Category Archives: coconut oil

More uses for coconut oil!

Author: Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama.

My favorite coconut oil; I find mine on Amazon.  It smells SOOOOO good!

My favorite coconut oil; I find mine on Amazon. It smells SOOOOO good!

While traveling through Thailand, by partner and I joked about buying a coconut plantation because it seems that everything now-a-days is coconut based!

  • coconut oil
  • coconut butter
  • coconut shreds
  • coconut water
  • coconut milk and cream
  • coconut flour
  • and even coconut soya sauce (try it, it’s actually delicious)

Coconut (C. nucifera) belongs to the Arecaceae (Palmae) family and the subfamily Cocoideae.

The flesh of the coconut is very high in healthy fatty acids. The composition of fat varies depending on the type and processing of the oil. Medium-chain saturated fatty acids make up approximately 90% of coconut oil with a slight contribution of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.

What’s so good about Medium Chain Fatty Acids?

Medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA’s) are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by the body, while freely crossing the blood-brain barrier in the unbound form, which means it can be used by the brain as an energy source but also for neurological health.

What’s also great is that virgin (unrefined) coconut oil is affordable, readily available, delicious and completely natural. It’s also…

  • Anti-carcinogenic (prevents the spread of cancer cells and enhances the immune system)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-microbial/ Infection fighting (bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, parasites and protozoa)
  • An antioxidant (protects against free-radical formation and damage)
  • Improves nutrient absorption (easily digestible; makes fat-based vitamins more available to the body – ie. vitamin A, D, E, K)
  • Nontoxic to humans and animals

1493Coconut Oil for Personal Hygiene and the Body

  1.   Age Spots (also known as liver spots) – applying coconut oil directly to the age spot will help it fade.
  2.   After Shave – coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores. Great for razor burn!
  3.   Baldness – combine coconut oil with lavender, rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, Jojoba oil, Grapeseed/ castor oil and a little cayenne pepper. Apply three times a day (or before bed) to affected area of hair loss and massage in. Coconut oil and these essential oils supports cell regeneration.
  4.   Body Scrub – mix coconut oil and salt together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft. You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
  5.   Bruises – applied directly to the bruise, coconut oil enhances the healing process by reducing swelling and redness.
  6.   Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
  7.   Burns – apply to burn site immediately and continue applying until healed. Will reduce the chances of permanent scarring and promotes healing.
  8.  Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
  9. Cradle Cap – having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto scalp daily.
  10. Dandruff – coconut oil soaks into the scalp moisturizing dry skin and relieves symptoms of dandruff. It also helps to control oil secretion from the scalp, another leading cause of dandruff.
  11. Deodorant – coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda.
  12. Diaper Salve – very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
  13. Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
  14. Face Wash/ Soap – mix equal parts coconut oil with olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil and castor oil and use in place of soap when washing your face. Wet face, rub oil in and leave on for two minutes, rinse and pat dry. One teaspoon should be adequate.
  15. Hair conditioner/ Deep Treatment – use as a leave-in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest. For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
  16. Hair Gel/ Defrizzer – rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
  17. Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
  18. Lubricant – it is an all-natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant for masturbation and sex. Not compatible with latex!
  19. Makeup Remover – use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works!
  20. Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
  21. Moisturizer – simply scoop some out of the jar and apply all over your body, including neck and face. Often lotions are water-based and can dry out your skin even more.
  22. Nipple Cream – works great to nourish cracked, sore or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings.
  23. Acne Skin Fix – prone to oily skin or an oily T-zone? Use a pea sized amount underneath makeup or alone to reduce oil gland stimulation. Often acne prone skin is actually too dry, which signals your glands to produce more oil and clogs the pores.
  24. Pre-Shave – coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving.
  25. Skin Conditions – coconut oil can relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
  26. Stretch Marks – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.
  27. Sun Burn Relief – rub liberal amounts of coconut oil into the affected area.
  28. Sunscreen – It’s not high, but coconut oil does have an SPF of around 4.
  29. Swimmers Ear – mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.
  30. Tattoo Healing and Moisturizer – continued use of coconut oil on tattoos will help keep the pigment from fading. Used on new tattoos, coconut will hasten the healing process and decrease the chance of infection.
  31. Toothpaste – there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush.
  32. Wrinkle Prevention and Wrinkle Reducer – rubbing coconut oil on winkles and sagging skin helps strengthen the connective tissues to bring back that youthful look!

Coconut Oil for General Health and Wellness

  1. Breastfeeding – for breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich the milk supply.
  2. Bones and Teeth – coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium leading to better development of bones and teeth.
  3. Digestion – the saturated fats in coconut oil help control parasites and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
  4. Fitness – coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat while increasing muscle.
  5. Insulin Support – Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose making it great for both diabetics and non-diabetic.
  6. Lung Function – increases the fluidity of cell surfaces.
  7. Nausea – rub some coconut oil on the inside for the wrist (PC 6) and forearm to calm an upset stomach.
  8. Nose bleeds – coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme heat and extreme cold. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages.
  9. Gum Health – oil pulling with coconut oil offers a two for one health benefit!
  10. Stress Relief – relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.
  11. Vitamin and nutrient absorption – makes fat-based nutrients more available to the body – ie. vitamin A, D, E, K
  12. Weight loss – the saturated fats contribute to weight loss and controlling cravings.
  13. Mental Cognition and Productivity – medium chain triglycerides freely pass the blood-brain barrier and allows an alternate source of energy to improve cognition.

