Coconut Oil Benefits
This tropical oil is beneficial in many ways:
- Coconut Oil for Hair– This nourishing oil has been used for centuries in hair and its unique fat composition makes it especially beneficial for certain hair types. Use it as a hair mask, hot oil treatment, or in homemade hair products.
- To Moisturize and Nourish Skin– The same properties make coconut oil great for skin as well. Many people like to use it as a natural moisturizer. Its natural antioxidant properties make it great for stopping wrinkles and skin irritation.
- Digestive Help– Coconut oil’s concentration of beneficial fats in coconut oil makes it helpful for digestion. Its antimicrobial properties can help fight irritation and infection in the gut from Candida.
- Great Source of Healthy Fats– Over 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid. In fact, coconut oil is the richest source of lauric acid after breastmilk.
- Mental Boost– Studies show MCTs may contribute to focus and mental performance.
- Hormone Support– Getting the wrong kinds of fats can create havoc on hormones. Coconut oil contains specific fats that support the body’s natural hormone production.
- Immune Support– The MCTs (including lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid) have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it beneficial for immune support.
- Great fat for cooking: Coconut oil is a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. It is great for cooking eggs, stir fries, grain free baked goods, and practically any other cooking use.
Coconut oil is a superfood with a powerhouse of uses in cooking, beauty recipes, natural remedies and around the home.
Coconut Oil Uses
This versatile oil has hundreds of uses in the home, in beauty recipes and in cooking. My favorite uses are:
Coconut Oil Health Benefits and Uses
- It has been shown to increase absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Internally as part of the protocol to help remineralize teeth
- Is an immediate source of energy when eaten that isn’t stored as fat
- Can help speed weight loss when consumed daily
- It can help improve sleep when taken daily
- When used in food, it may support healthy thyroid function
- Some studies show that it can help improve insulin levels when consumed regularly
- Topically, it help skin heal faster after injury or infection because of its beneficial fats
- When used consistently on skin it can help get rid of cellulite
- Some evidence shows that the beneficial fats in coconut oil can help with depression and anxiety
- When taken regularly, it can boost hormone production
- Can relieve the pain of hemorrhoids when used topically
- Some studies show it can boost circulation and help those who often feel cold
- Internally during pregnancy to help provide baby necessary fats for development (especially when taken with Fermented Cod Liver Oil)
- There are entire books dedicated to the potential of saturated fats like coconut oil to help avoid Alzheimer’s
Coconut Oil Beauty Uses
The same properties that make it beneficial in cooking and recipes make coconut oil beneficial for hair and skin:
- On the skin as a basic lotion
- With other oils as part of an oil cleansing regimen for beautiful skin
- Whipped with shea butter for a soothing body balm
- In homemade lotion bars with other beneficial ingredients like shea butter
- In homemade deodorant– its natural antibacterial properties make it helpful in fighting odor.
- Coconut oil makes an excellent eye-makeup remover on its own
- It may help lighten age spots when rubbed directly on the skin
- To help increase sun tolerance and avoid burning when used internally
- As a naturally low SPF sunscreen on its own when used topically
- In basic homemade lotion recipes
- Add a couple drops of a favorite essential oil to make a delicious massage oil
- Mixed with equal parts sugar for a smoothing body scrub (use in the shower)
- Rubbed on lips as a natural lip balm or used in lip balm recipes
- In homemade slow cooker soap
- To make natural Homemade Sunscreen recipes with other protective ingredients
- As a natural personal lubricant that won’t disturb vaginal flora
- As a natural shave cream and after shave lotion
- Use it alone as a great tanning oil
- Mix with seal salt to remove dry skin on feet
- In natural homemade diaper cream
- Use it alone or with baking soda as a natural deodorant
- By itself or with baking soda as a naturally whitening toothpaste
- Make homemade peppermint lip balm
- Or make magnesium body butter
- Rub on cuticles to help nails grow
- Rub into elbows daily to help alleviate dry, flaky elbows
- To help avoid chlorine exposure when swimming
- As a completely natural baby lotion
Coconut Oil For Hair
- Rub into scalp daily to stimulate hair growth
- Or use in homemade shampoo bars
- A tiny dab rubbed on your hands and then through hair makes a great anti-frizz treatment
