60 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Coconut Oil

60 Uses for Coconut Oil
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Coconut oil is both food and medicine, it’s uses are many and there are basically no disadvantages to utilizing this amazing substance.

What used to be deemed an evil saturated fat, dangerous for anyone worried about heart disease and high blood pressure, has become a healing nourishing substance soaring in popularity.

How did such a drastic change come about? What made people change their minds about the numerous benefits of coconut oil? This story is tied in with the saturated fat myth that to this day runs rampant spreading misconceptions.

Coconut Oil And The Saturated Fat Myth

The myth that saturated fats makes you fat, came about in the late 1970’s. People were led to believe from health authorities that foods high in saturated fat were to be avoided. Foods such as butter, egg yolks, animal fats and, of course, coconut oil.

The premise behind this notion is that saturated fat would raise LDL cholesterol, which in turn would clog the arteries and lead to heart diseases. Many studies were done, however they all had one fatal flaw.

The studies showing a link between saturated fats and heart disease were also grouping trans fats into the same category. Trans fats are fat molecules which have literally been transformed, such as the hydrogenation process vegetable oils undergo to become margarine.

Trans fatty acids can be linked to heart disease and other health problems, but it certainly isn’t fair to put naturally occurring saturated fats in the same category.

Since the hay day of the saturated fat myth, more and more scientific evidence is being released to prove just the opposite. Many indigenous cultures around the world value saturated fats for their nourishing properties.

The Maasai tribe in Africa drink full fat raw milk in abundance, in China women who can afford to are encouraged to eat up to 10 eggs per day.

Take a look at the Inuit of Northern Canada, they used to survive harsh winters eating mainly seal blubber and fish. Modern science is starting to see that the diets of our ancestors were far more balanced, you didn’t have any incidence of the diseases we are facing today.

Ancestral diet has a huge role to play in this, and as you can see, our ancestors weren’t afraid of a little fat.

60 Uses for Coconut Oil

  1. COCONUT OIL FOR COOKING

Coconut oil is a great fat to cook with because its structure remains intact when heated. It doesn’t produce harmful by-products like most common cooking oils. (1)

  1. COCONUT OIL AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR BUTTER

Use coconut oil to replace butter in recipes. You can make anything from pie crust to brownies, rich sauces and curries. The flavor isn’t overbearing but you may get a faint tropical taste. Most recipes that use any spices will cover up the taste of the coconut oil.

  1. GREAT FOR VEGAN AND PALEO DIETS

Coconut oil is a key ingredient in most vegan raw pies and paleo treats, because it solidifies at room temperature (77f). It keeps treats firmly intact, giving them a great texture and taste (2).

  1. NUTRITIONAL FOOD BOOSTER

Add coconut oil to smoothies to make the nutrients in your fruits and vegetables more absorbable and also aid in balancing blood sugar. If you’re eating steamed veggies, be sure to generously coat them in coconut oil and good sea salt as the fat soluble vitamins will absorb far more efficiently (3).

  1. MAKE DECADENT CHOCOLATE TREATS

Mix with equal parts cacao powder and honey for a natural chocolate sauce, or allow it to set in the fridge in molds for healthy homemade chocolate treats (4).

  1. STIMULANT FREE APPETITE SUPPRESSANT

Take a tsp. of coconut oil before meals to feel more satiated.  This may be because of the way fats are metabolized in the body. Science has revealed that ketones (that are produced when you consume coconut oil) can lead to appetite reducing effects. (567)

  1. HELPS TO BALANCE HORMONES

Coconut oil is a healthy nourishing fat for providing your adrenals and thyroid with real nourishment for more balanced hormone levels (89).

  1. MORE ENERGY AND BOOSTS METABOLISM

The MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) in coconut oil create a sustained energy release for long term energy and also help boost metabolism and speed fat loss (10). Medium chain fatty acids aren’t stored as fat in the body, they are utilized immediately by the liver as a source of energy (11).

Further reading: read the article How to Use Coconut Oil to Lose Weight

  1. BALANCES BLOOD SUGAR

Coconut oil releases over the course of many hours in the body, providing a solid energy source to help sustain blood sugar levels. A 2010 issue of the “Indian Journal of Pharmacology” published an animal study which discovered a diet supplemented with coconut oil led to improved glucose tolerance levels, as well as decreasing total cholesterol levels. Researchers said attributed effect to the presence of lauric acid, an MCT, in coconut oil (12). No more roller coaster ride once you’ve incorporated this healing fat in your day to day life.

  1. BOOSTS BRAIN FUNCTION

Studies show the powerful effects coconut oil has on brain health (13). We can see it is incredibly useful in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s as well as just helping the average person to feel sharper and more alert.

