I’ve said before that I am with coconut oil like the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” is with Windex!
Coconut oil has a wide array of health benefits, hair and skin uses, and purposes around the home. I started using it a decade ago before it became popular and widely available in grocery stores.
Why? I’ll tell you!
The Coconut Oil Controversy
If you’ve been around the real food community much, you’ve probably noticed the rapid widespread popularity of coconut oil. Once ostracized by the medical community for its saturated fat content, it seems that coconut oil might finally be making a comeback in the mainstream health community.
Coconut oil is the most nutrient-dense part of the coconut. It is solid at room temperature like butter and doesn’t break down in heat or light.
For years, “health” advice has warned against consuming saturated fats, and coconut oil was thrown out with the rest without good reason!
These are some of the reasons why I love it:
The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil
This tropical oil is beneficial in many ways:
Uses for Coconut OilFor 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 fry, 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.
Ways to Use Coconut Oil
This versatile oil has hundreds of uses in the home, in beauty recipes, and in cooking. My favorite uses are:
Uses for Coconut Oil in Cooking and Recipes
Coconut Macaroons RecipeA great cooking oil with a high smoke point. Great for baking, stir-fry, or as a dairy free replacement to butter.
Try adding to foods or smoothies daily for energy
Or emulsify into coffee for a homemade coffee creamer (The only way I’ll drink coffee!)
In homemade mayo (without the high PUFA vegetable oils)
To season cast iron skillets
To boost metabolism (thanks to its high lauric acid and MCFA content)
In a healthy brain-boosting snack for kids like these coconut clusters
Add to a filling and energy-boosting brain power smoothie
Mix a tablespoon with a tablespoon of chia seeds for an all-day energy boost (do NOT take this at night!)
Use as a replacement for vegetable oils in any recipe or in cooking
Or try your hand at making coconut-based grain-free granola recipes
My kids love these homemade meltaways (like candy)
Use it as an anti-aging facial moisturizer
Make coconut cream concentrate for a brain-boosting snack
101 Uses for Coconut Oil – Wellness Mama
Coconut Oil Health Benefits and Uses
It has been shown to increase the 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
To help speed weight loss when consumed daily
It can help improve sleep when taken daily
To support healthy thyroid function
As a way to improve insulin levels when consumed regularly
For faster skin healing 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 omega-3s)
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 of 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 sea 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
Coconut oil for hairRub 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
How to make sea salt soapIn homemade soap for laundry
In homemade natural bug repellant lotion bars
To make a simple homemade soap
Or make a clay and charcoal soothing soap
To soften and condition real leather (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 With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil – oil pulling chews with essential oilsIn coconut oil pulling chews and oil pulling for oral health
Rubbed on the inside of your nose or ingesting to help alleviate allergy symptoms
Applied topically to kill yeast or yeast infections
As an ingredient in remineralizing toothpaste (the antimicrobial properties and beneficial fats do wonders!)
Can help soothe psoriasis or eczema
Oil pulling with coconut oil and a drop of oregano oil to improve gum health
Can help improve cholesterol ratios
Can help reduce appearance of varicose veins when used topically
To speed the healing of sunburn
Blended into hot tea to help speed recovery from cold, flu, or sore throat
As an anti-inflammatory remedy to lessen arthritis symptoms
To reduce the itch of mosquito bites
Can help resolve acne when used regularly
In homemade vapor rub
Internally and externally to speed recovery from UTIs
In a salve for cracked heels
Reader tip: try it coconut oil for a yeast infection! She suggests soaking a tampon in it and inserting the tampon for a few hours.
Naturally clears up cold sores
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 soothe irritation (also great for baby!)
Nursing moms can take a couple of tablespoons a day (and vitamin D) to increase milk supply and nutrients
To help soothe 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 washcloth
With apple cider vinegar as a natural treatment for lice that actually works