Coconut Oil

This past week my cousin shared a quote with me on Facebook and said it reminded her of me.There is a reason why this quote reminded her of myself….. I USE COCONUT OIL A LOT! Coconut Oil is safe, effective, cheap and easy to use. People have been using it for centuries. I jumped on the coconut bandwagon several years ago and haven’t looked back since! So seriously, what could it hurt for you to try?

It’s definitely not a cure-all, and what works for other people may not work for you, but still is pretty nifty to have around. With a little bit of resourcefulness and a dash of creativity, you can find over one hundred everyday uses for coconut oil. For today let’s just stick with the basics. Here are 22 uses for coconut oil to get you started on your coconut oil journey!

Top 22 Uses for Coconut Oil

1) Weight loss: Yes, weight loss! I have your attention now, don’t I? Well, if you sit around eating coconut oil, you are not going to lose weight. However, if you use it to substitute other fats, it can help you drop the pounds by taking the place of other calories. Unlike most saturated fats, it’s mainly composed of medium chain fatty acids, verses long chain fatty acids. This difference in molecular structure means that it doesn’t get packed away as fat as easily and instead is sent straight to the liver to be metabolized, giving you a boost in energy. This energy in turn makes exercising easier, and the exercise in turn helps you lose weight.

Another major factor that coconut oil plays is that it is an appetite suppressant. Craving something you shouldn’t eat? Have a tablespoon or 2 of coconut oil, and that sensation won’t last long! I put a teaspoon or 2 into my smoothies and shakes every morning, every single day, so it takes care of cravings before they even start.

2) Eczema: Before we became a gluten-free family, one of my twins had eczema, we applied coconut oil and were pleasantly surprised on how effective coconut oil could be.

3) Coffee Creamer: Yes, coffee creamer! I have had many people look at me like I am crazy about this one but, it is good! Why not try?! In replacement of higher calorie coffee creamers (that have milk and sugar) stir a little coconut oil into your coffee for a sweet (but not “too sweet”) and healthy touch. Make sure to stir it in well and that your liquid gold is piping hot when you add it in, otherwise you might get some unwanted, unmelted coconut oil popping up. For an added bonus, it’s a great moisturizer for the lips as you sip!

4) Soothe Bug Bites: Those pesky black flies or mosquitos in the South can be brutal. Every time one of the kids or myself gets a bite I reach for the coconut oil. It really does relieve the itch and burn.

5) Oil, Butter and Shortening 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, shortening or just about any oil. It lends moisture, freshness, and richness to baked goods, and a subtle complimentary flavor to savory dishes. How much you substitute will depend on the recipe you are making.

6) Makeup Remover: 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. Coconut oil is also an anti-bacterial agent so it will aid in getting rid of blemishes as well. It works well with eye make-up, waterproof or not. You can use a mild soap if you wish to remove all traces of the oil. For an added tip: I have wash cloths I use ONLY for washing my face. That allows me to gently exfoliate my skin with the wash cloth and if any coconut oil residue gets on the cloth at least it is only on my “face washing clothes”. Update: If you have oily skin you may not want to apply coconut oil to your face to remove makeup. Although it is an antibacterial and removes blemishes it can have a reverse effect on oily-prone skin.

7) Massage Oil: Rather than using a heavy lotion, simply use coconut oil for those sore muscles. It also leaves your skin truly moisturized and soft.

8) Nail and Cuticle Treatment: Now that I have nails, I have been trying very hard to take care of these beauties. Cuticles get ragged, nails get broken, chipped, or dull, and it’s not unusual for them to need some TLC every now and then. Rub a little into your cuticles and over/around your nails to help smooth out flaws and encourage healthy growth. (They have grown a lot more since this pic was taken. I am kinda proud! ;-))

9) Popcorn Topping: Melt coconut oil and drizzle it over your popcorn. Add a touch of salt, toss until each piece is coated, and enjoy!

10) Detangler: Have a nasty tangle? Try using coconut oil to ease it out with very little yanking. Dampen your hair and then massage in coconut oil, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes. Starting at the bottom of the hair shaft, gently work your way up with a comb to get through the tangles . Voila! Works great for my daughter’s long hair!

