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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have surely noticed the wide-spread popularity of coconut oil these days.
Seriously, coconut oil uses can be found all over the internet and it can apparently be used for everything.
Well maybe not everything but I have seen some pretty extensive lists. I’m not a fan of really long lists (guessing you aren’t either) so instead I came up with a short one and called it 10 Coconut Oil Uses For Health and Beauty.
Seriously. Ten coconut oil uses are as many as anyone really needs, don’t ya think?
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Resources: I love Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil— it has great texture and flavor.
We use so much coconut oil around here that I buy mine by the case. Virgin coconut oil is very shelf-stable and will last at least two years although probably much longer.
You don’t need to refrigerate it but since I buy several jars at a time I do store the extra ones in the fridge in my garage.
Coconut Oil Uses For Skin and Beauty
1. Fabulous Skin Salve
If I had to pick my favorite DIY product this would be it. The combination of coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil and essential oils is like magic for your skin. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that nourishes and protects your skin.
Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal and so are the essential oils, making this a great salve to put on cuts, scrapes, cracked heels, chapped lips, itchy skin, cold sores, diaper rash and so much more. Click here to get the recipe.
2. Coconut Oil Lotion Bars
I love to give hand-made gifts and one of my favorites is lotion bars. The trifecta of coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter can turn even the driest winter skin soft and supple. You can customize the scent with essential oils and you’ve got a beautiful gift everyone will love.
Click here to get the recipe.
3. Lip Balm
Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer for your lips and I have been known to use it straight from the jar if I can’t find a tube of lip balm. But you can’t carry a jar of coconut oil in your purse (especially the half-gallon jars I buy), so I just add it to my DIY lip balms. Coconut oil replaces the petroleum jelly that you find in most lip balms and which I, for one, won’t touch.
Think about it! Coconut oil comes from coconuts and petroleum jelly comes from…PETROLEUM! Which would you rather put on your lips? Click here to get recipe.
4. Eczema Skin Salve
Several years ago, farm kid #1 and #3 developed minor eczema. Coconut oil helps cool eczema itching and pain so I grabbed my jar of Fabulous Skin Salve. It worked quite well but after a lot of research I came up with a slightly different formula with essential oils that we thought would be particularly effective on eczema. The new formula worked and Eczema Skin Salve was born.
This has been one of my most popular blog post by far, probably because the steroids prescribed for eczema are not very effective and people who suffer from this condition are desperate for relief.
If you struggle with severe eczema this salve can help, but you will also want to look at the internal causes. If you have mild to moderate eczema, this salve alone might well be enough. Click here to get the recipe.
Coconut Oil Uses For Health
5. Oil Pulling
This is an ancient ayurvedic remedy to promote oral health by putting oil in your mouth and swishing it around for 20 minutes. Benefits reported include reducing harmful bacteria in your mouth, reducing bad breath, whitening teeth, reducing plaque and gingivitis, and lessening tooth sensitivity.
Although any vegetable oil can be used, a lot of people recommend coconut oil because of it’s high antibacterial properties. I throw in a few drops of essential oil to increase the antibacterial effect.
To read my post on oil-pulling and how to do it CLICK HERE.
6. Soothing Coconut Oil Tea
Since my family started using essential oils 4 years ago we have been virtually sick-free. But yesterday farm kid #2 woke up with a mild case of the flu. I used my trusty essential oils on him and before he went to bed I made him a cup of coconut oil tea. which is really soothing when someone’s feeling under the weather.
Today he felt much better and even went to school and work afterwards. He continued using the esential oils and tonight he asked for another cup of coconut oil tea.
7. Fabulous Chest Rub
When I did my medicine cabinet makeover 3 years ago and threw out most of the OTC medications in our house, Vick’s VapoRub was one of the many casualties.
No worries since I had long since I had long since replaced it with my DIY version. Not only does the soothing coconut oil replace the petroleum jelly, it also uses the power of pure essential oils to help with the congestion and stuffiness associated with being sick.
We have even used this chest rub to stop a nighttime cough. Place a generous amount on the bottom of both feet, rub it in for a bit and them cover with socks. It sounds weird I know, but it totally works. Click here to get the recipe.
Coconut Oil Uses In The Kitchen
8. Cooking With Coconut Oil
When you heat up a pan and reach for some oil to put in the bottom, you probably aren’t reaching for coconut oil. But maybe you should. If you’ve never cooked with coconut oil you’re in for a treat. While some oils are not recommended for high heat cooking, coconut oil is safe at high heat.
I always buy certified organic virgin coconut oil (virgin means unrefined) because I like it’s mild coconut aroma and flavor.
If you don’t care for the taste and smell of coconuts but want the benefits of this healthy oil then get the refined version. It’s not as healthy but is won’t impart any flavor or aroma into what your cooking.
9. Substitute for Crisco
Do you ever find a recipe for some awesome looking baked good only to look down the list of ingredients and see shortening? It always makes me cringe and move on to another recipe. Some of you may still be using shortening in cookies and especially pie crust but the stuff is loaded with unhealthy trans fats. This is due to the hydrogenation process which keeps it solid at room temperature.
But coconut oil has some good news for you. It is naturally solid at room temperature without any nasty hydrogenation. You can use if in place of shortening in any baked good and you can even fry in it. Who knew?
Tips For Substituting Coconut Oil:
- Use the same amount of coconut oil as shortening in the recipe.
- Most people enjoy the mild flavor and aroma of virgin coconut oil but if you don’t then use refined. The extra refining leaves behind a coconut oil that has almost no smell or taste.
- Add the coconut oil to the recipe at the same time and in the same way you would have added shortening.
- Keep consistency the same. If the recipe calls for solid shortening, use solid coconut oil. If the recipe calls for melted shortening, then melt the coconut oil.
- Remember that coconut oil melts at 76 F and shortening melts at 106 F. If cooking on a hot day, turn on the AC or perhaps do your cooking during a cooler part of the day.
- Another option for replacing shortening is to use a mix of 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 butter to equal the amount of shortening in the recipe.
- If you want to substitute coconut oil for Crisco in pie crust there is a great tutorial and recipe here.
Coconut Oil Uses Around The House
10. Petroleum-Free Wood Polish
I only made this wood polish last week but I really love it. I swear I’ve polished every wood surface in my house already and they all look amazing! I was kind of hoping that the surfaces would fade and wear out quickly so I could polish them again but I’m afraid the ingredients, including the coconut oil, are far too wood-nourishing for that.
Click here to get the recipe.
It wasn’t so long ago that we were all told coconut oil was the devil along with butter, eggs, full-fat dairy and fats in general. Some of these misconceptions still exist even with overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Thankfully, coconut oil is finally enjoying it’s day in the sun and getting the respect and publicity it deserves.