When you think of superfoods, items like blueberries, acai, and avocados may come to mind. Coconut oil should be at the top of your the list.
You can use it to cook, support healthy skin, and treat wounds. Unlike commercial products, coconut oil is safe to ingest and has virtually no harmful side effects.
Coconut oil has so many uses and benefits.
You can use it to…
- Burn fat
- Promote brain health
- Prevent stretch marks
- Encourage healthy skin
- Shine your shoes and furniture
- Reduce wrinkles and blemishes
- Boost immunity and energy levels
- Serve as a topical treatment for wound
- Support the growth of healthy gut flora
- Replace unhealthy oils and dairy in cooking
It’s no wonder that people in the tropics regard coconut trees as life-giving. Over 1,500 studies laud coconut oil’s health benefits.
If you’ve never included coconut oil in your routine, there are plenty of reasons to give it a try. Here are 77 ways to use coconut oil to improve your health and your life.
77 Creative Coconut Oil Uses
Coconut oil has uses in four broad categories: Food, Body and Skin Care, Household, and Natural Medicine.
Coconut Oil Uses in Food
1. Cook at High Temperatures (including Frying and Sautéing ) – Unlike olive oil, coconut oil is excellent for cooking at high temperatures. Its high smoke point allows you to use high heat without burning the oil and compromising flavor.
2. Butter Your Toast – Spread coconut oil on your toast instead of butter. It tastes great, and it’s better for you than butter.
3. Boost Energy Naturally – The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil boost your energy without the crash that you get from sugar or caffeine. Mix coconut oil and chia seeds for a post-workout snack. Combine ½ tablespoon of chia seeds with a tablespoon of coconut oil to make a healthy spread for toast or crackers.
4. Use as Creamer in Coffee – Replace dairy creamer with a spoonful of coconut oil. Put coconut oil, coffee, and sweetener into a blender to create a creamy and energizing drink.
5. Add Coconut to Chocolate Fondue – Improve the texture and taste of chocolate fondue by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to two cups of dark chocolate. Slowly melt the mixture in a double boiler. Dip fresh fruit into the mix for a tasty and healthy treat.
6. Make Smoothies More Nutritious – Fruit smoothies are better for you when you add one or two tablespoons of coconut oil to your blender. It lowers cholesterol, adds healthy fats, and improves the smoothie’s texture.
7. Use it to Top Popcorn – There’s nothing as satisfying as the smell and flavor of popcorn, but most popcorn is loaded with butter and salt. Use coconut oil to pop your popcorn. Top your snack with a drizzle of the oil and sea salt. You can have the snack you love without sacrificing your health.
8. Replace Non-stick Sprays – Sometimes cooking spray doesn’t work, or you’d prefer not to use it. Coconut oil keeps your food from sticking, and it is a healthier alternative to other oils.
9. Make Homemade Mayonnaise with a Healthy Twist – Replace some of the oil in homemade mayonnaise with coconut oil. Add four egg yolks, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of dried mustard to your blender. Combine your ingredients slowly, and add 1 cup of melted coconut oil and ½ cup of olive oil to the blender while it’s running.
10. Top Baked Potatoes – Make a baked potato even better by topping it with coconut oil and cinnamon instead of butter. You can also make French fries using the oil, rosemary, and sea salt for a savory treat.
11. Substitute for Unhealthy Fats in Baking – Replace butter or vegetable oil in baking with coconut oil. Grease cookie sheets and pans with it, or freeze it to add cold fat to pie crusts or biscuits.
12. Create Homemade Healthy Granola – Make homemade granola with nuts and coconut oil. Mix 3 cups of whole oats, 1 cup of nuts, two teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/3 cup honey, and 1/3 cup sweetener. Add 1/3 cup of coconut oil. Bake at 350 degrees on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. It’s quick, simple, and healthier than commercially manufactured granola.
13. Replace Sports Drinks – The combination of coconut oil, fresh fruit, and chia seeds is a healthy alternative to sugary sports drinks.
14. Natural Cough Drop – Take ½ or one whole teaspoon of coconut oil three times per day to soothe a sore throat. Create a honey, lemon, and licorice root infusion with coconut oil to boost immunity and alleviate discomfort.
