Coconut Water and Oil: The Potent Anti-Inflammatories For Psoriasis
Psoriatics don’t know the fact that coconut has some substances in it which markedly improve or even cure psoriasis in some people as soon as after a few weeks of use (2 – 6 weeks). And it is not just psoriasis but also the other inflammatory conditions which get much better with eating the coconut products especially coconut water and coconut oil.
How does coconut make it so well in many other health problems?
In case of Alzheimer’s disease it is thought that fat – the MCT (medium chain triglycerides) – acts as an alternative energy source for the neurons.
But what about its positive effects on other diseases?
What about its positive effects on psoriasis?
If you read my previous blog posts you already know that I consider psoriasis to be more an Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction rather than the immune problem.
In my theory the immune system causes a lot of inflammation due to the endotoxins which leads also to low ATP production and as you may know neurons are very sensitive to ATP (energy) deficits. Low energy produced in the neurons leads to malfunction and one type of that malfunction is psoriasis (at least that’s my opinion). That’s why psoriasis often spreads symmetrically on both sides of the body.
So, maybe the coconut oil works for psoriasis exactly the same way (as an alternative energy source) as it is thought in Alzheimer’s disease.
Or is there any other mechanism which could be responsible for the improvement of psoriasis and general inflammation?
The anti-inflammatory vs. the antimicrobial effects of coconut (oil)
Is it the antimicrobial effects – especially the antifungal effects – which are very popular in natural medicine? Or is it some direct anti-inflammatory effects of coconut fat?
I am sure that it is mostly about the anti-inflammatory properties of coconut (oil) rather than the antifungal effects.
Because the anti-inflammatory effects of coconut (oil) are seen usually in less than an hour what is comparable with the potent anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
And this makes me think that coconut has to posses some anti-inflammatory properties rather than the anti-microbial effects only.
It was proved that coconut oil is able to completely abolish the response to endotoxin.
“Dietary fat influences many aspects of immune function. Escherichia coli endotoxin is a potent stimulator of interleukin 1 production from macrophages. The present study examines the effect of feeding with fat diets rich (corn oil) and poor (coconut oil) in linoleate at high and low concentrations on responses to endotoxin. Spleen phosphatidylcholine linoleate contents were higher in the corn oil than in the coconut oil group and arachidonate concentrations were highest in the group fed a high concentration of corn oil. Coconut oil completely abolished the responses to endotoxin. The inhibitory effects of coconut oil could largely be due to reduced prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis.
And right,… the scientists think that the “inhibitory effects of coconut oil could largely be due to reduced prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis.”
However, if it was only the coconut fat responsible for the coconut anti-inflammatory effects then the coconut water which is very low in fat wouldn’t be as helpful as it actually is.
There are some anecdotal reports of coconut water being able to reverse the symptoms of Pyroluria and induce the calming anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects.
I found also a testimonial claiming that drinking the coconut water cleared up psoriasis in one month.
But coconut water is naturally very low in fat (only trace amounts) so how is it so powerful to clear up psoriasis?
The only answer is that it is not (just about) the coconut fat.
Then I found this patent called “Use of coconut water extract or coconut shell extract for treating immunological diseases and/or disorders” which is full of interesting information and presents the important data gathered by its author Rong-Tsun Wu.
A method for treating immunological diseases and/or disorders associated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in a subject in need thereof is disclosed. The method comprises administering to a subject in need thereof a therapeutically effective amount of the coconut (Cocos nucifera Linn.) water extract or coconut (Cocos nucifera Linn.) shell extract through induction of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) or interleukin-10 (IL-10) as endogenous immunosuppressive factors.
The author in his patent application describes the preparation and use of coconut water extract and coconut shell extract which are able to induce the production of TGF-β and IL-10 – the two endogenous (produced by the body) potent immunosuppressive molecules.
This quote of patent abstract above is actually all we need to understand – coconut water and coconut shell have some pretty effective anti-inflammatory effects. So, it is really not just the coconut oil!
The author mentions the possible application of those extracts in cases of skin inflammation, liver inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis.
All those – skin inflammation, liver inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis – are closely related to psoriasis. The only difference is that rheumatoid arthritis in person with psoriasis is called psoriatic arthritis.
The next lines might give you a good overview why in most cases of chronic inflammation we need to not only block the production of inflammatory mediators like TNF-alpha (the biologic drugs do this) but also to promote the production of anti-inflammatory mediators.
