Coconut oil has many uses for everyday life. It has a distinct flavour that some of us love and others are not too fond of. If the taste puts you off, there are other options to make it a worthwhile staple in your home. I have two jars of coconut oil: one in my fridge and another by the washroom. The texture varies depending on the temperature of the room, from a solid to liquid state. In it's solid form, the oil will often melt fairly quickly in your hands.
This makes it easier to use at any time. Here are the reasons I love using coconut oil:
1. A Great Cooking and Baking Ingredient
Its versatile consistency and flavour make a great addition to a lot of recipes. Cakes, cookies, and puddings. Smoothies too. I have added it to almond milk with a variety of fruits for a healthy blend. If you aren't too fussy, you can just eat a mouthful each day for the taste. It makes a decent substitute for other cooking oils, butter and margarine, especially valuable if you are vegan or just looking to reduce dairy in your diet.
A popular way of eating is the ketogenic diet, and a lot of people are generally looking to reduce carbohydrates in their meals. Coconut oil can be a staple in this diet for "fat bombs," a supplement and/or with recipes. There are many websites, online forums and social media groups to support low carb and keto. Lots of recipes are available too.
2. An Excellent Skin and Hair Moisturizer
I use it every day on my skin and run it through my hair each morning. It keeps my skin moisturizer without becoming greasy or drying it out. My skin is a combination of dry and oily, and I find it difficult (and costly) to locate natural skin products without petroleum-based chemicals. Coconut oil should not be used in place of sunscreen or sun block, as it may not provide adequate protection.
It can be excellent for relieving nasty sun burns and other skin ailments, such as rashes. Pairing it up with aloe vera or tea tree oil can help a lot (also a good treatment for head lice—parents will understand this well!).
If you dye or use treatments in your hair, coconut oil can bring moisture back without oiliness. It also feels nice on your scalp too. Really, coconut oil can be a nice moisturizer from head to toe...
3. Oil Pulling for Gums and Teeth
This is a topic brought up in recent years concerning dental health. I admit to trying this a few times only and am not an expert on this particular subject. In my limited experience, I did find that my breath and overall sensation improved, or seemed to, after oil pulling.
What is oil pulling? Take a small (quarter teaspoon) of coconut oil in your mouth and slowly swish around for about 10 minutes. The idea is this: coconut oil (as well as certain other pure oils) "pull" harmful bacteria from just below the gumline and around teeth, thoroughly cleaning where floss and tooth brushing cannot reach. This is meant as an additional treatment, not to replace flossing or brushing, and can be done twice a week or once every three days to be effective.
Unless you are allergic to coconut oil or have a condition or dental work that prohibits it, give oil pulling a try. It's also a good idea to read more about it too, to get an idea of what outcome to expect. Other oils can work too, but coconut oil is what I would recommend.
4. Personal Lubricant
Ok, this is more personal and adult territory here, but definitely worth mentioning. I have used it for this purpose in place of commercial store brands and with much success. Try it first, though, as it may not be as beneficial depending on your skin type, your partner's skin type and type of activities you plan on engaging in.
Coconut oil is also nice for a massage. You can mix it with essential oils or just use it plain. It has a naturally pleasant scent and not too strong or overpowering like some perfumed oils.
Overall, coconut oil is a good staple to have in your home or on the go. If you travel or work a lot, keeping a small jar or refillable dispenser is a good way to keep it readily available. If you live with a family or have a partner or roommate, you can share a jar or make it as a part of your pantry.
A good quality brand of coconut oil, preferably virgin oil with no additives, is recommended. If you prefer organic, the cost will be more, but still worth it. If it's cheaper to do so, buy a larger container. Coconut oil should be kept refrigerated to maximize shelf life, but it can also be left in a sealed container at room temperature in smaller amounts.
However you decide to use coconut oil, it's definitely worth a try and can provide a lot of benefits in your everyday life.