My experience with coconut oil
There are plenty of articles out there boasting the miraculous benefits of coconut oil. I want to share with you the tried and true ways I have personally benefitted from this superfood. These are not just suggestions or a random list, but a list of ways I am currently or in the recent past have used coconut oil.
One of the first ways I ever used coconut oil was to soothe diaper rash. I started using this method two decades ago, not because it was wildly popular but because I had it on hand and it was less expensive than buying diaper ointment! It works beautifully and is much easier to wipe off than heavy creams or paste. Just fill a small container with coconut oil and keep it with the supplies at the baby changing area. Apply a small amount to baby’s bottom when you do a diaper change. It’s that easy! The antibacterial, anti-fungal properties will help fight off bacteria overgrowth, microbes, fungi and viruses that can cause rashes.
During the 9th month of pregnancy, as well as after the birth of a baby, expectant moms can apply coconut oil to the perineum regularly to encourage faster healing after the baby is born.
Consuming coconut oil can help a new mom to produce quality breast milk due to the medium chain fatty acids that the body needs. Coconut oil is also rich in lauric acid and lutein which improves immunity and helps to safeguard the health of both baby and mother.
While we are talking about children, you should note that coconut oil is the safest baby moisturizer you could ever use on your precious baby’s skin. Believe it or not, a baby’s skin is designed to stay moist and soft on its own, but if irritations do occur, or you just want to pamper your newborn, try coconut oil!
Softening cuticles and stimulating nail growth require external methods. Coconut oil is particularly useful as it not only provides vitamin E and phytochemicals, but it can also improve the quality of your nails while strengthening them. Massage coconut oil into your nails 5 minutes before bed and throughout the day after washing your hands to prevent over drying your nail beds and cuticles.
Improves the appearance of skin. Due to coconut oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can be helpful to minimize spider veins by relieving inflammation that occurs beneath the skin. Applying coconut oil topically to my skin daily can reduce the appearance of spider veins and also reduces cellulite. I mix my coconut oil with grapefruit essential oil for double duty against both of these issues.
In addition, I shave with coconut oil. Doing so leaves my skin baby soft, and I don’t even need to use deodorant. The oil not only keeps the sensitive skin under your arm free of odor but reduces razor burn as well. I follow up shaving by applying either a small amount of coconut oil or a small amount of 100% pure Aloe Vera Gel (no additives). The oil can help heal small nicks from shaving and also kills bacteria and germs that cause odor. Try it.
Instead of purchasing a separate expensive makeup remover, I simply apply a thin coating of oil to my entire face, including my eyelashes to remove any and all makeup, dirt, and bacteria from my face. Afterwards, I wipe my face with a warm wet washcloth to remove everything.
This gently cleanses and moisturizes my sensitive facial skin and leaves a beautiful glow. That’s because the lauric acid and caprylic acid improves your circulation and promotes collagen production. By removing eye makeup with coconut oil, you can improve the thickness of your eyelashes.
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from psoriasis, eczema or rosacea try using coconut oil internally and externally as a safe and effective aid to provide quick relief. I have used it for years to help my minor scalp psoriasis and recently to help what my dermatologist called rosacea.
A real bonus to using coconut oil on your skin is that it will maximize the health of your skin and reduce outbreaks of acne. That is because as your body breaks down coconut oil, it creates lauric acid. This helps to fight off the bacteria that produces acne.
While it is best to avoid sunburns, you can soothe a sunburn with coconut oil. Also, daily consumption of coconut oil helps to safeguard your skin from the effects of overexposure. The ability of coconut oil to enhance collagen production can make you look younger and healthier.
Coconut oil mimics the skin’s lipid content which will lend support to your skin and reduce signs of aging, age spots and can even prevent stretch marks. So expecting moms would benefit from applying coconut oil as a daily moisturizer on areas where stretch marks are likely to occur.
Promote good bacteria while attacking the bad in your mouth by learning to oil pull with coconut oil. My husband and I have both used this method to improve the appearance of our teeth and gums by removing stains and preventing redness and irritation around the gums by swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil around the mouth for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, spit the oil from your mouth into a trash can, not your sink! I like to follow up by brushing my teeth with my favorite fluoride-free toothpaste because I like the minty taste and smell.
