Review of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

gold_label_Virgin_Coconut_oil_logo2Last summer I was gifted a bottle of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut oil along with the book, Virgin Coconut Oil by the company.  It has taken me this long to write a review of the coconut oil because of what I experienced when I started eating the oil on a regular basis.

At the time of receiving the oil and the book, I knew of coconut oil’s nourishing and healing qualities.  I wrote a post about it in the fall of 2008 talking about the different qualities of coconut oil.  I even wrote:

“The principle fatty acid in coconut milk, lauric acid, is a medium-chain 12-carbon saturated fatty acid that has potent antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties.”  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

However, I was also not eating coconut oil regularly enough to really benefit from its highly nourishing and healing properties.  But when I received the Tropical Traditions oil and read most of the book about its qualities, I decided to start eating it regularly.

The book warned to take things slow.  Because of its healing properties, the coconut oil can help to release toxins from the body.  However, if this happens to quickly, one can be subject to a “die off” effect or a “healing crisis,” also known as a Herxheimer reaction.  This is when too many toxins are trying to leave the body but the body isn’t able to do it quickly enough.  The result of this is people can often feel sick and achy, like they are getting a cold or a flu bug.  Or they can have old symptoms return for a day up to several months, depending on how much toxic build up there is in the system.

So I started taking a tsp or so of oil, but still ended up overdoing it somehow.  I woke up in a couple of days with what felt like an ear infection and my energy was very low.  I felt like I was getting sick, but it turns out I never really did get sick.  The feeling cleared within a day and I felt fine again.  I realized that it was my body’s way of telling me to take things even slower so I did.  I am now up to eating a couple tablespoons a day with no problem but it took me some time to get there.

The other thing that started happening when I ate the oil on a daily basis is a tiny rash on my hand started to grow.  This rash had come and gone the past year or so, maybe longer, but had never really bothered me.  But when I ate the coconut oil, it grew and eventually spanned my entire palm on my left hand.  It eventually crept onto my fingers and at its worst, it was very itchy, dry and cracked.

A few months after starting the coconut oil, I eased myself into the full GAPS diet, eliminating grains, starches and refined sugars from my diet.  This too created some die-off in my body and the rash continued to persist.  I treated it with calendula ointment because although I had a history of eczema, I came to the conclusion that it was a way that the toxins were leaving my body due to eating the coconut oil and changing my diet.

Sometime in December, the rash started to improve dramatically where it was no longer itchy and cracked and new and healthy skin was beginning to grow.  It is still not 100% but at this point, it is only a tiny bit dry and red in one place. So it took about six months of eating the coconut regularly and changing my diet for it to finally clear!

There have been other amazing changes in my life due to eating coconut oil – you can read about them in My Healing Journey section.

I find this truly amazing and I am sure that it is due to Tropical Traditions traditional methods of harvesting and processing the coconuts to make cold-pressed virgin coconut oil.  You can read about the process that they use on their website, which is based on the traditional ways of harvesting coconuts that has been used for centuries.

I highly recommend their products!  If you haven’t tried eating coconut oil regularly, I would recommend using their coconut oil because of its high levels of antioxidants found in lab analysis.

I personally use it for almost everything – I use it to saute food in my cast iron skillets.  I use it in place of butter in baking.  I make coconut candy out of it by freezing it with other ingredients like honey, peppermint extract and shredded coconut.  And I often eat it by the spoonful at the end of the day.  It becomes solid when it is cool enough and therefore kind of like eating almond butter by the spoonful, which I also enjoy.  I used to put it in oatmeal or hot cereal but no longer eat grains.  I know some people put it in smoothies or hot cocoa or other hot drinks.

I hope you have found this post inspiring you to eat coconut oil more regularly!

How do you use coconut oil?  I’d love to hear more ways to use it!

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  1. I love coconut oil! Thanks for posting such a personal and informative review. Sometimes it is just nice to be reminded of how great it is when I like using it in so many things. A good reminder not to give it up. Thanks!

  2. Try making coconut milk (from the raw coconut). See my coconut blog (http://freshcoconutoil.blogspot.com) for how I make it. It not only gives you the oil but the fiber and enzymes from the coconut.

    I have also used coconut oil for the quick healing of cold sores. It is THE BEST treatment I have ever found
    for cold sores.

    You can make biodiesel too but that is another topic. 🙂


  3. Hi I read your article with great interest. I’ve tried using coconut oil, but each time I felt so sick (achy, no energy, like I’m getting a flu) that I’ve stopped. I only take the littlest bit, but after a few days of doing this, the flu like feeling comes. It scares me thinking I must have so many toxins in my body (even though I eat well) that I just can’t handle the coco. oil. Any suggestions?

  4. Hi M,
    It’s hard to answer you without knowing more about your diet and what you’re eating right now. If you haven’t already eliminated sugars and starches from your diet, this may be a good place to start. I think for me, I needed both the coconut oil and the change of diet. Maybe try other things in very small amounts like probiotics or lacto fermented sauerkraut. Also, how little is little? If you are very sensitive to it, start with just a drop, literally, and see if you can build up from there after a week or so.
    I hope this helps!

  5. Hi, very informative post. I just started using coconut oil and love it both internally and externally as a moisturizer. I’ve only used Barlean’s extra virgin coconut oil though but just found tropical traditions website today, does anyone know how they compare? I’m most concerned about the flavor since I love coconut and the Barleans has an excellent flavor.