In mammals, the skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system and plays a defensive barrier of the external pathogenic invasion. Skin inflammation has evolved as a protective response to injury, thus eliminates foreign organisms or material, and the resolution of inflammation protect us against excessive tissue injury. A failure of resolution cause chronic inflammation, and lead to many skin diseases. In murine disease models has indicated heterogeneity of TNF receptor usage in autoimmune disease suppression versus inflammatory tissue damage, suggesting that selective TNF receptor inhibition may be advantageous to anti-TNF treatments in combating chronic inflammatory disease. (Apostolaki M, Armaka M, Victoratos P et al. 2010.) Tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels in suction blister fluids and sera of psoriatic patients are correlated increases and have relationships with disease severity. (Ettehadi P. et al. 1994., Bonifati C. et al. 1994., Groves R. et al. 2004.)
Inflammation has evolved as a protective response to insult or injury, it’s a primordial response that eliminates or neutralises foreign organisms or material, the resolution of inflammation encompasses the endogenous anti-inflammatory mechanisms that protect us against excessive tissue injury and promote the restoration of tissue structure and function. In fact, our well being and survival depends upon its efficiency and carefully-balanced control. In general, the innate inflammatory response initiates within minutes and, if all is well, resolves within hours. In contrast, chronic inflammation persists for weeks, months or even years. (Lawrence T. and Gilroy D. W. 2007.) In the late phase of acute inflammation, IL-10 and TGF-β will be produced to limit inflammation and promote resolution. These two cytokines (IL-10 and TGF-β) are associated with resolution of inflammation. (Lawrence T. and Gilroy D. W. 2007, Serhan C. N. et al. 2007.)
The liver plays an important role in immunological tolerance due to its anatomical location, as it links the gastrointestinal tract and the systemic venous circulation. Therefore, immune reactions against dietary or bacterial antigens from the gut have to be avoided. The function of the liver as clearance organ, however, harbors the danger that the substances that should be degraded and/or eliminated lead to tissue damage. Thus, effective defense mechanisms are necessary. Among the nonparenchymal cells Kupffer cells, sinusoidal endothelial cells, and natural killer (NK) lymphocytes exert cellular defense functions for the whole body but also for the liver itself. Furthermore, each cell type of the liver, including the hepatocytes, possesses its own defense apparatus. (Erhardt A. et al. 2010, Ramadori G. et. al. 2008.)
The next picture shows the effects of coconut water extract (CocoM) on TPA (a chemical used to stimulate the inflammation) induced TNF-alpha production in human skin cells (HaCaT).
PBS means phosphate-buffered saline and is used as a control (“placebo”).
“FIG. 2 is a diagram showing the effect of coconut water extract on TNF-α gene expression in TPA-stimulated HaCaT cells. The keratinocyte cell line HaCaT cells (2.5×105 cells/well; in 6-well plate) were cultured in medium contain TPA (2 ng/ml) with different concentration of coconut water extract (0, 0.1, 1 and 10 μg/ml). After a 6 h incubation period with TPA and coconut water extract, the mRNA levels of TNF-α were analyzed by real-time-PCR. Results are expressed as means±S.D. (n=2). ## P<0.01 compared with PBS treatment. * P<0.05, **P<0.01 compared to the absence of TPA.” Image and Text Source: “Use of coconut water extract or coconut shell extract for treating immunological diseases and/or disorders” by Rong-Tsun Wu
The picture below presents the effects of coconut water extract on levels of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 and TGF-Beta produced in a human skin cells (HaCaT).
“FIG. 3 is a diagram showing coconut water extract induce IL-10 and TGF-β mRNA expression in HaCaT cells. The keratinocyte cell line HaCaT cells (2.5×105 cells/well; in 6-well plate) were cultured in medium contain coconut water extract (0, 0.1, 1 and 10 μg/ml). After a 6 h incubation period with coconut water extract, the mRNA levels of IL-10 and TGF-β were analyzed by real-time-PCR. Results are expressed as means±S.D. (n=2). **P<0.01 compared with PBS only.”Image and Text Source: “Use of coconut water extract or coconut shell extract for treating immunological diseases and/or disorders” by Rong-Tsun Wu
The next picture is my favorite because it presents the potent anti-inflammatory effects of coconut water extract (CocoM) mediated by its ability to keep the liver TNF-alpha levels low. The livers of mice were stressed with LPS (endotoxin) and D-Galactosamine (D-GaIN) which is a potent liver damaging chemical.
