Coconut (C. nucifera) belongs to the Arecaceae (Palmae) family and the subfamily Cocoideae.
The flesh of the coconut is very high in healthy fatty acids. The composition of fat varies depending on the type and processing of the oil. Medium-chain saturated fatty acids make up approximately 90% of coconut oil with a slight contribution of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
What’s so good about Medium Chain Fatty Acids?
Medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA’s) are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by the body, while freely crossing the blood-brain barrier in the unbound form, which means it can be used by the brain as an energy source but also for neurological health.
What’s also great is that virgin (unrefined) coconut oil is affordable, readily available, delicious and completely natural. It’s also…
*Anti-carcinogenic (prevents the spread of cancer cells and enhances the immune system)
*Anti-microbial/ Infection fighting (bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, parasites and protozoa)
*An antioxidant (protects against free-radical formation and damage)
*Improves nutrient absorption (easily digestible; makes fat-based vitamins more available to the body – ie. vitamin A, D, E, K)
*Nontoxic to humans and animals
Coconut Oil for Personal Hygiene and the Body
1. Age Spots (also known as liver spots) – applying coconut oil directly to the age spot will help it fade.
2. After Shave – coconut oil will help heal your skin after shaving without clogging pores. Great for razor burn!
3. Baldness – combine coconut oil with lavender, rosemary, thyme, cedarwood, Jojoba oil, Grapeseed/ castor oil and a little cayenne pepper. Apply three times a day (or before bed) to affected area of hair loss and massage in. Coconut oil and these essential oils supports cell regeneration.
4. Body Scrub – mix coconut oil and salt together and rub all over! Rinse off and your skin will be super soft. You can add in essential oils if you would like a specific smell.
5. Bruises – applied directly to the bruise, coconut oil enhances the healing process by reducing swelling and redness.
6. Bug Bites – when applied directly to a bug bite, coconut oil can stop the itching and burning sensation as well as hasten the healing process.
7. Burns – apply to burn site immediately and continue applying until healed. Will reduce the chances of permanent scarring and promotes healing.
8. Chapstick – just rub a little into lips and it not only acts as a softening agent but it also has an SPF of about 4 so you get a little protection!
Cradle Cap – having issues with dry skin on your baby’s scalp? Coconut oil will not only nourish your baby’s skin, it also helps eliminate cradle cap. Just rub a teaspoon onto scalp daily.
Dandruff – coconut oil soaks into the scalp moisturizing dry skin and relieves symptoms of dandruff. It also helps to control oil secretion from the scalp, another leading cause of dandruff.
Deodorant – coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda.
Diaper Salve – very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
Eye cream – apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
Face Wash/ Soap – mix equal parts coconut oil with olive oil, almond oil, avocado oil and castor oil and use in place of soap when washing your face. Wet face, rub oil in and leave on for two minutes, rinse and pat dry. One teaspoon should be adequate.
Hair conditioner/ Deep Treatment – use as a leave-in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest. For a deeper treatment, rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
Hair Gel/ Defrizzer – rub a little between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
Healing – when applied on scrapes and cuts, coconut oil forms a thin, chemical layer which protects the wound from outside dust, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by repairing damaged tissues. Plus, it smells a heck-of-a-lot better than anything from the pharmacy.
Makeup Remover – use a cotton swab and a dab of coconut oil and you would be amazed at how well it works!
Massage Oil – pretty simple; grab some and rub!
Moisturizer – simply scoop some out of the jar and apply all over your body, including neck and face. Often lotions are water-based and can dry out your skin even more.
Nipple Cream – works great to nourish cracked, sore or dry nipples. Apply to a cotton ball and leave on your nipples between feedings.
Acne Skin Fix – prone to oily skin or an oily T-zone? Use a pea sized amount underneath makeup or alone to reduce oil gland stimulation. Often acne prone skin is actually too dry, which signals your glands to produce more oil and clogs the pores.
Pre-Shave – coconut oil will prep skin for the pending damage caused by shaving.
Skin Conditions – coconut oil can relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
Stretch Marks – coconut oil is great at nourishing damaged skin. It may not be the magic stretch mark cure but it will help.
Sun Burn Relief – rub liberal amounts of coconut oil into the affected area.
Sunscreen – It’s not high, but coconut oil does have an SPF of around 4.
Swimmers Ear – mix garlic oil and coconut oil and put a few drops in affected ear for about 10 minutes. Do this 2-3 times a day and it usually works within one or two days.
Tattoo Healing and Moisturizer – continued use of coconut oil on tattoos will help keep the pigment from fading. Used on new tattoos, coconut will hasten the healing process and decrease the chance of infection.
Toothpaste – there are numerous recipes out there but I just mix coconut oil and baking soda and dab a little of the mix on my toothbrush.
Wrinkle Prevention and Wrinkle Reducer – rubbing coconut oil on wrinkles and sagging skin helps strengthen the connective tissues to bring back that youthful look!
Coconut Oil for General Health and Wellness
Breastfeeding – for breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich the milk supply.
Bones and Teeth – coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium leading to better development of bones and teeth.
Digestion – the saturated fats in coconut oil help control parasites and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around.
Fitness – coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat while increasing muscle.
Insulin Support – Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose making it great for both diabetics and non-diabetic.
