The first time I ever heard of coconut oil was when my husband was told to use it for his arthritis. His physician said the anti-inflammatory properties could help ease some of his joint pain. Turns out – this isn’t out of the blue. Coconut oil helps reduce the inflammation in sunburns and the same properties may help in the joints.
A new study out of India looked more into the why. The researchers were looking for a natural alternative to the current pharmaceutical options available, which can carry side effects. The study concluded the anti-oxidants in virgin coconut oil helped reduce a protein responsible for arthritis more than a common NSAID used for treatment.
In this particular study, they used fractionated coconut oil, claiming the anti-oxidants are more prevalent with a little heat (but not enough to refine) the oil. While more human trials still need to be conducted, it is promising evidence of the power of coconut oil.
In the study, the oil was ingested. But coconut oil may also help relieve joint pain externally. According to LiveStrong, massaging coconut oil over swollen joints may help lessen the inflammation. The site suggests mixing coconut oil with aloe for inflammation. For a deeper massage, mix camphor with warm coconut oil to increase the blood flow to the aching joints, leading to a warming sensation and lesser pain felt.
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