15. Keep Eggs Fresher for Longer – Wipe a tiny amount of coconut oil over the shells of fresh eggs to seal the shells. By limiting exposure to oxygen, you can add 1-2 weeks of shelf life to your eggs.
16. Moisturize Your Skin Naturally – Forget fancy moisturizers. Rub coconut oil on your skin for an all-natural, non-greasy alternative. Wash your face before bed and apply a small amount of the oil to your face. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, and blot off any remaining oil.
17. Reduce Wrinkles – If you’re worried about wrinkles, dab a small amount onto areas of concern. Allow the oil to soak in overnight. Add frankincense oil to maximize anti-aging effects.
18. Remove Makeup Naturally – A tiny dollop of coconut oil makes removing eye makeup a breeze. Apply the oil to eyelids in a gentle circular motion. You’ll clean and moisturize your face at the same time.
19. Moisturize After Your Shower – Use coconut oil as a full body moisturizer after your shower. It softens your skin, and its natural SPF prevents sun damage.
20. Take a Bath in Epsom Salts and Coconut Oil – To revitalize your skin and remove toxins, take a bath in Epsom salt and coconut oil. Add ¼ cup of both ingredients to a warm bath. Include 1-2 drops of essential oils to promote relaxation.
21. Make Toothpaste – Instead of buying expensive toothpaste with a list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, make your own. Combine a 1:1 mixture of coconut oil and baking soda with a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil to create an all-natural toothpaste.
22. Homemade Lip Balm – Heal chapped lips without using commercial lip balm. Coconut oil moisturizes your lips while protecting them from sun damage. Combine two tablespoons of coconut oil and beeswax with one tablespoon of shea butter. Heat the mixture slowly, and pour it into small containers. Let it sit for 6 hours before use.
23. Create All-Natural Lipstick or Lip Tint – Add beetroot powder, cocoa powder, turmeric, or cinnamon to the lip balm recipe above. Have fun creating your own colors. You only need a little bit to achieve a tint.
24. Use as Lubricant – Coconut oil is a natural antifungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial that won’t disrupt the healthy vaginal flora. It’s a safe and effective lubricant. Just be sure not to use this product with latex contraceptives since oil breaks down latex.
25. Make Homemade Mouthwash – Create a 1:1 mixture of baking soda and coconut oil, and include a few drops of peppermint oil. Use this mixture daily to whiten teeth and keep your breath fresh and clean. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil eliminate the bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
26. Oil-Pulling for Oral Health – In Ayurveda, oil pulling freshens breath, detoxes your mouth, and destroys bacteria that cause tooth decay. When you wake up, swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. Spit out oil into a trash can when you finish, and then rinse your mouth with sea salt water.
27. Non-toxic Deoderant – Apply coconut oil to your underarms or make a paste by combining it with baking soda and essential oils. Its antibacterial properties eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
28. Create a Face Wash for Sensitive Skin – Combine coconut oil with lavender and tea tree oils, and raw honey to create a natural face wash.
29. Treat Wounds – Coconut oil has a long history of use as a topical treatment for burns, rashes, and cuts. Combine the oil with lavender, melaleuca, and frankincense essential oils to create an all-natural Neosporin. Coconut oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties as well as its lauric acid prevent infection and facilitate healing.
30. Reduce Cellulite – One tablespoon of coconut oil combined with ten drops of grapefruit oil applied in a circular motion reduces cellulite. Dry brush the affected areas in the same circular motion to further facilitate detox and improve circulation.
31. Replace Commercial Shaving Cream – Coconut oil is a safe alternative to shaving cream. Apply a small amount to the area, shave, and rinse to prevent razor burn, ingrown hairs, and irritated skin.
32. Treat and Prevent Sunburns – Prevent and alleviate sunburn with coconut oil. It has a natural SPF of 4 to block some sun exposure. You can reapply as needed. If you have sunburn, coconut oil soothes and heals damaged skin.
33. Make Your Own Massage Oil – Coconut oil mixed with lavender and peppermint essential oils makes an excellent massage oil. Use this treat to relax and soothe achy muscles.
