In the Philippines the coconut palm is highly valued as the “Tree of Life” for very good reason. It has been used for thousands of years for everything under the sun. As a traditional medicine of sorts it is truly a one of a kind miracle, capable of healing all kinds of ailments, and nourishing health in spectacular ways.
If ever there were a fountain of youth, helping you to live a longer and healthier life, this is it. Today I am excited to share with you 50 uses for coconut oil and how you can reap the benefits of natures super elixir. So…if you’re ready, let’s begin to explore this amazing natural wonder.
A quick disclaimer: I apologize in advance if I start to sound like the “shrimp & grits, shrimp gumbo, shrimp scampi….” guy from Forrest Gump, and just imagine, I’m sure there are even way more than fifty uses!
Coconut Oil and The Saturated Fat Scare
The fear of consuming saturated fats is huge and we are taught to avoid them at all costs. While this is mostly valid, in order to have a better understanding, we must first understand the different types of saturated fats and how their reaction within the body varies.
The reality is that most saturated fats and oils we eat are comprised of long-chain-triglycerides (LCT) which make your digestive system sluggish and are stored in the body as fat. Pretty easy to understand why no one wants that.
Coconut oil, however, is different in that it is composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). Unlike bad fats the MCT molecules are smaller making them easier for the digestive system to break down, readily absorbed, and converted by your liver into energy as a clean, healthy source of fat.
MCT also boosts metabolism by providing your cells with energy which can increase endurance, lead to quicker recovery time, faster healing of injuries, healthy immune system function, and aid in weight loss.
Also, many studies have shown coconut oil to actually contribute to healthy cholesterol levels and promote overall heart health. It has been shown to support thyroid health, and brain health, especially exciting is more recent research being done regarding the potential benefits of reversing early stage Alzheimer’s.
Introducing the Antimicrobial Super Hero
Lauric acid is one of the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) contained in breast milk, providing the baby protection against harmful microorganisms. These fatty acids develop nice strong immune systems. Interestingly enough lauric acid is also the main MCFA in coconut oil.
This acid is the main shield of defense, and destroyer of all sorts of microbes from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, which is why coconut oil is so beneficial in the treatment of things like candida, yeast infections, allergies, and skin conditions, to name a few.
Uses for Coconut Oil in the Kitchen
1. Saute with it, has a high heat point and will not become damaged, and doesn’t go rancid.
2. Bake with it.
3. Put it in smoothies.
4. Spread it on toast or baked goods instead of butter, or on crackers with almond butter.
5. Add a spoonful to your tea or coffee to balance blood sugar.
6. Eat a tablespoon plain for a quick energy boost.
For Personal Care
8. Oil pulling. Take a spoonful of oil and swish it around in your mouth, pushing, and pulling it through your teeth for 15 minutes. This will pull out bacteria and debris so be careful not to swallow any oil before spitting it out. Rinse your mouth with water. In the morning, before breakfast is the best time. To maximize your efforts, do twice daily.
9. Toothpaste. Mix 4 Tbsp coconut oil with 1 Tbsp baking soda and store in a container for a quick fluoride free anti-bacterial toothpaste. Or try my all natural toothpaste recipe.
10. Deodorant. For a quick fix mix 6 Tbsp coconut oil, 4 Tbsp baking soda, and 4 Tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch, add essential oils if desired and store in a jar or old deodorant container. For a stronger version try my homemade deodorant recipe.
11. Makeup remover. Apply to a cotton ball or moist washcloth and gently wipe off makeup.
12. Facial wash. Massage a dollop into face and neck. Run a washcloth under hot water and place it over your face gently removing oil, and let skin air dry.
13. Facial Scrub. Mix equal parts oil with oatmeal and a dash of cinnamon for a quick, gentle scrub.
14. Facial moisturizer. Apply a dollop to cleansed skin.
15. Apply around eye areas and gently massage into lashes to promote growth.
16. Cuticle cream. Massage small amount into cuticles to soften dry areas.
17. Use as a base in homemade soap recipes.
18. Body Scrub. Mix with organic cane sugar in a glass jar for a spa treatment. Or try my homemade chocolate peppermint sugar scrub.
