How many times have you heard “you should use coconut oil for that”? I hear it all the time! . . . and I say it all the time. Well, that's because coconut oil really is a powerhouse product! It has so many health benefits and works well in so many household applications that it's hard to find something you can't do with coconut oil.
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Coconut Oil 101
Coconut oil contains MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which the body is able to burn off much more easily than the long-chain triglycerides found in most other common cooking oils/fats. This also helps coconut oil remain stable at high cooking temperatures, meaning that it is able to retain more of its nutritional value when used as a cooking fat with your foods. The lauric acid, the primary fatty acid found in coconut oil, gives it amazing abilities to help lower cholesterol, balance your hormones, and heal chronic skin conditions and infections.
Coconut oil has (are you ready for this?) antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic, antimicrobial properties that make it amazing for healing and preventing ailments. Coconut oil is also a source of vitamin E, vitamin, K, choline, and iron, and has antioxidant properties.
That said, it is important to be picky about the quality of your coconut oil. In this case, some brands are better than others. So make sure you do your research and ask questions so you know you're getting the best!
Refined vs. Unrefined
When using coconut oil for its nutritional and health benefits, it is important to buy unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is super processed, bleached, and deodorized. Many people will choose to buy refined thinking they are just skipping out on the aroma or flavor, but they are also losing out on the benefits that make coconut oil such a powerhouse ingredient! While refined coconut oil may be a good option for the household uses listed below, it is best to buy unrefined coconut oil for everything else.
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126 Ways to Use Coconut Oil
I wanted to give you every possible use for coconut oil I could come up with. So, without further ado, here they are.
For Your Health
Including coconut oil in your diet and skin care regimen can:
- Boost your immune system
- Raise good cholesterol levels
- Keep blood sugar levels in check
- Support healthy thyroid function
- Improve quality of sleep
- Increase circulation
- Regulate hormones
- Prevent gestational diabetes
- Prevent dementia and Alzheimer's
- Boost memory and brain function
- Aid your digestive system
- Sustain healthy appetite
- Boost your metabolism
- Relieve stress
- Increase energy
- Alleviate nausea
- Prevent constipation
- Promote healthy weight loss
- Keep your breath fresh
- Prevent gingivitis and tooth decay
- Remove warts
For the Medicine Cabinet
Many people find relief from symptoms associated with the conditions listed below by consuming coconut oil or by applying it topically. Coconut oil's antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties make it an excellent item to keep in the medicine cabinet at all times. Coconut oil may not cure, but it can help to speed up healing or, at least, relieve symptoms from these conditions
**Please consult your doctor regarding your specific concerns.**
- Yeast infections
- Seasonal allergies
- Cold sores
- Pink eye
- Bug bites
- Head lice
- Minor burns
- Athlete's foot
- Jock itch
- Fungal infections
- Stomach bug
- Ear infections
For Your Looks
- Makeup Remover: Massage a dime-sized amount of coconut oil on your face for 2–4 minutes, concentrating on the areas with the most makeup, and watch it just melt away. Make sure you are doing this on dry skin, or it won’t work! Take a warm cloth and pat the dirt and oil off your face. Your skin will feel like a baby’s bottom, no lie!
- Eye Lash Serum: This is really an “extension” of the first tip, pun intended! Using coconut oil as your makeup remover, especially to remove your eye makeup and mascara, will help to condition your lashes and promote healthy lash growth.
- Face Cleanser: Oil cleansing is the best way to deep clean your pores, as oil attracts oil. Use coconut oil to cleanse your face when you're not wearing makeup to really get deep into those pores and pull out the excess oil. Again, do this on dry skin, as water will just repel the oil. Use a damp, steamy cloth to pat the coconut oil off of your face and feel just how supple your skin is.
- Exfoliant: Mix coconut oil 1:1 with baking soda to create your own exfoliant at home. Add your favorite essential oils, only a drop or two, and enjoy a spa-like treatment. Use this 2–3 times per week for radiant skin.
- Hydrating Face Mask: Combine with equal parts honey to create a super moisturizing face mask.
- Skin Brightener: The lactic acid in coconut oil can help lighten dark spots on your skin when used regularly.
- Clarifying Serum: Improve acne by using a small amount of coconut oil underneath your regular moisturizer to help keep your skin clear thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Face Moisturizer: A little goes a long way, so use a small amount and massage into your skin for a great dose of moisture. Coconut oil's antimicrobial properties will help to keep your skin clear if you use it regularly.
