Coconut oil health benefits and uses: household, skin care, nutritional, medicinal & brain health
Coconut oil health benefits and uses: household, skin care, nutritional, medicinal & brain health
Coconut oil is a superfood that has been around for centuries in other cultures, and recently it has gained popularity among many Western households as well for its therapeutic benefits. It has been called “the tree of life” for decades for good reasons. There are over 1,500 studies proving that coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. With a little creativity, you can find plenty of uses for this golden food, from nutritional to beauty to household to therapeutic uses!
A word of advice: buy yourself the unrefined type, not the refined one. It does not matter if it is organic or not. It is important that it is not stripped of the goodness through the refining mechanisms which also make it less flavourful. Look for “unrefined” or “extra-virgin” coconut oil. It solidifies at room temperature, and liquifies at warmer temperatures (such as in the summer). No need to refrigerate though.
Here I would like to share with you some of the wonderful benefits of coconut oil, and the reason why I have several jars in my home at all times. Oh and I just love the tropical coconut smell too…!
1. Skin moisturizer It may seem greasy at first, so a little goes a long way. After a few minutes, it dries beautifully. Not only does it moisturize your skin, it also has healing properties while penetrating deep into the skin. Use as you would regular lotions.
2. Conditioner Use it on your entire head and scalp for deep conditioning, or on your dry hair ends where natural oils are hard to reach to hydrate your hair and seal the follicle.
3. Weight loss Take 1-2 tablesspoons of coconut oil when you crave something you shouldn’t be craving. That will help suppress your appetite due to its quick energy boosting properties. But if you sit around and eat coconut oil without physical exercise, you will not lose much/any weight whatsoever.
4. Energy booster One thing all of us might need sometimes, or on a daily basis in my case!
5. Fungal infections Coconut oil is an effective and natural fungicide.
6. Cold sores Apply directly on the cold sore for quicker healing and much needed moisture
7. Furniture polisher Dab a small amount of coconut oil on a cloth and polish the furniture as you would with a store-bought polish (minus the chemicals). The furniture may not be as shiny as with the store-bought wood polishers, but the coconut will not only preserve the wood, it will also keep dust off!
8. Natural antiseptic Coconut oil is found to have antimicrobial properties and it is effective even against the staph infection bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus), which can cause a multitude of diseases.
9. Soothe insect and fly bites For soothing and quicker relief, spread a little coconut oil over the insect/fly sting. Great for bee stings too.
10. Butter/oils substitute Use coconut oil to replace butter and just about any oil. Generally, use 1:1 ratio in baking, frying, or regular cooking.
11. Lip balm You can apply directly to your lips, or you can make it into a lip balm so it would stay on longer and act like a protective barrier. You can find a recipe here. And you can also add your choice of essential oils, like we do, for an added boost of healing properties. Our favourite are wild orange, peppermint, lavender and vanilla. You can easily get some inexpensive lip balm tubes or small tins to store your lip balms in.
12. Make up remover to replace the store-bought harsh chemical filled ones. You can use a mild soap afterwards, to remove the traces of the oil
13. Massage oil Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for all ages, and that includes BABIES! I have used it on all 3 of my children, and just loved its divine coconutty smell, and its pleasantly smooth texture once it melts into the skin.
14. Diaper cream Because of its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties, coconut oil is the idea diaper cream for those sensitive and irritated little bums.
15. Nipple cream After done breastfeeding pad area dry, then apply on the nipple to keep it moisturized, or to help heal cracked nipples. Your baby won’t be eating any chemicals off of you and your breastfeeding experience would greatly improved as you would feel more comfortable feeding. Can be applied between feedings too as needed.
16. Nail and cuticle treatment
17. Anti-inflammatory Ease arthritis pain by massaging coconut oil into each joint 1-2 times a day to relive soreness and stiffness.
18. Leather polish Coconut oil not only feeds the leather and keeps it elastic, it helps it from breaking!
19. Remove chewing gum from either your carpet or child’s hair, by applying a liberal amount, rubbing it in thoroughly and letting sit for 2-5 minutes. Use a soft and textured cloth or towel to wipe the gum away. Wash excess oil with a mild shampoo and rinse.
