80 Totally Awesome Uses For Coconut Oil
Be sure to buy organic coconut oil. It should be snow-white, like in the picture above and have a sweet coconut odor and flavor. At the time of this writing, Costcos had a great oil at a great price ($20. Most Walmarts carry it (but in smaller containers) on the aisle with their other cooking oils ($7-$10), also health stores and several online stores should have it as well.
1. Moisturizer – simply scoop some out of the jar and apply all over your body, including neck and face.
2. Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags, and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
3. Preshave – coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving.
4. Aftershave – coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores.
5. Deodorant – coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda!
6. Hair Conditioner/Deep Treatment – use as a leave in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest! For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
7. Hair Gel/Defrizzer – rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
8. Toothpaste – there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush.
9. Make up remover – use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works!
10. Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
11. Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
12. Lubricant – it is an all natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant. Not compatible with latex!
14. Stretch Mark Cream – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.
15. Nipple Cream – works great to nourish cracked, sore, or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings.
16. Diaper salve – very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
17. Cradle cap – having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto scalp daily.
18. Body scrub – mix coconut oil and sugar together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft! You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
19. Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
20. Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
21. Skin problems – coconut oil relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
22. Swimmers Ear – mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.
General Health and Wellness
23. Stress Relief – relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.
24. Digestion – the saturated fats in coconut oil have anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
25. Fitness – coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle.
26. Nose bleeds – coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme hotness and extreme coldness. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Coat your finger with coconut oil and then lie down and coat your finger inside your nose. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages. A Vitamin C supplement will also help prevent nose bleeding.
27. For breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 – tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich your milk supply.
28. Helps with weight loss & controlling cravings.
29. Helps keep blood sugar levels stable and/or helps with cravings in those with diabetes.
Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when taken internally)
30. Eczema – in addition to taking it internally, many have success applying it externally, some don’t
31. Skin problems
32. Toenail fungus
33. Hot flashes
34. Bleeding hemorrhoids (can also be applied externally twice a day)
36. Head lice
37. Improvements in menstruation regarding pain/cramps and heavy blood flow
38. Migraines (with regular use)
40. Parasitesv 41. Thrush
42. Relieve gallbladder pain
43. Has helped some people improve symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland, results have shown subsequent thyroid blood tests becoming normalv 44. Energy boost
45. Flaky, dry skin
46. May relieve acid reflux and indigestion when taken with each meal
47. Adrenal fatigue 48. Alzheimers
49. H. pylori
50. Candida albicans
51. Asthma, even in children
53. Cholesterol – improves HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) to LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) ratio in people with high cholesterol
54. Chronic fatigue
55. Circulation/feeling cold all the timev 56. Stronger immune system
57. Mental Clarity
59. Helps with inflammation in Crohns
Health Problems (that coconut oil is known for aiding, relieving, or even curing when applied topically)
60. Athletes foot
61. Back pain/sore muscles
62. Canker sores
65. Herpes (applied topically and taken internally)
66. Genital warts (through topical application over 6 weeks, and coconut oil enemas twice a day depending on the location of the warts)
67. Circumcision healing – although I am personally against circumcision, I have read that coconut oil is a really great healer for this.
68. Use 1 cup to 1 cup ratio when replacing other oils/butter in recipes with coconut oil.
69. Replacement for butter/lard/Crisco/PAM in it’s solid form – greasing pans, pie crusts, etc.
70. Replacement for various oils in liquid form – baking, cooking, saut-ing, etc.
71. Nutritional supplement – melt and add to smoothies.
72. Insect repellent – mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over exposed skin. Keeps insects off better than anything with Deet! Tons safer too.
73. Great for dogs and cats for general wellness. Just add a teaspoon to their water bowl daily.
74. Goo Gone – just mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda into a paste. Apply to the “sticky” area and let it set for a minute. Then scrub off with an old toothbrush or the scrubby side of a sponge.
75. Chewing Gum in Hair Remover – just rub some coconut oil over the stuck chewing gum, leave in for about 30 minutes, then roll the gum between your fingertip. Voila! It’s out!
76. Polish Furniture – coconut oil with a little bit of lemon juice to polish wood furniture. However, I recommend you test it first on a very small, unobtrusive part of your furniture to make sure it works the way you’d like.
77. Polishing Bronze – all you have to do is rub a little oil into a cotton towel and then wipe down the statue. It cleans and helps deepen the color of your bronze.
78. Seasoning animal hide drums
79. Seasoning cookware
80. Moisturizing and cleaning leather products
MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: The Truth Exposed
There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet regarding the differences between MCT oil and coconut oil. So let’s clearly define what each product is and how they differ. Once we have this proper understanding, the myths regarding MCT oil that are being propagated will become very obvious.
What are MCTs?