34. Repel Insects – Combine peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree oils with coconut oil to create an all-natural insect repellent. This mixture is safer than toxic commercial products.
35. Use as an Antifungal Cream – The anti-fungal properties of coconut oil can treat athlete’s foot and other types of fungus. Coat the affected area, allow it to set in, and then wipe away excess oil.
36. Treat Cold Sores – Cold sores are miserable, but you can heal them by applying coconut oil several times per day. The lauric acid in the oil stops viruses their tracks. You’ll get faster relief, and the area will be less likely to scar.
37. Care for Cuticles – Cuticle care is simple with coconut oil. Its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties prevent infections and soften the cuticles to encourage nail growth and health.
38. Heal and Soothe Tired and Cracked Feet – Relieve dry, cracked heels with coconut oil. Use two tablespoons of oil per foot, and add essential oils like lavender to create a treatment for your feet.
39. Prevent and Treat Ingrown Hairs – To condition skin and prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs, apply coconut oil to areas you shave often. The antibacterial oil prevents infection, and it softens the skin so that the hair grows properly.
40. Use as a Shampoo – Combine coconut oil with apple cider vinegar to make all-natural shampoo. It’s safe to use on color-treated hair, and it leaves your hair radiant and healthy.
41. Condition Hair Naturally – Start at the ends and work one teaspoon to two tablespoons of coconut oil into your hair. This natural cleanser has been used for millennia to keep hair soft and shiny.
42. Treat Dry Scalp – Put an end to dry scalp and dandruff with coconut oil. Apply to your scalp, rinse well, and style your hair as you normally would. If your hair seems greasy after this treatment, use less oil next time, and be sure you’ve rinsed thoroughly.
43. De-tangle Your Child’s Hair – Coconut oil is safe to use to detangle knots from you child’s hair. Rub a small amount onto wet hair, and then comb through as usual.
44. DIY Exfoliator – Coconut oil mixed with coconut sugar or coffee grounds makes an excellent exfoliating scrub. Use this two times per week to remove dry skin and prevent dullness and blemishes.
45. Highlight Cheekbones Without Makeup – Use coconut oil instead of makeup to highlight your cheekbones and eye lids. Coconut oil is a makeup-free way to give your skin a natural glow.
46. Clean Makeup Brushes – If you haven’t cleaned your makeup brushes in a while, you can kill the bacteria on them with coconut oil. Rub the brushes with oil and allow them to sit for 1-2 hours to naturally disinfect them. Rinse them thoroughly.
47. Clean your Hairbrush – Remove bacteria, product build-up, and hair from your hairbrush with coconut oil. It’s gentle enough to work on delicate brushes and oil that remains conditions the brush and your hair.
48. Treat and Prevent Diaper Rash – Take the rawness out of a diaper rash by conditioning the affected area with a tablespoon of coconut oil. You’ll soothe your baby’s irritated skin, and you’ll prevent the area from further irritation and infection.
49. Use Instead of Hair Gel or Texturizer – Forego commercial gels with mystery ingredients in exchange for coconut oil. Apply a little bit to your ends to help with styling, increase shine, and prevent splitting.
50. Soothe Airways with All-Natural VapoRub – A mixture of coconut oil and eucalyptus oil is a natural version of VapoRub. Apply the mixture to the sick person’s chest to soothe and clear his or her airways. This combination relieves congestion and relaxes you so that you can rest.
51. Reduce Stretch Marks – Rub coconut oil across the belly during and after pregnancy. The oil soothes and hydrates skin, which improves its elasticity. Over time, coconut oil naturally fades stretch marks by encouraging healing.
Uses of Coconut Oil Around the House
52. Oil Base for Homemade Candles – Combine coconut oil with your favorite essential oils, and place them in an oil diffuser. Your home will smell fabulous, and you can do away with burning artificially scented candles.
53. Fix Zippers and Bicycle Chains – Instead of reaching for a can of WD-40, use coconut oil to loosen a stubborn bike chain or zipper. The oil lubricates caught chains and zippers so that you can get more use out of them.
