Coconut oil is sort of a rising star in the natural foods world, with news of its many benefits spreading fast. One of the main components of coconut oil—and the reason for many of its great benefits—is lauric acid.
Lauric acid is converted into a monoglyceride compound called monolaurin which has several attributes. It’s an antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal, and antifungal. It disrupts the lipid membranes in many types of naughty organisms like fungi, bacteria, and viruses. This destroys them, of course, and makes coconut oil a great topical and internal medicine.
So beyond just using coconut oil as a frying oil or stir-fry alternative, it can be used for many other great things. Here are six of our favorites:
As a daily supplement:
Coconut oil taken as a daily supplement can help boost the immune system by augmenting your first-line defenses, it boosts metabolism, and gives vital nutrients to help build healthy skin and hair. Most nutritionists recommend cold-pressed oil, taken at about 2-3 tablespoons per day.
For colds, sore throats, and cough:
The antimicrobial and virus properties of coconut oil are extremely useful as a natural way to kill the bad germs that are causing head colds, light flu symptoms, and the like. Especially sore throats and congestion. Take a tablespoon of warm coconut oil to sooth.
On cuts, scrapes, rashes, and acne:
Again, the antimicrobial/bacterial aspects of coconut oil come into play with these topical uses. Just spread over the affected area, rubbing it in thoroughly. It’s most effective if used 2-3 times per day on persistent problems like rash or acne. For acne prevention, it can be used as a twice-daily face wash.
Hair conditioning and dandruff preventive:
Coconut oil has many properties that make it protect and build your hair and follicles. It also heals damaged skin and kills some of the infections that can arise because of dandruff. The natural oil itself is a soother and hydrant for these needs. Apply to hair and scalp, leave for three to five minutes, then shower and rinse or shampoo as normal.
For athletes foot, and similar fungal infections, coconut oil is applied as on other skin maladies. Topically, it is rubbed into the infected area and left for as long as possible. For athlete’s foot, this means rubbing it into feet and wearing socks. As an athlete’s foot preventive, it can be applied at the gym or after the gym to prevent the fungi that you may have acquired from taking hold.
These are just a few of the many ways that coconut oils and butters are used in people’s daily lives. It’s a great, natural, and healthy way to take care of many of life’s worries. It’s also great as a lip balm, deodorant, natural makeup remover, the base for a sun screen, and even in toothpaste. Did I mention that it helps remove the bags from under your eyes too?
Truly, it’s one of nature’s superfoods! What are your favorite uses?
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