Healing Properties of Coconut Soap
THE DETERGENT you use to launder your clothes could be causing allergies and skin irritations, according to health experts.
They point out that most detergents contain chemicals that make clothes appear whiter; boost lathering power, soften water, and keep bar soaps hard, among other properties.
An array of diseases
But few of these actions really have to do with cleansing, says coconut oil advocate Ma. Aleli Pansacola. Having testified in hearings sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry probing large soap manufacturers, Pansacola says that the chemical residue from the detergent used on clothes has been suspected of causing an array of diseases. These range from cancer and asthma to psoriasis, allergies, and other skin sensitivities, according to a number of studies.
Pansacola originally began manufacturing natural herbal soap made from coconut oil and herbs because of her involvement with coconut farmers and other tillers of the land. She has since developed Victoria Herbal -Soap Granules and distributed this to large distribution outlets including the SM Supermarkets, Makati Supermarket, Unimart, and other selected outlets. She points out that the coconut oil-based product is good for both hand and machine washing and does not have a trace of synthetic chemicals.
In contrast to regular detergent, Victoria is economical, too. It is made completely of active ingredients and will require perhaps only half the amount of detergent one would normally consume. In addition, it contains its own natural fabric softeners, is completely biodegradable, and does not harm the environment, unlike its mass-produced cousins.
Since it was first manufactured in the late early '90s, Victoria has been cited in various scientific meetings abroad including an International Pharmacological Fair in the Netherlands and the 24th Salon International Des Invention et Innovation in Switzerland.
Endorsed by int'l group
With the resurgence in popularity of coconut oil, claim experts, it is now ready to be sold outside the small circle of naturalists who have been patronizing it for years. Marketed by Vitaliano Inc, Victoria soap in both granules and bar form is carried by SM Supermarkets and Mercury Drug. It is also being exported to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia as well as in the US where it is being endorsed. by Global Filipino, an international organization of Filipinos actively finding solutions to our country's economic problems.
Pansacola relates that a foreign client, who had a bad case of psoriasis, experienced great relief from the ailment after switching from popular detergents to the Victoria brand. "An international traveler, he realized that his skin is Allergic to the strong detergents that hotels use on their linens," she recalls. Then there was this woman, who for 14 years could not touch detergent suds without developing severe allergies. She is now her most ardent dealer.
The coconut champion believes, like many other researchers, that the monolaurin content of coconut oil in the product is greatly responsible for its skin-healing properties. Monolaurin, an antibacterial substance now being tested with good results, is preserved in the "cold process" that Pansacola uses to make Natural Herbal Products like Victoria soap.
Good soap does not need chemical boosters, she says with strong conviction.
*** Written by Tina Arceo-Dumlao and published in a local newspaper