- Hair and Scalp Mask: Work a palm full of coconut oil into your hair and leave it in up to an hour for a great deep moisturizing treatment and to help stimulate hair growth. Just be sure to wash this one out really well or your hair will look a bit greasy . . .
- Anti-Dandruff Treatment: Massage coconut oil into your scalp with your fingertips to loosen the excess dead skin cells and soothe the itch.
- Hair Dye Helper: If you color your hair at home, using some coconut oil around your hairline can protect your skin from being dyed along with your hair.
- Anti-Frizz and Shine Serum: Apply a pea-sized amount of coconut oil to dry hair to tame fly-aways and provide added shine to your style.
- Split Ends Avoider: Prevent split ends by applying coconut oil before and after styling.
- Lip Scrub: Mix with some coarse sugar for a tasty exfoliating lip treatment, and don’t miss another kissable moment.
- Tinted Lip Balm: Save the end of your lipstick tube by scraping out the remnants and mixing with a teaspoon of coconut oil to create your own homemade lip balm.
- Cuticle Oil: Massage your cuticles with coconut oil to help promote healthy nail growth, and keep your cuticles well hydrated during your next at-home-spa day.
- Massage Oil: Coconut oil makes a great massage oil to help relax tired sore muscles, or, well, to help set the mood for a romantic night in, if you catch my drift . . .
- Body Scrub: Combine with turbinado sugar or Himalayan sea salt to treat yourself to an amazing spa-like treatment.
- Shaving Cream: Coconut oil is an excellent shaving cream that provides a smooth glide for your razor while protecting and nourishing your skin.
- Bath Soak: Add a handful to your warm bath water with your favorite calming essential oils to soak your worries away and let the nutrients in.
- Stretch Mark Preventer: Slather your growing baby bump with coconut oil to condition your skin, improve elasticity, and prevent stretch marks.
- Homemade Soap: You can saponify coconut oil in place of tallow for homemade soaps and reap all of the great health benefits of coconut.
- Carrier Oil: Coconut oil makes a great carrier oil for use with your essential oils as it sinks into the well and has its own great health benefits to complement those of the essential oil.
- Beard Balm: Tame your facial mane and bring back some luster.
- Tattoos: Protect your tattoos by applying some coconut oil to keep them looking their best.
For Your Hygiene
- Deodorant: Slather a small amount of coconut oil under your armpits to help deodorize. You may need to mix it up with some arrowroot powder or baking soda to get a fully deodorizing effect.
- Toothpaste: Make a homemade toothpaste that's free from chemicals and unnecessary additives.
- Oil Puller: Swish 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes to get the full benefits of oil pulling. If that sounds like a lot, work your way up to it. You will notice whiter teeth and fresher breath.
- Skin Soother: Use coconut oil to help soothe sore skin from a wound on any part of your body.
- Eczema Wonder: Coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an amazing soother for irritated skin due to eczema flare-ups.
- Sore Nose Saver: Keep your nose soft and soothed during cold and flu season with a little coconut oil after each nose blow.
- After-Sun Relief: Use coconut oil on sunburns to help condition your skin and prevent peeling.
- Foot Rescue: Use a generous amount of coconut oil to help smooth your calluses and cut down on foot odors.
- Digestive Aid: Consume 1–2 tablespoons a day to keep your digestive system in top condition and prevent constipation.
- Poison Ivy Relief: Help soothe the itch from poison ivy by applying coconut oil generously to the affected areas.
- Nosebleed Treatment: Applying some coconut oil may help stop a nosebleed more quickly.
- DIY Vapor Rub: Make a batch of this congestion buster by combining coconut oil and essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus.
- Earwax Remover: Apply a small amount of coconut oil onto a cotton swab to help clear excess earwax.
For the Baby
- Diaper Cream: Soothe a baby’s irritated bottom with coconut oil. If you are using cloth diapers, this is also a great, cloth-safe, diaper cream alternative.
- Meconium Buster: Sticky newborn messes are easily taken care of with a little coconut oil.
- Cradle Cap Reliever: Smooth a generous amount over baby’s scalp and allow it to sit for a few minutes to condition baby and loosen any crust. Then softly comb baby's fine hair clean. This may take a few applications to clear cradle cap completely.
- Milk Supply Augmenter: Including coconut oil in your diet will help promote healthy lactation and boost your milk supply.
