Coconut oil has become the mainstay ingredient of both my bathroom and kitchen. Here's why:
This is my staple cooking oil. I would really recommend ditching all other oils for cooking and switch to using only coconut oil, as there have been numerous studies showing its amazing health giving properties.
Calling it an oil is a little misleading as it is solid at room temperature like all other saturated fats. This is however a saturated fat of a very different kind with a unique molecular structure of medium chain fatty acids. What does this mean?
Having a medium chain fatty acid profile means it is very easy for the body to break down, and unlike other fats and oils that have to be processed by the liver, coconut oil is instantly turned into energy and does not require bile acids for digestion. It is also quite different as it is made up of lauric acid (which is also found in breast milk) and has great antibacterial and anti viral properties.
Interestingly, research on the inhabitants of 2 Polynesian atolls where the majority of the people gained most of their calories from coconut oil, found them to have superb vascular health. There are many others benefits apart from promoting heart health, including lowering cholesterol, weight loss, good metabolism, great skin and hair, healthy immune system and the promotion of good thyroid gland function.
Challenge your thinking and switch to coconut oil and see how you feel - coconut oil contains the most saturated fat of any edible oil. Make sure you choose raw, organic, virgin coconut oil. Viridian is my current favourite brand.
Coconut oil is my number one ingredient for tooth care starting with a technique called oil pulling. This involves swishing the oil all around your mouth for 10 to 20mins, pulling and sucking it through the teeth and all around the mouth itself. The oil attracts all the bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit your mouth, enabling you to effectively get rid of them. This helps with oral hygiene, teeth cleaning and general immune system functioning. This makes your mouth feel cleaner; your teeth get whiter, removes stains and is also very effective for removing tartar. It feels amazing afterwards when you run your tongue over you teeth. This technique has saved many a bad tooth that would otherwise have been sentenced by the dentist to extraction.
Toothsoap – This is available online or you can easily make your own. The main ingredient in making your own has to be coconut oil with its amazing antifungal and antibacterial qualities (so also great for oral thrush). Coconut oil has been found to stop and even reverse tooth decay (I have had some first hand accounts of this). The next ingredient is baking soda as it is a very mild abrasive. Don’t use every day though for this reason (3 times a week should be fine). It is also very alkaline and so neutralises acids in your mouth and of course is well know to absorb bad odours so will also give you sweet smelling breath.
If you fancy having a go at making your own use a 50:50 ratio of coconut oil and baking soda and add a few drops of essential oil, with peppermint and/or citrus flavours working well. If you want to make it even more appealing, especially for little ones add some sweet sugar-free stevia. Keep in a glass jar in your bathroom and spoon onto toothbrush when needed.
Despite what the big brand cosmetic companies may tell you, the less you do to your actual skin the better it looks and feels. At the very least rule out buying any products with toxic petroleum, parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate or go the whole hog and decide to only use what you are happy to eat! Coconut oil makes a great toxin free skin moisturiser. We absorb 70% to 80% of everything we put on our skin so it’s good to choose something we would happily digest.
Coconut oil is a great way to do a deep hair conditioning treatment. I try and remember to do this around once a month. Make sure you undress or protect your clothes so as not to get oil on anything you value. Melt the oil by placing the jar in a pot or bowl of hot water until it becomes liquid, (or you can decant as much as you think you’ll need). Massage the oil into your hair. You can just concentrate on the dry areas if you prefer, this would normally be just the ends of the hair, (I prefer to do the whole lot).
If you have long hair clip it up and cover in a shower cap and a warm towel to help the oil penetrate and do its magic. Leave for as long as possible, a minimum of an hour but can be for many hours. When you come to wash it off add the shampoo and massage before you run the water. It may take 2 or 3 shampoos to completely remove the oil. Using a natural, chemical free shampoo is best. Try and let your hair dry naturally after the treatment.
What are you favourite uses for coconut oil?
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