The Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil
Anyone who knows me or has heard me lecture knows that I am a little over the top in my excitement about the amazing healing properties of coconut oil. That said, it should come as no surprise that when I suffered two minor life-threatening injuries last week (I burned my thumb while trying to devour shrimp scampi directly out of a hot pan and then cut the other thumb while filing paperwork) I immediately turned to coconut oil to help me recover. For each dramatic (and did I mention life threatening?) injury I dabbed a little bit of coconut oil onto the burn or cut after I had washed it with soap, put a bandaid over it (a Tinkerbell bandaid, to be specific) and within 24 hours I had completely soft skin with no blisters or scars. Don’t act like you’re not impressed!
When eaten, coconut oil offers benefits including improved thyroid function, weight loss, anti-viral and immune support, and liver detoxification (for more info, see the book The Coconut Oil Miracle (Previously published as The Healing Miracle of Coconut Oil). In addition to all of these benefits, coconut oil can also be used topically for:
- First Aid to prevent scars and infection
- Prevention of stretch marks
- Diaper rash
- Sexual lubricant (this works really well for menopausal women or those on non-latex forms of birth control but please don’t use it if you’re relying on latex for birth control since any kind of oil will cause latex to degrade)
- Curly hair or dry ends (keep away from roots unless they are extremely dry or you’re looking for that “haven’t showered for 10 days” greasy look)
What I do is buy coconut oil online in bulk so I can use it for cooking and other household needs. It doesn’t need to be organic (coconuts don’t need a lot of pesticide application to grow) and if you don’t particularly like a coconut flavor in cooking, then don’t buy the extra virgin variety. This is the first press of coconut and will have more of that flavor than the later presses. The only thing you really need to watch out for when buying coconut oil is that you aren’t buying a hydrogenated product, which will pretty much negate any benefits of coconut oil because it has been processed to contain trans fats (I’ll post a scientific rant on trans fats and some point on this blog). It should say on the side of the bottle whether the coconut oil is hydrogenated or not. Any brand of coconut oil will do as long as it is not hydrogenated – just look around and see what you can find for a good price. Here is a nice and inexpensive one I found online:
Once I get the coconut oil in, I divide it out into small jars or other screw-top containers and leave them around the house as needed for moisturizer or lip balm (melt it and add a few drops of essential oil in for a nice smell) and for first aid for situations like the ones I found myself in last week. I know my injuries were not as exciting as they could have been, but I have known people who had 2nd degree burns and were able to heal with no scars by using coconut oil on the burn site. No kidding!
If you have a coconut oil story to share, I’d love to hear it! Please post it in the comments section.