“FIG. 7C is a diagram showing the effect of coconut water extract on TNF-α expression in D-GalN/LPS-induced liver inflammation mice model. The mRNA levels of TNF-α are determined by real-time PCR. Results are expressed as means±S.D. (n=4−6). *** indicates p<0.001.”Image and Text Source: “Use of coconut water extract or coconut shell extract for treating immunological diseases and/or disorders” by Rong-Tsun Wu
Testimonials: Coconut Cleared Up Psoriasis
Here are some testimonials of psoriatics who used the coconut water or coconut oil internally and successfully cleared up their skin.
My Psoriasis Cure, No Meds Just Coconut Water And Coconut Oil!!!
I have had psoriasis for about 15 or so years. My head was covered in plaque psoriasis. Iv had big patches on my arms, legs, back, hands, feet and it also got to my nails on my hands. It was always very depressing but I always Said to everyone it COULD BE WORSE!!!! Anyway I’m a guy so it was always easier for me to shave my head and I would scrub it so the flakes would be gone, but then I have big red marks all over it. Last year I started to drink Coconut water ( with pulp ) and after a week or two my head cleared up and after a month or so all my patches were gone and nails were normal. I still had one patch on my back that wasn’t fully gone and I used no meds what so ever. I ended up stoping drinking the coconut water and after about 7 months it started to come back. I’m now drinking it again, I drink around 2 to 3 cans a day and its starting to clear up again. Since starting the coconut water I started to use Coconut oil. It come in a jar and costs about $7 or so but I still have about 4 months and there’s still a quarter of a jar left. With the heat it has melted but it still does the job. When you put the oil on the scales come right off and it starts working right away, the redness goes down with in an hour or so. I just wanted to put my story on getting rid of psoriasis to pass on and hopefully it will work for others. If you have any questions I’m right here for anyone. Hope to hear the results from people that try this 😉
” by Gillo1720, Aug 3, 2013
However, about one year later Brian in his another comment acted like he still had psoriasis so it might returned (maybe he stopped using the coconut water/oil).
Drinking 100% coconut water with pulp got rid of my psoriasis. It took about 1 month for my hair to be completly psoriasis free. You can read my post if you’d like. Congratulations on being wise enough to see past the doctors prescription pad. Some people have to learn the hard way. I’d like to suggest popping pop corn in coconut oil, using it as a lotion substitute, and using it to tan with if your into tanning. I also use coconut oil to remove make up and i leave it on my face for 1 hour sometimes longer to clean and get rid of acne.
” by Julysky1989, May 9, 2015
Unfortunately, in some cases psoriasis may worsen when taking coconut oil. One possible reason for this is when damaged (killed) pathogens make the immune and nervous system to increase the inflammatory processes.
Another causes may be a fatty acids imbalances or B-vitamin deficiencies among the others.
My son is 9 years old and he has psoriasis .i have started giving him 1 tsp of coconut oil and its almost one week now but im noticing that his psoriasis is getting worsen and covering all over his body and its very itchy .
Pls help me i have used many types of medicine but results were temporary and i was very sure that coconut will cure him but now i dont know what to do
” by Rabiafarooque95, Nov 20, 2014
Some more testimonials from EarthClinic.com
I have been taking coconut oil capsules (2000 mg twice daily) for 3 weeks today. It has completely cured the psoriasis I have had on my elbows for over 25 years now. I’ll have to get back with you to let you know what else it has helped me with. But, so far, I LOVE IT!
” by Adria (Kennesaw, GA) on 05/30/2008
I decided to try Coconut Oil to see if it would help me lose some weight. It never, but I had another interesting side benefit. It has almost completely healed up my severe case of Psoriasis. It has at least taken it to the point that I can pay little to no attention to this ailment that has dogged me for almost 40 years now, since I was 7. I started off with two tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil, one in morning one late afternoon. After the short break that proved it was the coconut oil having an affect on my skin, I started using coconut oil capsules 1000mg twice a day, but had to up the dose to 2 1000mg twice a day. I have not experienced any flare ups yet and it has been more than a few months almost completely (old scars starting to fade)clear now.
” by Stephen (Cannelton, Indiana) on 03/11/2008
Coconut Milk: How Much Is It Antifungal?
I decided to put the coconut milk in a test to find out how much antifungal coconut milk actually is.