file000208864341Coconut Oil for Internal Health Problems

– when taken internally it is known for aiding, preventing, and relieving these health issues

  1. Acid Reflux/ Indigestion – if taken after a meal
  2. Adrenal and Chronic Fatigue
  3. Allergies – seasonal hay fever
  4. Alzheimer’s/Dementia – read my research here
  5. Asthma – even in children
  6. Autism
  7. Bowel function – constipation, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), gut infections
  8. Bronchial Infections and Cystic Fibrosis
  9. Cancer – has been shown to prevent colon and breast cancer
  10. Candida Albicans
  11. Cholesterol – improves HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) to LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) ratio in people with high cholesterol
  12. Poor Circulation – feeling cold all the time or edema, especially in the extremities, apply coconut oil to the skin in a light circular pattern towards the heart. Similar to dry skin brushing
  13. Colds and Flues – as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent
  14. Mild Depression and Cognitive Dis-ease – in conjunction with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), fish oil and other treatment strategies
  15. Diabetes – helps keep blood sugar levels stable and helps with cravings
  16. Epilepsy – known to reduce epileptic seizures
  17. Flaky, Dry Skin – poor oil intake often results in dry skin and dandruff
  18. Gallbladder Disease – dietary oils can help increase bile flow, which can be helpful for gallbladder issues, but possibly harmful (ie. Gallstones)
  19. Gas – foul gas is often due to imbalance in the gut bacteria. Coconut oil is a mild anti-microbial to help re-establish healthy gut flora
  20. H. pylori – oral intake. Occasionally, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.
  21. Heart Disease – protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis
  22. Hemorrhoids – can applied externally or internally twice a day
  23. Hot Flashes
  24. Immune System Builder
  25. Irritable Bowel Syndrome – alternating diarrhea and constipation are key signs of IBS
  26. Jaundice
  27. Kidney Disease and Stones – aids in dissolving small stones
  28. Liver Disease
  29. Lung Disease
  30. Malnutrition
  31. Mental Clarity
  32. Menstruation Relief – regarding pain/cramps and heavy blood flow
  33. Migraines – with regular use
  34. Pancreatitis
  35. Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay
  36. Prostate Enlargement – BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia
  37. Stomach Ulcers – helps soothe stomach lining and limit H. pylori growth
  38. Thrush
  39. Thyroid Function – can help regulates an overactive or underactive thyroid
  40. Urinary Tract Infections and Bladder Infections

Coconut Oil and Topical Health Problems

– when applied topically it is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing these health issues:

  1. Acne – Often acne prone skin is actually too dry, which signals your glands to produce more oil and clogs the pores.
  2. Head Lice – topical application
  3. Allergies/Hay Fever – rub a little inside the nostrils for quick relief. The pollen will cling to the oil.
  4. Athletes Foot
  5. Toenail Fungus
  6. Back Pain and Sore Muscles
  7. Boils and Cysts
  8. Cellulite
  9. Circumcision healing – although I don’t support circumcision, coconut oil may help with healing.
  10. Decongestant – rub coconut oil on the chest and under the nose when congested from a cold or allergies
  11. Ear infection – place a few drops of coconut and garlic oil inside the ear twice daily for relief from pain. Also fights the infection itself.
  12. Genital Warts – genital warts often go away on their own after 2 years of the initial infection. Addition of topical coconut oil application over 6 month may be helpful
  13. Gum Disease, Gingivitis and Canker Sores – use as a toothpaste or rub directly on gums
  14. Herpes – applied topically and taken internally
  15. Hives – reduces the itch and swelling
  16. Pink eye – applied around and in the eye

BONUS: Coconut Oil and Pets/ Animals

Check with your veterinarian but the recommended dosage for animals is 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily.

  1. Aids healing of digestive disorders – like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
  2. Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
  3. Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing
  4. Promotes the healing – when applied topically to cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
  5. Clears up skin conditions – such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin
  6. Disinfects cuts – and promotes wound healing
  7. Great for dogs and cats for general wellness – Just add a teaspoon to their water bowl daily.
  8. Helps prevent or control diabetes
  9. Helps sedentary dogs feel energetic – Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older dogs.
  10. Helps reduce weight – increases energy
  11. Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
  12. Makes coats – coat becomes sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
  13. Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections – including candida
  14. Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
  15. Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
  16. Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function

BONUS: Other Uses for Coconut Oil

  1. Chewing Gum in Hair Remover – just rub some coconut oil over the stuck chewing gum, leave in for about 30 minutes, then roll the gum between your fingertip. Voila! It’s out!
  2. Goo Gone – just mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda into a paste. Apply to the “sticky” area and let it set for a minute. Then scrub off with an old toothbrush or the scrubby side of a sponge.
  3. Insect repellent – mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over exposed skin. Keeps insects off better than anything with DEET! Tons safer too.
  4. Moisturizing and cleaning leather products
  5. Oiling wood cutting boards and wood bowls
  6. Polishing Bronze – all you have to do is rub a little oil into a cotton towel and then wipe down the statue. It cleans and helps deepen the color of your bronze.
  7. Polish Furniture – coconut oil with a little bit of lemon juice to polish wood furniture. However, I recommend you test it first on a very small, unobtrusive part of your furniture to make sure it works the way you’d like.
  8. Seasoning animal hide drums
  9. Seasoning cookware
  10. Soap making – coconut oil can be used as one of the fats in soap.

