24 Proven Coconut Oil Uses and Benefits
Unless you live under a rock, it’s likely that you’ve heard some buzz about how using coconut oil in your cooking is a healthy alternative to other types of cooking oils, fats, and butters. But did you know that in addition to making your meal prep healthier, coconut oil also provides a host of other health benefits? With all of the chemicals found in our everyday lives, it’s nice to know that there is an affordable, healthy, and natural option.
Just like anything else, there are some coconut oils that are better than others, so be sure to buy the organic, virgin coconut oil, for the best results.
What Can I Do With Coconut Oil?
Unless you purchase all natural or organic lotions, you will find chemicals in your lotion choice. These chemicals have the potential to seep through your skin and contaminate your body. To avoid this contamination, use coconut oil. Apply it directly on your skin for a moisturizing glow that doesn’t leave a filmy or oily finish. There is no need to mix in any additional ingredients, but if you add sugar to the coconut oil it can also work as an exfoliating body scrub.
Many shaving creams advertise that they make skin silky smooth, when in reality they do the exact opposite by drying your skin out, and causing itchy redness that exacerbates the problems. Skip the chemical laden shaving cream, and use coconut oil when you shave instead. When you’re finished shaving, you can even use it as a soothing after shave lotion to solidify the moisturizing benefits.
Cellulite is fat that appears bumpy because it is pushing against the connective tissue under the skin. When ingested, coconut oil has fat burning properties that will reduce this adipose tissue thus reducing cellulite. It has also been shown that when topographically applied to trouble spots on a daily basis, coconut oil can reduce the amount of cellulite over time. In some cases cellulite can even be eliminated altogether simply by rubbing the oil over the affected area.
Makeup removers can be harmful to your skin, but failing to remove the makeup can also cause problems. Mascara, in particular waterproof mascara, is difficult to remove without a remover that is specifically targeted to the eye area, but leftover mascara can cause eye infections. Coconut oil is a safe and natural way to remove even the toughest makeup.
Soothe The Itch
The next time you get poison ivy, or happen to be around someone with the chicken pox instead of reaching for your chemical rich anti-itch lotion try coconut oil. Apply the coconut oil directly to the afflicted area for a cooling and soothing sensation that will eliminate the itch in a natural and safe manner.
Support Thyroid Health
Keeping your thyroid healthy and in good working condition is important to your general health, as the thyroid is responsible for maintaining hormone production that directly affects the way in which your metabolism works. Adding coconut oil to your regular diet helps to support the health of your thyroid functioning.
There is no need to add any other ingredients to your coconut oil to create a perfect tanning sunscreen. With a natural SPF of 4, a thin layer of coconut oil on your skin will protect your skin from the harmful damaging rays of the sun, while allowing your skin to tan evenly and remain moisturized throughout the day.
There is no need to spend money on store bought deodorants full of harmful chemicals, or spending hours of your day making your own deodorant. All you have to do is apply a bit of coconut oil under your arms daily, to keep your body odor in check. This reduces the amount of chemicals that your body is subjected to, without subjecting your friends to any adverse scents.
Hemorrhoids can be embarrassing, but more than that, they can be painful. For fast, and easy relief try applying a bit of coconut oil topically to the affected area. It will reduce the pain and soothe the discomfort better than store bought medications and as a bonus, you’ll never have to buy embarrassing creams, salves, or pads again.
Babies get diaper rashes, it’s just a part of life, and diaper cream can get expensive. It’s also loaded with chemicals and compounds that you may not want touching the skin of your children. To top it all off, if you’re using cloth diapers, traditional diaper creams can ruin them, essentially wasting your money. Use coconut oil in place of diaper cream to eliminate the rash, avoid the chemicals, and save your cloth diapers.
If you’re having trouble growing out your nails, or they chip or peel every time they start to grow, stop covering them up with fake nails at the salon. Instead rub a bit of coconut oil on your cuticles a few times per week. This will stimulate healthy nail growth, creating stronger and more resilient natural nails.
Prevent Stretch Marks
Whether you plan on bulking up quickly, or you’re pregnant, or for some other reason you know that your skin will be stretched to it’s limit, faster than the elasticity may be able to keep up with it, you’re probably going to want a solution to prevent stretch marks. Coconut oil has been proven to help prevent stretch marks in those who rub it daily on the areas in danger of becoming stretched too quickly.
Instead of reaching for that bottle of aspirin the next time you get a headache, or have other inflammation pain, instead reach for your coconut oil, and take a tablespoon orally. The anti-inflammatory properties naturally present in the oil will help to reduce and/or even eliminate the pain completely, without pumping your system full of drugs.