Further reading: read the article How Coconut Oil Can Rescue The Brain From Alzheimer’s.

  1. TREATING COLD SORES

The anti viral compounds in coconut oil help to heal cold sores faster and also provide pain relief (14).

  1. SOOTHES SORE THROAT

Melt a tsp. of coconut oil in hot lemon water to soothe an itchy irritated throat.  This will differ from person to person and most evidence was anecdotal.

  1. TREAMENT FOR EAR ACHES AND INFECTION

Simmer a bit of coconut oil with a garlic clove and use this anti bacterial (15) oil in the ear.

  1. TREATMENT FOR CANDIDA OVERGROWTH

Candida Albicans is a yeast and a parasite which steals vital energy from the body. The lauric acid in coconut oil helps kill off candida. (16)

  1. INCREASE IMMUNE HEALTH

Roughly half the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a substance that converts into monolaurin, a monoglyceride which can annihilate lipid coated viruses (17), gram-negative bacteria and protozoa. Making it an effective treatment for ailments such as herpes virus, giardia lamblia, HIV and measles just to name a few.

  1. COCONUT OIL FOR BETTER DIGESTION

Taking coconut oil with a meal can help digestion as it lubricates the digestive tract allowing digested food to pass through much easier.

  1. FIGHTS PARASITES

Lauric acid in coconut oil is anti parasitic, anti fungal, anti viral and anti bacterial, it helps create an inhospitable environment for those nasty parasites (18).

  1. EFFECTIVELY HEALS BURNS

You can use coconut oil to heal burns faster and provide instant soothing relief (19).

  1. TREATING ULCERS

Coconut oil helps to rebuild the gut walls and provides a mucilaginous effect to aid in easily digesting and passing food (20).

  1. GETTING RID OF LICE WHEN COMBINE WITH ANISE SEED EXTRACT

One study showed that this combination is more effecting than the common lice treatment permethrin (21).

  1. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY

Coconut oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in animal testing (22). Researchers also found that coconut oil has moderate analgesic activity and can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Further reading: find here more foods to reduce inflammation in your body.

  1. REDUCES FEVER

The same study as mentioned above also showed coconut oil to be effective in reducing fever. Ayurveda also deemed coconut oil to be a cooling oil long before modern medicine entered the scene.

  1. BOOSTS TESTOSTERONE AND REDUCES SWOLLEN PROSTATE IN ANIMAL STUDIES

One of the best foods for healthy hormones, not only is coconut oil useful in regulating the thyroid and adrenal glands but it’s also been found to lessen the incidence of prostate cancer (23).

  1. FURNITURE POLISH

Yes you can actually use coconut oil to shine your wood furniture, it’s likely less expensive and far less toxic than the commercial wood polish.

  1. LEATHER POLISH

Shine you shoes with a dollop of coconut oil on a dry rag for an all natural, petroleum alternative.

  1. USE ON YOUR PETS TO KEEP FLEAS AWAY

Just as coconut works for humans to kill lice, it also works on animals to get rid of pesky critters.

  1. MAKE YOUR OWN BABY WIPES

Either use a half of a paper towel roll or reusable fabric and soak them in a mixture of 1 C hot water, 1 TBS coconut oil and 1 TBS Castile soap. This is a great baby wipe solution that it both a disinfectant and has a soothing, moisturizing effect.

  1. NATURAL DIAPER RASH TREATMENT

Even if you’re using amazing homemade baby wipes, the little ones can still get diaper rash, coconut oil is soothing and effective at relieving discomfort for your little one.

  1. MASSAGE OIL

Try warming the coconut oil in a double boiler with your favorite essential oils, this makes for a luscious spa like massage experience.

  1. WARTS

Apply coconut oil to warts daily and cover with a band aid. As mentioned above, the coconut oil is exceptional at infiltrating fungal infections and over the course of a month the warts should disappear.

  1. BODY SCRUB

Combine equal parts sugar and coconut oil, you can add your favorite essential oils and use this as a body scrub while in the shower.

  1. MOISTURIZER

You can use coconut oil on your entire body as a moisturizer, it’s great for nourishing the skin and preventing acne. Many people use it to prevent wrinkles as a facial moisturizer.

Further reading: read the article 10 Secret Ways to Use Coconut Oil on Your Face.

  1. SPF COCONUT OIL BLOCKS UV RAYS BY 30%

So lather up before heading to the beach, you’ll still be able to absorb beneficial vitamin D from the sun, which isn’t the case with regular sunblock (24).

  1. LUBRICANT

Coconut oil is a wonderful alternative to petroleum based lubes. Though it should be noted that if you’re using latex condoms, coconut oil has the potential to weaken the latex, so instead opt for polyurethane.

