From all I’ve read about coconut oil, it seems it will help you lower your cholesterol, lose weight, get rid of wrinkles, clear up rashes, cure yeast infections, act as a personal lubricant, work as an easy DIY toothpaste with baking soda, clear up cold sores and can help pull toxins from your body through oil pulling (more on that later). Oh, you can also use it to start fires when camping, shave with it, cook with it and add it to your coffee.
I neglected to add about 85 more things that coconut oil can do, apparently making every part of your life better. It brings leather back to life. Restores wooden furniture. You can make deodorant from it. Cuticles have never been better. So, what’s the big deal? Can all this possibly be true?
I decided to take a week and try to use coconut oil in as many ways as I could. I mean, they say it even cures athlete’s foot, not that I have athlete’s foot.
Before we go any further, know that coconut oil is solid at room temperatures under 75 degrees. To make the solid liquid, just run the jar under hot water. But, I prefer to use it, generally speaking, in its solid state because it’s less messy to work with. Here goes:
I added it to my morning smoothies, but I’ve been doing this for a long time. I really do feel more energy and feel full longer when I add coconut oil to this morning ritual. Why? “Natural coconut oil is made of 90 percent saturated fat (butter, a distant second, contains a comparatively puny 64 percent saturated fat), but the kind of saturated fat matters just as much as the amount. About half of virgin coconut oil’s saturated fat is lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride that turns out to have a number of health-promoting properties, including the ability to improve levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. People can also more easily digest medium-chain triglycerides and convert them to energy, according to the Wall Street Journal, making coconut oil a good choice for athletes.” —Huffington Post.
I cooked our Monday night shrimp in coconut oil. Why? Oils used in cooking should never be heated above their “smoke point” to retain their healthful qualities. The smoke point for olive oil is 350 degrees, whereas the smoke point for coconut oil is 425 degrees. According to the Whole Foods website, “Heating oils beyond their smoke point — the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke, generating toxic fumes and harmful free radicals — is never a good idea.”
I tried oil pulling. You either know what this is or are completely confused. If you are like me, scratching your head (to which you could add coconut oil to cure the itch, apparently), oil pulling is an ancient ritual where you wake up and swish oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and then spit it out. It supposedly cleans plaque and germs from your mouth and pulls toxins from your body at the same time. I might say that the modern toothbrush and toothpaste has alleviated the need to oil pull for mouth freshness, but then that would not be open-minded of me. So, I tried it. My thoughts? I can see why some people would do this, as my mouth did feel super clean afterwards (note: I did brush my teeth, as well), but it’s not for me. It’s kinda nasty and I have an easy gag reflex. But, experiment and see for yourself, just for the sake of conversation. Afterwards, you will be reminded of the day you got your braces off — your teeth feel super slick! Plus, personally, I just don’t buy into it pulling all these toxins from my body. The Atlantic doesn’t buy into this either: here.
I shaved with it. This worked and was nice as it’s ubermoisturizing.
An Add-In for Coffee
I did add it to my coffee. I’m sorry, I can’t drink coffee with oil pooling on top. I tried. It tasted better than I thought it would, but the oil on top? Ew. Couldn’t get past it.
I did not make deodorant from it. Sorry, there are some things I just won’t do. Making my own deodorant is one of them.
I did make DIY toothpaste from it. In a pinch, I may do this again. Not so bad if you’ve forgotten to stop by the store and your tube is empty. (Equal parts coconut oil and baking soda–some people add essential oil drops for flavor.)
Night Cream and for Eczema
I used it each night for night cream and on my eczema. Normally I keep my eczema mostly at bay with cortisone every few days. After skipping it for coconut oil, I would love to say I was cured and birds starting singing a daily concert for me each morning, but I was an itchy mess! My scaly flakes were back and I thought I might scratch my face off. One night of cortisone and I was back to normal. But, online reports show others find it to be basically magical. So, try it for a few days and see. My skin did look good after using it to replace my night cream, though.
I used it as makeup remover, including mascara. It worked, and the leftover oil on your face can be used as your aforementioned night cream.
I put in on my leather couch. It’s old, I didn’t care if I messed it up in the end so I just jumped right in and lubed it up. It looked GREAT!
I did not use it for personal lubrication. Again, ew. Do people use the same jar they cook with for this purpose, too? I’m not an authority on personal lubricants, but I guess this is all natural, so that’s good. You don’t want to add anything with petroleum down there (apparently petroleum-based ingredients are in other products), but ladies, please get a separate bedroom jar!
Summer Frizz: Coconut Oil, Hair
I fought the first frizz of summer with a little dab and while it worked, I didn’t like smelling like coconut oil all day. I mean, it’s a nice smell, but maybe at the beach this would work for me. I find just taking the last wee bit of moisturizer I’ve used on my body, that’s still on my hands, and rubbing it through my hair works pretty well. If I were rubbing coconut oil all over me as a body moisturizer, then sure, I’d add the residue from my hands into my hair.
I mixed it with raw sugar to create a body scrub. I felt empowered with this one. Super easy and I did feel very smooth afterward. (Mix one cup of coconut oil with 2 cups raw sugar. Store in airtight container.)
Conditioner for Hair
I conditioned my hair with it. Yes, it worked, but it’s messy. If you do this, get a shower cap and leave in for at least 20 minutes.
So, try some coconut oil. See if you like it. But, before you use it to treat Alzheimer’s, a yeast infection, your hormone levels or thyroid issues, do seek medical counsel, okay?
But, now you know why there are walls of coconut oil being sold at Trader Joe’s and more. But, does this mean coconut cream pie has added benefits? Sadly, I don’t think so.
Now, if only coconut oil could babysit my kids, plant my neglected annuals and wash my laundry …
If you are interested in more ways to use coconut oil, Wellness Mama has a post “101 Uses for Coconut Oil.“