- As an incredibly intensive natural conditioner- Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours before washing out with several rounds of shampoo
Coconut Oil Uses Around the Home
- In homemade soap for laundry
- In Homemade Natural Bug-Off Lotion Bars
- To make a simple homemade soap
- Or make a clay and charcoal soothing soap
- Rub a small amount into real leather to soften and condition (shiny leather only… test a small area first)
- And use a small amount to dilute essential oils for use on skin
- For pets struggling with skin issues when used externally
- In coconut oil dog treats
- On hands after doing dishes to avoid dry skin
- Mixed with catnip, rosemary, or mint essential oils as a natural bug repellent
Natural Remedies for Coconut Oil
- In coconut oil pulling chews and oil pulling for oral health
- Rubbed on the inside of your nose it may help alleviate allergy symptoms
- The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make it helpful topically to kill yeast or yeast infections
- The antimicrobial properties and beneficial fats make coconut oil a powerhouse in Remineralizing Toothpaste
- Can help sooth psoriasis or eczema
- Oil pulling with coconut oil and a drop of oregano oil helps improve gum health
- Can help improve cholesterol ratios
- Can help reduce appearance of varicose veins when used topically
- After initial heat is gone, can help speed healing of sunburn
- Blend a tablespoon into hot tea to help speed recovery from cold or flu
- It’s anti-inflammatory properties can help lessen arthritis
- Can reduce the itch of mosquito bites
- Can help resolve acne when used regularly
- A tablespoon melted into a cup of warm tea can help sooth a sore throat
- In homemade vapor rub
- Can be used internally and externally to speed recovery from UTIs
- In a salve for cracked heels
- One reader swears by using coconut oil to treat yeast infection. She suggests soaking a tampon in it and inserting the tampon for a few hours.
- Naturally clears up cold sores
- Ingesting coconut oil daily can help with allergy symptoms
- Some people say ingesting coconut oil daily can increase mental alertness
Coconut Oil for Pregnancies, Babies and Children
- As a cloth diaper safe diaper cream (just rub on baby’s bottom)
- I’ve used in kids ears to help speed ear infection healing
- In place of Lanolin cream on nursing nipples to sooth irritation (also great for baby!)
- Nursing moms can take a couple tablespoons a day (and Vitamin D) to increase milk supply and nutrients
- To help sooth the itch of chicken pox or poison ivy
- Use on skin to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy
- Used directly on the perineum to help heal after birth
- To get rid of cradle cap on baby- just massage in to head, leave on for a few minutes and gently rinse with a warm wash cloth
- With apple cider vinegar as a natural treatment for lice that actually works
Types of Coconut Oil
There are several choices when it comes to using this healthful fat.
Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil
Considered the gold standard. This type of oil offers the most of the benefits listed above. It is extracted from fresh coconut using a wet-milled fermentation process that protects the beneficial properties of the coconut. This type of coconut oil has been found to have the highest antioxidant levels. This process does use heat but studies show that it does not harm the oil or reduce nutrient levels. In fact, the heat may be beneficial and create a higher quality oil.
“Extra Virgin” Oil
The gold standard for olive oil but not coconut oil. This is produced by cold-pressing the oil and does not preserve the antioxidants as well:
In 2013, a study that compared “cold extracted virgin coconut oil” (CEVCO) with “hot extracted virgin coconut oil” (HEVCO) and standard refined coconut oil (CCO) was conducted in India, and published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology. This study, like many others, showed that virgin coconut oils actually lower LDL cholesterol, while raising the “good” HDL cholesterol.
This study also confirmed that virgin coconut oil produced with heat produced the highest amounts of antioxidants: “The antioxidant activity in the HEVCO group was 80-87%, 65-70% in CEVCO, and 35-45% in CCO.” The researchers went on to comment why heat is necessary to produce the highest amounts of antioxidants in virgin coconut oil.
Refined Coconut Oils
Refined coconut oil is often tasteless and has no coconut smell. It is usually heated, bleached and deodorized. Healthy options are available but many refined coconut oils do not have the benefits of unrefined.
Fractionated Oil or MCT Oil
Fractionated oil or MCT oil is a liquid oil that does not get solid below 76 degrees like unrefined oil does. It doesn’t contain all of the beneficial properties of unrefined coconut oil but is higher in brain-boosting fats.