It was a little over two years ago that I was wandering the isles of my local Costco when I came across a new product, coconut oil. I remembered reading a few posts online on all the uses: 7 ways to use coconut oil, 50 ways on how use coconut oil and finally 101 ways to use coconut oil! I had been missing out for too long, I just had to buy some of this magical coconut oil!
The Kirkland brand oil clearly read “Organic, unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin” coconut oil and the only ingredient was in fact coconut oil. I had read that these were all the descriptors that make an oil good. You see not all coconut oils are created equal. They can differ in the the ways they were grown: organic vs. non-organic. They can also be manufactured differently. Some can introduce other chemicals when producing their product (refined oils). You can read more about how to purchase a good coconut oil from Evolving Wellness: http://www.evolvingwellness.com/essay/how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil-comparing-best-and-worst-brands
When I returned home, I unpacked my groceries and placed the coconut oil in my pantry… where it sat for the next three months. I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted to do with it. So I started using it in my paleo recipes as a replacement for butter or other vegetable oils (more on this later). Then as winter was fast approaching I knew my dry skin would also be returning with a vengeance. I decided to make my first batch of coconut oil and lavender and it was heavenly! I kicked my old lotion to the curb and haven’t turned back since. It is super easy to make and keeps my skin hydrated all year long.
Your Skin Is Your Largest Organ! Beware of what you use on it.
This is a list of ingredients from a popular brand of lotion that I have been guilty of buying and using in the past. Its loaded with synthetic chemicals, artificial dyes and perfumes.
Making your own coconut oil will allow you to know exactly what you are putting into your system.
Here is how:
First buy your coconut oil. Below is from Costco. ($25 for two tubs) Amazon is also a great source to buy from.
Coconut oil is a solid at room temp and can be very hard to scoop into your hand and rub into skin. Aerating or whipping it with a hand mixer or kitchen aid mixer will make it easier to use. Do this for 3-5 minutes until oil is smooth.
Add an essential oil! This next step is not necessary but will elevate your coconut oil experience to the next level. I choose to use Lavender Essential Oil to give my lotion extra added benefits like its anti-inflammatory and hormone balancing properties. It also smells amazing! Add your favorite essential oil as you whip your coconut oil.
Lastly, store your now wonderfully smelling coconut oil in a glass container. I put mine in a glass pyrex and keep it on my shower floor. It reminds me to use it each time I shower and the hot water softens the oil even more for easier application.
The uses for coconut oil does not stop at your skin.
It can also be used to improve dental health. Have you heard of Oil Pulling?! Oil pulling is a form of Ayurvedic medicine (a traditional Indian system) that consists of swishing an oil (most commonly coconut or sesame) in your mouth for 20 minutes. The practice can heal inflamed gums as well as help decrease plaque, bacteria and bad breath! Plaque is a fat soluble entity, so swishing the oil (fat) around in your mouth can help break down the plaque that your tooth brush can’t brush away. There has even been small studies done recently to back this claim up. I recently practiced oil pulling 1 week before my last dental appointment. My hygienist spent very little time scrapping, I mean cleaning, my teeth! That meant less time I had to sit there, tightening every muscle in my body unknowingly as they go tooth by tooth cleaning away. Don’t’ get me wrong, I LOVE the dentist, but nobody enjoys that part of a routine cleaning… The best part about the whole thing was that I noticed my teether were whiter! I have used trays/strips in the past, but they made my teeth extremely sensitive so this a great alternative for me!
Here is how to get whiter and healthier smile:
-Take one tablespoon of oil and put it in your mouth. It will be solid at room temp, but will quickly liquify in your mouth.
-Swish the oil around in your mouth for 15 minutes. You may have to train yourself by starting at 5 minutes and increasing as you become more comfortable. It does get easier! (I have a 15 minute drive from home to work, so I will do this as I drive).
-Do Not Swallow! Discard your used oil in a trash can, not the drain. It could potentially clog a drain since coconut oil will solidify again at room temperature.
Take it to the kitchen!
Coconut oil can also be used as a substitute in cooking/baking for butter or other oils at a 1:1 ratio. Beware that it will leave a hint of coconut flavor in your food so if you have an aversion to the taste of coconuts it may take some getting used to. Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids that allow it to be easily absorbed for better digestion and gut health. It is also an excellent source of energy for metabolism. It can be used at high heats (think frying paleo chicken strips) and also works great in baked goods. I like to fry my eggs in it and use it to sauté veggies.
There are so many more great uses for coconut oil!
Chapped lips? Nourish them with some coconut oil
Diaper rash? Use the lotion you made for yourself on the baby too!
Foot fungus? Coconut oil’s anti bacterial properties can help
Raccoon eyes from that tough to get off mascara? Coconut oil and a cotton round will do the trick
Need a better coffee creamer? Add some coconut oil for flavor and healthy fats
Sore throat? You guessed it, add coconut oil to your favor it tea
Share your favorite uses for coconut oil on our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/VeronaChiropractic?ref=hl
Check out Wellness Mama’s link for a full list of 101 ways to use coconut oil! http://wellnessmama.com/5734/101-uses-for-coconut-oil/
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about coconut oil and some of our favorite uses! This is our first official blog post We hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we did writing it!
Have a Happy & Healthy Day!