Let’s begin with the main attraction: The Benefits
Why is the health and beauty world so obsessed with this seemingly average oil? No other oil has been put on such a pedestal or raved about for so long. There are a few reasons why coconut oil is so popular these days, in fact, several hundred reasons.
Benefits of topical use on the hair:
- Promotes healthy hair growth at the follicle
- Gives a sweet-smelling shine to the hair shaft
- Reduces protein loss, effectively adding natural volume over time
- Reduces dandruff and even cure with regular use
- Repels head lice and eggs.
- A safe, environmentally friendly conditioner
- Protects against sun damage and general breakage
- Acts as a protection barrier, similar to our own natural oil secretions.
Benefits on the skin:
- A non-clogging, nourishing, gentle moisturiser
- Delays the appearance of wrinkles
- Effective in treating skin diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema, along with an array of skin infections
- Generally protects from the elements such as damage caused by sun and dryness caused by wind
- Soothes irritations
Benefits when ingested
Helps the body mount resistance to harmful bacteria and viruses. It’s a natural immune booster due to antimicrobial lipids
- Fights off yeast infections, fungus and candida
- Increases good cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol
- Promotes healthy function of the thyroid gland
- Increases metabolic rate
- Helps to control blood sugar
- Aids in the absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium (great for healthy teeth and bones.)
- Antioxidant action within the body, preventing damage to healthy fats and tissues (Slows the ageing process.)
- Rich in Vitamin E, K and Iron, delivering key nutrients to skin, hair and nails from the inside out.
- Studies show it can stave off depressive feelings and level out certain mood disorders.
Using Coconut Oil
So now we know the main benefits of this tropical silky remedy, here are some of the best ways to use it:
- As a healthy cooking oil with a high smoke point (safer than olive oil!)
- Added into pancake mix, cookie dough and smoothies for extra flavour and a all-over health boost.
- A delightful coffee creamer when emulsified into your wake-me-up brew.
- In a protein shake.
- Like, duh. Banana bread anyone?
- Oatmeal! Come on!
- Mash a banana, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and spread onto toast for a brain-boosting energy packed snack. (A quick and easy healthy breakfast for the kids before school. Genius!)
- As a soothing, smoothing skin lotion.
- As a safe, edible, and nourishing lubricant. (OH COME ON!)
- As an SPF 4 lip gloss or night treatment lip balm.
- Place on cotton wool pads for a healthy, safe, make-up remover. (Why didn’t I think of that?!)
- Dab onto cold sores as an antiviral solution.
- A tablespoon in hot tea for a sore throat remedy.
- Mix with baking soda and a few drops of peppermint essential oil as an effective, safe, minty- fresh, naturally whitening, mineralising toothpaste.
- Give it to your dog as part of their treats and health upkeep. (Not to mention, they love it!)
- An effective cuticle cream which treats the nail and improves discolouration. Fungal problem anyone?
- An all-natural safe baby lotion/oil.
- An alternative (better smelling) nappy rash ointment.
- Use as cracked nipple cream which is safe and beneficial for the baby to ingest
- As a massage oil and carrier oil in aromatherapy
- Rub generously into your hair and scalp. Leave to soak in a shower cap for as long as possible. Wash your hair out and bam! Unbelievably luscious, soft, shiny hair. A great smelling all-natural better-than-in-the-salon treatment.
Use regularly for a healthier lifestyle
For high temperature cooking, you can use Pure Coconut Oil. Since you are going to be heating this oil yourself, there is no need to use the more expensive Virgin Oil. Another advantage is it can easily be found at your local supermarket. The method of extraction involves the compression of dried coconut kernels and is popular for industrial use.
The uses, benefits and combinations make for some fantastic recipes and remedies. It is highly recommended to use regularly for a healthier lifestyle. However, although rare, it is possible to have an intolerance or allergy to this oil, and coconuts in general. If you’re not sure, feel nauseated after consumption or have a bad reaction, consult with your doctor and get an allergy test to confirm.
At the School of natural Health Sciences you can learn more about oils, aromatherapy and leading a healthier lifestyle. With over 50 courses to discover, health articles, and more, there’s no limit on how far your knowledge could take you. Check out the courses they offer here.