I always have stocks of coconut oil and use it in my homemade lip balms, body lotions and for dry hair. I often read about its benefits and get surprised when I discover new ones. Up until now I’ve mainly been focused on its use in homemade skincare products. My circumstances are now changing with a baby on the way and was very pleased to find that coconut oil can be used on new-born babies, during breastfeeding and help healing after giving birth.
There are soooo many websites listing endless benefits and use of coconut oil. I’ve read through loads of them and summed them in a list of five which I think actually cover a very wide areas of usage.
Coconut oil’s nourishing and healing benefits have been known for hundreds of years in the tropical regions. This natural anti-oxidant is rich in beneficial fats like lauric acid and medium chain triglycerides that benefit the body.
There are many testimonials about the benefits of coconut oil for fungal infections on skin, acne, dry skin, and as a sunscreen (blocking around 20% of the sun’s UV rays) and even as a deodorant. Rubbing the oil onto cuticles will help soften them and to keep the germs at bay while stimulating nail growth. Applying it on dry hands overnight will make your hands beautifully soft in the morning. It can reduce cellulite, decrease wrinkles and age spots and balance hormones.
Coconut oil can help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy (recipe for a homemade lotion to follow in the next post). It can also be used directly on perineum to help heal after birth and on the nipples for nursing mothers to sooth irritation.
2. Baby skincare
Using coconut oil for babies is perfectly safe. It is nourishing and soothing helping heal your babies bum without causing irritation or itching. Instead of using chemical based ointments and lotions it is best to use pure coconut oil after every nappy change. The antibacterial properties of the oil will treat any existing irritations and protect against any new ones. It is also great for treatment of eczema, cradle cap, thrush and to remove sticky meconium from skin.
Coconut oil will add moisture and protect your hair. Add some while in the shower and leave it for at least five minutes before rinsing. This will make your hair shinier and softer. It can also be used on dry hair to fight frizz. Rubbing it daily into scalp can stimulate hair growth.
4. Dental care
Now I don’t know how I feel about this one but considering I have sensitive teeth and gums I have to try it!!
Coconut oil pulling is considered one of the best ways to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. ‘Pulling’ is simply swishing a tablespoon or two of oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. It sucks the germs and impurities out of your mouth creating antiseptic oral environment that contributes to the proper flow of dental liquid preventing cavities and diseases. This method has been used for centuries to cure teeth decay, kill bad breath, heal bleeding gums, whiten teeth, prevent cavities etc.
Obesity and insulin resistance are the main factors leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes. Coconut oil is the only oil that diabetics can eat without worrying about their health. Not only does it not contribute to diabetes but it helps regulate blood sugar levels lessening the effects of the disease.
There are many studies showing that populations who regularly consume coconut oil have very low rates of Type 2 diabetes. Testimonials from various websites claim that consuming one to two tablespoons of coconut oil a day has reduced blood sugar levels and combined with an appropriate diet has eliminated the need for diabetes medications.
Consuming two tablespoons of coconut oil a day can apparently also reduce belly fat and help general weight loss.
Do you need to use Organic coconut oil?
Not necessarily as there are no GMO varieties of coconut and very few pesticides are used on coconut trees. Organic certification is a costly process and by only buying this types of coconut oil you could be missing out on some great quality oils while at the same time paying premium price for the ones you are using.
Of course it is worth mentioning that coconut oil might not be suitable for everyone. Although allergies to coconut oil are very rare it is probably best to test before use.
I have just received a kilo of organic, raw, cold pressed, unrefined and extra virgin Sri Lankan coconut oil packaged by Nukraft and bought on eBay for £9.99 (free postage). I already used this particular oil and found it really good so ordered more. I will be making some more AmazeBalms and anti-stretchmark body lotion this week and will post the recipes for both in the coming weeks.