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Top 3 Science-Backed Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Nails

How Coconut Oil Helps Your Nails

Massaging your nails with a few drops of warm virgin coconut oil, twice daily, can help soothe dry nail bed, cuticles and even strengthen weak, splitting nails. Thanks to its amazing moisturizing abilities. Equally beneficial can be a blend of virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil to remove nail fungus and prevent any bacterial or fungal infection from spreading.

Right now everybody’s talking about how good coconut oil is for your health. The best type of coconut oil–virgin coconut oil–has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties, thanks to the phenolic compounds in it, which protect the skin from the harmful effects of the free radicals that play a role in the health and appearance of the skin.1

Virgin coconut oil, produced by crushing copra or dried coconut meal, is a good source of medium-chain fatty acids that help in reducing the waist circumference.2 It also improves immunity and has shown therapeutic effect on Alzheimer’s disease.3

Besides the beneficial medium-chain triglycerides, coconut oil is also a rich source of lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid.4

These acids together and even individually improve coconut oil’s capabilities as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal ingredient. This also ensures that besides being a good dietary source of essential fatty acids, it is also a good skin healer and can be used in various topical applications.5

1. Treats Nail Infections

Perhaps the most important benefit of coconut oil on the nails is its ability to alleviate any fungal or bacterial infections. For example, one of the most common signs of nail infection is green nails where the nails turn light to dark green. Green nails can be caused by the fungus Candida Albicans or the bacteria Pseudonomas Aerunginosa.6 It could also be caused by another fungus named Aspergillus sp.7

Clinical research has shown that virgin coconut oil can effectively treat the microbial infections caused by either fungus or bacteria.8 This is because coconut oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids, which when applied topically on the skin, have a strong antimicrobial effect. In fact, lauric acid–coconut oil has about 49 percent of lauric acid in its composition–has been shown to have the best antifungal and antibacterial properties.9 Moreover, capric acid in coconut oil also prevents yeast overgrowth which can cause green nails and even ridges.10

How to use: To effectively treat the fungal infection of your nails, you can blend virgin coconut oil with tea tree oil since both have anti-microbial properties. Clinical trials have shown tea tree oil can prevent yeast infection.11 So blend a few drops of tea tree oil with warm coconut oil and apply on the infected nails after washing your hands. Massage in till the oil gets soaked in. Focus on the areas where the nail meets the skin. It will prevent the infection from spreading. Try this twice a day to get fast and effective results.

2. Soothes Dry Nail Bed And Cuticles

When applied topically, coconut oil can be used effectively to soothe very dry skin and treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.12 And since the nail bed is an extension of your skin, you can use coconut oil to treat dry, cracked nail bed and repair a rather painful peeling cuticle condition.

The fatty acids in the coconut oil also hasten wound healing and improve the collagen structure of the skin.13

How to use: So massage your nail bed and cuticles twice daily with a few drops of coconut oil till it gets absorbed into the skin. It will moisturize your skin and protect the nail bed from further peeling. In fact, it will prevent the dry scaly condition around your nail bed as it improves skin hydration and skin lipid levels.14

3. Strengthens Weak, Splitting Nails

You very often find that when your hands suffer from itchy, dry skin condition, nails tend to turn dull and develop ridges, and many a time these nails feel weak and are prone to splitting. This is caused by atopic dermatitis or eczema, which is a dry skin condition.15 You can use coconut oil to soothe and improve the condition since it is known to improve dry skin conditions very effectively.16

How to use: All you have to do is soak your fingers in warm virgin coconut oil for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can add few drops of rosemary oil into this to improve blood circulation to your nails. Massage gently and rinse off with warm water. This daily nail ritual at night can help you deal with weak nails and get them shining with health.

References   [ + ]

1. Marina, A. M., Y. B. Che Man, S. A. H. Nazimah, and I. Amin. “Antioxidant capacity and phenolic acids of virgin coconut oil.” International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 60, no. sup2 (2009): 114-123.
2. Liau, Kai Ming, Yeong Yeh Lee, Chee Keong Chen, and Aida Hanum G. Rasool. “An open-label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity.” ISRN pharmacology 2011 (2011).
3. Hu, Yang I., Ortí JE De la Rubia, Sabater P. Selvi, Castillo S. Sancho, M. J. Rochina, Ramón N. Manresa, and Inmaculada Montoya-Castilla. “COCONUT OIL: NON-ALTERNATIVE DRUG TREATMENT AGAINST ALZHEIMER´ S DISEASE.” Nutricion hospitalaria 32, no. 6 (2014): 2822-2827.
4. Marina, A. M., YB Che Man, S. A. H. Nazimah, and I. Amin. “Chemical properties of virgin coconut oil.” Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society 86, no. 4 (2009): 301-307.
5, 10. DebMandal, Manisha, and Shyamapada Mandal. “Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention.” Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine 4, no. 3 (2011): 241-247.
6. MOORE, MORRIS, and MORRIS D. MARCUS. “GREEN NAILS: The Role of Candida (Syringospora, Monilia) and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.” AMA archives of dermatology and syphilology 64, no. 4 (1951): 499-505.
7. Řiháková, Zdeňka, Vladimír Filip, Milada Plocková, Jan Šmidrkal, and Radka Červenková. “Inhibition of Aspergillus niger DMF 0801 by monoacylglycerols prepared from coconut oil.” Czech J. Food Sci 20 (2002): 48-52.
8. Ogbolu, David Olusoga, Anthony Alaba Oni, Oluwole Adebayo Daini, and A. P. Oloko. “In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria.” Journal of medicinal food 10, no. 2 (2007): 384-387.
9. Kabara, Jon J., Dennis M. Swieczkowski, Anthony J. Conley, and Joseph P. Truant. “Fatty acids and derivatives as antimicrobial agents.” Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy 2, no. 1 (1972): 23-28.
11. Hammer, Katherin A., Christine F. Carson, and Thomas V. Riley. “In-vitro activity of essential oils, in particular Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and tea tree oil products, against Candida spp.” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 42, no. 5 (1998): 591-595.
12. Evangelista, Mara Therese Padilla, Flordeliz Abad‐Casintahan, and Lillian Lopez‐Villafuerte. “The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double‐blind, clinical trial.”International journal of dermatology 53, no. 1 (2014): 100-108.
13. Nevin, K. G., and T. Rajamohan. “Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats.” Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 23, no. 6 (2010): 290-297.
14. Agero, A. L., and Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell. “A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis.” Dermatitis 15, no. 3 (2004): 109-116.
15. Bruynzeel, D. P., and I. M. Frankenmolen-Witkiewicz. “Twenty-nail dystrophy in adults.” Archives of Dermatology 116, no. 8 (1980): 862-862.
16. Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M., Kristine M. Dillague, and Bertha S. Syah-Tjundawan. “Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.” Dermatitis 19, no. 6 (2008): 308-315.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.