8 Helpful Uses for Coconut Oil

Written by Asha McLaughlin

1 LOWER CHOLESTEROL and risk of heart disease: There’s no solid evidence saying coconut oil alone will prevent heart disease, but there is some evidence that it boosts HDL, which may lower cholesterol. Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats, which not only increase healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body, but also help to convert the LDL (bad) cholesterol into good cholesterol. Try taking one-half to a tablespoon of coconut oil internally each day. You can add it into your coffee a la “Bullet-Proof Coffee” or stir it into a smoothie. Coconut oil can also improve digestion and nutrient absorption.

2 DIAPER CREAM: Got a little one with a chapped or irritated bum? With antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties, plus soothing and moisturizing benefits, coconut oil makes an ideal DIY diaper cream. For a little extra soothing power, try melting it with a bit of shea butter and mix the two together after they have started to solidify. If you like, add a couple drops of therapeutic-grade lavender oil as well. Apply to the affected area as you would any other diaper cream.

3 SOOTHE SKIN ISSUES: As a super moisturizer, coconut oil can help soften and smooth skin. Mix 1 cup of coconut oil with one-half cup of sea salt or sugar to slough off excess buildup of dead skin cells, leaving your skin fresh and glowing. Coconut oil can also help relieve dermatitis, itchy skin and eczema.

4 OIL/BUTTER REPLACEMENT: Coconut oil is a healthier alternative to butter when baking. It lends moisture, freshness and richness to baked goods, and adds a subtle complimentary flavor to savory dishes. To substitute coconut oil, a 1:1 ratio works best. Coconut oil can also replace your regular nonstick cooking spray.

5 GREASE A BICYCLE CHAIN: If you want to try “green grease,” put a little bit of coconut oil on your bike chain to keep it running smoothly. A thick layer is not needed, as coconut oil solidifies in temperatures under 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and you don’t want to gum up your chain.

6 OIL PULLING: Put 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth and actively swish it around for a minimum of 15 minutes, maximum of 20 minutes. This process draws out toxins and bacteria from all over the mouth, tongue and gums, as well as in between your teeth. At the end of 20 minutes, spit contents of your mouth into the trash. (Do NOT spit coconut oil in the sink to protect your drain.) You should notice an improvement to your breath and overall mouth health. Some people have even noticed whiter teeth.

7  NAIL AND CUTICLE TREATMENT: Cuticles get raggedy, nails get broken, chipped or dull, and it’s not unusual for them to need some TLC now and then. Rub a little coconut oil into your cuticles, as well as over and around your nails to help smooth out flaws and encourage healthy growth.

8  EYELASH ENHANCER: Not only is coconut oil nourishing for skin, it’s also great for your lashes. Combine 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 2 drops of lavender oil and place the mixture in an empty container. Apply 2-3 times a week to promote healthy eyelashes.

Other uses for coconut oil:

  • Prevents stretch marks
  • Make up removal
  • After-shower body moisturizer
  • Smooth split ends
  • Decreases wrinkles and age spots
  • Personal lubricant
  • Soothe rashes, bug bites & burns
  • Remove labels (DIY Goo Gone)
  • Stretch-mark reducer
  • Cheek bone highlighter
  • Natural lip balm
  • Gentle dog ear cleaner
  • Helps improve candida
  • Natural energy booster

About the author

Asha McLaughlin

Asha is a long time yoga & meditation teacher as well as a natural health educator at Bloom Wellness, in Williamsburg. She teaches public classes and offers private sessions - she can be reached at essential.asha@gmail.com.