  1. ATHLETES FOOT

Apply coconut oil to feet daily after a shower. For an extra anti-fungal effect mix in a few drops of tea tree essential oils (25).

  1. CONDITIONING HAIR TREATMENT

As a pre-shampoo hair treatment, coat hair in coconut oil the night before a morning shower (make sure to wear a shower cap to bed) concentrate the oil on the ends for super silky locks.

  1. LIP BALM

Next time you run out of chap stick, try melting 1 1/2 Tbs of coconut oil with your favorite essential oils and 1 tsp of beeswax. Fill the chap stick tube with the melted oil and allow it to come to room temperature before using.

  1. HEMORRHOIDS

Applying coconut oil directly to hemorrhoids helps alleviate swelling and soothes pain.

  1. DANDRUFF

Try a scalp treatment with coconut and rosemary essential oil to treat dandruff, simply massage the combined oils into the scalp and allow it to seep in overnight. Wash hair as usual in the morning and repeat until the problem subsides (26). Get more information in the post about the 8 ingenious ways to use coconut oil on your hair.

  1. AFTERSHAVE

Amazing that something so simple could be so effective in calming the inflammation associated with shaving.

  1. MOSQUITO BITES

Apply directly to any bug bite to help soothe the itch and relieve swelling.

  1. MAKEUP REMOVER

Coconut oil is an impressive eye makeup remover, it dissolves gunky mascara in an instant leaving your skin moisturized and clean.

  1. SUNBURN RELIEF

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine system, states coconut oil to be a cooling oil, it can provide great relief to burning itchy skin. Another great sunburn remedy is apple cider vinegar mixed with water, sprayed on the skin and allowed to dry. Apply coconut oil after ACV for even greater relief.

  1. ACNE

Both internally and externally, coconut oil is excellent for treating acne. From the inside it helps to balance hormones associated with causing acne. Externally you can apply it to pimples for the anti bacterial effects as well as reducing swelling and redness.

  1. SHAVING CREAM

If you want to completely avoid razor burn try using coconut oil instead of shaving cream.

  1. STRETCH MARKS

Treat stretch marks and scars with coconut oil when the pores are open after a bath or shower. You can also apply coconut oil to your belly to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

  1. PERINEAL MASSAGE DURING PREGNANCY

Starting about a month before giving birth, massage the perineum with coconut oil to prevent tearing or necessity of episiotomy .

  1. EYELASH TREATMENT FOR SUPER LUSH LASHES

Apply a little coconut oil to your lashes before bed, this is especially useful if you wear eye makeup as it can cause hair loss and breakage over time.

  1. HOMEMADE COCONUT OIL SOAP

You can easily make your very own soap with just 3 ingredients and a crockpot check out this excellent photo tutorial for full instructions over here.

  1. CUTICLE SOFTENER

Massage coconut oil into dry, hang nail prone cuticles, your nails will thank you.

  1. VARICOSE VEINS

Apply coconut oil daily to varicose veins and massage in really well, anecdotal reports show this to be an excellent method for dealing with varicose veins naturally.

  1. SEASON YOUR CAST IRON

Use coconut oil to season your cast irons pans, once you’ve washed and dried them add a touch of coconut oil to keep them non-stick and rust free.

  1. START A FIRE

Forget about bringing that jug of gasoline on your camping trip. Instead try soaking a few cotton balls in coconut oil and using them as a fire starter.

  1. OIL PULLING

Coconut oil is used a lot in oil pulling method. People who practice oil pulling absolutely swear by the great benefits oil pulling has done to their oral health, such as brightening their teeth, treating bleeding gums and gingivitis. Find here how to do oil pulling.

  1. AS A CARRIER FOR ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils often call for some sort of carrier oil as their medicinal properties can be too intense if used on their own. Simply melt coconut oil and add your favorite essential oils before use.

  1. LUBRICATING DOOR HINGES

Sticky, squeaking door hinges are a pain and often we resort to petroleum based products to lubricate them. Coconut oil is just as effective and definitely a healthier solution.

  1. OVERNIGHT WRINKLE TREATMENT

For a deeply nourishing overnight wrinkle treatment, simply combine a tsp or so of coconut oil with rose essential oil and slather on any areas prone to wrinkles. In the morning your skin will be glowing.

  1. HOMEMADE HEALTHY ICING FOR CAKES

By melting the coconut oil and whipping it with honey or maple syrup, you can make a healthy, whole food icing to adorn your cakes and cupcakes.

  1. TREATING IMPETIGO SORES

Hand, foot, mouth disease causes horrible itchy sores, coconut oil treatments can ease the itching and keep down any surplus of infection.

