By: Anna Fleet : Coconut oil is the edible oil retrieved from matured coconuts. But perhaps what’s so impressive about this oil is its versatility. You can use coconut oil for almost everything—from cooking with it, to cleaning with it, to shaving with it, to gargling with it. Let’s take a look at fifteen ways this lauded super food can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, and even in your morning coffee…
1. Face Moisturizer
Many women, and men, have swapped their expensive store-bought facial moisturizers for the naturally nourishing hydration found in a container of coconut oil.
Well many swear by coconut oil for the fact that it banishes scars and promotes younger, softer, suppler looking skin. Many shy away from it due to the fact that they fear the oil will cause blemishes. Try a bit of oil on your normally blemish-prone areas, you maybe surprised by the results.
4. Gargle Away
Oil pulling, or swishing with a spoonful of coconut oil, is not a new technique for improving oral health. In fact, it’s been around for centuries as a prominent fixture of Ayurvedic medicine.
And it makes sense; the natural antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil ward off bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease caused by all types of nasty oral bacteria. Dental professionals agree that swishing with any fat-rich liquid will attract and cleanse oral bacteria from the teeth, gums, and mouth.
2. Hair Shine Serum
If you’re looking to add some much-needed luster to dull locks, look no further than coconut oil. It’ll add natural shine to your ends while keeping flyaway hairs in place.
Just use a little dab, rub together in your hands, and smooth over your ends. Stay away from your part and roots and only use a tiny bit to prevent a greasy build up.
3. Massage Oil
Sure you can purchase expensive massage oil infused with all sorts of so-called goodies. However, most of those store-bought oils contain either jojoba oil or coconut oil as a base.
Do your wallet a favor and just purchase a bottle of coconut oil. The texture makes it ideal for velvety massages, plus it naturally moisturizing and antimicrobial to prevent the growth of bacterial and fungal microorganisms.
5. Infuse your Morning Coffee
Not only will that morning cup of java do wonders for your energy levels—adding a little special something to your brew with coconut oil is reported to boost your energy even more so!
Introducing bulletproof coffee, a morning ritual exposed by health professionals like Dave Asprey, who penned the book, The Bulletproof Diet. Asprey claims that coffee infused with saturated fatty goodness (1-teaspoon of grass-fed butter and 1-teastpoon of coconut oil) for breakfast will stave off hunger cravings and increase metabolism.
6. Remove Makeup
One, 2, 3—swipe! Coconut oil works wonders as a best makeup remover as well, yes it even rids your under-eyes of all waterproof mascara traces!
Simply use it like your store-bought makeup remover—apply a dab to a cotton ball or pad and sweep gently over your face and eyes and let the oil hydrate your skin while breaking down all stubborn makeup residue.
7. Season Cast Iron
Wondering how to quickly season that new cast iron skillet your mom gave you for Christmas? Create an impressive non-stick surface with a little coating of coconut oil.
I use it to season all of my cast iron cookware (i.e., pans, pots, and skillets). Simply wash and slather your pan surface generously with coconut oil and bake the pan for a few hours in the oven. Drain the excess oil—and voila—no sticky messes in your future.
8. Deep Condition
When it comes to deep conditioning treatments, you can pay upwards of $20 for a hair mask at the mall—or you can cut to the chase with coconut oil. The majority of deep hair conditioners feature coconut oil as the base anyhow.
As far as deep conditioning your locks go—coconut oil will deeply penetrate the hair shaft while replenishing any protein loss. A quarter-size drop should do the trick. Apply to slightly damp hair, comb through, and roll hair into a soft cotton towel, t-shirt, or shower cap. Let it penetrate while you sleep!
9. Hairball Prevention
No, not for you, for your pet! If you’re wondering how to get a stubborn cat to ingest coconut oil—simply dab their paws in a bit and they’ll lick it off, ingesting the oil and preventing that lovely morning hairball surprise waiting for you on your bedroom carpet in the future.
Wait, Fluffy’s coat could use a little shine too? Rub a bit of coconut oil through your dog or cat’s mane for a healthy, natural luster.
10. Skin Moisturizer
If you regularly purchase expensive skin moisturizers that contain cocoa butter, we recommend giving coconut oil a try for quick absorption and powerful skin hydration.
Use like you would your normal skin moisturizer—slather it all over when you emerge from the shower and soak up the benefits of coconut oil, which include natural hydration without being greasy, natural antimicrobial to prevent topical infections, and a subtle yet divine aroma that lasts all day long.
11. Bake With It!
Move over Betty Crocker, coconut oil has joined the baking game! This oil is a great animal-friendly alternative (as opposed to butter) and can be swapped in the face of shortening or vegetable oil for a lighter, fluffier consistency in baked goods.
As someone who’s allergic to dairy, I reach for coconut oil every time I make cookies, roll out a piecrust, or bake muffins. You can typically substitute coconut oil one-for-one in place of vegetable oil or butter.
12. Soothe a Troubled Tummy
A troublesome tummy—whether it’s indigestion or a chronic condition like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s Disease—can disrupt your comfort and lifestyle. However, a study from NYU Langone Medical Center linked consuming coconut oil to soothing an upset stomach.
Studies have also suggested that a daily tablespoon of coconut oil taken orally can prevent the development of chronic stomach conditions—like ulcers. However, just to be on the safe side, we always recommend checking with your doctor.
13. As Deodorant
Bye, bye BO (bad body odor)! Many folks swear by the deodorizing powers of baking soda infused with coconut oil for banishing that nasty stench under armpits.
To prepare and apply your natural deodorant without the mess, clean and fill an empty mineral makeup container (with a perforated top) with the baking soda and coconut oil mixture. You can infuse the deodorant further with 8 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.
14. Fight the Flu
According to a study from Khon Kean University’s Faculty of Public Health, coconut oil can also be used to ward off flu bugs. The study monitored the effects of coconut oil (combined with ginger and massage) on 66 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Study findings revealed that those patients who consumed coconut oil (along with ginger and regular massage) experienced an increase in white blood cells, which are associated with warding off bacteria and viruses, and stronger immunity.