I tested the common cooking coconut milk you can buy in a grocery store – so no fancy “organic, no additives…” – just a regular cheap coconut milk for cooking.
The label on coconut milk states: 80% of coconut extract, water, E412 (guar gum), E466 (carboxymethylcellulose), E435 (Polysorbate 60).
The amount of coconut fat in this canned coconut milk was 18%.
The coconut milk sold in cans is usually prepared by grating the coconut flesh and squeezing it (like through the cheesecloth) to get the liquid – coconut extract. Then the manufacturer adds the pure water to the extract and this is the final product – coconut milk.
I tested the coconut milk the same way in 4 Petri dishes to get more accurate results.
The Petri dishes were covered with lid, exposed to normal indoor daylight and (on average) to 20°C (68°F).
I ran the experiment for a few weeks until the coconut milk completely dried. Here are the photos…
As you can see there is a fungal growth in each of the four Petri dishes. The coconut milk in all Petri dishes started to mold after about a week (6-8 days).
Personally, I consider anything what can not stay fungus-free for at least 7 days very weak in terms of its antifungal effects.
The three of them are almost completely covered with fungi.
That’s exactly the scenario for which I ran the experiment using the 4 Petri dishes. Using just one Petri dish we might get a false results that this canned coconut oil was a relatively good anti-fungal food.
For comparison here is the photo of the comparable test using the cassia essential oil as an potential antifungal. The oats in the orange juice did not get moldy at all!
Actually, coconut milk of this quality is not a good anti-fungal food because the mold started to grow in all Petri dishes in 1 week.
Canned coconut milk is not the “most favorite food” for the fungi when compared to grains but still it is not worthy as an anti-fungal remedy in my opinion.
You can read my previous post “Orange Juice with Oats: Fungus vs Essential Oils” and “Day 21: Fungus vs Essential Oils – Very Strong Antifungal Activity of One Essential Oil” to learn more about the strong antifungal effects of cassia essential oil.
How expensive is the coconut oil?
Recently I ran into the discussion on Facebook how overpriced was one of the coconut oil products. They called the price of 22 USD for 29 oz. of coconut oil (1.81 lbs) a rip off.
But how much does the coconut oil cost in the countries of production – in Indonesia or Philippines?
It’s 1 dollar for 2 lbs (908 grams).
So according to this ALL products are RIP OFFS!
We can check the prices of various commodities easily on IndexMundi.com:
As you can see the current price is about 1 100 USD for 1 metric tonne (1000 kg/2 204 lbs). It is just 1.10 dollar per 1 kg (2,2 lbs).
1 Litre of coconut oil = 913 grams (2 lbs)
1 Litre = 33.8 fl. oz. of coconut oil = 32 oz.
If you check the current prices in e-shops you will find out that the average price of 2 lbs of coconut oil (908 grams) is about 20 dollars.
Be sure that not everything over 1 dollar per 2 lbs of coconut oil is the net income for a company. There are many expenses like for transport, packaging, distribution and the seller your are buying the product from.
So, generally is the coconut oil overpriced?
Yes, a lot.
But it is just because it’s so popular. If you are willing to pay 20 dollars for 2 lbs of oil then you are one of those who keep the prices of coconut oil so high.
What coconut oil to buy?
People are looking for the best brand of coconut oil, however if you buy the coconut oil from a reputable company it is unlikely that you get bad product.
What should you buy is cold pressed coconut oil from fresh coconuts and the other phrases are just a matter of marketing.
And even with “cold pressed” you must know if use of this label is regulated in your country or country you are buying the product from. Otherwise the producer can state on label “cold pressed” but you will never know what does the word “cold” mean. It can be processing under 40 degrees fahrenheit/celsius or 200 degrees fahrenheit
To sum it up, we have 3 different products made of coconut – coconut water, coconut oil and even coconut milk (which has actually a lot of coconut fat in it – about 20%) – capable of improving or even completely resolving some health conditions including psoriasis.
But what exactly is it – the antifungal properties of coconut or its anti-inflammatory effects – which are responsible for clearing up of psoriasis?
I am sure that the direct anti-inflammatory effect of coconut does a lot of good itself!
1) Wan JM, Grimble RF. Effect of dietary linoleate content on the metabolic response of rats to Escherichia coli endotoxin. Clin Sci (Lond). 1987 Mar;72(3):383-5.
2) Patent: “Use of coconut water extract or coconut shell extract for treating immunological diseases and/or disorders” by Rong-Tsun Wu