Did we miss any? Do you use coconut oil for something not on the list?

I am always excited to find new ways to implement coconut oil!


Original article and credits: via theheartysoul



Coconut Oil: A New Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Thanks to J.M. for sending me this article, published in the Spring 2013 edition of Healthy Ways Newsletter.

Coconut Oil: A New Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Dry Drunk Syndrome

Roger Hershline, PhD, MD knows the dangers of alcohol abuse firsthand. As a young successful medical professional with a heavy workload, excessive stress drove him to drink as a means of release and relaxation. In time, Roger’s chronic drinking habit led to full-blown alcohol addiction.

His personal life suffered. As with many alcoholics whose marriage and family lives are destroyed, Roger’s life was in shambles. Intoxication and the resulting behavior often lead to fights, jail, and trips to rehabilitation centers. He tried many times to quit, but couldn’t. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and a sense of impending doom when he was sober were relieved only by drinking. His desire to escape led to his use of other drugs.

He finally ended up in federal prison, resulting in a loss of everything dear to him, including his desire to live. Because of his confinement, he was forced into sobriety, but he still suffered from the effects of alcohol addiction. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, irritability, irrational behavior, poor decisions, and cravings for liquor hounded him daily. These symptoms, known as “dry drunk syndrome,” are the reason why most alcoholics do not remain sober. Only from alcohol do they gain relief or achieve feelings of normality. These symptoms can persist indefinitely to some degree after alcohol consumption completely ceases. Even if former alcoholics remain sober, they can wind up living miserable lives and usually make everyone else around them miserable too. Dry drunk syndrome is the downfall of many a recovering alcoholic, even years after they quit drinking. Succumbing to just one drink can drive them into an uncontrollable drinking binge and further alcohol abuse.

There is more to alcoholism than simply a lack of self control or the desire for intoxication. Most alcoholics do not like the consequences of getting drunk and the devastating effects it has on their lives, yet they feel miserable without alcohol. These feelings are real. It is a mental sickness, a personality disorder that causes them to abandon rational judgment and even the sincere desire to stay sober.

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Although sober, Roger struggled with the symptoms of dry drunk syndrome. He had already lost everything due to his drinking problem and didn’t want to repeat past mistakes, so he began to search for a solution to ease his symptoms. His background in medicine led him to investigate alcohol’s effect on brain metabolism. He learned how chronic alcohol consumption can interfere with brain glucose metabolism, which can have a pronounced effect on brain function. He also investigated the importance of nutrition on brain health. His journey to find the best foods to nourish and heal the alcoholic brain led him to coconut oil and to the book, The Coconut Oil Miracle. He started taking coconut oil daily and within four days experienced the same sense of relief from symptoms that he got from alcohol—without the intoxication or the hangover. He experienced a sense of well-being and the ability to think clearly and rationally while sober. Over the next few weeks, he continued with the coconut oil and achieved a complete resolution of the irritability, melancholy, and mental anguish that had plagued him while sober. His dry drunk symptoms and his cravings for alcohol were gone! Nothing else he had ever experienced in his many years with alcohol treatment had come close to matching the effects of using coconut oil.

He enthusiastically began sharing this knowledge with other recovering alcoholics who were struggling with dry drunk syndrome. They, too, experienced the same feelings of well-being and clear thinking that had eluded them during treatment. Roger is now trying to spread the word about this new drug-free treatment for alcohol addiction. Although critics may claim that this treatment is based solely on [anecdotal] evidence, there is good science to back it up.

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Alcohol’s Damaging Effects on the Brain

Altered speech, hazy thinking, blurred vision, slowed reaction time, impaired memory: alcohol clearly has a pronounced effect on the brain. Some of these effects are detectable after only one or two drinks then disappear shortly after drinking stops. However, a person who drinks heavily over a long period of time may have brain defects that persist well after he or she becomes sober.

Alcohol is highly soluble in water and when it is consumed, it is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, it circulates throughout the body where it can reach every cell in the body. The simple molecular structure of alcohol allows it to pass easily across the blood-brain barrier where it can come into direct contact with brain cells. Here it triggers oxidative stress and inflammation that can seriously affect brain function.1 If more than one or two drinks are consumed it can lead to the symptoms of intoxication.

If heavy drinking becomes chronic, then oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain become chronic. Chronic inflammation can lead to a disruption in normal glucose metabolism.2 Brain cells become insulin resistant and, therefore, cannot absorb glucose effectively.3 The primary source of fuel for the brain is glucose. However, glucose cannot enter the cells without the aid of the hormone insulin. Insulin unlocks the doorway on the cell membrane that allows glucose to enter. Insulin is absolutely essential. Your brain can be saturated with glucose, but if you don’t have insulin, the cells cannot get access to the glucose. If cells cannot get enough glucose to supply their energy needs, the cells degenerate and die. Without glucose, brain cells literally starve to death. This is what happens in the brain of an alcoholic. The damage caused by long term alcoholism can be just as extensive as that caused by Alzheimer’s.

