coconut oil

Coconut oil has got to be the ONE product, a natural resource that can easily replace many of your other personal care and household products. It has so many benefits and I’m sure all the uses for coconut oil are yet to be discovered!

The reason I’m sharing all of this info about coconut oil with you is because I’ve become increasingly more aware of the importance of getting rid of the chemicals I use on my body and in my home. Furthermore, having a special needs child has me keenly aware of that more, now than ever.

Before going into all the uses for coconut oil and its various benefits, let’s first look at what coconut oil is and how it’s derived.

uses for coconut oil

What is Coconut Oil?

Firstly, Coconut oil is a fatty oil derived from the meat or kernel of mature coconuts. It’s high in saturated fats and has the ability to remain fresh for months before spoiling or going rancid. It also contains  Caprylic acid, Capric Acid and Lauric acid, which are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that convert fat into natural sources of energy.

Secondly, coconut oil is extracted in one of three ways: Cold pressed, Expeller pressed or Heated. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to extract the oil from the coconut without some form of heat being generated. Similarly, expeller pressing involves the extraction of the oil from the coconut using high pressure. This in turn generates heat naturally.

The term “cold pressed” is used much like expeller pressing, with the pressing and grinding of the coconut. Heat is also generated but during processing, it’s kept well below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve as much of the nutritional value of the oil as possible.

All the Benefits of Coconut Oil

Being a special needs mom, I find that using coconut oil in place of all those chemical products has greatly benefited my life and my son’s life. It’s such a precious oil from the fruit of the coconut and it’s benefits are numerous:

  • Lubricates
  • Cleans
  • Helps to seal moisture into hair and skin
  • Protects hair from hygral fatigue (damage caused from expanding/contracting during the wash cycle)
  • Impacts many health conditions in a positive way
  • Maintains household items

This may seem like a short list of benefits after I just said I’m providing you with all the uses of coconut oil but these are only a broad list of the benefits. The micro list of benefits is found in its many uses. Hence, you’ll find them below.

How to Use Coconut Oil

Because of the many ways you can use coconut oil, it’s best to categorize them individually:

Benefits of Using Coconut Oil in Your Hair

pre-poo with oil

A girl’s hair is her crown. Taking care of it is a top priority and coconut oil can help you get it done in more ways than one:

  • Having a very small molecular weight, coconut oil is able to penetrate the hair strands to go deep within the cuticle. So, it helps to protect the protein integrity (simulating a protein treatment) along with the moisture levels of the hair. Therefore, use coconut oil as a pre-poo to help your hair benefit in these ways.
  • Gives your hair a small amount of protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. You can apply coconut oil to throughout your hair before going outdoors to spend short periods of time in the sun.
  • When used as a base combined with specific essential oils, it’s been found to kill head lice.
  • Can be used as part of a whipped hair butter or other DIY hair recipe.
  • To prevent frizz when added to hair regularly.
  • Adds shine to dull looking hair.
  • To give your hair a hot oil treatment. I’m IN LOVE with this here Coconut Hot Oil Hair Mask from St Tropica. It’s all natural and all organic.

Be careful using in the colder months

Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it may be a little more difficult to work with during the colder months because it can solidify in your hair. While coconut oil has many benefits for your hair, you can’t readily enjoy them when your hair feels crunchy when the oil has turned solid while you were out in the cold! Therefore, it’s best to use coconut oil solely for pre-pooing in the colder months.

Benefits of Using on Your Skin

Coconut oil is beneficial for give your skin the nutrients it need and can keep your skip hydrated in these ways:

  • Massage into your scalp for conditioning and lubricating. It helps to alleviate dry, itchy scalp.
  • Add 1/4 cup to your bath water
  • Replace your lotion with it and lather the coconut oil all over your body after a shower
  • Makeup removal
  • To treat your under eye area, helping to combat premature wrinkles
  • To use as part of an oil cleansing regimen
  • Conditions your cuticles
  • Use as a massage oil (you can also combine it with essential oils for use as a carrier oil)
  • Use as a personal lubricant
  • To soften rough lips. When combined with beeswax, you can also make lip balm.

Why You Should Use Coconut Oil to Improve Your Health

improved health

Even though coconut oil is high in saturated fat, it’s been discovered that the body actually processes it differently than other sources of saturated fat. Here are some of the ways consuming this precious oil can improve your health:

  • To aid with weight loss
  • For heart health (studies show that coconut oil can increase your HDL or “good cholesterol” level)
  • Balance blood sugar
  • Support normal thyroid function
  • Fight Alzheimers (research has found that the ketones in coconut oil can repair or prevent damage to the brain
  • To improve dental health when used for Oil Pulling. This is an age old practice of swishing a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes every morning as soon as you wake up (and before brushing your teeth). Basically, it helps remove bacteria from the mouth and improve the condition of teeth and gums. There are other benefits such as boosting your immune system. Check out this article: Coconut Oil Pulling and How to Guide
  • To support a healthy immune system

For full benefits, the recommendation is to consume 1-2 tablespoons a day

How to Use Throughout Your Home

Not only is coconut oil an excellent resource for skin care, hair care and improving your health, it can be used all throughout your home:

  • Eat it! You can cook with coconut oil or add it to smoothies or other dishes. Above all, it’s a great way to meet your daily consumption if you are looking to use coconut oil to improve your health. I love frying eggs and sautéing chicken and green beans in coconut oil. It’s so delicious! It’s also great on toast in place of butter.
  • To make soap or homemade laundry detergent. Check out some of these Pinterest recipes.
  • Clean makeup brushes. Add a little coconut oil to an antibacterial soap for your own makeup brush cleansing and conditioning solution.
  • To season new cast iron cookware. Simply, rub it all over all surfaces of the cookware and wipe off the excess with a paper towel.
  • To shine furniture. This is a great way to restore and maintain the look of wood furniture without chemicals. Check out this simple Coconut Oil Furniture Polish recipe.
  • To buff wood floors. Combine with a little apple cider vinegar and buff away dull scratches.

Replacing personal care and household products

The best thing about using coconut oil in your home is that it is chemical free, making it safe for your family and pets. Plus, it can save you money since it can replace a lot of the other personal care and household products you use. For example:

  • Furniture polish
  • Wood floor cleaner
  • Make-Up removal wipes
  • Makeup brush cleaner
  • Lotion or body moisturizer
  • Under eye serum
  • Lip balm
  • Certain health supplements
  • Soap
  • Laundry detergent

Choosing The Right Oil

To sum it up, you’ll want to use Organic Unrefined, Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s the best. Although, there’s expeller pressed and even bleached deodorized brands of coconut oil on the market. However, I would never suggest using the latter.

For internal consumption, it’s best to stick with the best. You can use expeller pressed coconut oil to clean around your home. That’s because the expeller pressing process should not use any chemicals during the extraction of the oil.

Additional Sources of information for All The Uses for Coconut Oil:

Dr Josh Axe

Dr Oz – The Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Wellness Mama’s 101 Uses for Coconut Oil