The health benefits of coconut oil are vast, both internally and externally. Including hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism.
Here are five ways to incorporate Coconut oil into your life.
Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps in the healthy growth of hair and gives your locks a shiny quality. It is also highly effective for moisture retention ( a huge problem for afro hair) and helps prevent protein loss which can lead to breakage.
Most of the people in those countries apply coconut oil on their hair every day after bathing or showering. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. The oil, which is hard can be scraped into a container and placed in hot water to melt. Alternatively you heat it up in a pan, as with this homemade hair mask.
What You Will Need-
1 tbsp. Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil (increase amount if hair needs extra moisture)
1 tbsp. Organic Raw Honey
Warm ingredients in a pan, poor into a bowl. Mix, then apply to wet hair. Section your hair off and apply generously from top to bottom, focusing on the ends where most damage occurs. Can be massaged into the scalp too.
Place a shower cap on, then wrap a towel over the top and relax 30-40 minutes. Rinse thoroughly using your usual shampoo and conditioner.
For Afro hair, that requires moisture “lock in” more regularly, simply warm small amount in hands. Apply to hair and scalp daily and style as usual.
Coconut oil is a wonderful under eye and eyelid cream. It helps moisturize that paper-thin skin, improving dark circles and keeping wrinkles at bay. Only the tiniest amount around your eyes, focusing on areas that have wrinkles.
Unrefined coconut oil will soften and moisturize chapped lips. It’s completely edible, so there’s no need to worry about ingesting a little.
Apply coconut oil after you’ve taken a bath or shower. When your skin is still warm and supple from your bath or shower, the coconut oil will be more readily absorbed. Melt one tablespoon at a time by holding it between your palms and gently pushing them together. Coconut oil melts with very little heat.
You can scent coconut oil with a few drops of essential oil like lavender, rose, or even peppermint oil for a homemade massage oil.
Even the most resistant waterproof mascara doesn’t stand a chance against coconut oil. Apply it directly to the face as an oil cleanser, or let it sit on your skin with a cotton pad. Makeup will melt away.
Coconut oil has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Gargling for 20 minutes with a spoonful of oil can help clear up germs in the mouth, leading to fresher breath, whiter teeth, and healthier gums.
Cleaning your makeup brushes should be a regular ritual. You can use a DIY cleanser that’s two parts antibacterial soap and one part coconut oil.
Mix half a cup of coconut oil with a handful of coarse salt or sugar to create an exfoliator. The moisturizing oil will last long after the grains have melted away.
It can be used as a softener for cracked cuticles. Remedy peeling skin with Coconut oil, massaged right at the base of nails. It can also help your manicure last longer.
Make your own natural deodorant at home (and it works). Mix coconut oil with arrowroot powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and a scented oil for a DIY odor fix.
Half a cup of coconut oil (warmed)
Handful of Epsom salt or raw sugar.
This creates a gorgeous rich exfoliator. I always keep some of this mix in an old Jam Jar and put the jar in the bath water to melt the mixture.
Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Organic Virgin Unrefined is always advisable, there are so many sometimes confusing types on the market.
Coconut Oil can be used a substitute for other less healthy oils, including butter. Use in cooking, baking, as a spread or in smoothies as here in this:
Keep Your eyes Open for the Turmeric Smoothie recipe will be out soon!
Try this recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat!
- 1 teaspoon of Organics Coconut Oil
- 1 cup of almonds or walnuts
- 1 cup of organic dates
- 3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
- Shredded coconut (check it contains no preservatives)
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.
Simply use the same amount or a little less as other oils or butter recipes call for, but without the GMO’s and Trans fats. (The quantity is trial and error, so see how you go). Use Coconut Oil at room temperature for flaky baked products. Melt coconut oil and use it in its liquid state, bear in mind Coconut oil will mix well when the rest of your ingredients are at room temperature or it will solidify in clumps quickly.
Experiment and Enjoy!!
Photos: Karen Bryson