19. Body moisturizer. Rub into body concentrating on extra dry areas like elbows, knees, and feet. Or try my whipped body butter recipe.
20. Lip balm. Apply small amount to lips as moisturizer. Or try my fiercely moisturizing lip balm recipe.
21. Deep conditioning treatment for hair. Rub oil into dry hair from scalp to ends, pin up, and put on a shower cap for an hour to overnight and wash as usual. For split or dry ends you can also rub some into just the ends of washed hair before going to bed, it will absorb by morning, with no need to rinse or wash out.
22. Use to shave face, legs, underarms, and bikini lines with. Soothing and antibacterial to help heal nicks faster.
23. Diaper cream. Apply to baby’s bum as a natural antibacterial and soother.
24. Pregnant belly balm. Massage into belly to prevent stretch marks and relieve itchy skin. My whipped body butter recipe is great for existing stretch marks or preventing them.
25. Nipple cream. Soothe dry or cracked nipples when breastfeeding.
26. Natural personal lubricant.
27. Massage. Add lavender for relaxation, orange for invigoration, and eucalyptus for sore muscles.
28. Natural SPF, but only 4. For higher SPF try my homemade sunscreen recipe.
29. Insect repellent. Mix essential oils like citronella, geraniol, catnip oil, neem, tea tree, and lemon balm with coconut oil for a DEET free bug repellent.
As a Natural Remedy
30. Topically for athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, or ringworm. Internally for vaginal yeast infection. You can mix in a small amount of tea tree or oregano oil.
31. Mix in a small amount of oregano oil and apply to cold sores at the first sign of one.
32. Apply to skin rashes or irritations, psoriasis, eczema, acne, bug bites, stings, cuts, and scrapes. Works great mixed with activated charcoal.
33. Perineal massage. Starting a month or so before your due date, massage oil into perineum daily to reduce risk of tearing/the need for an episiotomy. Continue to apply after birth to speed healing.
34. Add a small amount of lavender to oil and apply to hemorrhoids for relief and healing.
35. Place a couple of drops into each ear for ear infections. Or try my homemade garlic ear oil.
36. Mix with a couple drops of eucalyptus oil as a decongestant vapor rub. Important: Eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under the age of 10 years.
37. Use with apple cider vinegar for a head lice treatment. See how here.
38. For cradle cap, gently massage into baby’s head, leave on for a few minutes, then rinse gently with a warm washcloth.
Around the House
39. Season cast iron skillets.
40. Condition wooden cutting boards.
41. Non-toxic homemade wax melts make the house smell great.
42. Condition leather furniture or goods. Test a small area first.
43. Use in place of WD-40 to lubricate hinges, and other metal parts.
44. Remove tar from feet (great for beach days:)
For Internal Health Benefits – Eat 1-2 Tbsp a Day
45. Boost metabolism.
46. Boost brain power and healthy moods.
47. Support thyroid function.
48. Increase energy and mental alertness.
49. Promote healthy hormone production.
50. Last but not least, let’s not forget our furry friends. It’s great for both dogs and cats. I give my cat 1/2 tsp a day to prevent hairballs, keep her skin healthy, and her coat soft and shiny. She comes running when she hears the lid opening and licks it right off my hand.
Refined vs. Unrefined and Virgin vs. Extra Virgin, etc.
For internal use, organic unrefined (which means not processed), extra virgin coconut oil is the way to go. If you choose, for external use, refined or virgin will do. (I use this) for everything internal and external. It has a great taste, pleasant odor, mixes well for DIY projects, is certified organic and comes in different sizes, but I usually buy it in the 54 oz size since it doesn’t go rancid, and saves money in the long run.
For a great reference and to learn more about this amazing super food I suggest reading The Coconut Oil Miracle.
If you have used/use coconut oil what are some of your favorite ways to use it? Any suggestions to add to the list?