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Brain scans using positron emission tomography (PET) on living subjects have shown that intoxication decreases metabolic activity in certain areas of the brain controlling reason, memory, speech, coordination, balance, and vision.4-6 The decreased metabolism indicates a decrease in glucose uptake and conversion into energy. In detoxified alcoholics this decreased metabolism can persist even when the subject is sober.7 Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption does not reverse alcohol-induced insulin resistance.8 It is insulin resistance and decreased metabolism in the brain that leads to the symptoms associated with dry drunk syndrome.

When alcohol circulates in the bloodstream it eventually passes through the liver, where it is broken down into acetaldehyde—a highly toxic substance that is the primary cause of alcohol-induced liver damage. Acetaldehyde is further broken down into acetic acid, which is a normal metabolite in humans and is nontoxic. About 90 percent of the alcohol consumed is eventually converted into acetic acid. The remaining 10 percent of the alcohol that is not metabolized is excreted in sweat, urine, and expelled in the person’s breath. The latter provides the basis for the breathalyzer test used in law enforcement and the reason you can smell alcohol in a person’s breath after they have been drinking. The liver has a limited capacity for detoxification and can only metabolize 0.25 ounce of pure alcohol per hour, leaving the remaining alcohol to continue its circulation throughout the body.

Although alcohol does not contain any nutrients, it does provide calories—7 calories per gram. This is almost twice as much as either carbohydrate or protein, each of which supplies 4 calories per gram, and just a little less than the 9 calories per gram supplied by fat. The calories from alcohol come from the acetic acid that is produced when alcohol is broken down in the liver.9 Acetic acid is a two carbon short chain fatty acid—the smallest of all the fatty acids. It is soluble in both fat and water. In the bloodstream, acetic acid can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier. Like the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, acetic acid can diffuse across the cell membrane without the aid of insulin, providing a quick and easy source of energy for cells. In alcoholics, portions of the brain have become insulin resistant and, therefore, cannot effectively absorb glucose. However, the brain cells can absorb acetic acid, which supplies them with an alternative source of energy. Acetic acid partially compensates for the damage caused by alcohol by bypassing the defect in glucose metabolism.

Dr. Roger Hershline believes that the disruption in normal brain metabolism is what leads to the symptoms of dry drunk syndrome. The alcoholic brain, crippled by chronic insulin resistance, is literally starving for energy, causing depression, anxiety, fuzzy thinking, and other symptoms of dry drunk syndrome. Alcohol, although toxic to the brain, increases blood levels of acetic acid, thus providing the brain with a fuel it can use despite being insulin resistant. Repeated drinking has conditioned the brain to know that alcohol consumption increases acetic acid levels, which in turn provides the brain with the energy it desperately needs for survival. The desire for alcohol is a survival mechanism in an attempt to keep brain cells alive. Once this pattern has been set, the alcoholic will have strong desires to drink despite any intellectual or emotional desire to stop.10

In alcoholics, blood levels of acetic acid remain elevated for up to 24 hours after the last drink.11 As acetic acid levels decline, the symptoms and cravings for alcohol gradually return and intensify.

Dr. Hershline’s reasoning in many ways coincides with research coming out of Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Lihong Jiang and his colleagues at Yale are investigating the use of acetic acid during alcohol detoxification.12 Their approach is to administer acetic acid to the patients as an aid in recovery. Dr. Hershline’s approach, however, appears to be easier and potentially much more effective.

Coconut Ketones and Brain Cell Regeneration

While acetic acid can supply the brain with much needed fuel, consuming alcohol is not a very good way to go about getting it. Acetic acid can be found in various foods. Vinegar is the richest natural source, containing 4-8 percent by volume. Fermented or picked vegetables and many condiments such as ketchup, prepared mustard, and some salad dressings contain acetic acid. But the amount in most condiments is so small that it would have little effect on brain health.

There is a much better option—coconut ketones. Coconut oil is composed primarily of a special group of fats known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). When consumed, a portion of these MCFAs are automatically converted into a highly dense form of energy known as ketones. Like acetic acid, ketones do not require insulin to pass though cell membranes, so they can provide an easy source of energy. Ketones are known as “superfuel” for the brain because they provide more energy than either glucose or acetic acid and are readily absorbed by nerve and brain tissue. Coconut ketones can provide brain cells with a quick and easy source of high potentancy fuel that is superior to acetic acid. By supplying ketones on a regular basis, through the consumption of coconut oil, the brain’s conditioned dependence on acetic acid and desires for alcohol can be broken.

In addition to supplying a superior source of energy, ketones improve blood flow to the brain, improving circulation and oxygen delivery. Ketones also activate certain proteins in the brain called brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs) that regulate brain cell repair, growth, and maintenance. BDNFs stimulate repair of damaged tissues, promote the growth of new brain cells, remove toxins, stop oxidative stress, calm inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity, all of which allows the brain to heal and recover from injury—including alcohol induced injury.

