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Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Great New Carrier Oil: Fractionated Coconut

Ananda Aromatherapy has just added a wonderful carrier oil with a very diverse list of applications: Fractionated Coconut oil. Yes, our reaction was a little strange too: "Fractionated"? Is that good? Yes, now we can use this excellent carrier oil ~ which is typically solid at room temperature ~ for all our aromatherapy needs.

Fractionation is simply the process of separating the shorter and longer molecular chain 'fractions' of the oil. In the case of coconut, we keep the shorter chains, which then remain liquid at temperatures we use for therapeutic needs. These shorter chains are technically called 'Medium Chain Triglicerides'. These molecules are the most stable of all in coconut oil, and have a virtually limitless 'shelf life' ~ a great benefit when blending, as your natural perfumes or therapeutic creations will retain their freshness for some time.

Coconut oil has a long list of health benefits: it is an excellent skin moisturizer, suitable for most skin types. It is very hydrating and easily absorbed ~ particularly the 'medium chain fraction'. The oil is beginning to be used by Naturopaths for dermatitis of all types, and used generally for dry skin. Interestingly, it has been noted that the oil is very similar to human subcutaneous fat; its processing actually makes it closer to our own body's natural makeup! Consuming the oil as a nutritional supplement has been a practice of athletes for many years, as it actually increases the body's rate of fat burning.

Coconut also has a lovely light feel, fast becoming appreciated by massage therapists. It doesn't leave stains on fabric after washing, so when used in your topical aromatherapy blends, there's no need to worry about oil on your clothing (though some essential oils like Rose Absolute, Blue Tansy or Sea Buckthorn Berry are naturally pigmented, so you might want to check these out individually if using a deeply colored essential oil).

Fractionated coconut oil is THE carrier of choice for natural perfumers. It has virtually no aroma of its own, and with the light clear texture and long shelf life, makes a perfect vehicle to 'carry' your aromatic creations. (Jojoba oil is also an excellent choice, particularly if seeking an oil that will be a little thicker ~ though it too has little aroma of its own and is very stable).

Use Fractionated Coconut in your topical aromatherapy massage blends, reflexology formulas and other therapeutic recipes as you would any other carrier. It will blend with other carriers with specific therapeutic uses as well, like Tamanu, Rosehip seed and the like.

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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