20. Bath oil It will coat your skin and leave it soft and moisturized.
21. Cutting board conditioner so it won’t crack/split, and safe for food handling. It also neutralizes bad odours.
22. Prevent lice Dab a comb into the oil and comb through. Use especially during an outbreak.
23. Frizz-fighter for hair, especially in the dry winter months.
24. Popcorn topping Melt some coconut oil, drizzle on popcorn, add a dash of salt, and enjoy a tasty and healthy snack!
25. Wound care Apply on minor scrapes or burns.
26. Moisturizer for dry nostrils (babies/adults)
27. Constipation relief Take 1 tablespoon daily on an empty stomach every morning to help relieve constipation, or take 2 tablespoons for a quick acting solution to severe constipation.
28. Fade age and sun spots Applying a small amount on age spots or sun spots, coconut oil will fade them away and keep skin well nourished and elastic due to the high level of vitamin E and the good fatty acids.
29. Under-eye bag relief Apply at bedtime under and around your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark bags.
30. Soften dry elbows and knees
31. Insect repellant Unsure why, but insects seems to keep away from this divine coconutty scent!
32. Detail clean your car including the dashboard, leather seats, inside of the doors… you name it!
33. Clean your retainer or mouth guard Coconut oil pulls toxins and dirt away, so it is a great way to clean and disinfect your retainer where sometimes food particles and bacteria remain even after regular brushing.
34. Oil pulling is one amazing and natural teeth brightening Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil inside your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes; then spitting it out (full of toxins).
35. Hair de-tangler for children
36. Soothing shaving cream
37. Non stick cooking spray substitute
38. Sunscreen and sunburn remedy Coconut oil has an SPF 4 and if you have too much sun, you reapply for healing and relief.
39. Boost nutrients in smoothies Add 1-2 tablespoons to smoothies for healthy fats, and for the cholesterol fighting elements.
40. Boost nutrients in cereal I like to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to my morning oatmeal. I love the flavour it adds to it and the fact that I am starting the day with a healthy and energy boosting breakfast.
41. Immunity booster Along with a healthy diet, coconut oil can help your body fight the virusesand flu due to its anti-viral properties! Especially important in the winter months.
42. Prevent bone loss and decreases risk of osteoporosis Coconut oil strengthens your bones as ithas been shown to help to increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium into our bones.
43. Brain health protector Research has shown that coconut oil can help reduce risk (or effect) of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Did you know that 20% of your body’s cholesterol is in the brain? That means our brain needs cholesterol for best function. What better way than the good cholesterol from coconut oil? Did you also know that only human breast milk and coconut oil have the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are easy to break down and which can cross the blood-brain barrier? That means that it is quickly absorbed and these good fats feed your brain too, and keep it healthy and well nourished. Now that is why in other cultures coconut oil is called “the tree of life” – the benefits are really endless… Regular use can also keep the brain sharp and can have a great potential for treating other neurological diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s and traumatic brain injuries. It can also preserve the brain health from brain aging, memory loss, depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorders, as well as treat cognitive decline in dogs! Superfood… I know…
44. Candida killer Coconut oil contains caprylic acid which has anti-microbial properties that can kill yeast and candida.
45. Cancer protection and defence Coconut oil has immunity booster properties and anti-tumor effects on the cells.
46. Digestive support Coconut oil helps build probiotics in the digestive tract, and helps heal leaky gut.
47. Blood sugar stabilizer and diabetes preventer Coconut oil has been medically proven to improve diabetes, and is beneficial in preventing obesity and insulin resistance.
49. Homemade face creams! This is my most favourite one… with a touch of essential oils… I just love to put that nourishing homemade cream on my face morning and night for a beautiful and glowing skin. And what is even better, is that I know that it’s loaded only with the goodness of nature! I promise to post my homemade face cream soon 🙂
This article does not recommend substituting any medical treatment prescribed by your doctor or medical practitioner. It is brought to you as an additional resource for maintaining good psychological and physical health. I hope this somewhat condensed list will give you an insight of the nourishing and healing effects that our God-sent coconut oil can have on our health! Now go and have yourself a tablespoon of coconut oil!!! Start with a tablespoon day, and slowly increase and see how you feel…
What other coconut oil uses have you found beneficial?