Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. And it’s useful in about a million different ways. The health benefits of coconut oil are widely known in tropical countries, and it was popular in the United States until the 70’s when the corn and soy oil companies started making claims that coconut oil is harmful to the body because it’s high in saturated fat. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago, when people started questioning those company statements, that coconut oil made its comeback. That just goes to show that if there’s a strong trend that can make money, we need to question the validity of it *cough* the everyone has candida *cough* alkaline diet *cough cough*. Excuse me, looks like I need some hot tea…
While I go make that, how about you read all the awesome things you can do with coconut oil 😉
Skin care – Coconut oil is so mild that it’s suitable for every skin type, including severely sensitive skin. It’s antibacterial properties are said to help acne, and it’s antioxidant properties to slow the signs of aging from. It’s a great way to remove eye makeup, and it won’t clog your pores. I have replaced all of my lotions with coconut oil, and use it exclusively. Plus, adding your favorite essential oil creates an all natural perfume/cologne you can feel good about wearing.
Hair care – In tropical regions, many people use coconut oil as an overnight hair mask to condition the hair and scalp, and to encourage hair growth. It also cures dandruff and keeps lice away. Rubbing a small dab on the ends of your hair helps prevent split ends and reduce frizz.
Toothpaste – Coconut oil has shown to slow tooth decay and support healthy gums. Here is a great recipe for homemade toothpaste.
Oil pulling – In this ancient practice, you swish oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes and it pulls the toxins from your body. Then you spit the toxins out of your mouth and down the drain. There’s a whole cult of people who swear by the benefits of oil pulling, including weight loss, dental hygiene, and the easing of migraines and canker sores. It’s even said to keep you safe from winter bugs.
Pink eye – Because of the anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, applying coconut oil topically with eyes closed, or using an eyedropper for direct contact, is an effective, safe, and inexpensive way to cure pink eye.
Immunity – With all the amazing anti’s it contains, consuming coconut oil is a great way to keep healthy during season changes, and especially around the holidays.
Shaving – When mixed with a mild soap, coconut oil provides a slick shave that won’t leave you dry and irritated. Try this recipe.
Eye makeup remover – For the occasions that I wear makeup (gosh, what a hippie I’ve become!) I use a dab of coconut oil and a warm washcloth to gently and safely remove even waterproof mascara.
Deodorant – Use alone for sensitive skin, or in an all natural recipe.
Digestion – By killing all the harmful bacteria and leaving the good, coconut oil has shown to ease the discomfort of IBS, Crohns, and Chronic Constipation. It also kills parasites, worms, and candida (if you actually happen to have it).
Cooking oil – Coconut oil is great for high heat dishes, and is so yummy when used instead of vegetable oil for making brownies! It also has a long shelf life, so no worries about that big Costco tub going rancid on you.
Weight loss – Don’t be fooled by it’s high saturated fat content, coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids help take off extra pounds while boosting your metabolism. Taking in 1 to 3 Tablespoons per day is recommended. An easy way to do that is to stir it in your morning coffee or tea, or blend it in a yummy green smoothie.
Personal lubricant – Ooh la la! Coconut oil is a safe way to have a good time. Most personal lubricants have artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and harmful parabens. And anything that makes you tingle should be avoided! Skin is especially sensitive down there, so we need to be mindful when we play. With all it’s moisturizing, germ killing power, you can bet on easy entry and less UTI’s.
Dry Lips – smear it on for kissable lips that won’t leave you dependent like some chapsticks do.
Carrier oil – A great, non-greasy, inexpensive carrier oil for all your topical essential oil needs. When used with lavender essential oil at bedtime (rubbed on the temples or feet) it can help ease insomnia and bring restful sleep.
Your dog’s coat – Keep it shiny and new with a tasty treat of coconut oil. It can also boost energy in lethargic pups. The best part is that it’s a “high drive” treat!
Sunscreen – Mixed with Zinc Oxide powder, it safely provides a barrier between you and the sun’s rays. Use it alone for an spf 4 and a great tanning lotion.
This one is a bit of a laziness factor for me. When I’m engrossed in my writings or an epic game of Mario Kart, I don’t want to get up and go to the bathroom when my hands or lips get dry. Having it all around the house is a convenient way to keep my skin hydrated and clean.
Before I end this article, and you rush to your nearest store for a jar, I want to give you a few guidelines about what to look for when you purchase coconut oil.
Organic – no pesticides or fillers!
Unrefined – no bleaching!
Raw – no excessive heating!
Your coconut oil should be solid and white when at room temperature (it melts at about 76 degrees) and should smell and taste like coconuts. I use this one from Costco and l-o-v-e it!
Enjoy your coconut oil excursions!