11) Get Rid of Cradle Cap: Cradle cap is typically rather harmless but, your baby can easily be rid of it with just a few steps by mom. I used this method on my twins. I honestly wish I would have known about it when my first baby came, as well. To help loosen and remove the crusty flaking scales, dampen your baby’s hair/scalp and gently apply enough coconut oil to cover the affected area, it doesn’t need to be thick. Leave it on for 15 minutes (or longer if needed) to soften the scales. Then use a soft bristled baby brush and remove the patches. Follow up by rinsing with a regular mild baby shampoo to remove the rest of the oil from the hair.

12) Flakey Scalp Treatment: Coconut oil can help provide nourishing moisture to a thirsty flakey scalp. Wet your hair, and then massage coconut oil over your scalp, using just enough to cover the area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then rinse it out. Follow up with a small amount of very mild shampoo to ensure a non-greasy look when finished. Repeat this at least 3 times a week, or as needed, to prevent dry scalp.

13) Minimize Heartburn: If you’re feeling the burn, swallow 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil. It will coat your tummy and ease the painful feeling of heartburn or acid reflux. Or, better yet, add it to your smoothies, like I said above, for prevention.

14) Diaper Cream: We used this all of the time with our twins! Look no further than pure coconut oil if you have a baby with diaper rash! I prefer it over the hodgepodge of ingredients found in store-bought creams. With its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral actions, plus its soothing and moisturizing benefits, it makes the ideal “DIY” diaper cream. For a little extra soothing power, try melting it with a bit of shea butter and whipping the two together after they have solidified some. Apply only as much as needed to affected area as you would any other diaper cream.

15) Fights Acne: Our bodies are rich with bacteria that are naturally present, and necessary, to maintain our health. There are instances though where some people find themselves with a specific strain of bacteria that grows its population past the point of being welcome, as too much of it causes acne. While acne is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, coconut oil is an all-natural way to reduce the overgrowth. You can also mix in a little drop of tea tree oil (no more, a little bit goes a long way) for an extra anti-bacterial kick. Be aware that tea tree has a very…distinct aroma. In other words, to me, it stinks! (If you use tea tree oil, make sure you get a very pure brand, it’s going on your face, after all!) Update: Make sure to spot test before applying it to your whole face.

16) On Toast: A simple way to replace butter. Spread some coconut oil on toast for a tasty (and filling) snack.

17) Eyelash Enhancement: Long thick eyelashes are something many people desire, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to come by. To get those luscious upturned lashes, apply a little bit of coconut oil to your eyelashes nightly. The proteins can help encourage growth and seal in moisture, preventing brittleness and breakage. Better yet, take off your eye makeup with coconut oil and take care of two things at once.

18) Moisturizer: Coconut oil makes an awesome moisturizer. Instead of reaching for a store-bought lotion choice coconut oil. It will leave your skin smooth and silky and the best part is, coconut oil absorbs quickly, so it doesn’t leave a slimy residue. Now that I have been using coconut oil as a moisturizer for so long, it feels weird when I actually use a store-bought version. It feels way too heavy and slimy!

19) Grease Baking Pans: I love to bake but, hate when my baked goods stick to the pan. Use coconut oil instead of those nasty non-stick sprays, better for you anyway!

20) Personal Lubricant: Yes ma’am, coconut oil can be used as a natural and effective alternative to store-bought lubricant. BUT, it is not compatible with latex, as it causes it to lose its elasticity and break down. So using it with condoms may not be a good idea. Coconut oil + condoms = baby! *AGAIN: not compatible with latex!

21) Wound Care: Antibacterial and antifungal properties make coconut oil an ideal salve for minor scrapes and scratches. Mix up with a little bit of honey (also antibacterial) and apply a dab to the area, or just use on its own. For little cuts and scrapes it’s a great thing to have in your all-natural first aid kit.

22) Aromatherapy: Add your favorite blend of essential oils to coconut oil to dab on your temples and the back of your neck when you feel stressed or nauseous. Peppermint and eucalyptus for headaches and tension, or lemon/lime/orange for nausea, are nice places to start.

23) Yeast Infection Remedy: Yes, you read right! Check it out, A Natural Remedy For Yeast Infections That Really Works. You will be really surprised at how great it works! 

Okay, so there you have 22 + 1 ways you can use coconut oil! Although there are a lot more ways to use this awesome stuff, this is a good place to start! So now venture out and explore what more the world of coconut oil can hold. Your body will thank you for it, I promise! Now go and enjoy!

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