The discovery of coconut oil uses is a bit of a craze lately. People have put together hundreds of different uses for this beneficial oil, and it’s found its way into pantries, medicine cupboards, and even first aid kits. Some of the uses may seem bizarre at first, but coconut oil has garnered this newfound fame for good reason—it works.
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Coconut Oil Uses That Provide Health Benefits
Coconut Oil Contains the Health Benefits of Saturated Fat
For years, coconut oil has had a bad name, lumped in with unhealthy saturated fats. People steered away from it and other high-fat foods.
The problem with throwing coconut oil in the same category as butter, margarine, and shortening is this oil is far healthier than it appears.
The saturated fats in coconut oil, like lauric acid, come from medium-chain triglycerides. The body easily puts these shorter fat chains to use and are not simply stored away as fat.
This means coconut oil boosts energy levels, raises good cholesterol, and balances out blood sugar without the risk of weight gain, increasing cholesterol levels, and other health risks that come from other saturated or trans fats.
Coconut oil uses don’t stop there. There are other properties of coconut oil you can also take advantage of, such as the following :
It also aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. These immune-boosting properties make it the perfect oil to use in a million ways.
Without further ado, here are 50 of our favorite coconut oil uses:
1. As Massage Oil
Coconut oil soothes tired and sore muscles. Add a few drops of essential oils for more effect.
2. Can Treat Athlete’s Foot
The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oil make it perfect for any fungal infection. Add a few drops of oregano or tea tree oil for more antifungal power.
3. Fights Acne
Coconut oil gently fights harmful bacteria that can cause acne, which is common in people with acne-prone skin. Dab this carrier oil directly on the offending pimples and watch them shrink.
4. Used as a Cleanser
Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle cleanser to remove make-up, dirt, and oil. A coconut oil face wash seeps into pores and hair follicles to eliminate toxins and softens the sebum that has hardened beneath the surface.
5. Kills Lice
Coconut oil kills and removes this pesky problem. With its fatty content, it suffocates the lice and makes it harder for them to maintain a grip on the hair follicles.
6. Can Soften Stretch Marks
Prevent and soften stretch marks from pregnancy with coconut oil for soft and supple skin.
7. May Kill Warts and Moles
Rub the oil onto the area and cover with a bandage. Rub in fresh oil and place a new bandage each day.
8. Acts as a Moisturizer
Coconut oil is an excellent way to soften and hydrate rough, damaged, or dry skin.
9. As a Face Scrub
Mix coconut oil with baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon or oatmeal for the perfect face scrub and exfoliator.
10. Eliminates Dandruff
Massage coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both itching and flaking.
11. Curbs Appetite
Take a spoonful before meals to curb appetite, so you don’t overeat.
12. May Reduce Wrinkles
Rub into lines, creases, and wrinkles to rehydrate skin and soften those wrinkles away.
13. Can Help Ease Sore Throat
Dissolve a spoonful in your mouth and let it slowly roll down the throat. This coats and protects the throat, boost the health of mucous membranes, and fights off infection.
14. Fights Ringworm
Rub coconut oil onto the affected area to kill the fungus that causes unsightly ringworm. Add tea tree oil as well to clear the infection even faster.
15. As a Lip Balm
Coconut oil hydrates and protects chapped lips. Coconut oil even offers some protection from the sun, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 4.
16. Gets Rid of Cold Sores
Coconut oil has antiviral properties that will help the body get rid of the virus that causes cold sores. Rub it on when needed and add a drop of oregano oil to speed up healing.
17. Acts as a Lubricant
Coconut makes an all-natural personal lubricant for intimate moments without chemicals, but don’t use it with condoms as the oils tend to compromise the integrity of your protection.
18. Removes Gum
Coconut oil gets the sticky stuff out of your hair, carpet, and anywhere else it doesn’t belong.
19. Enhances Pet Health
Coconut oil can do a multitude of things for pets, both topically and internally. It improves breath, makes for a shiny coat, eases joint problems, cleans ears, gets rid of fleas, and much more.
20. May Cure Stye/Pink Eye
Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the stye or around the eyes to get rid of these painful and annoying infections quickly.
Stye Definition: An inflammation that occurs in the eyelid with a small amount of pus.
21. Soothes Earaches
Earaches, swimmer’s ear, and ear infections clear up fast with a few drops of coconut oil mixed with garlic oil.
22. Helps Cure Cradle Cap
Coconut oil is gentle and safe for infants and helps ease the itching, pain, redness, and flaking associated with cradle cap.
What is cradle cap? A skin condition where the baby’s scalp has dry, crusty and scaly patches.
23. Heals Diaper Rash
Coconut oil helps heal mild diaper rash gently and effectively.
24. Helps Heal Bruises
Rub coconut oil into bruised skin to speed up healing and watch the bruises fade fast.
25. Reduces Age Spots
Coconut oil has beneficial effects on any skin blemish. Use it to help fade age spots with powerful antioxidants.
26. As a Shaving Cream
Coconut oil keeps the razor gliding smoothly while leaving the skin smooth and soft.
27. As an After Shave
Don’t want unpleasant bumps and rashes after shaving? Coconut oil soothes sensitive skin and promotes healing.
28. Acts as a Toothpaste
Mix one part coconut oil with one part baking soda, and add a couple drops of peppermint oil. This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, fluoride, sweeteners, or other chemicals.
RELATED: What’s In Your Toothpaste
29. Eases Chicken Pox
Ease the itch and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil. It also works on poison ivy, poison oak, mosquito bites, and other insect stings or bites.
