Why all the hype about coconut oil? What makes it so much better than any other oil on the market? Coconut oil asserts many health benefits and is highly versatile even outside the kitchen.
image courtesy morguefile
Virgin coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of fresh mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals and is considered unrefined. This is considered the healthiest type of coconut oil to use to reap the most benefits.
The structure of saturated fat in coconut oil differs from the traditional saturated fat often found in animal products (long-chain fatty acids or triglycerides). Coconut oil has a high amount of medium-chain fatty acids or triglycerides, which are harder for our bodies to convert into stored fat and easier to burn off.
Coconut oil has a high melting point; about 24 to 25 degrees Celsius or 76-78 Fahrenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature.
Coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals.
Image courtesy morguefile
10 Uses for Coconut Oil:
1. Cooking and baking – use it for sautéing and in place of other oils and butter in baking at a 1:1 ratio.
2. Skin moisturiser – place a small amount in your palm, allow your body heat to melt it and apply as you would any other moisturiser. I use this daily as a facial moisturiser. It is easily absorbed by the skin and leaves no oily residue.
3. Hair deep conditioner – melt a small amount in your palm and apply throughout your hair, use more as needed for hair length, leave on for a few hours, then wash as you normally do.
4. Sooth psoriasis or eczema – melt small amount in palm and apply to affected area.
5. Oil pulling to improve oral health – place about the size of a small piece of chewing gum in your mouth, let melt and swish around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes then spit into the trash (not the sink or shower!).
6. Make an all-natural salt scrub for hands and feet – mix 2 parts salt with 1 part oil, add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil, keep in a sealed container and use as needed. This leaves hands and feet feeling silky smooth, and is a nice gift idea too!
7. A carrier oil for essential oils – place a small amount of oil and a few drops of essential oil in your palm, melt and mix together and apply as needed. This mix can be made ahead of time and stored in a small salve jar to be ready when needed.
8. Get rid of fleas (on your pets!) – rub coconut oil where the flea and flea dander is found and this will free your pet of fleas.
9. Treat fungal infections- apply directly to the infected area, continue daily until clear.
10. Natural lip balm - spread a small amount on your lips. Make ahead of time by mixing the coconut oil with a small amount of beeswax and peppermint essential oil (or other favorite) and store in a small jar or lip balm container.