Sri Lankan culture and coconut oil | Sunday Observer

Sri Lankan culture and coconut oil

25 April, 2021

It is obvious that there still exists an inseparable grip between Sri Lankan culture and coconut oil. Recently, there was a big din about the unrefined coconut oil which contains carcinogens. It was reported that some people have refrained from using oil even for domestic consumption due to the prevailing fear. However, it is incorrect to make such hasty decisions without giving some thought to the value of coconut oil.


In the days gone by there is no doubt that we had a culture which was revolving around the sekkuwa. The technology required by the sekkuwa is simple. There is a stone mortar placed upright on the ground. The stone pestle connected with another wooden pole has been inserted into the bottom of the mortar so that it can rotate smoothly. The wooden pole has been fixed to the horizontal wooden groove at the base of the mortar. The ox is tied to the pole so that he can move in a circular motion. We can see a well-seasoned villager who acts as the operator of the sekkuwa sitting on the wooden bar to give weight to the mortar. Finally, the extracted oil is removed by draining it from a hole at the bottom of the stone mortar.

At present, the Sri Lankan coconut industry monitored by the Coconut Research Board, the Coconut Cultivation Board and the Coconut Development Authority is governed by the Coconut Development Act No 46 of 1971. Speaking of the development of the coconut industry in Sri Lanka we can see a considerable demand for coconut in both local and international markets.

Benefits of coconut oil

Even though the benefits anyone can get from coconut oil are many, It is regrettable to say that those who have a clear understanding of the value of coconut oil are few.

Anti-cancer fighter

The research conducted by the University of Adelaide revealed that the Lauric acid in coconut oil can kill 90 per cent of colon cancer cells. In addition, the fats in coconut oil prevent and treat diabetes, herpes, hepatitis, gallbladder disease, cancers and Crohn’s disease.

Protecting the skin from the UV rays

Ultra-Violet (UV) rays can cause skin cancers and make the skin dry and wrinkled. According to recent studies, coconut oil is proven to block approximately 20 per cent of the sun’s UV rays.

Improving dental health

Coconut oil acts as a fighter against the bacteria that can cause dental plaque, tooth decay and gum diseases. One study has revealed that swishing with coconut oil can reduce inflammation and plaque in teenagers with gingivitis.

Increasing metabolism

As pointed out by the researchers, coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are quickly absorbed.

Relieving skin irritation

Recent studies have revealed that coconut oil can improve dermatitis and other skin disorders.

Improving brain function

The MCTs in coconut oil are broken down by the human liver and turned into Ketones which can act as an alternative energy source for the brain.

Moisturising the skin -:

As pointed out by the researchers, coconut oil can double the moisture of the skin and repair it. In addition, coconut oil is proven to stop the growth of the intestinal bacteria clostridum difficile.

Protecting hair from damage

Coconut oil can increase the protein in the hair and keep hair healthy and stronger.

Improved wound healing

According to studies rats whose wounds were treated with coconut oil had a reduction in inflammation.

Boosting the health of bones

Virgin coconut oil can protect the health of bones by neutralising the radicals that damage bone cells.

Making a nontoxic insect repellent

As pointed out by the researchers combining Thai oil with coconut oil can provide over 98 per cent protection from the bites of certain mosquitoes.

Removing stains

Coconut oil can be used to get rid of stains.

Preparing food

Coconut oil consists of 87 per cent of saturated fat. Saturated fats retain their structure when heated to a high temperature. Oil such as corn are converted into toxin components when heated.

Increasing HDL cholesterol

According to fabricated stories coconut oil can increase cholesterol levels in people. However, according to researchers coconut oil can increase HDL ( High Density Lipoprotein) which is good for health.

Reducing belly fat

Coconut oil can help reduce belly fat called’visceral fat. Women on calorie restricted diets can have a decrease in waist size by taking only two tablespoons of coconut oil.

Reducing inflammation

According to researchers, consuming coconut oil can provide strong anti-inflammatory effects.

Natural deodorant

Coconut oil consists of strong anti-bacterial properties which make it a great natural deodorant which contains no chemicals.

Energy source

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglyceride fatty acids which are digested more than the long chain triglycerides found in most food. These fats go directly from the gut to the liver.

Improving cuticles

Coconut oil is proven to be used to improve the cuticles. By applying a small amount of coconut oil and massaging for few seconds one can make the cuticles healthier.

Relieving symptoms of arthritis

Recent clinical studies have revealed the fact that antioxidants called polyphenols in coconut oil can relieve some symptoms of arthritis.

Removing eye makeup

Coconut oil acts as an eye makeup remover. It is possible to remove the makeup by applying the coconut oil with a cotton pad and wiping gently.

Improving liver health

Coconut oil can protect the liver from damages due to the alcohol or toxin exposure.

Soothing chapped lips

Coconut oil which can protect the moisture of the skin can be considered to be an ideal lip balm. It is possible to keep the lips moist for hours by applying coconut oil on lips.

Making wooden furniture shine

Another amazing fact is that we can give a natural brightness to furniture with the help of coconut oil.

In the past, many ayurvedic doctors who were aware of the uses of coconut oil had made use of them. However, at present many of us depend on the imported chemicals, throwing away our values. The solution to get out of this abyss is to make everyone aware of the value of coconut oil.