- Nursing Lifesaver: Use coconut oil in place of lanolin for a soothing nipple cream.
- Teething Relief: For a nontoxic, anti-inflammatory teething solution, rub a little coconut oil on baby's sore gums.
- Perineum Treatment: Coconut oil can help to speed up the healing of a tear after birth.
For the Pets
- Coat Conditioner: Use coconut oil as a conditioner for your pet’s coat to help keep them looking radiant and help keep their fur well nourished.
- Itch Relief: Apply some coconut oil to the patches where your pet is scratching to provide some comforting relief.
- Digestive Booster: Adding coconut oil to your pet's diet gives them a great boost of healthy fat and will help them to better absorb the nutrients in their food.
- Wound Ointment: Applying a small amount of coconut oil to a pet's wound will keep it clean, prevent infections, and promote faster healing.
- Hairball Preventer: Coconut oil can help prevent excess shedding and support your pet's digestion so you'll find fewer hairballs around the house.
- Horse's Mane Conditioner: Coconut oil makes a great conditioner for your horse's mane and tail.
For the Kitchen
- Fatty Coffee Ingredient: Whip up to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into your hot coffee for a healthy boost of fat in the morning with a decadent taste.
- Cooking Fat: Coconut oil has a high smoke point and will hold its molecular structure during the cooking process, making it a safe and healthy oil to cook with.
- Smoothie Booster: Add a tablespoon to your daily smoothie for added health benefits.
- Cast Iron Seasoner: Season your cast iron with a small amount of coconut oil.
- Fat Bomb Ingredient: There are many recipes for these out there. They're a tasty treat that also provides a great boost of fat for some extra energy when you need it!
- Baking Shortening: Replace shortening in baked goods. For more tips on paleo baking and using coconut oil, click here.
- Pan Greaser: Grease your pans with coconut oil in place of butter or other less desirable oils to get the best out of your recipes.
- Homemade Nut Butters: Use coconut oil to help make your homemade nut butters smooth and creamy.
- Salad Dressing: Coconut oil makes a great addition to delicious and healthy homemade salad dressings.
- Popcorn Oil: Coconut oil is an excellent fat for popping your corn as well as for topping your popped corn.
- Wooden Cutting Board Conditioner: Keep your wooden cutting boards conditioned and gleaming like new by massaging a small amount of coconut oil onto them.
- Small Kitchen Appliances: Keep your motors running smoothly by oiling with coconut oil.
For the Home and Other Misc. Applications
- Scrubbing Cleanser: Mix coconut oils with baking soda or salt into a paste to create a scrubbing cleanser to power through tough messes.
- Goop-Be-Gone: Got sticky residue you'd like to remove? Mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda to form a paste. Scrub your sticky surface and watch it disappear!
- Makeup Brush Cleaner: Maybe this should be in beauty, but for the same reason coconut oil makes a great makeup remover, it also cleans the makeup off of your brushes effectively while conditioning the bristles.
- Patent Polisher: Polish your patent leather shoes, belts, or purses to bring back their radiant shine.
- Hinge Lubricator: Use coconut oil to help loosen creaky hinges.
- Guitar String Treatment: Use coconut oil on your guitar strings to keep them in shape and ready to play.
- Guitar Polisher: Use coconut oil to keep your guitar looking pristine for your next gig.
- Vocal Soother: So that your gig has the best sound all around, make sure your front man takes some coconut oil before the show to keep those vocal cords loose and ready to stretch!
- Drum Conditioner: If you have a drum with a natural skin, use a small amount of coconut oil to keep it well conditioned.
- Egg Preserver: Extend the shelf life of your fresh eggs by rubbing some coconut oil onto the shell.
- Ink Remover: Remove ink stains on skin by massaging with coconut oil, letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing away.
- Leather Conditioner: Take care of your leather furniture by conditioning with a small amount of coconut oil.
- Wax Remover: Have a wax spill from a candle? Loosen it easily with coconut oil!
- Rust Buster: Remove rust spots on metal by scrubbing with a paste made from coconut oil and baking soda.
- Wood Polish: Use a small amount of coconut oil to keep your wood furniture gleaming and the wood well conditioned.
- Zipper Lubricator: Coconut oil will help get a stuck zipper moving again.
- Campfire Starter: Soak cotton balls in coconut oil to help get your campfires going.
Well, that's my list! What's on yours?
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