  1. MAKING BULLETPROOF COFFEE

Bulletproof coffee is the new craze among health freaks everywhere. Instead of blending your coffee with butter, try coconut oil, it’ll still give you a delicious creamy frothy beverage, with all the added benefits of coconut.

Medium Chain Triglycerides

We should also note that countries with an abundant consumption of coconut are amongst some of the healthiest people on the planet today. It’s no accident that Kitivan people of Papua New Guinea consume ample amounts of coconut yet have zero incidence of modern ailments we see today (27).

Our current state of health in North America is ravaged with anxiety over fat, with obesity becoming an epidemic and heart disease close behind, people are looking for something to blame.

The ironic thing is fat does not make you fat. MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides) in coconut oil have been shown to increase energy expenditure and metabolism by up to 5% in a twenty-four hour period.

A study done on 6 healthy men given medium chain triglycerides vs. long chain triglycerides found that the men consuming MCT’s ate almost 300 calories less per day than the other group (28).

MCT’s are also being used as a therapeutic treatment for reducing seizures associated with epilepsy. Researchers have found a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates helps to greatly reduce seizures (29).

Like I mentioned above, coconut oil is extremely useful for people with Alzheimer’s disease, specifically the MCT’s which the liver breaks down into ketone bodies that the brain uses as fuel. One study showed immediate improvement with mild forms of Alzheimers after consumption of MCT’s (30).

Athletes take concentrated MCT oil for increased stamina during workouts and to ensure they stay lean.

Conclusion

The various uses of coconut oil, medicinal and otherwise are so pervasive that everyone should have this super food in their cupboards.  If you want to see even more benefits check these out as well. Make sure to purchase pure, extra-virgin organic coconut oil to reap the full benefits. Any other uses you can think of? What’s your favorite way to include coconut oil in your life?

ChantelleThis is a guest post written by Chantelle Zakariasen.
Chantelle is passionate about food and natural medicine. Her blog, www.nakedcuisine.com, is all about exploring and celebrating the goodness of food through wholesome paleo recipes that maximize nourishment and supporting her local food system. She sees healthy eating as a gateway into the body and spirit as well as an opportunity to take a proactive approach to holistic wellness. Chantelle has studied in the fields of nutrition, herbalism, yoga and cooking. She is a passionate mama working at trying to create a better world for the next generation. Follow her antics as she cooks up a storm, and writes about her experiences.

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9 Responses to 60 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Coconut Oil

  1. shelley says:

    I love this post, sooo interesting. I for one will be using coconut oil for lots of things. Thank you

  2. Ronika says:

    Wow! Wonderful uses of coconut. Never new before…surely will use it …Really Thank you

  3. Evy Flores says:

    I love coconut oil, I use it for oil pulling, and for many other things mentioned here, but I am worried about something, I has blood test done and had a 229 trigliceride result. I was using coconut oil for weightloss, but now I dont know.. Can anyone tell me if its safe to keep using coconut oil, or was this the cause for my 229 trigliceride result?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Evy, you can refer to my article about coconut oil for weight loss and the recommended dosage which is 1-2 tablespoons. According to the American Heart Association, coconut oil may contribute to elevated triglyceride levels, so should be consumed in moderation. You may want to check other contributors in your diet to higher triglyceride levels like other fats and sugars and reducing alcohol intake. Triglycerides can also become elevated as a reaction to having a health problem such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or kidney disease. Also some people have a genetic predisposition that causes them to produce too much triglycerides no matter how carefully they eat.

  4. sherri says:

    nose sore from blowing it? a little coconut oil on it is Instant relief and overnight healing

  5. Tammy says:

    As soon as I felt a cold sore coming on I rubbed it all over my lips and an hour later the symptoms stopped.

  6. Rhonda says:

    Such great information. This is a keeper.
    Thank you

  7. Amanda says:

    Impetigo is not hand, foot, and mouth disease. The coxsackie virus is what causes the painful blisters known as hand, foot and mouth. Impetigo is a bacterial infection.

    Great information otherwise.

  8. Onang says:

    I am 51 years old and working in an office in a tropical country. I have been using virgin coconut oil on my face and body for more than 2 years now. I have noticed that it prevented wrinkles on my face, though it did not add radiance. Maybe because I have not done face exfoliation properly and regularly. For ten days , i did chemical face exfoliation. Somehow, my skin glows, it looks smooth and it lightens, but I cannot tolerate the itchiness all over my cheeks and i have red patches on my neck. I decided to stop chemical face exfoliation and will go back again in using virgin coconut oil as my moisturizer. I limit sun exposure when i started using coconut oil, but when i am under chemical face exfoliation, i am anxious and somehow afraid of sun exposure. Being beautiful is somehow accompanied by sacrifices…

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