At one time, it was believed that we could not regenerate new brain cells. The brain cells we were born with, scientists thought, had to last an entire lifetime. When brain cells died, they were gone forever. Research over the past several years has shown that this is not true. The brain can and does generate new cells, even in old age.13 This process is called neurogenesis. These new cells originate from stem cells in the brain. Stem cells are special cells that can divide indefinitely, renew themselves, and give rise to a variety of cells types. The discovery of adult neurogenesis and brain stem cell activation by coconut ketones provides a new way of approaching the problem of alcohol-related changes in the brain and overcoming alcohol addiction.

Dr. Hershline consumed up to 8 tablespoons (109 g) of coconut oil daily in his own treatment. However, blood ketone levels can be raised to therapeutic levels with 5 to 6 tablespoons (68-82 g) daily. The oil should be divided into three 1½ -2 tablespoon doses and should be consumed with foods.


1. Haorah, J., et al. Alcohol-induced oxidative stress in brain endothelial cells causes blood-brain barrier dysfunction. J Leukoc Biol 2005;78:1223-1232.

2. Haiyan, X., et al. Chronic inflammation in fat plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance. J Clin Invest 2003;112:1821-1830.

3. Ting, J.W. and Lautt, W.W. The effect of acute, chronic, and prenatal ethanol exposure on insulin sensitivity. Pharmacol Ther. 2006;111(2):346–373.

4. Gene-Jack, W., et al. Regional brain metabolism during alcohol intoxication. Alcohol Clin Exp res 2000;24:822-829.

5. Volkow ND, et al. Low doses of alcohol substantially decrease glucose metabolism in the human brain. Neuroimage. 2006;29(1):295–301.

6. Volkow, N.D., et al. Acute alcohol intoxication decreases glucose metabolism but increases acetate uptake in the human brain. Neuroimage. 2013;64:277–283.

7. Volkow, N.D., et al. recovery of brain glucose metabolism in detoxified alcoholics. Am J Psychiatry 1994;151:178-183.

8. Zilkens, R.R., et al. The effect of alcohol lintake on insulin sensitivity in men. Diabetes Care 2003;26:608-612.

9. Patel, A.B., et al. Evaluation of cerebral acetate transport and metabolic rates in the rat brain in vivo using 1H-[13C]-NMR. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab.2010;30(6):1200–1213.

10. Hershline, R. Why Do I Drink?: The Role of Brain Metabolism. Published by Roger Hersline, Hilton Head Island, SC, 2013.

11. Pronko, P.S., et al. Low-molecular-weight metabolites relevant to ethanol metabolism: correlation with alcohol withdrawal severity and utility for identification of alcoholics. Alcohol Alcohol. 1997;32(6):761–768.

12. Lihong, J, et al. Increased brain uptake and oxidation of acetate in heavy drinkers. J Clin Invest 2013; 123:1605-1614.

13. Eriksson, P.S., et al. Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nat Med 1998;4:1313-1317.

Vinegar Hair Rinse

I had a great conversation with a new friend in Oregon, the woman who officiated my son’s wedding.  She’s been store-bought-shampoo-free and chemical-free for six years, she said, and just recently started washing her hair in spring water.  She doesn’t use shampoo, and washes her hair with vinegar when she washes her hair.  If her hair needs a conditioner she uses a little bit of coconut oil.

I talked about how my hair with the hard water here at home has been so ornery to deal with, especially as I’ve been trying to find a shampoo recipe that works for me.  This is one of the big reasons I installed one, then two and three, structured water whole house units on my house.  Yeah, she said, she’d started out using well water to wash her hair and had the same kind of black gunk eventually showing up on her hair that I’ve experienced with the hard water from the city system; her hair has felt much cleaner and softer and less gunky, using spring water to wash her hair.

This morning I surfed around the net to find vinegar shampoo recipes, and I’m still looking, but came across some nice apple cider vinegar recipes, one of which is for vinegar hair rinse.  I’ll try this for a while and see how I like it.

It’s a simple recipe:  1 quart of water, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, and if you’d like, add some essential oil.IMG_5129

I filled up a recycled gallon jug with water, added 1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar, and added 10 drops of Rose essential oil and 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil.  I’ll keep that in my bathroom cupboard for refilling the small ketchup bottle that I ordinarily keep in the shower.

A sample size recipe would be 1 cup water and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a drop or two of essential oil, in a plastic bottle to keep in the shower.

Smells good!  And any traces of “vinegar smell” will dissipate as the hair dries.




Life Observations Since Making My Own Stuff

Beginning just before Christmas, I began making my own shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hand lotion, body lotion, facial sunscreen, lip gloss, laundry detergent, fabric softener, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap scum remover for the bathtub, toilet bowl cleaner, rust remover (when it’s needed)…and I’m probably missing a few dozen products I’ve made and experimented with that just have become natural normal parts of my everyday life.  Everything in my life except for a very few store-bought products and a few simple ingredients (store-bought baking soda, white vinegar, Dr. Bronner’s, Zum shampoo bar soap, regular Zum bar soap, essential oils, coconut oil, and a variety of other oils) is now natural and organic and homemade.

I had a structured water device installed on my whole house on January 8, 2014.  This has revolutionized my life, my house, and my water, in so many ways.  I’m beginning to discuss that on my structured water blog.

