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10 Coconut Milk Benefits For Hair, Skin & Health

Coconuts are grown in abundance in southern Asia, Malaysia, and Polynesia. While they’re often confused for being a nut, a coconut is actually a one-seeded drupe, a fruit that consists of an outer skin and a pulpy, succulent middle layer, with a hard, woody inner shell that encloses a single seed. In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as Kalpavriksha, which means the “‘tree which gives all that is necessary for living,” as nearly all parts of it can be used, the water, milk, flesh, sugar, and oil.

Creamed coconut and coconut milk are made in a surprisingly similar way to their dairy counterparts. The flesh is grated and soaked in hot water, and the coconut cream rises to the top and can be skimmed off. The liquid that remains is then squeezed through a cheesecloth to extract a white liquid that is the coconut milk. When you crack open a fresh coconut, the milky-white substance that seeps out is natural coconut water, but when it’s blended with the coconut flesh and strained, the result is a thicker coconut “milk.”

Coconuts are highly nutritious, packed with fiber and rich in vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as minerals, including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose-free so it can be used as a milk substitute. It’s a good option for anyone allergic to dairy and nut- or grain-based milk, plus it’s vegan and good for plant-based eaters.

Given all of that, it’s really not surprising that coconut milk can benefit you from the inside and out. We’ll discuss the benefits shortly, but first, here’s how to make your own.

How To Make Coconut Milk At Home

There is nothing more delicious or nutritious than making your own coconut milk. Here is our favorite recipe for making your very own coconut milk.

What you need

  • 8 ounces of unsweetened organic shredded coconut
  • 4 cups of near boiling hot water
  • Measuring cup
  • Blender
  • Nut bag
  • Bowl, medium sized
  • Clean mason jars with lids

How to make it

  • Put the shredded coconut into the blender.
  • Pour the hot water on top of the coconut.
  • Let this mixture set for a few minutes. This will give the coconut time to soften.
  • Blend the mixture on high speed until it looks milky. This usually takes a couple of minutes. Don’t worry if you still see flakes of coconut in the mixture, this is ok.
  • Place the nut bag over a medium bowl. Pour the mixture into the bag.
  • Close the bag. Use both hands to gently squeeze the bag out into the bowl. Keep squeezing until you have gotten out as much milk as possible. Discard the coconut left in the bag or use a dehydrator to make coconut flour.
  • Clean your mason jars well.
  • Pour the milk into the jars and seal.

This milk will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer. Just leave some room at the top before placing the lid on the jar if you are going to freeze. Keep in mind that the milk will separate when frozen. Don’t worry about this, it is normal. After the milk has thawed, just shake well before using.

10 Health & Beauty Benefits Of Coconut Milk

1. Treat dry, damaged hair

Coconut milk is an excellent moisturizer. It can be used to treat dry, damaged hair as well as to soothe an itchy, irritated scalp. Simply place a can of unsweetened coconut milk into your refrigerator overnight so that it will harden.

2. Prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth

Coconut milk contains all the essential nutrients required for healthy hair. It can even boost follicles and promote hair growth.

3. A hair detangler and conditioner

Coconut milk not only makes a great organic hair conditioner to help soften your hair, and even make it thicker and longer, but it acts as a natural detangler.

4. Prevent premature aging

Coconut milk can help improve the appearance and health of your skin as well. As it’s loaded with Vitamin C, it helps to maintain skin elasticity and flexibility, while being rich in copper, it also aids in preventing age spots, sagging skin, and wrinkles.

5. Soothe a sunburn

If you have sun damaged or sunburned skin, simply apply a thin layer of cool coconut milk to the affected area. The oil and fats in the milk help to restore moisture, reduce redness, and ease the pain.

6. Prevent acne

If you have acne prone skin, use coconut milk as a cleanser. Its antibacterial properties help to prevent breakouts, but the oil and fats in the milk don’t clog pores.

7. An overall skin moisturizer

You’ve probably heard of milk baths, well coconut milk is even more beneficial than traditional cow’s milk due to its incredibly soothing properties.

8. Support heart health

Coconut milk is a great way to promote better overall health by consuming it too, including improving heart health.

9. Weight loss

Coconut milk is great for weight loss it helps to build muscle and reduce fat.

10. Lowering inflammation

The medium-chain fatty acids, or MCTs, in coconut milk are known to help lower inflammation.