VIRGIN COCONUT OIL AND WOUND HEALING

Virgin Coconut Oil is simply coconut oil that has never been heated or processed. It is pressed from the coconut meat by a “cold process” that involves cutting and then pressure.

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is a product of nature. In Nature all plants and all animals have predators. Each specie of plant and each specie of animal must protect itself or it will disappear from the planet. Those plants and animals that have survived to the present have all developed molecular techniques and mechanical techniques to defend themselves.

In plants the defenses are almost always molecular in nature.

The predators of plants are almost always micro-organisms such as viruses and bacteria. Animals and insects help plants by spreading their seeds. To attract animals and insects plants have evolved blossoms and tasty and nutritious seeds. To combat the micro-organisms, plants have evolved molecules that kill them rapidly, before they produce sufficient harm to destroy the plant.

The coconut palm tree is no exception.

The oil from the coconut is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. The major component of coconut oil if a Lipid called Lauric Acid. This Lipid destroys micro-organisms on contact.

I have known this for decades and I have used VCO for many types of dermatitis where fungi or bacteria were involved. What I learned about seven years ago was that CVO also stimulates the production of collagen and thereby speeds wound healing with less scarring.

In my Clinic I would see wounds (lacerations) quite frequently. I would advise the patient to use VCO, but I would also provide a prescription for an antibiotic ointment. On the follow-up visit I would enquire which method they were using. I kept a record, but I did not identify the patients.

After several of these trials with about 30 to 50 patients per trial, I became convinced that the VCO produced a markedly better result.

I researched the use of VCO and wounds and found very little. At the end of this article I will publish the results of a trial in India.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

I can only offer my hypothesis.

VCO

The Lauric Acid controls infection by destroying all micro-organisms. Fungi are frequently found in infected skin. They produced larger scars. The other fatty acids in VCO are middle chain fatty acids. These must stimulate the production of collagen.

The VCO prevents the wound from drying. It is an oil and all the water in and around the cells remains intact. That water does not evaporate. The cells can then move freely and nutrition and oxygen is easily supplied.

There may be other factors. But the net result is that CVO is excellent for wound healing. It is also excellent for dermatitis.

Here is the excerpt from a medical group in India:

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010; 23(6):290-7. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Source: Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India.

Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats.

OBJECTIVES:

The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of a topical application of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on excision wounds in young rats.

METHODS:

Three sets of experiments with 3 groups of female Sprague-Dawley rats each consisting of 6 animals were used for studying wound closure time, antioxidant status and biochemical parameters. Group 1 was the control; groups 2 and 3 were treated with 0.5 and 1.0 ml VCO, respectively, 24 h after wound creation for 10 days.

After the experimental period, the healing property of VCO was evaluated by monitoring the time taken for complete epithelization as well as levels of various parameters of the wound’s granulation tissue. The collagen solubility pattern, glycohydrolase activity, and histopathology of the granulation tissue were also analyzed. The antioxidant status during wound healing was monitored continuously for 14 days.

RESULTS:

VCO-treated wounds healed much faster, as indicated by a decreased time of complete epithelization and higher levels of various skin components. Pepsin-soluble collagen showed a significant increase in VCO- treated wounds, indicating a higher collagen cross-linking.

coconut oil

Glycohydrolase activities were also found to be increased due to a higher turnover of collagen. Antioxidant enzyme activities, and reduced glutathione and malondialdehyde levels were found to be increased on the 10th day after wounding, which were found to have returned to normal levels on day 14 in the treated wounds.

The lipid peroxide levels were found to be lower in the treated wounds. A histopathological study showed an increase in fibroblast proliferation and neovascularization in VCO-treated wounds compared to controls.

CONCLUSION:

The beneficial effect of VCO can be attributed to the cumulative effect of various biologically active minor components present in it.”

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