I try to consume about two tablespoons of coconut oil daily for the following benefits:
- boosts metabolism and helps you feel full faster
- increases fat loss and promotes weight loss
- helps the body to absorb nutrients better
- aids in healthier digestion
- improves hormone production
- improves the overall quality of your hair
- prevent cold and flu
- alleviate allergy symptoms
- improves circulation
- boosts brain power
- stabilizes blood sugar
- improves HDL cholesterol levels
- increases energy
In addition to being useful for a multitude of illnesses, coconut oil can also help you get over a cold faster. Here’s a recipe I enjoy anytime I am feeling under the weather, it is ideal for relieving seasonal colds:
COCONUT OIL CHAI LATTE
One bag of green or black chai tea, preferably organic
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, warmed (alternatively you could try coconut milk)
One teaspoon of local honey, raw
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
cinnamon to taste
pinch of sea salt
a splash of vanilla extract, optional
Two tablespoons of grass fed gelatin protein powder, optional
Make hot tea according to instructions, add warmed milk and other ingredients to a tall jar or container. Using an immersion blender on high, froth for about 30 seconds. Pour into a mug and enjoy while hot! To make this even better for your health, you can add some Gelatin Powder, just use the immersion blender to froth it up nicely
I used to highlight my hair, and therefore the lower section of my hair is a bit on the dry side. To prevent split ends, I apply a bit of coconut oil to the ends of my hair after I get out of the shower. (I also do not brush my hair when it is wet!) Lately, I stopped coloring my hair and started trying to embrace my natural color. I let my hair dry naturally as often as possible, but I admit to blowing it dry on days when I am in a hurry.
If you want to fight the frizzies, it’s easy to boost the benefits of coconut oil by adding some essential oils. I add lavender oil to my coconut oil to detangle my daughter's fine hair; I put a tiny amount on my palm, then rub the bristles from my hairbrush in the oil, and last, I comb through her hair with it. By following this method, I avoid giving her greasy, oily looking hair. I start at the tips and work my way to the top; this also helps to prevent that oily hair look.
Adding coconut oil to your hair in the shower is an excellent way to get a deep moisturizing treatment. Of course, it might look funny, but I keep a jar of coconut oil in my shower, I use this to shave, condition my hair, remove makeup, etc. All I do is to wet my hair then apply the coconut oil and let it set for about 5 minutes, I follow this up by rinsing and then shampooing as usual. I do this about twice a week.
Not only does this condition your hair but it can also relieve dandruff or itchy dry scalp. It is also said to stimulate hair growth. I love long hair, so I’m all for it. CAUTION: can make your shower and tub slippery. You can prevent falls by adding grippy stickers or a grippy bath mat.
Dry skin is something that bugs me, especially when my feet are dry. If I wear flip-flops, I have to put coconut oil on them! The nourishing and moisturizing properties of coconut oil make it a perfect remedy for tired, dry feet! BONUS: the anti-inflammatory properties will stimulate circulation and reduce swelling if you’ve been on your feet all day. Also, if you suffer from Athletes’ Foot coconut oil might just be the remedy for which you’ve been searching. Try ingesting it as well as rubbing it on your feet.
Colds and more
My son has helped me to learn a couple of important ways to use coconut oil. Because his ears get clogged easily (overproduction of ear wax) I learned to remove excess earwax safely by slightly warming the coconut oil until it is a liquid then pouring half a teaspoon in his ear. By letting him rest on his side for 10 minutes before showering and rinsing with warm water. Doing this on both sides will help with earwax removal and also kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and microbes that can cause ear infections.
The second way coconut oil has helped my son is by reducing the frequency of nosebleeds. In the winter he could have multiple nosebleeds per day. To help prevent this, I just instructed him (a teenager) to use a cotton swab to gently coat the inner portion of his nose with coconut oil. Because coconut oil has anti-histamine properties, it reduces inflammation and provides allergy relief.
If you have colds or seasonal allergies causing the outside of your nose to be red and sore, you can rub coconut oil on the affected area to provide some relief. It also works for chapped lips!
Some unique ways to use coconut oil on a daily basis:
- Add it to your coffee or tea (blend well)
- Use it in baking
- Use it in stir fry dishes
- As a substitute for butter in recipes
Healthy fats are good for children as well. Both to get mine to consume more and because I like to get a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil per day, I use various recipes. I will link my favorites if anyone is interested.