Coconut oil is popping up everywhere, but most people see it as simply an alternative to olive oil. While this is true, it barely scratches the surface of what this miraculous oil can do. It’s time to get on board and try a few of these easy life hacks.
A few tips to get you started:
Always choose an organic, virgin, unrefined coconut oil.
At room temperature, its consistency is that of refrigerated butter. Don’t let that deter you; it heats up very quickly for cooking. When rubbed between your hands for cosmetic use it liquefies rapidly.
Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral.
It’s great for brain function & memory, and is known to reduce inflammation.
Six Life-Changing Ways to Use Coconut Oil
1. In Cooking.
The ‘burn point’ of coconut oil is much higher than almost any other oil. This means that when it’s used at high temperatures, it won’t convert into a trans fat (which you want to avoid at all costs - trans fats are carcinogenic). It's an excellent alternative for frying, sautéing, grilling, or roasting your food. It can also be used in baking as a substitute for butter.
2. In the Shower.
After soaping and rinsing, coconut oil provides an excellent moisturizer for winter. According to Ayurveda, it also boosts immunity and provides glowing skin. What’s not to like about that?? Keep a bottle on hand in the shower and rub it into your limbs, abdomen, neck and face. For an added boost, add a few drops of essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, wild orange, and bergamot. Rinse lightly and gently blot dry with a towel.
3. As Makeup Remover.
As a completely organic substance with no added chemicals, coconut oil makes an ideal makeup remover. Simply rub it between your hands and use a cotton ball to dab it around your eyes.
4. As a Hair Mask.
Heat oil gently on the stovetop until it’s completely liquid. Using your fingers, comb it through your hair, paying particular attention to the ends. Wrap it in a bun, cover with a plastic shower cap and let it sit while you watch TV. Rinse thoroughly for supple, shining hair.
5. In Coffee or Tea.
Place your coffee or tea, along with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil, into a blender. Whirl until frothy. This is an excellent alternative to dairy for making your morning latte.
6. After Toothpaste.
Rinsing your mouth with coconut oil is one of the main tenets of Ayurvedic oral health. Because of its antibacterial qualities, it’s said to whiten teeth, is excellent for gum health, and even improves your sense of taste. After you’ve brushed your teeth, take 1 tablespoon and swish it around your mouth for a minute before spitting it out as you would toothpaste. This one may sound strange but believe me, it feels fabulous.
With this kind of diversity, coconut oil has become an indispensable ingredient in my kitchen and beyond. Buy yourself a bottle and start experimenting; soothing sunburned skin, on scratches, in smoothies, on your lips…. its potential uses seem endless. And who doesn’t like a whiff of tropical coconut to remind us of sunny climes?