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Coconut Oil Uses and Benefits

Posted by: Garden of Life on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

 

Last summer we went on a family backpacking tour throughout Europe. We  visited a total of 7 countries…with my (then) almost 2-year-old. While it may sound crazy, we had a blast. We traveled mostly by train and didn’t have much of a set itinerary or agenda, so we had to pack very light. We could only bring one suit case and half of it was filled with toys, children’s books, and diapers. In case you were wondering about the way we looked and smelled during the trip, we did laundry almost every night.

I couldn’t really pack a lot of toiletries either, so I had to repurpose a lot of things. My most useful item was a small jar of extra-virgin coconut oil. It served as our cooking oil, butter, moisturizer, hair conditioner, detangler, hair de-frizzer, deodorant, chapstick, diaper cream, and make up remover. Reminiscing on this trip I recently decided to look for other benefits and uses of coconut oil. This is a summary of what I came up with.

For the last 60 years, coconut oil was thought to be detrimental to our health due to its saturated fat content. It was associated with high cholesterol, obesity, and heart disease. However, studies done on Pacific Island populations, who get up to 60% of their calories from fully saturated coconut oil ,have shown that the rates of cardiovascular disease are almost non-existent.

Truth is, not all saturated fats are created equal. Those that occur naturally, are generally safe and beneficial, while those obtained from adding hydrogen to vegetable and seed oils to increase processed foods shelf life are not. These artificially manipulated vegetable oils contain trans fats and long chain fatty acids which are difficult for our body to break down and then become stored as fat.

Almost half of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid,which your body converts into monolaurin, a powerful anti-viral, anti-protozoa, and anti-bacterial substance. Coconut oil is also rich in medium chain fatty acids, which are quickly burned by your liver for energy, boosting your metabolism and helping the body use fat for energy instead of storing it.

TOPICAL USES OF COCONUT OIL

  • Moisturizer
  • Hair conditioner
  • Hair de-frizzer
  • Deodorant
  • Chap stick
  • Diaper cream
  • Sunburn relief
  • Make up remover
  • Decreases the appearance of cellulite
  • Reduces acne
  • Eye cream
  • Pre-shave and after-shave
  • Toothpaste (mixed with baking soda)
  • Nipple cream (breastfeeding)
  • Massage oil
  • Sunscreen
  • Exfoliator (mixed with coarse sea salt or sugar)
  • Cradle cap remover
  • Helps fade age spots
  • Helps heal bruises
  • Healing scrapes and cuts
  • Relieves psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis
  • Stops bug bites from itching
  • Relieves swimmers ears (mixed with garlic oil)
  • Helps cure toenail fungus ( take internally as well)
  • Helps with hemorrhoids
  • Helps athlete’s foot
  • Helps with canker sores

 

INTERNAL USES OF COCONUT OIL (when ingested)

  • Aids the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids
  • Aids digestion; its antibacterial properties help control parasites and fungi
  • Stimulates metabolism
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Increases energy levels
  • Decreases unwanted body fat
  • Enriches breast milk
  • Helps weight loss
  • Controls cravings
  • Helps keep blood sugar levels stable
  • Helps relieve thrush
  • Helps with asthma
  • Relieves migraines
  • Relieves hot flashes
  • Prevents and improves Alzheimer’s
  • Improves flaky skin
  • Improves candida albicans
  • Improves circulation
  • Helps with depression
  • Helps with adrenal fatigue
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Strengthens immune system

 

OTHER USES OF COCONUT OIL:

  • Removes gum from hair
  • Furniture polish (mixed with lemon juice)
  • Bronze polish
  • Leather conditioner
  • Seasoning cookware

 

For more great information and tips, check out http://www.edibleharmony.com/

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