30. May Cure Yeast Infections
Coconut oil fights these fungal infections internally and externally.
31. As a Makeup Remover
Coconut oil removes oil-based makeup easily, like mascara. It cleans, hydrates, and makes skin glow. Here are the steps to cleaning your face with coconut oil:
- Step 1: Put coconut oil into the palm of your hand.
- Step 2: Warm the oil up in your hands by rubbing your hands back and forth.
- Step 3: Gently massage the oil into your face using small, circular strokes for 1 minute.
- Step 4: Rinse a washcloth under very warm water, wring out the excess water, and let the cloth sit on your face for 30 seconds.
- Step 5: Gently wipe the oil off of your face with the wash cloth.
- Step 6: Repeat step 4 and step 5 if necessary.
32. As a Natural Leave-In Conditioner
Coconut oil conditions, strengthens, and repairs hair. Massage it in and rinse it out after ten minutes.
RELATED: 15 Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil
33. Polishes Furniture
Coconut oil gives a protective shine to wood furniture. Just make sure you test it out on a small area to make sure you like the outcome.
34. Serves as an Energy Source
Coconut oil and its medium-chain triglycerides make it an excellent energy source to improve stamina and endurance, or just to give you an energy boost throughout the day.
35. Makes a Good Deodorant
Mix organic coconut oil with cornstarch, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils for a natural deodorant that smells fantastic. Get an easy DIY lavender deodorant recipe here.
36. As an Eye Cream
Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a few dabs of coconut oil.
37. Can Aid in Healing Eczema
Coconut oil reduces the itchiness, pain, flakiness, and dryness of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
38. Prevents Sunburn
Coconut oil can help prevent sunburn for short exposures. When you burn, it also speeds up healing and takes some of the sting away.
Make sure you wait until all the heat has dissipated before applying it, or you trap the heat in. Wait for 24 to 72 hours depending on the extent of the burn.
39. May Ease Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Coconut oil eases the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids and encourages natural healing both internally and externally.
40. May Cure Nose Bleeds
Rub a bit of coconut oil in nostrils to fight the dry cracking that can lead to nose bleeds and pain.
41. May Heal Canker Sores
Dab coconut oil on canker sores to kill infection and speed up healing. Coconut oil is also a far tastier way to treat canker sores than other methods.
42. Soothes Toothaches
Coconut oil eases the pain and strengthens teeth. You can mix it with a drop of clove oil to almost instantly relieve pain.
43. Helps Treat Acid Reflux
Take a small spoonful with meals to keep acid reflux and heartburn at bay.
44. May Cure Urinary Tract Infection
Treat urinary tract infections with a spoonful of coconut oil. It may even ease the painful passing of kidney stones.
45. Heals Sore Nipple from Nursing
One of the coconut oil uses good for nursing moms is it works great to repair dry, cracked skin, including sore nipples from nursing.
46. Slows Down the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
Some research studies point to coconut oil as a way to slow the progression of or prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
47. Improves Bone Health
Coconut oil aids the body in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for strong bones and teeth.
48. May Reduce Epilepsy Incidence and Intensity
Coconut oil may reduce the incidence and intensity of epileptic seizures.
49. Promotes Fitness
Coconut oil boosts energy, increases metabolism, improves thyroid function, and aids healthy weight loss. It is the perfect addition to any workout or fitness regimen.
The Sunwarrior Warrior Blend includes medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil specifically to raise energy levels and increase stamina during workouts and speed up recovery and healing after any exercise.
50. As a Healthier Cooking Oil Alternative
Coconut oil doesn’t form harmful by-products when heated like most other oils and animal fats. Similar to olive oil, coconut oil is one of the healthier cooking oils you can use at home.
Use it to replace butter, cup for cup in recipes. Sauté, cook, bake, broil, braise, and more using coconut oil as a healthier alternative.
How to Make Coconut Oil at Home
Did you know that you can make coconut oil at home? This method does not require any machinery, only your everyday kitchen tools.
- Coconuts (It depends on how much oil you like to extract. Nine to ten coconuts will give you around 150 g of coconut oil, while three to four can make around 50 g of oil.)
- Hot water (small amount; optional)
Things you'll need:
- Clean cheesecloth
- Separate the flesh from the coconut and then grate it.
- Prepare the cloth and the bowl for the milk.
- Squeeze the grated coconut flesh with your hands in a clean cloth to extract the coconut milk. Make sure the bowl is below the cloth while squeezing. You can mix a small amount of hot water with the coconut flesh, so it's easier to extract the milk.
- Sieve the milk using the cloth to remove impurities.
- Place the milk in a brass vessel and heat it. Cook it for two to three hours on low heat or extra-low heat if possible.
- Stir the milk from time to time until it becomes brownish. Just be careful not to burn it because coconut milk has a delicate texture.
- Once the milk is concentrated, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
- Once cold, pour the milk into the cloth to sieve out the charred bits with a glass or bottle underneath it. If there are still sediments that settle at the bottom of the glass or bottle, you can sieve again using a paper towel.
- Store the oil in a bottle or can.
This virgin coconut oil recipe can last up to 10 months. Store it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.
Dr. Weston shares some of the interesting facts about the humble superfood, coconut in this video from Sunwarrior:
Start taking coconut oil now and experience the health benefits it can give you for overall health and wellness!
What other coconut oil uses can you add to the list above? Feel free to share your favorite uses with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 6, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.