I am not throwing away plastic shampoo bottles anymore, because I’m not buying shampoo.
I am not throwing away plastic water bottles anymore, because I’m not buying water anymore.  I’m drinking really good, clear, pristine structured water right from my tap.  No more filling up big garbage bags full of plastic bottles and taking them to the recycling!  I’m really picky now about anything I buy and the container it comes in:  what definitely runs through my head now before I buy anything is can I recycle this and use it for my own products?
I am not throwing away glass ginger beer bottles anymore; I do buy ginger beer, but not as much as before, and the bottles I buy I am reusing to bottle my own water kefir.

I finally had to make my second batch of shampoo on Sunday.  My first batch lasted from mid January through last weekend — about six weeks.  So 12 ounces of shampoo lasts me, with very, very long hair, about six weeks — or longer.  We’ll see.  It could be that with my first batch I had to get used to the new type of shampoo.  Subsequent batches of shampoo may last much longer.  I’m washing my hair about once a week now, whereas previously I washed my hair at LEAST every other day.

I don’t buy — or want — soda.  My own very good-for-me probiotic water kefir drink is AWESOME and is perfect.  I really don’t want anything else, besides structured water out of the tap, and coffee made with structured water in the morning.  I do love my 100% Kona coffee with real cream in the morning.  Drinking a Coke these days…ew.  I will, sometimes, with a few foods that I *have* to have a fizzy cola drink as accompaniment, such as pizza…but really, Coke (my absolute favorite soda ever in the whole world) tastes so bleh now.  And why is that?  There’s no life in it.

I’ve stocked up on all kinds of beans, nuts, seeds, rices, grains…and put them in Ball jars and use them as decor in my living room, which is next to my dining room, which is next to my kitchen.  It looks quite handsome, I must say.

Food As Decor

Food As Decor

I am growing fresh food right on my kitchen counter — sprouting seeds, fermenting kefir.

I am drinking water right from the tap, something you couldn’t have paid me to do for the previous 10 years here in this house. It tasted bad; there was “stuff” in it; and it was unfit to make coffee or tea straight from the tap, so I boiled it first. I don’t boil my water anymore before using it. That was a huge effort, right there, boiling all my water, and then I never drank it. I’d use it for coffee or tea water, but I wouldn’t drink it. Drinking water, I’d buy and drink out of plastic bottles.

One of the side effects I’m noticing from using structured water: I’m more intuitive and aware, and I rely on and trust my intuition to guide me.

I’ve cleaned-out…and cleaned-out…and cleaned-out again…and again, and again, and again…my clothes closets, my kitchen cupboards, drawers, you name it…office…shelves in the living room…

An odd side effect of all of this:  blue.  I want blue in my living space now.  I banished blue since 2001:  no blue clothes, dishes, paintings, upholstery, NOTHING blue in my life.  Well, there was that car…somehow that didn’t count.  No Blue.  Suddenly, about three weeks ago, I had to have BLUE.  And it feels right, again.  It feels like I’m bringing back balance  and wholeness into my life and blue is part of it.

My Kefir Water experiment with structured water

I’ve seen bottled kefir in the organic section at the grocery store for years; never tried it. Recently I went through a fit, a spell, a phase, a compulsion, of making my own natural body products from things like beeswax and baking soda and vinegar and shea butter and coconut oil, and chronicled my experiments here as well as on a message board.

A commenter on the message board has been at this for years, switching everything over from store-bought to homemade. She talked about kefir. Kefir! What’s that?

I ordered my little pouch of water kefir grains from someone on Amazon. They didn’t cost a lot, and arrived in two ziploc bags, one inside of the other one. I left them sitting on my desk over last weekend, thinking I’d get to it eventually. What do you need to do to make kefir? Hmm…

One January Monday morning I decided I needed to get it going, and looked quickly at a kefir-making list:

  • 2-quart glass jar with a lid that will let air escape (so the jar doesn’t explode)
  • water
  • water kefir grains
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use organic palm sugar)
  • non-reactive strainer
  • non-reactive whisk

Directions:  mix sugar and warm water so that the sugar and water blend together thoroughly…and then add some cooler water…you don’t want to cook your kefir grains….then add this sugar-water  mix to your jar, add the kefir grains, add some more water, up to filling the jar about 2/3 full…put the lid on the jar, leave this on the counter for 24-48 hours, depending on how warm the room is, and within 48 hours bottle and bottlecap the water kefir…and/or you can add 2-4 ounces of fruit juice, like unsugared grape juice, or I like acai juice…add that to the sugar/water mix and the result is slightly fizzier than “regular”… 

..hmm…may have to buy a few things…

So I barely knew what I was doing when I assembled all my kefir stuff that Monday night: the kefir grains, some sugar, a glass measuring cup, a couple of chopsticks — I like those to stir with, since I don’t own a whisk anymore — and water. Stir it up, mix with a little water, add the rest of the water, let it sit on your counter overnight, for 24 to 48 hours, and voila, you’ve got a wonderful healthy probiotic drink that’s a little fizzy. The sugar feeds the kefir grains — they’re alive little guys — and they carbonate your water for you. Sounds good: make my own soda.

As I read and re-read the directions, I noticed they said NOT to use tap water: use spring water. Spring water? Okay, I’ve got that big plastic jug of Poland Springs water I bought a couple of weeks before ever hearing about structured water. I haven’t used the Poland Springs water at all. I could use it for kefir!