Lung Function – increases the fluidity of cell surfaces.
Nausea – rub some coconut oil on the inside for the wrist and forearm to calm an upset stomach.
Nose bleeds – coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme heat and extreme cold. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this just put coconut oil in you nostrils. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages.
Gum Health – oil pulling with coconut oil offers a two for one health benefit!
Stress Relief – relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level.
Vitamin and nutrient absorption – makes fat-based nutrients more available to the body – ie. vitamin A, D, E, K
Weight loss – the saturated fats contribute to weight loss and controlling cravings.
Mental Cognition and Productivity – medium chain triglycerides freely pass the blood-brain barrier and allows an alternate source of energy to improve cognition.
Coconut Oil for Internal Health Problems
Acid Reflux/ Indigestion – if taken after a meal
Adrenal and Chronic Fatigue
Allergies – seasonal hay fever
Asthma – even in children!
Bowel function – constipation, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), gut infections
Bronchial Infections and Cystic Fibrosis
Cancer – has been shown to prevent breast and colon cancer
Cholesterol – improves HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) to LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) ratio in people with high cholesterol
Poor Circulation – feeling cold all the time or edema, especially in the extremities, apply coconut oil to the skin in a light circular pattern towards the heart. Similar to dry skin brushing
Colds and Flues – as an anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory agent
Mild Depression and Cognitive Dis-ease – in conjunction with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), fish oil and other treatment strategies
Diabetes – helps keep blood sugar levels stable and helps with cravings
Epilepsy – known to reduce epileptic seizures
Flaky, Dry Skin – poor oil intake often results in dry skin and dandruff
Gallbladder Disease – dietary oils can help increase bile flow, which can be helpful for gallbladder issues, but possibly harmful (ie. Gallstones)
Gas – foul gas is often due to imbalance in the gut bacteria. Coconut oil is a mild anti-microbial to help re-establish healthy gut flora
H. pylori – oral intake. Occasionally, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.
Heart Disease – protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis
Hemorrhoids – can applied externally or internally twice a day
Immune System Builder
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – alternating diarrhea and constipation are key signs of IBS
Kidney Disease and Stones – aids in dissolving small stones
Menstruation Relief – regarding pain/cramps and heavy blood flow
Migraines – with regular use
Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay
Prostate Enlargement – BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia
Stomach Ulcers – helps soothe stomach lining and limit H. pylori growth
Thyroid Function – can help regulates an overactive or underactive thyroid
Urinary Tract Infections and Bladder Infections
Coconut Oil and Topical Health Problems
Acne – Often acne prone skin is actually too dry, which signals your glands to produce more oil and clogs the pores.
Head Lice – topical application
Allergies/Hay Fever – rub a little inside the nostrils for quick relief. The pollen will cling to the oil.
Back Pain and Sore Muscles
Boils and Cysts
Circumcision healing – although I don’t support circumcision, coconut oil may help with healing.
Decongestant – rub coconut oil on the chest and under the nose when congested from a cold or allergies
Ear infection – place a few drops of coconut and garlic oil inside the ear twice daily for relief from pain. Also fights the infection itself.
Genital Warts – genital warts often go away on their own after 2 years of the initial infection. Addition of topical coconut oil application over 6 month may be helpful
Gum Disease, Gingivitis and Canker Sores – use as a toothpaste or rub directly on gums
Herpes – applied topically and taken internally
Hives – reduces the itch and swelling
Pink eye – applied around and in the eye
BONUS: Coconut Oil and Pets/ Animals
Always check with your veterinarian, but the average recommended dosage for animals is 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily.
Aids healing of digestive disorders – like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis
Aids in arthritis or ligament problems
Aids in elimination of hairballs and coughing
Promotes the healing – when applied topically to cuts, wounds, hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
Clears up skin conditions – such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin
Disinfects cuts – and promotes wound healing
Great for dogs and cats for general wellness – Just add a teaspoon to their water bowl daily.
Helps prevent or control diabetes
Helps sedentary dogs feel energetic – Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older dogs.
Helps reduce weight – increases energy
Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
Makes coats – coat becomes sleek and glossy, and deodorizes doggy odor
Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections – including candida
Reduces allergic reactions and improves skin health
Reduces or eliminates bad breath in dogs
Regulates and balance insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
BONUS: Other Uses for Coconut Oil
Chewing Gum in Hair Remover – just rub some coconut oil over the stuck chewing gum, leave in for about 30 minutes, then roll the gum between your fingertip. Voila! It’s out!
Goo Gone – just mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda into a paste. Apply to the “sticky” area and let it set for a minute. Then scrub off with an old toothbrush or the scrubby side of a sponge.
Insect repellent – mix coconut oil with peppermint oil extract and rub it all over exposed skin. Keeps insects off better than anything with DEET! Tons safer, too.
Moisturizing and cleaning leather products
Oiling wood cutting boards and wood bowls
Polishing Bronze – all you have to do is rub a little oil into a cotton towel and then wipe down the statue. It cleans and helps deepen the color of your bronze.
Polish Furniture – coconut oil with a little bit of lemon juice to polish wood furniture. However, I recommend you test it first on a very small, unobtrusive part of your furniture to make sure it works the way you’d like.
Seasoning animal hide drums
Soap making – coconut oil can be used as one of the fats in soap.