54. Get the Gum Off Your Furniture or Hair – Before you reach for the pair of scissors to get gum out of hair or off of a surface, reach for coconut oil. The oil loosens gum’s grip so that you can remove it without having to get a new haircut or a new couch.
55. Prevent Dust Buildup – If you have a spot in your house where dust tends to collect, coconut oil can help. Rub a small amount on the surface and allow it to dry. The oil will keep the surface clean, and as a bonus, it kills bacteria.
56. Shine Shoes – Condition and shine your shoes with coconut oil. Rub a small amount onto leather shoes to give them a fresh look.
57. Clean Your Clothes – Mix coconut oil with lye, water, and essential oils to create homemade laundry detergent. It’s safe for your skin and fabrics, and it’s especially good if you are sensitive to the harsh chemicals in commercial detergent.
58. Polish Furniture – Condition your furniture and cover scratches without buying furniture polish. It’s safe for use on wood, granite, and metal, and it’ll keep your furniture clean and dust free.
59. Prevent and Reduce Rust – When metal oxidizes, you get rust. Stop your silverware, outdoor furniture, and car parts from rusting by rubbing a thin layer of coconut oil across the surface. Allow it to remain for 1-2 hours so that it can soak in and create an oxygen barrier.
60. DIY Handsoap – With essential oils, lye, and coconut oil, you can make your own hand soap.
61. Combat Inflammation – Coconut oil supports both a healthy liver and kidneys. Virgin coconut oil prevents inflammation. Since inflammation causes a host of chronic illnesses, eliminating it can prevent long-term health problems.
62. Boost Your Immune System – Coconut oil contains lauric, caprylic, and capric acids, which are responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Consuming it on a regular basis prevents illness and infection.
63. Lower Your Risk of Osteoperosis – The polyphenols and antioxidants in virgin coconut oil prevent bone loss. Take three tablespoons every day to keep your bones healthy and strong.
64. Protect Brain Health – Consuming coconut oil keeps your brain healthy. Research suggests that it may even offer some benefits to Alzheimer’s patients. A recent study suggests that consuming one tablespoon three times per day promotes brain health.
65. Get Better Sleep – Since coconut oil is safe, mild, and pleasantly scented, it makes an excellent carrier oil for essential oils. Combine coconut oil with chamomile or lavender to create an aromatherapy treatment for a good night’s sleep.
66. Fight Blemishes – It seems like pesky blemishes pop up at inopportune times. Coconut oil’s antibacterial properties can kill the bacteria that cause breakouts. Mix coconut oil with raw honey and tea tree oil to create a facial treatment.
67. Ward Off Cancer – The immune benefits and the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil ward off inflammation and prevent illness. Its antitumor properties offer long-term health benefits.
68. Kill Candida – Bacterial overgrowth wreaks havoc on your body internally and externally. The caprylic acid in coconut oil kills yeast and candida, which are common causes of bacterial overgrowth. Recent research suggests that coconut oil is effective against candida, and it yields better results than the drug, fluconazole. Take one tablespoon of the oil orally, and rub it onto affected areas twice daily. Use this safe and effective treatment until your symptoms resolve.
69. Use to Burn Fat – Take one tablespoon of coconut oil per day to decrease abdominal fat. The medium chain triglycerides responsible for coconut oil’s energy boosting powers will also help you burn fat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study suggesting that consuming coconut oil leads to more weight loss than eating olive oil.
70. Balance Hormones – The anti-inflammatory properties of coconut oil not only keep inflammation at bay, but they also encourage healthy metabolism. The thyroid and adrenal glands benefit from lauric acid found in coconut oil. Supporting the thyroid and adrenal glands decreases cortisol levels, which leads to a healthier body and balanced hormones.
71. Support Healthy Digestion – The same coconut oil compounds that prevent Candida overgrowth help patients with leaky gut syndrome. The oil encourages probiotic growth and eliminates bad bacteria. You’ll absorb nutrients more effectively, and you’ll be able to ward off parasites, fungi, and other illness-causing factors.
