Coconut oil has to be one of the most versatile natural products around and everyone (well, almost everyone) seems to be raving about its benefits.
I’m no scientist but apparently it’s the medium chain triglycerides in the coconut oil that make it really good for you if you eat it. It’s been linked to helping people with Alzheimer’s and epilepsy and various other illnesses; studies have shown that it can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good (HDL) and there are even studies that say it can help with weight loss!
But you don’t have to eat it to benefit from its health properties – although it tastes so good so why not do both!!
I have been using it for around 3 years now and love the stuff. I started using it as a moisturiser on my legs when I was diagnosed with lymphoedema as a result of my surgery for womb cancer and the pelvic radiotherapy I had as part of my treatment. With lymphoedema you need to keep the skin soft and hydrated and I didn’t want to use chemical laden stuff and I’d read about the benefits of coconut oil so bought some organic cold pressed oil off Ebay.
I now keep a tub in the kitchen for cooking and a tub in the bedroom for other uses. It is a strange substance in that it’s usually solid at room temperature but as soon as you put some on your hand the heat from your skin starts to melt it. It’s quite a light oil and sinks into your skin very easily.
It has so many uses, it’s unbelievable. As well as using it on my legs, I also use it on my scalp to keep the psoriasis from flaring up too much (another result of cancer treatment, this time chemo) It helps to sooth the constant itching and keeps the flaking under control. I mix some with tea tree oil and use that on the psoriasis that is elsewhere on my body like around my neck and under my boobs and that helps to control the flare ups.
I also use it mixed with eucalyptus oil as a rub when I get a stuffed up nose and it’s apparently very good for cleaning your teeth with although I’ve yet to try that. I’m going to have a go at oil pulling one day but I’ve got to work up to that one as I don’t tend to like oily or fatty food!
Another good use for it is as an insect repellent. We get lots of midges up here on west coast of Scotland and I’ve mixed coconut oil with both peppermint and tea tree oil and both seem to work when applied to bare arms etc. I might give lemon oil a try this summer as you do tend to smell a bit like a peppermint cream sometimes and I’ve found that the tea tree oil can smell a bit “off” if you are out in the sun too long.
In the kitchen, we use it for stir fries and general cooking. I add it to my smoothies and I’ve even heard that you can add it to your coffee although I haven’t tried that yet. Generally, anywhere you would normally use butter or oil you can substitute with coconut oil.
So what are you waiting for? If you’ve not tried it yet then give it a go. Try and get organic if you can and try different brands until you find one you like as some will taste more “coconutty” than others.
Enjoy the wonderful health benefits of coconut oil.
xx Kaz xx