. But sometimes a little trial and error may be necessary, as well.