Looking again at the instructions, they said DEFINITELY do NOT add tap water, because kefir grains do not like chlorine, which is in tap water. Tap water will basically kill your kefir grains.

Okay…so I thought I’d try a little experiment. Two jars, not one; half the kefir & sugar in one jar with the structured water out of my tap, and the other half of the kefir grains and Poland Springs water in the second jar. I used two quarts of water, not one, as the directions said.


structured water and kefir grains on the left side…spring water and kefir grains on the right side
This is what the jars looked like after 24 hours. It’s clear to see that there’s activity in the structured jar…NOTHING going on in the Poland Spring jar.


closeup of the structured water jar


closeup of the springs water jar

So…one packet of water kefir grains straight from Amazon Land…I left the packet on the desk for two days…opened it up…they were already starting to expand…added half a cup of sugar and a little water and the kefir grains in a glass measuring cup…added half the mixture to the jar on the left and the other half of the mixture to the jar on the right, then filled the jars up with water…jar on the left got tap water with the structured whole-house unit…jar on the right got Poland Springs, from a previously unopened plastic jug out of the fridge…they sat overnight on the countertop, next to each other…and this is the 24 hours later picture.


closeup from the Poland Springs jar…what are those little black seedy things?

Now, a freaky thing happened. The structured water crystals remained clean looking, and kept expanding, getting bigger and bigger. They just looked like they were happy. On the other hand, I got worried about the kefir grains in the Poland Springs jar. There was NO growth, at ALL, on the bottom of the jar, NO fizz at all, the grains were not metabolizing the sugar, or whatever it is that goes on there…AND, there were some small black grains and small white grains — they looked like seeds — forming in the Poland Springs jar. There were a few of those in the structured water jar, as well, but the Poland Springs jar had a lot of them. And they didn’t look all that great. What’s going on?


48 hours on the counter with the structured water kefir grains…looks great! Healthy, growing, and I’ve got about 4 times the amount of grains I started out with…in just 48 hours!

48 hours on the counter with the Poland Springs water...yikes! Nothing! This is about the amount of grains I originally added to the jar of water, 48 hours growth whatsoever.

48 hours on the counter with the Poland Springs water…yikes! Nothing! This is about the amount of grains I originally added to the jar of water, 48 hours prior…no growth whatsoever.

I got so excited about the kefir growing in the structured water, growing so phenomenally well, I listened in on Clayton’s conference call on January 22, hoping to be able to tell the world about this. Clayton had other callers, though, and I really enjoyed listening to them talking about structured water and their questions and answers and experiences.

The next day I decided to really go for broke. I decided to make ginger beer. I am a great fan of ginger beer, and needed to find all of the ingredients first…and a bottle capper. Fortunately there’s a place I know locally that sells beer and winemaking items; they had bottle caps and cappers. I have TONS of used ginger beer bottles in my recycling bin, and now I’m going to recycle them.

2/3 cup of kefir grains, all from the structured water jar, plus ginger beer ingredients, in the jar on the plate; bottled & capped kefir from "just plain" kefir from the structured water jars; kefir bottles in the background, now all filled with structured water, kefir grains and sugar...jar on the right is an experiment with homemade coconut water and some structured water added

2/3 cup of kefir grains, all from the structured water jar, plus ginger beer ingredients, in the jar on the plate; bottled & capped kefir from “just plain” kefir from the structured water jars; kefir bottles in the background, now all filled with structured water, kefir grains and sugar…jar on the right is an experiment with homemade coconut water and some structured water added

Now all of my kefir jars have only structured water in them; yesterday I bottled & capped about a dozen bottles of kefir, some being kefir ginger beer, some being kefir and lemon for sort of a lemonade kefir, some being “just plain” kefir and water and sugar, and some being coconut and ginger and kefir.

my kefir harvest from yesterday!

my kefir harvest from yesterday!

All of this kefir grew (amazingly fast!) in structured water. I haven’t used Poland Springs water since the first jar grew the kefir so very badly. I was actually worried about the grains dying if I kept feeding them sugar and Poland Springs water.

I sure have been enjoying my home brewed kefir, and had my first taste of homemade ginger beer today. Not bad! I’d actually pay for another bottle of ginger beer tasting like this! And I have all those bottles in the fridge now…

So the real kicker is this, now: the kefir grains have grown SO phenomenally in structured water. What am I going to do with all these kefir grains?!

 Seriously fertile kefir grains...the jar on the right is rebounding from its bad spring water experience...the jar on the left is the always-had-structured-water jar. Now they both have structured water and are growing like crazy. This batch contains kefir, sugar, one piece of dried sugar ginger root each, and a handful of goji berries in each jar. We're at about Hour 36 with these two jars. I ran out of places to put more kefir!

Seriously fertile kefir grains…the jar on the right is rebounding from its bad spring water experience…the jar on the left is the always-had-structured-water jar. Now they both have structured water and are growing like crazy. This batch contains kefir, sugar, one piece of dried sugar ginger root each, and a handful of goji berries in each jar. We’re at about Hour 36 with these two jars. I ran out of places to put more kefir!


