What is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)?

Image of virgin coconut oil

I’m sure you’ve heard about coconut oil numerous times and how it positively affects your body. You might’ve heard of the Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and its other types, but do you know why it’s called virgin? What makes it distinct from the other kinds of coconut oil? How should it be used? Is it safe for ingestion? Read on to know everything about virgin coconut oil.

Virgin coconut oil is considered “virgin” because of the process it went through.

Compared to refined coconut oils, the production process of VCO preserves the raw materials from coconut as much as possible by not exposing it to too much heat, almost nil. It may be exposed to sunlight, but not too much heat as refined coconut oils go through.

Virgin Coconut Oil Production

There are two ways manufacturers use to produce virgin coconut oil.

  1. Virgin coconut oil produced from expeller-pressing from a dried coconut. This method is the common way of producing virgin coconut oil since it’s more efficient for mass production. This production method starts with the coconut meat being dried. It’s done at a fixed temperature or lightly heating to remove its moisture and prevent rancidity of the oil.
  2. The other way to produce coconut oil is through a process called ‘wet-milling.’ This method involves extracting from fresh coconut meat without any drying process. The coconut milk is pressed from the fresh coconut meat then the oil will be separated from the water. Separation of oil and water may be through fermentation, boiling, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.

Virgin Coconut Oil Composition

Since virgin coconut oil came from the fresh coconut meat and didn’t undergo intense heat, its flavor and scent are preserved. Virgin coconut oil has retained all the nutrients in coconut oil which includes a high content of vitamin E and minerals.

The moisturizing and antioxidant properties are said to be far more effective than the refined coconut oil. The medium-chain fatty acids and good cholesterol are richer on this type of coconut oil.

Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

  • VCO promotes healthy skin by providing intense moisturization. It also helps prevent damaging the skin from harmful UV rays and pollution.
  • VCO improves more energy by turning the fat in it to energy levels as the liver quickly processes it.
  • VCO helps lower cholesterol and prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation.
  • VCO promotes healthy and functional brain by improving the cognitive function.
  • VCO promotes healthier teeth by strengthening it. VCO pulling washes away the bacteria living in your mouth and teeth effectively.
  • VCO helps strengthen your immune system through its antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties.
  • VCO helps regulate your blood sugar and prevent heart diseases.

How to Use Virgin Coconut Oil

Here are the suggested virgin coconut oil intakes in the following ages:

  • For 2-6 years old: 1 teaspoon in the morning and night
  • For 7-12 years old: 2 teaspoons morning and night
  • For adults: 2-3 tablespoons daily.

You can also use coconut oil for cooking to substitute your unhealthy polyunsaturated oils we use for cooking. For further uses, you can also apply it externally to your scars, stretch marks, hair, infected areas and others.

There’s no such this as “extra virgin coconut oil”. Basically, it’s just virgin coconut oil. Some manufacturers just add the word “extra” to lure customers. They came from the same process.

What you should look for in choosing the best virgin coconut oil is it’s really organic. As much as possible, make sure it’s cold-pressed, processed without hexane and didn’t go through deodorizing or bleaching.