Coconut oil is a substance that has gone from relative obscurity to being touted as being a miracle oil that can cure just about anything. Because we were concerned that some of the more sensational accounts of this oil were spreading like wildfire across the Internet, we’ve decided to do an article on the subject. An article that will clear away the myths of this product and give our readers the facts they need to make an informed decision.
To help our readers understand the benefits and the shortcomings of this product, we’re going to start with the basics of this product and then work our way out from there. After all, the purpose of this document is to help everyone understand what they need to know in order to enjoy this product or to use it more effectively in their lives.
What Is Coconut Oil?
Okay, as we promised, we’re going to start off with the very basics of this product. Coconut oil is a product that’s extracted from the kernel of coconuts. It’s primarily used for cooking in many parts of the world—particularly in India and the Philippines, but it also has other uses as well.
This oil is composed primarily of 95% saturated fat, and it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s made mostly of medium-chain fatty acids—sometimes referred to as MFCAs and sometimes referred to as MCT.
Because this product has high saturated fat content, it’s very stable cooking oil and has an extremely long shelf-life. It’s also a substance that’s very versatile. In fact, coconut oil is not only used for cooking, but is also used in deodorants, skin moisturizers, soaps, and even as an engine lubricant.
Evidence-Based Uses For Coconut Oil
We’re going to start off this section by stating that it’s very tiring going through all of the myths about this product. It seems like one person or another has attributed coconut oil as a cure for just about every disease known to man. And this is absolutely ridiculous. Let us state right here and now that coconut oil is not a cure-all, nor is it a panacea for whatever might afflict a person. However, with that being said, there are some benefits to using coconut oil.
We’ve found some reliable scientific information on best coconut oil, gathered from various studies, and we would like to share some of these potential positive health benefits. We say potential because not all of the following benefits have been completely proven yet, so we urge all of our readers to do their own research and sort through all information carefully.
- Coconut Oil Might Be A Heart-Healthy Oil.
- It Might Encourage Fat Burning.
- Coconut Oil Has Been Shown To Have Antimicrobial Properties.
- It Might Raise HDL Levels
- It’s Been Proven As A Valuable Cosmetic Product Ingredient.
Common Uses For Coconut Oil
During our research on this subject, we’ve found out that people use coconut oil for not only cooking but for a variety of other purposes as well. So we decided to dig deep into some of its uses and share it with everyone here. Some of the following coconut oil uses might be well known by anyone reading this guide, but others are certainly very clever.
Coconut Oil As A Sunscreen
Okay, we should probably preface this bullet point by saying that coconut oil is by no means a replacement for a quality conventional sunscreen. Commercial sunscreens are capable of blocking up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays. However, coconut oil does block out some of the sun’s rays when spread on the skin—at least according to several studies. These studies have shown that coconut oil is capable of blocking about 20% of the sun’s UV rays. Not as good as a sunscreen but more significant than not wearing any sun protection at all.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Some people use coconut oil as a mouthwash—which makes sense considering that coconut oil has antibacterial properties. The people who practice this—a practice known as Oil Pulling—spend 10-minutes a day swishing coconut oil around their mouth. Hmm, we might just stick with our ordinary mouthwash that only requires 30-seconds of swishing.
Coconut Oil To Relieve Skin Irritation
Another use for coconut oil is to relieve skin irritation. Several studies have shown that it works equally as well as mineral oil or commercial moisturizers for dry skin. Some studies have shown that coconut oil may also help people with eczema relieve some of their symptoms.
Use To Make Sugar-Free Chocolate
If you look online, you’ll find countless recipes for making homemade dark chocolate using coconut oil. Of course, the chocolate is going to have to be stored in the fridge or freezer because coconut oil melts at 76-degrees Fahrenheit, but if you don’t mind that small drawback, then you can make some really tasty homemade dark chocolate.
Coconut Oil For Your Hair
Coconut oil can also be used to help keep a person’s hair healthy. Several scientific studies have shown that coconut oil is capable of reducing protein loss in a person’s hair if it’s used following a shampoo routine. They believe it’s capable of doing this because the main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, and this fat can penetrate hair follicles better than other types of fats.
Make A Natural Insect Repellent
Another helpful use for coconut oil is that it can be used to make a natural insect repellent. By mixing essential oils that have insect-repelling capabilities with coconut oil, the user can create a repellent that’s easy to apply and is surprisingly effective. Some of the essential oils that repel insects include citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, lavender, and sweet orange.
The last use for coconut oil that we’d like to talk about is removing stains from furniture and/or carpeting. All a person has to do is mix one part baking soda with one part coconut oil and make it into a paste. This paste is then applied directly to the stain and allowed to sit for 5-minutes. After the 5-minutes has elapsed, all a person has to do is wipe it away along with the stain.