You probably have a jar of unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil in your kitchen; I know I do.
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to use for cooking and baking. It’s made up of medium chain triglycerides which, unlike the long chain triglycerides found in animal fats, are metabolized more quickly in the body. That means increased fat burning potential. Coconut oil boosts energy levels, raises good cholesterol, and balances blood sugar. Coconut oil has a high smoke-point which means you can use it for cooking with high temperatures and it won’t break down into harmful compounds. In addition, coconut oil is also great for baking and used as a healthy alternative for butter listed in a recipe. Coconut oil has so many uses for every aspect of your life – cooking, health, medicinal care, beauty care, hygiene, pet care. That’s right, coconut oil has properties that are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti fungal, antimicrobial and anti-almost everything else. It’s an immune system’s dream. It’s amazing that one product, especially one that is completely natural and chemical-free, can do so much. Here are just eight of the many ways you can use coconut oil.
Do you have dry, flaky, chapped skin? Get a bottle of coconut oil. You can use coconut oil on your face and body as a natural moisturizer. It’s able to penetrate all the layers of your skin and because it gets absorbed so well, coconut oil won’t leave your skin feeling oily and greasy. It boosts collagen production, and strengthens the underlying tissue and helps prevent wrinkles. Rub it in all over your body by itself or mix in some essential oils for a soothing, aromatherapy experience. You can use it on your face, its gentle enough to use around your eyes and is perfect for keeping your lips soft, smooth and moisturized.
Body Scrub: Take a bowl of coconut oil, jojoba oil, sugar and your favorite essential oil and mix ½ cup sugar and ½ cup oil together with 10 to 15 drops of your essential oil together and blend. Bring into the bath or shower with you and use it as an exfoliating body scrub. Gently scrub your body to remove rough, dry and flaky skin. You will be left with soft smooth glowing skin.
Oral Hygiene: Have you heard about this trend called “oil pulling?” It may be a current trend right now, but it is actually an ancient Ayurveda dental technique also known as “kavala” or “gundusha.” Basically, you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach and swish it around for 20 minutes. You then spit it out into the trash (it can clog the drain). The purpose is to draw out toxins from your body, improve oral health, and it’s even said to help headaches, hangovers and insomnia. How does it do this? Apparently, our body stores toxins in our salivary glands, which get drawn into the oil. When we spit out the oil, we also spit out the toxins.
While there seems to be more anecdotal than scientific reports, some people really think it helps. The antibacterial and anti fungal properties of coconut oil can definitely benefit one’s oral hygiene. Coconut oil contains vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and makes it an effective, natural mouthwash. You can also use it as toothpaste by mixing the coconut oil with some baking soda. Whiter teeth and healthier gums await you.
Hair Conditioner: I used to buy those make-up remover cloths. You know the ones I mean, they come in those little boxes and are saturated with who-knows-what chemicals. They were the only things that could remove my waterproof mascara, although it was still a struggle. Well, guess what? Coconut oil is a gentle make-up remover that is totally natural and can even remove waterproof mascara. Just put some coconut oil on a cloth or cotton ball, gently wipe your make-up off and then rinse your face clean.
Just as coconut oil can penetrate layers of skin, it can also penetrate hair. Use it as a deep conditioner that you leave on your hair for an extended time to moisturize it. You can rub it into your hair as is or you can heat the oil to melt it into a liquid – just be sure to let it cool off first. Leave it on your hair anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight. Then wash and style your hair as usual. Your hair should be soft, silky and shiny.
Pet Health: I occasionally rub a little coconut oil on my cats paw so that she will lick it off because it improves the health of her skin and coat. Coconut oil can also aid a pets’ digestion, joint health and improve their breath. In addition to feeding coconut oil to our cats and dogs, it also has benefits when applied topically. Brushing some coconut oil into a dog or cats fur can also ward off fleas. The antibacterial and anti fungal properties of coconut oil make it good for disinfecting cuts, soothing rashes and hot spots and promoting the healing of wounds.
Heals Cuts, Sunburns and Rashes: People get rashes and hot spots too, and coconut oil can help with that as well. Since coconut oil promotes collagen production, it can help repair skin cells, meaning our cuts and rashes will heal faster. The antibacterial properties make coconut oil ideal for preventing infection in small cuts and lacerations. Use it on your skin to help sooth sunburn and prevent peeling. As it is a natural moisturizer, coconut oil, together with a drop or two of lavender oil, will heal your burns so that your skin doesn’t peel. Use daily on your skin, and it will heal in just a fraction of the time that you are used to. Coconut oil promotes collagen production and repairs the skin cells. It’s also a gentle and natural way to soothe a baby’s diaper rash and make their skin smell like coconut. A win-win.