Before we can begin our comparison of MCT oil and coconut oil, the first thing we have to do is define “MCT.” MCTs stands for medium chain triglycerides. Another term for “triglycerides” is fatty acids. So another way of referring to MCTs is MCFA (medium chain fatty acids).
“Medium” references the chain length of the fatty acids. Oils can contain short chain, medium chain, or long chain fatty acids. Most oils are a combination of all three types.
Medium chain fatty acids contain between 6 and 12 carbon chains . They are:
- C6 – Caproic Acid
- C8 – Caprylic Acid
- C10 – Capric Acid
- C12 – Lauric Acid
These medium chain fatty acids are known to have tremendous health benefits.
C6 through C10, although found in coconut oil, are more predominant in other places in nature, such as goat’s milk. This is reflected in their names, taken from “capra,” which means “goat.”
The most predominant MCT found in coconut oil, however, is lauric acid. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid, making it nature’s richest source of lauric acid.
While all the MCTs have known health benefits, lauric acid is the most well-known of the four. Lauric acid is prized around the world as a powerful antimicrobial agent, used in both food preservation as well as in drugs and nutraceuticals.
A recent search on the popular International Trading website Alibaba.com, for example, showed the following results when searching for each particular fatty acid:
- Lauric acid – 1,861 Products from 194 Suppliers
- Caprylic Acid – 451 Products from 66 Suppliers
- Caproic acid – 393 Products from 69 Suppliers
- Capric Acid – 206 Products from 56 Suppliers
Lauric acid products total more than the three capra MCT fatty acid products combined.
MCT Oil is Manufactured – Coconut Oil is Natural
Coconut oil in nature contains all four MCTs. In addition, it contains a small percentage of longer chain fatty acids.
MCT oil, on the other hand, is not an oil found in nature, but is manufactured by machine to separate out the medium chain fatty acids from the rest of the oil. The fatty acids are extracted through an industrial process of “fractionation”.
The logic is that since MCTs are healthy, the more the better. Therefore, it is a popular belief that MCT oil is healthier than coconut oil. But is this true?
What is MCT Oil?
Where the logic fails in comparing MCT oil to coconut oil, is in the assumption that all four MCTs are present in MCT oil, and only the longer chain fatty acids from coconut oil are removed. This assumption is false.
MCT oils generally contain only the capra fatty acids. Lauric acid is either missing, or present in minuscule amounts. Therefore, to assume that MCT oil is a fractionation of coconut oil, where the longer chain fatty acids have been removed, leaving all of the MCTs from coconut oil, is false. Lauric acid is the star component in coconut oil, but missing in MCT oil. If MCT oil was the fractionation of all of the MCTs in coconut oil, it would be about 80% lauric acid. But it is not. It is zero percent lauric acid.
This is not surprising if you think about it. Lauric acid is the most valuable component of coconut oil, and as we saw above, the most actively traded MCT fatty acid in the world market.
So what does one do with the remaining capra MCTs after removing the valuable lauric acid? Market it as MCT oil of course!
Is MCT Oil better than Coconut Oil?
No, of course not. How can a product that has the most famous and most dominant fatty acid removed from the original product be considered “better”?
Lauric acid is unique to coconut oil, comprising about 50% of its fatty acids. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid. The next highest source is human breast milk, at about 6 to 10%. So if you want lauric acid, coconut oil is the place to get it.
If, however, you want the capra medium chain fatty acids, you have many more alternatives, including goat’s milk and other animals’ milk.
The capra medium chain fatty acids have their own unique characteristics and benefits. But to refer to them as “better” than coconut oil is short-sighted. They are not better – just different.
Due to the recent rise in popularity of coconut oil, MCT oil has even been marketed as “liquid coconut oil” now. When lauric acid has been removed, the remaining MCTs stay liquid at much lower temperatures.
MCT oil is not true coconut oil, however, since it contains little or no lauric acid. One should not expect the same benefits from cooking with MCT oil (which traditionally has been a supplement or skin care ingredient, and only recently has been marketed as a cooking oil), as with coconut oil.
So while we are not saying that MCT oil is “bad,” the hype saying it is “better” than coconut oil just does not reflect the facts. It suggests that people making such statements are falling for marketing claims, without really investigating the true nature of MCT oil.
About the authors: Unlike many people who write about coconut oil by simply reading about it, Brian and Marianita Shilhavy actually lived in a coconut producing area of the Philippines for several years. Marianita Jader Shilhavy grew up on a coconut plantation in the Philippines and in a culture that consumed significant amounts of coconut fat in their diet. She later went on to earn her degree in nutrition and worked as a nutritionist in the Philippines. Brian Shilhavy also lived in the Philippines for several years with Marianita and their 3 children observing firsthand the differences between the diet and health of the younger generation and those of Marianita’s parents’ generation still consuming a traditional diet. This led to years of studying Philippine nutrition and dietary patterns first hand while living in a rural farming community in the Philippines. Click here to purchase their book: Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours!
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