I have been compelled by coconut oil this past month and have been finding dozens of different ways it can be used. Boy is it one versatile product! I am all about having multitasking products in my home and I think it has found a permanent place in my pantry. I actually have gotten to the point this month where I always keep a second jar on deck and when that one gets opened I buy another back up– so I never run out.
My first memory of coconut oil is a bottle I got as a souvenir in middle school from a friend who went to Hawaii or somewhere warm and exotic. I remember being enticed by its fragrance and fascinated that it was solid at room temperature, but quickly melted when in the sunlight. I don’t remember very much about using it, but I do remember I held on to that bottle for quite a long time. Little did I know that it would find its way back into my hands fifteen years later.
I have probably read over one hundred different uses for coconut oil, although some uses could be grouped together as a more general use (i.e. moisturizer). Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, improves nutrient absorption and is good for the metabolism. It has an unbelievable number of topical and food applications that I have only begun to skim the surface of the past few weeks and I am always eager to try a new application.
I have been using it in baking and although it is not lower fat or calorie per say, I love the added health benefits it offers so that those calories are well spent. Baking is a more expensive application, so I need to scope out buying it in bulk or trying other brands or varieties if I want to bake with it regularly. It has a buttery, nutty taste to it that lends itself nicely to a piece of toast or sandwich and can be used as a cooking oil over medium heat. I used coconut oil in place of butter for my favorite cookie recipe over the weekend and the coconut flavor is so subtle that no one notices it unless they are trying to taste it.
Coconut oil has many beauty applications for the hair and body, and can be used to moisturize, battle acne, to help heal skin ailments or to treat athlete’s foot or nail fungus. It is even a popular diaper ointment and nipple creme for nursing mothers, because it serves as a barrier for the skin and also has the moisturizing, healing, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil can also help with milk supply when taken in one’s diet, as a stretch mark creme when pregnant, used for detoxing through oil pulling, and applied topically to aid in the healing of cradle cap, bug bites and other scrapes and boo boos.
I am not going to reinvent the wheel here by making a long list, but some articles I read over the past few weeks are 80 Uses for Coconut Oil, 52 Uses for Coconut Oil, and 8 Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil. Check them out if you want to read dozens of other applications and I think you will also be converted to the many benefits of coconut oil! How do you use coconut oil?
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