While traveling through Thailand, my partner and I joked about buying a coconut plantation because it seems that everything now-a-days is coconut based! Let’s see, you’ve got coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut shreds, coconut water, coconut milk and cream, coconut flour, and even coconut soy sauce (try it, it’s actually delicious)!
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 (1). 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. (source)
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!
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 support cell regeneration. (2)
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.
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.
Apply to burn site immediately and continue applying until healed. Will reduce the chances of permanent scarring and promotes healing. (source)
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! Watch this video for a quick coconut chapstick DIY:
9. 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.
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. (source)
Coconut oil alone can be used as a deodorant, but even more effective in combination with cornstarch/arrowroot powder and baking soda.
12. Diaper Salve
Very comforting on a rashy bum with no harsh chemicals. Also safe for cloth diapers.
13. Eye Cream
Apply under the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags and wrinkles. Use on the lids in the evening.
14. 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.
15. 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.