My husband’s father used to keep a pail with bear fat (yes I said bear fat) in his house at all times. He used it to oil his rifles, to cook with and to soften his leather boots. In those days there was no Canadian Tire or Home Depot just down the road. You used what you had and you used what worked. You also didn’t waste anything. Talk about living the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.
Apparently I remind my husband, John, of his father now, but instead of bear fat my go-to works-for-everything miracle cure is coconut oil. I have recently started to use coconut oil for everything from cooking, to skin moisturizer to, ahem, natural lubricant. What? It works! It’s even more fun to catch John suspiciously eying the container I keep near the stove while I make his dinner. He can relax though; I keep the cooking and the “other” containers separate. I should probably tell him that one day.
This all started for me when I read that olive oil should not be used for cooking. Apparently there is the danger that overheating olive oil can multiply the number of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, that naturally occur in the oil. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Some PAHs may reasonably be expected to be carcinogens.” This news stopped me from using olive oil to cook with but we still use it for salads and anything that doesn’t require it to be heated.
When I began researching coconut oil I was overwhelmed by the pages and pages of info out there. One of my favourites is a blog that lists 52 uses for coconut oil and I’ve found myself going back to this page a few times. Check it out at www.deliciousobsessions.com. Here is the list but make sure you also read the original page to see all of the comments posted (all 433 of them). There is some great advice in the comment section too.
52 Uses for Coconut Oil
- Eat a spoonful when you need an energy boost.
- Use it as the base for a homemade body scrub.
- Use to condition your wooden cutting boards.
- Use as a super conditioner on your hair (apply to dry hair, leave in as long as possible and then shampoo as normal).
- Use as a styling agent if you have really dry hair. Just rub a tiny bit on your palms and apply to your hair and style as normal.
- Keep a little container in your purse for lip moisturizer.
- Add a spoonful to your dog or cat’s food. CO is great for our furry friends!
- Replace nasty, unhealthy vegetable oils in your cooking and baking with CO.
- Make healthy Magic Shell ice cream topping.
- Use it for oil pulling (learn about oil pulling here).
- Use a tiny dab on your underarms for a natural deodorant.
- Use coconut oil instead of shaving cream.
- Add to your bath tub for a moisturizing soak (a drop of peppermint oil is wonderful!).
- Use as a makeup remover.
- Use it to help sooth chicken pox, shingles, or other rashes or skin irritations.
- Use it to treat athlete’s food, ringworm, or other fungal or yeast infections.
- Take a spoonful with your vitamins to help improve absorption.
- Spread a thin layer on cuts or burns to speed up healing.
- Take up to 5 spoonfuls per day for improved thyroid function.
- Add a spoonful to your smoothies for extra nutrition and flavor (here, here, and here).
- Use on the delicate tissue around your eyes to help prevent wrinkles and sagging.
- Use as the base for homemade toothpaste or lotion.
- Use in place of massage oil.
- Use on your baby’s diaper rash or cradle cap.
- Use to help reduce visibility of stretch marks or to prevent stretch marks.
- For nursing mothers, use coconut oil on your nipples to prevent cracking and irritation.
- For nursing mothers, consuming coconut oil will help increase your milk flow.
- Apply to bee stings or bug bites to soothe and heal the wound.
- Women can use in the nether regions to relieve yeast infections, dryness, and/or discomfort.
- Eat a spoonful with each meal to improve digestion.
- If you’re prone to nosebleeds, coat the inside of your nostrils with coconut oil regularly.
- Helps soothe and heal hemorrhoids.
- Take to helps reduce or eliminate migraines.
- Use as the base for homemade vapor rub.
- Mixed with peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, or tea tree oil makes an excellent insect repellant.
- Mix with baking soda for a non-toxic “Goo Gone”.
- Use to help detox the body during a cleanse or fast.
- Use as a metal polish, but always test a small area first.
- Use as a leather moisturizer.
- Season your cast iron pans.
- Use to oil your pans and baking dishes instead of pan spray.
- Got gum stuck in your hair? Try using coconut oil to remove without cutting your hair.
- Use instead of WD-40.
- Use as a personal lubricant (not safe with latex).
- Take a spoonful to help with heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion.
- Use as a natural sunscreen.
- Mix with a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice and use as a furniture polish (always test a small area first!).
- Mix with butter and toss your popcorn in it.
- Use on cracked or rough heals to help smooth them out.
- Massage into your nails and cuticles to help strengthen them.
- Use as the base for homemade chocolate candy (like peanut butter cups).
- Take a couple spoonfuls every day to help overall immune function.
Who knew there was so much to do with coconut oil!? Here’s to your health!