And now it’s been about eight weeks since I originally posted this on another one of my blogs. Here’s a photo of my kefir grains now, even after having given away about 4 cups of grains:

current supply of water kefir grains...aaugh!  talk about abundance!!!!

current supply of water kefir grains…aaugh! talk about abundance!!!!

Now I keep three big jars of kefir grains in the refrigerator, with sugar water and a small amount of juice, and that will rest comfortably for about a week; then I bottle the kefir water and start it again. I drink several bottles of kefir water every day and really enjoy it. The grains don’t multiply so fast in the refrigerator. I’m more able to handle the grains this way. But I’d love to continue to give it away! I have way, way more kefir grains than I can possibly use by myself. I’m pretty sure my kefir grains are so prolific because of using structured water.

Fresh Sprouts!

Welcome to my farm. Since January I’ve been farming water kefir crystals and all kinds of fresh sprouts right on my countertop. This posting is about the sprouts.IMG_2295

In the ’70s I remember buying my first sprouting jar with a variety of plastic screw-on lids with different-sized holes in the lids. I never really had much success with that and didn’t figure out why. Didn’t take the time, I guess, or didn’t know who to ask for advice. Now, with the internet, it’s as easy as typing into a search bar “growing sprouts” and there you go…all the free help and advice you could ask for. So lately I’ve been catching up with what I really wanted to learn when I was about 22.

What my sprouts look like as of 15 minutes ago:


Sprouts, Day 2

What I did yesterday, after using up my most recent batch of sprouts: washed out the jar, and added about two tablespoons each of:
mung bean seeds
pumpkin seeds
aduki beans (also spelled azuki or adzuki)
flax seeds

Filled the jar about half full of water and placed that on the counter overnight for about 8 hours.

In the morning I drained the water out, and rinsed the seeds & beans, really got the water moving in there, swished it around, and drained that completely out.

View from the top, after rinsing:


View from the Top

After the beans / seeds are rinsed well, cover them with a towel and place on the countertop. Seeds sprout in darkness. AHA!!! That’s what I didn’t know, all those years ago…the seeds can’t be submerged (like I’d been doing) and they need darkness to sprout (also something I didn’t know).


go to bed, sleepyheads…

Take the towel off and rinse them well, twice a day, morning and night. Do this for four or five or six days. Don’t let them get dried out…and also start using them before they grow roots a mile long (oops, my first time this year…) and get all tangled up (like roots tend to do, untended…unintentionally untended…)…

So there you have it; that’s the basic recipe. You can use all KINDS of seeds or beans to sprout. I buy my seeds & beans at Natural Grocers in Omaha and make sure they’re organic and are intended to be eaten… And here all this time I thought the only kind of sprouts you could grow were alfalfa seeds. Not true! Now I’m sprouting alfalfa seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, aduki bean, flax, — I mean really, if you can cook them, like black beans, why couldn’t you sprout them?!

Several weeks ago I grew a jar of only mung beans sprouts, then wondered what in the world to do with them all. I found a GREAT recipe which I will post, and made up a few uses of my own, as in: you can use mung bean sprouts as spaghetti. IMG_2689My mung bean sprouts grew roots like nobody’s business…and man…I had some tremendous spaghetti / mung bean sprouts. Cook them in a little hot water, slather with coconut oil & salt and squeeze on a little lemon juice…and man, what a great meal.

But I digress, and this needs to go in another post.

I suspect that using structured water helped my sprouts grow like they did for J from the message board.


more uses for coconut oil!

My favorite coconut oil; I find mine on Amazon.  It smells SOOOOO good!

My favorite coconut oil; I find mine on Amazon. It smells SOOOOO good!

-as a deodorant

-as a deodorant base; rub on coconut oil to freshly washed skin, then dust on a bit of baking soda

-as a moisturizer

-as an eye makeup remover

-as hand lotion

-as toothpaste!

-swish it around your mouth for a minute – 30 minutes, spit out in the toilet; google this idea for its many benefits

-recent articles talk about a tablespoon of coconut oil taken twice a day being beneficial to reverse or forestall alzheimer’s

-cracked heels?  Before bed, rub coconut oil on your heels, wrap your feet in plastic bags, go to sleep, allowing the oil to soothe and moisturize the cracked areas


I keep a little jar in my bathroom cabinet for “whatever”

-flyaway hair that needs to be tamed down while the hair is being styled?  Rub a little coconut oil onto the hands — just a little — a quarter teaspoon or less — and rub the hands over the hair.   No more flyaway hair, and the hair is easy to style.  And the hands feel good too!  And it smells great!

-making brown rice?  Add a tablespoon of coconut oil, a dash of (pink Himalayan or pink Hawaiian) salt to the water, add the rice, and cook…the rice turns out yummier than ever

-cooking scrambled eggs?  Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your skillet, and stir in the scrambled egg mixture…awesome

-making popcorn?  Use coconut oil…the popcorn turns out very, very tasty!


I didn’t have any idea that there were so many coconut products out there.

I now use:  Nutiva organic extra virgin coconut oil for cooking, eating, and body lotion (it smells SO good!); coconut palm sugar for sweetener; coconut milk for drinking and cooking; coconut water, flavored and straight, bottled in the health food aisle; and my recent purchases, coconut yogurt and coconut “butter” to use as a spread like butter.

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