There has been a lot of hype about coconut oil lately, and there are so many claims being made that it sounds nothing short of a miracle.
Well it’s really not a cure-all, and what works for other people may not work for you, but it still is pretty handy to have around.
There are endless uses for coconut oil out there, don’t believe me? Just Google it. Or more simply read through this post and see some of the fascinating uses of coconut oil.
1. Moisturize Your Skin
The very first thing on this list, before even delving into the “edible” benefits of coconut oil, has to be moisturizing. In lieu of your regular lotion, coconut oil delivers a refreshing, healing, burst of moisture that penetrates your skin and works to truly heal it (not just soak in and dry up!)
It can feel oily at first, but that’s why it’s important to only use a little-it goes a long way. Give it a minute and it will dry beautifully. Use as you would regular lotion.
When the teeny tiny overlapping plates that make up our outer hair shaft get rumpled and out of whack, coconut oil is there to smooth those tiny little cells right back into place and hold them there.
You can use it on your entire scalp/head for deep conditioning, but you can generally just use it on your ends, where it’s the hardest for the body’s natural oils to reach, and where the most breakage occurs.
3. Make Homemade Soap
If you’re interested in soap making and perhaps earning a little money on the side (who doesn’t right), coconut oil serves as a wonderful pure base that can simplify ingredients, add hardness to the soap, and help break down grease and oils.
It can break them down so effectively, in fact, that too much will have a drying effect (when in soap form.) To prevent this, you need to “superfast” your soap-that is, adding more oil than the lye turns to soap.
All you need is coconut oil, water, and lye. Don’t be shy of lye. While it should be handled with care, I find it essential to soap making, and it eliminates a slew of other chemicals that you would need to add to recreate its effects.
4. Weight Loss
Coconut oil and weight loss-what are really going on? Well, if you sit around eating coconut oil, you aren’t going to lose weight.
However, if used to substitute other fats, it can help you drop the pounds by taking the place of those other calories. Another major factor that it plays is as an appetite suppressant. Craving something you shouldn’t be? Have a tablespoon or 2 of coconut oil, and that sensation won’t last long!
5. Energy Booster
If weight loss isn’t your goal, just run with the fact (no pun intended) that it gives you a great boost in energy-and who doesn’t need some help in that department every now and again? Some people also feel it helps boost their mental alertness
6. Fungal Infections
The medium-chain fatty acids found abundantly in coconut oil are incredibly effective natural fungicides. In a (coco) nutshell, they naturally insert themselves into the fungal membrane, which is crucial to maintaining the life of the fungus.
This destruction of the membrane leads to the destruction of the fungus as a whole. It is important to be diligent with applications of the coconut oil until your symptoms have cleared.
7. Lower Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found your cells, which helps continuously build more vital cells. It goes about its way through your bloodstream attached to proteins known as lipoproteins.
There are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL.) HDL is the “good” cholesterol-you want to lower LDL but raise HDL. Coconut oil, probably due to its high levels of lauric acid, will boost HDL.
There’s no solid evidence saying that coconut oil alone will prevent heart disease, but there is solid evidence that it boosts HDL, therefore lowering cholesterol, and hypothetically reducing the risk of heart disease. Take ½-1 tablespoon daily.
8. Reduce Risk (or effect) of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is devastating to all who experience it, whether personally or with a friend or family member. It is no wonder that we search so desperately for a cure.
The word that coconut oil could possibly “cure” or prevent Alzheimer’s started circulating with vigour when a paediatrician published a book about feeding coconut oil to her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, and got positive results.
Other studies have confirmed that ‘ketones’, which are essentially “brain food”, provided to keep the brain functioning when the body runs lower on glucose, can help improve memory, and potentially “reverse” the effects of Alzheimer’s.
9. Soothe Mosquito Bites
Oh, the sweet relief of coconut oil. This is Nigeria, we all know that mosquitoes will bite you, it is unavoidable. One of the more fun effects of coconut oil is that it soothes that annoying itch that said bite causes. Just dab(not the dance move) a bit on the spot and watch that itch go bye-bye.
10. Oil/Butter Replacement
There’s no better way to get the benefits of coconut oil than to replace other less desirable fats with it. When cooking or baking, substitute it for butter or just about any oil.
It lends moisture, freshness, and richness to baked goods and a subtle complimentary flavour to savoury dishes. How much you substitute will depend on the recipe you are making.
For baking, most people will fall in the 1:1 ratio or 80% coconut oil 20% water when subbing for butter. For basic cakes, cookies, and brownies I find 1:1 to be sufficient.
When it comes to more complex pastries that get their flaky puffiness when steam is escaping, you may find yourself tweaking the amount a little. For oil substituting, subbing 1:1 is a good route to go.
11. Make-Up Remover
Most female use makeup, nothing makes a female feel more beautiful than a well-applied makeup. Your face is something you would like to protect.
So when it comes to removing make-up, don’t turn for harsher store-bought products. Go instead to coconut oil, which gently and safely removes all traces of make-up (and leaves your face feeling healthy and refreshed.)
Simply scoop some onto your fingertips (it will melt quickly as you use it) and rub it over make-up in a circular motion, rinsing with water afterwards to remove traces of makeup and patting your face dry.
It works well with eye make-up, waterproof or not, as well. You can use a mild soap if you wish to remove all traces of the oil.
12. Massage Oil
The benefits of massage are countless, and we could all use one now and again. Rather than using a heavy lotion, simply use coconut oil.
You can add essential oils for scent if you like, but I find the smell of coconut oil alone to be heavenly. It also leaves your skin truly moisturized and soft.