72. Prevent Diabetes and Stabilize Blood Sugar – Eating foods containing coconut oil can balance blood sugar. Unlike sugary foods, which can lead to a spike and crash in blood sugar, coconut oil encourages a stable secretion of insulin. The medium chain triglycerides prevent obesity and insulin resistance, according to a 2009 study. If you already have diabetes, this superfood can help you manage the disease.
73. Treat Psoriasis and Eczema – You know that coconut oil is safe and effective for your skin. If you deal with eczema or psoriasis, this oil naturally alleviates dryness, flaking, and irritation. Combine the oil with shea butter and geranium essential oil to maximize the benefits.
74. Stabilize Cholesterol – A study by Harvard suggests that consuming coconut oil is an effective way to get your cholesterol in check. Coconut oil contains healthy fats which increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (“good cholesterol”). By increasing HDL cholesterol, coconut oil also lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which we know as “bad cholesterol.”
75. Relieve Constipation – Nothing is as miserable as bloating and constipation. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil once per day to promote regularity. The oil supports the growth of good gut flora, removes harmful bacteria, and keeps your digestive tract balanced and healthy.
76. Prevent Heart Disease– Coconut oil used to have a bad rep when it came to heart health because it’s high in saturated fat. Today we know that medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil make it a heart healthy choice. Coconut oil has even been proven to lower blood pressure.
77. Treat Pets – Having a sick pet is no fun, but luckily coconut oil can help. Pets with digestive problems can benefit from ingesting one to two teaspoons of coconut oil with their food. You can also use coconut oil topically to treat wounds, skin allergies, and irritation. Unlike some topical solutions, coconut oil is safe to ingest. If Fido decides to lick this medicine off his wound, it won’t hurt him.
If it isn’t clear already, coconut oil is a must-have in any household. With so many uses, it is the ultimate dietary addition, health and beauty aid, salve, and polish. If you have a tub of it in your cupboard, it’ll pay for itself over and over.
Nutritional Profile of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil fats consist of medium-chain triglycerides or medium chain fatty acids. Nutritionally speaking, this gives coconut oil the capacity to boost your energy naturally and stably. Instead of reaching for caffeine or sugar, reach for coconut oil.
Lauric, capric, and caprylic acids are the fatty acids found in coconut oil. These fatty acids are difficult to find in nature, but they are responsible for a myriad of positive health effects.
Lauric acid easily assimilates into the body. After you absorb it, it converts to a substance known as monolaurin, which has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties. You can also find Vitamin E, Vitamin K, iron, linoleic acid, phenolic acid, oleic acid, and myristic acid in coconut oil.
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Vs. Refined Coconut Oil
Not all coconut oil is created equally. To gain the maximum benefit from this superfood, you should seek out organic and unrefined coconut oil made from fresh coconut meat. The process is sometimes referred to as “wet-milling.”
The wet milling process involves separating oil from water, and then fermenting, boiling, or refrigerating the remainder. Fermenting coconut oil is the best method since it is more stable and more likely to retain its health-promoting qualities.
Since coconut oil is thermally stable, its nutritional properties and antioxidants are not compromised by heat. Research suggests that wet-milling fermentation followed by heat extraction renders a coconut oil high in antioxidants, high in HDL (good) cholesterol, low in LDL (bad) cholesterol, and replete with polyphenols.
Heavily refined coconut oil has a high smoke point, which makes it a great choice for cooking. Refining coconut oil decreases the flavor and begins with dried coconut instead of fresh coconut meat, however. The result is an inferior product compared to unrefined varieties.
Mass-produced, chemically distilled, and bleached coconut oil is a shadow of its former self, and it not much better than other oils. If manufacturers hydrogenate the coconut oil, they load it with trans fats, which are detrimental to your health.
Where to Find Coconut Oil
As the health benefits of coconut oil have become more well-known, it is easier to find it in grocery stores. However, I found an excellent organic extra virgin coconut oil on Amazon that is the best and cheapest source that I personally use.
When search for coconut oil, just be sure to check the label to ensure that the processing method maximizes its health benefits. Above all, avoid heavily refined coconut oil. The refining process removes many of coconut oil’s best qualities.