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Vermén Verallo-Rowell

Makati, Philippines

About Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell, MD
Author of Rx: Coconuts! (The Perfect Health Nut)

Dr. Verallo-Rowell’s writing successes began in the 1960s, as a dermatology resident at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. One of Dr. Verallo-Rowell’s very first articles was on the analysis of hair in hair loss. It won first prize in the 1967 U.S. national manuscript contest of the Cutis Dermatology Journal Through the years the subjects of her research have been diverse: cosmetics, skin care, psoriasis, photomedicine, dermatopathology, dermatologic surgery, and medical ethics.

She is the author of over 150 Articles in dermatology Journals, and in the Proceedings of dermatology meetings. Her first book, Skin in the Tropics, Sunscreens and Hyperpigmentations, is now considered a "classic" on this subject. Published by Anvil Press, in 2002, it won the Annual Publishing Industries’ Golden (Gintong Alay) Award for “comprehensiveness in coverage of topic” .

We asked the author, why a book about coconuts?

The author explains: "...because I now have the most comprehensive series of dermatological clinical studies on the coconut. The results of these studies were endlessly impressive, whether these were the coconut’s effect on skin health, the actual patient applications of the skin research results, or the regular usage by my family and friends. Since these results were surprisingly different from what is known about coconuts, I had to write a book about them!”

Since coconuts are generally considered part of alternative medicine, what got you started on doing these studies?

“I grew up in a country where the coconut is an integral part of folklore and everyday life. When I left the tropics, I trained to become a clinical and research-oriented dermatologist and dermatopathologist. The focus of my studies was the skin, using chemicals from everywhere but not from the coconut.

Researchers like myself tend to look for study subjects that are current and popular, certainly, not an old oil with a shaky reputation. I became interested in botanicals for the skin, which right now are "in". By chance I listened to a lecture about coconut monoglycerides that could be used as a preservative in cosmetics. My innate curiosity led me to my first study on a coconut monglyceride as a hand antiseptic. The results were truly unexpected, thus leading, in rapid succession to more coconut clinical studies.

Dr. Verallo-Rowell has impressive credentials. She is the Chairwoman of the Department of Dermatology at Makati Medical Center, the most esteemed medical facility in the Philippines. Across Southeast Asia, she is a frequent lecturer at the Regional Conferences of Dermatology, a council member of the Asian Dermatological Association, and an active leader of the Asian Regional Psoriasis Forum. To top it all, she continues to be the R&D Head of a successful state-of-the-science cosmetic and skin care company that she founded in 1979.

In 2002, at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Philippine Dermatological Society, she was judged by her peers as their "Top Philippine Dermatologist”. This multifaceted award includes the recognition of that unique trait common to great clinicians and to Dr. Verallo-Rowell: the ability to explain complex subjects with simplicity and clarity.

Thus, to medical and non-medical audiences she is warm, witty, logical, and easy to understand. In Rx: Coconuts!(The Perfect Health Nut), she writes just like she talks: simple and clear. Using analogies to common things, she first presents some basic facts about fats in our diet, and compares these with the coconut. With this new knowledge, you begin to understand why and how coconuts can bring about a head-to-toe, cell-to-surface health and beauty make-over.

At the end of the book, you look forward to accepting her excitingly new and varied proposals, the Rx: Coconuts Lifestyle prescriptions, which she herself uses. At 66, after years of following this lifestyle, she looks younger than her years, is healthy, lean, active in daily sports, and a perfect model for the Rx: Coconuts! Lifestyles she prescribes and follows.

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • Rx: Coconuts! (The Perfect Health Nut)