  6. Hi Andrea,
    I haven’t tried Barleans. To tell you the truth, I like Nutiva’s flavor better than Tropical Traditions. It is very fresh tasting. I think it is just as high of quality as well as it is cold pressed.
    Sorry I can’t give you any feedback on comparing it to Barleans.

  7. I just started taking 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day. I have severe bacterial overgrowth/candida in my bowels so thought this would help. My worst symptom has always been excessive intestinal gas (like a swallowed a coffee perculator). Since taking the oil all of the rumblings/gas has gotten much worse- is this normal? I have been doing this for 3 weeks now and am concerned about continuing this as it is really embarassing and uncomfortable for me. I also have experienced nausea since starting this regimen. I have taken out all sugar from my diet and no white carbs. I also take Manuku honey as I heard that would help with digestive problems. I also take high strain probiotics daily.

    Please advise what you would do if you were me??

    Many thanks!


  8. Hi,
    Your account is convincing enough to use coconut oil. I consumed it for a while last year in hot foods and never felt so nourished.
    I do have a suggestion for the rash on your hand. This should also be helpful for those suffering from chronic yeast infections. You also recommend dietary changes; I couldn’t agree more. Elimination of refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, and processed foods is essential for stopping yeast overgrowth. It is also crucial to take an excellent Pro-Biotic daily (I use one by DaVinci). Of course, there’s water intake, etc. but the gut has to be addressed for balancing intestinal flora. If I had known what I know now when I was in my late teens and early twenties, my life would have been so much better.
    Back to the rash. Several years ago I progressively developed an itchy, burning, beet-red rash with texture across my chest. It was horrible and I was miserable. A nurse friend looked at my chest and declared that I had a yeast infection and advised a topical vaginal yeast ointment. That worked well for about 2 days and gave some much needed relief. Finally I called my brilliant eastern/holistic doctor. Immediately she asked if I had cleaned my spleen. I had not, but the next day after doing the simple cleanse, there was no trace of any skin irritation. The results were astounding.
    Here are the steps for this cleanse if you don’t already practice this or are unfamiliar with the process. Since the liver and spleen are filter organs, this cleanse assists the body to remove toxins and also helps reduce the stresses from the effects of Herxheimer.
    Cut a piece of white COTTON cloth (with no imprints, inks, or dyes on the fabric–I use old white cotton tee-shirts) about 6×8″. I keep a box of these cloths handy now and is a great way to recycle the tees.
    Place a piece of clear Saran wrap on a counter. Lay the cotton cloth in the center of the Saran wrap.
    Liberally squirt CASTOR OIL over the cloth much like squirting mustard over bread. I use a brand of oil called HORIZONS.
    Either prepare a hot water bottle with piping hot water or use an electric heating pad as a hear source.
    Place the compress of cloth and plastic over your liver (directly under the right breast; this cleanse will also assist the gall bladder).
    I use a very thin kitchen towel over the compress to hold the materials in place and to help prevent leakage. I also wear clothes that I don’t want to ruin.
    Place the heat source over the thin towel then cover this with a thicker towel, again to help contain everything. So this is the consecutive order of materials against the body: cotton material with castor oil, Saran wrap, thin towel, heat source, thick towel, pillow. A pillow is a comfortable way to top this sandwich of materials as I lie down and let the CASTOR OIL perform its job. Do this process for a minimum of 20 minutes and even up to 3 hours (even better). I’ve used it all night while sleeping.
    Once you finish with the liver cleanse, restore the oils on your cloth if needed, then place the compress across your body on the spleen area. Place your right palm under your left breast, then slide the palm to the side of the body. This is the spleen area. Use for the same amount of time described above.
    After cleaning an organ, simply wipe away the excess oil with a towel. If the skin were to become irritated, then wash the area with baking soda. This cleanse can be repeated as often as needed.
    If I feel neck pain, I usually clean my liver since the neck and liver are both on the same meridian.
    I hope this information is useful to all.

  9. Hi Annie,
    Wow, thanks so much for this in depth description of a castor oil pack. I did this but didn’t have such clear instructions when I tried it. My rash has been gone for a while, but I find it very interesting what you say about the neck ache. I often have a stiff neck so I will continue to use the castor oil pack. Have a great day and thanks so much!

  10. To Annie,
    Wow! I’ve never heard of that cleanse. I’m going to go out and get the castor oil. Thanks a lot for the info.

  11. And thanks Sarah for telling us your experience. I’m going to try the coconut oil. In fact, I’m really excited.

  12. Your welcome Kim!

  13. I recently purchased 2 gallons of the Gold Label TT coconut oil. I was so disappointed upon opening the container. It looked fine but smelled rancid! Almost like bacon fat! Have you ever experienced this odour after purchasing this product in their plastic containers?

  14. Hi Sabrina, I have since had some not so great luck with Tropical Traditions. I really like Nutiva brand.


  1. […] I had a rash on my hand last summer and it eventually went away after being on GAPS a few months and taking coconut oil.  See this post. […]

  2. […] “die-off” reactions after eliminating starches and grains from my diet.  I was also taking coconut oil, which can also create die-off.  There were days I felt awful, like I had been hit by a truck or […]

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