In the Philippines, the coconut tree is known as the "Tree of Life" because of its many uses. Its roots, trunks, and husks are used for construction materials, paper pulp, brushes, and much more. Coconut oil is derived from the copra, which is the dried coconut meat.
Virgin coconut oil contains abundant medium-chain fatty acids, which are more easily digested than long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which is found in breast milk and has proven antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Coconut oil contains saturated fat, which is the most stable of all fats, and as a result coconut oil does not go rancid when heated and does not form dangerous free radicals that can cause a multitude of ills.
Coconut oil, therefore, is wonderful to cook with and to eat. But that's not all! Here are 25 ways to incorporate coconut oil into your daily life.
- Hair conditioner. Apply to dry hair and leave in until the next wash. Coconut oil helps reduce protein loss in hair. See this article for more.
- Hair gel. Rub a small amount of coconut oil on hands and apply as a styling agent.
- Deodorant. Place under arms to help with body odor.
- Shaving cream. Apply before shaving.
- Oil pulling. An effective method of detoxification that involves swishing and rinsing coconut oil (or another oil) in your mouth. See this article for details.
- Bath oil. Add several tablespoons to bath water for added moisturizing.
- Rashes. Coconut oil can have a soothing and healing effect on skin eruptions and rashes. It makes a great moisturizer in general for the skin!
- Makeup remover. Use coconut oil to remove mascara, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, and lipstick!
- Burns. In 2008, the Indian Journal of Pharmacology concluded that coconut oil "is an effective burn wound healing agent." See this article for more.
- Healthy "candy." Combine 1 c. coconut oil, 1/8 c. cacao powder, 1 tsp. vanilla, and several drops English Toffee liquid stevia. Combine and heat until blended/melted. Pour into candy mold or mini muffin tins. Freeze. For more dessert ideas, visit the Tropical Traditions website.
- Cutting board conditioner. Wipe on clean cutting board weekly.
- Bug bites. Apply on affected area. Reduces skin irritation, swelling, and itching.
- Eye cream. Use by itself or combine with cocoa butter (2 tablespoons grated cocoa butter heated gently with 3 tablespoons coconut oil).
- Goo Gone. Mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda for a non-toxic version.
- Yeast infections. Can be used internally to alleviate symptoms. See this article for more.
- Leather moisturizer. After cleaning the leather with a damp, clean cloth, wipe with coconut oil to condition and soften the leather.
- Massage oil/carrier oil. Fractionated coconut oil is ideal. A fraction of the whole oil is used, creating a stable, colorless, odorless oil that is light and easily penetrable. Fractionated coconut oil is available from a variety of sources, including Amazon.
- Diaper rash. Coconut oil is soothing for baby, not only for diaper rash but also for cradle cap. When a diaper rash is specifically caused by Candida yeast, studies have shown that coconut oil causes the Candida yeast cell's nucleus to explode!
- Cuticle/nail massage. Gently massage several drops into cuticle area.
- Nosebleeds. If prone to nosebleeds, coat the inside of your nostrils regularly to prevent future nosebleeds.
- Pet boost. Add a spoonful to your dog's or cat's food as an immune booster.
- Lip balm. Keep coconut oil handy in a small container to soothe lips.
- Insect repellent. Combine coconut oil with neem oil for an effective and moisturizing repellent.
- Toothpaste. Combine equal parts coconut oil and baking soda in a small jar. Add peppermint essential oil and use daily to brush teeth.
- Vapor rub. Add peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils to several tablespoons of coconut oil for a Vick's alternative.