Who doesn’t want super soft and shiny hair? The problem with your hair care regimen often lies in the use of shampoos and conditioners that actually strip your hair of the natural oils that keep your hair soft. Preventing these problems is simple though. Just mix a bit of apple cider vinegar into your coconut oil and apply it to your hair in the same way you would traditional shampoo. Not only will it keep your hair soft, it will also help to prevent the dulling of your hair color.
The dry heat of summer brings along with it a host of hair problems, including uncontrollable frizz. This summer you’ll be prepared though, and never have to worry about frizz again. On days that your hair is frizzy, all you have to do is rub a tiny bit of warmed coconut oil through your hair when it is dry. Although it can be applied to wet hair, it does work more efficiently when your hair is dry.
For truly dry and damaged hair, you may need to create a coconut oil hair mask. Simply apply an ample amount of coconut oil to your hair and cover it with a shower cap. Leave this on your hair for two to three hours to allow the oils to seep into your hair and repair the damage. After the allotted time, remove the shower cap and rinse your hair with cool water.
Having lice is awful, and getting rid of lice once you have them can be a costly, time consuming, and frustrating. Simplify the process by adding apple cider vinegar to your coconut oil and using it as a shampoo can kill off lice that have burrowed in your hair without causing any damage to your hair.
Anti-aging serums are a multi million dollar industry, that all promise dramatic results, but rarely deliver. On top of that, they are expensive and contain unnecessary chemicals. Applying coconut oil as a facial moisturizer will naturally exfoliate dead skin cells while providing the skin with deep moisturizing benefits, significantly slowing the aging process.
If you often find that your energy is lower than you’d prefer, you could chug energy drinks, espressos, or coffee all day long, or you could add a little coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are a type of saturated fat that are unique and rare, and provide a strong energy source to the body, rather than being stored within the body.
Increase Milk Supply
Nursing mothers know that breastfeeding is hard work. Aside from all of the physical challenges that accompany it, there are also biological challenges. Producing enough milk for your baby’s demands can be difficult on some mothers, but adding a bit of coconut milk to your daily diet can drastically increase your milk supply. Thanks to the vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins that are also present, it can also improve the quality of your milk supply.
Improve Teeth & Gum Health
Coconut oil pulling is the act of inserting coconut oil into your mouth and swishing it around like you would mouthwash and then pushing and pulling it through the cracks of your teeth. This action allows it to touch every surface of your teeth and gums. The vitamins and minerals present in coconut oil help to improve gum health and strengthen (and even whiten) teeth.
Create a homemade massage oil with coconut oil by simply adding a few drops of your favorite scented essential oil. Mix these two ingredients well, and the next time you get a massage from your significant other instead of using plain lotion pull out the coconut / essential oil mixture that you created. Aside from being a relaxing massage oil, it will also leave your skin feeling moisturized and rejuvenated.
During cold or windy months it is important to protect your lips from becoming dried out and chapped. Applying lip balm is the best way to do this, and the best type of lip balm to use is an all natural variety, like coconut oil. This will keep your lips moist while also providing an additional layer of physical protection from the elements.
Varicose Vein Reducer
Varicose veins occur when the veins are weakened and have extra pressure applied to them. There is an easy solution to fade the discoloration caused by varicose veins that includes applying a body butter made of coconut oil to the affected area daily. Ingredients and directions for making this body butter can be found below.
- ½ cup shea butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup jojoba oil
- 1 tablespoon vitamin E liquid
- 30 drops of your favorite essential oil (for scent)
- In a double boiler heat your shea butter and coconut oil over medium low heat
- Stir the mixture until the oils melt
- Remove mixture from the heat
- Add the jojoba oil, vitamin E liquid, and your choice of essential oils
- Mix well
- Refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until chilled and almost solid (should not be completely solid)
- Mix with electric mixer for 10 minutes or until it has the texture of whipped cream
- Store in a glass container/jar
This body butter should be stored at room temperature, and will remain effective for about six months. If the body butter begins to melt, you can store instead in the refrigerator.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil
The benefits of coconut oil are almost as varied as its possible uses. From meal prep to personal hygiene coconut oil can do it all. Whether you want to whiten your teeth, slim your waistline, moisturize your skin and hair, grow your nails, or even increase your basic energy levels, coconut oil is the answer to your health and wellness dilemmas. Depending on the desired results it can be ingested orally or applied topically. This versatility adds to its overall practicality.
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