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.
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. 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!
25 Uses for Coconut Oil
Hair conditioner. Apply to dry hair and leave in until the next wash. Coconut oil helps reduce protein loss in hair.
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 more benefits.
Bath oil. Add several tablespoons to bath water for added moisturizing.
Rashes. Coconut oil can have a soothing and restorative 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, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and lipstick!
Burns. In 2008, the Indian Journal of Pharmacology concluded that coconut oil “is an effective burn wound healing agent.”
Healthy “candy.” Combine 1 c. Coconut oil, 1/8 c. Cacao powder, one tsp. Vanilla, and several drops English Toffee liquid stevia. Combine and heat until blended/melted. Pour into a 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 the 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 three 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 efficient 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.
Wondering about brands of coconut oil? These are my top three:
Expeller pressed is a more processed version than virgin coconut oil, and, therefore, much of the coconut taste is removed. We use expeller pressed for cooking. We use virgin coconut oil for candies, desserts, and skin care.
(I use organic unrefined coconut oil in all of my skin care products found at Just So Natural Products.)
Choose high-quality coconut oil and enjoy all the rich benefits!
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Jennifer Noble says
Thanks for another great post.
Mary Maynard says
I started using Coconut oil just recently on my hair. Due to the fact that I color it myself, the ends were HORRIBLE. I decided to put it on the ends of my hair for a few minutes before I wash it. The results were amazing the very first time. Now I do that every time I wash my hair. It has never been softer.
Also my friend, Margie, has battled psoriasis all her life. No cream or medication ever worked. She started using coconut oil as her moisturizer and now her skin is completely healed.
I also cook with it and use it on my face and lips as a moisturizer. It doesn’t hurt that I LOVE the smell of coconut!!
We LOVE coconut oil for diaper rash! We cloth diaper, so other creams can be harmful to the diapers. Cocnut oil is gentle for both baby and diaper. (And also leaves baby’s bum smelling delicious!) The minute I spot redness or irritation, I put on a bit of coconut oil and the irritation is gone by the next diaper change.
I can’t believe there are so many other great uses for it! I can’t wait to try them out.
It works really well as a moisturizer for your face. I put some in a small jar in my bathroom and apply it to my face after my shower. I also mixed a couple of drops of lavender oil with some coconut oil for a rash – especially helpful since lavender is so soothing. Thanks for all the great ideas.
I’ve now tried coconut oil in many of these ways and it works great. Thanks for the ideas! kt
Deborah Gatz says
Hi Andrea ~ two things related to this great post. When I select the “this article” under uses for coconut oil pulling, I get some rather odd sites. Apparently I’ve won prizes!! :-/ I know the post is a couple of years old, so that probably explains it. Can you list another site? Also, I am I nterested in looking into body brushing but selections of brushes can be a bit overwhelming. Can any of your readers (or you) make some good-for-you natural bristle recommendations? Thanks again for all a the information you make available! Deb
Andrea Fabry says
Here’s a good explanation of oil pulling:
I like Bernard Jensen skin brushes, though I know there are other good ones:
Andrea Fabry says
Hey Marty! Nice to hear from you. My best to you and your family.