Top 50 Proven Health Benefits & Uses For Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a relatively new arrival to the western world, but it hasn’t taken very long for this versatile superfood and all-round miracle product to make its mark. Produced from the dried meat of the coconut, coconut oil has been found to provide a huge range of benefits when used as a food, topical treatment or even an everyday household product. We’ve taken a look at the top 50 benefits associated with coconut oil, many of which have only recently been discovered by scientists and researchers.
1. Natural throat soother
Coconut oil can be used to replace supermarket lozenges to provide natural soothing without the added flavours and colours. For some, a few teaspoons each day is enough to fight the typical cough or cold, while others add coconut oil to herbal tea for even greater soothing.
2. Wound healing and protection
One of the world’s most common uses for coconut oil is as a healing balm for wounds. When combined with other soothing ingredients, coconut oil can treat rashes, burns or even open wounds, delivering antibacterial effects to prevent infection and aid healing.
3. Fighting brain disorders
Coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolised differently to the average long-chain fatty acid. This impacts the body in several ways but perhaps the most significant is their ability to transform into ketones, which can have positive effects on a number of brain disorders including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
4. Kill harmful pathogens
Around 50% of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are a specific type of acid called 12-carbon Lauric Acid. When digested, this can be transformed into monolaurin, which can fight off many different types of harmful pathogen including bacteria, viruses and fungi. Stomach ulcers and food poisoning are just two of the health issues that can be destroyed with the help of coconut oil.
5. Anti-fungal treatment
The ability of coconut oil to tackle fungi can also be beneficial to those suffering from common skin fungus such as athletes foot. Its antibiotic properties mean simple topical application can ease symptoms in a matter of days.
6. Appetite suppressant
A natural appetite suppressant, coconut oil can reduce the feeling of hunger and so encourage weight loss in the long term. This is thought to be a result of the ways the acids are metabolised in the body, due to the fact that the ketones produced excel at reducing the appetite.
7. Tackle epilepsy
The ketones produced by coconut oil are found to have a therapeutic effect on epilepsy patients who do not respond so well to drug therapies. By focusing on a low carbohydrate, high fat diet like that encouraged by coconut oil, patients can increase concentrations of ketones and succeed in reducing seizure rates.
8. Reduce cholesterol
The saturated fats contained in coconut oil have been found to increase the beneficial types of cholesterol while helping to convert the negative form into something less harmful. This means users can enjoy the combined benefit of improved blood coagulation while also improving their antioxidant status for a healthier body.
9. Boost metabolism
The Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) contained in coconut oil are sent directly from the digestive tract to the liver where they’re used immediately by the body. This appears to have a significant impact on the way the body metabolises other food and drink, helping to burn more fat and reduce calorie intake.
10. Prevent dental issues
Coconut oil can have a significant impact on oral health, fighting bacteria when used as a mouthwash and subsequently preventing tooth decay and sore gums. In the long term, coconut oil can also strengthen the teeth, gums and jaw to prevent any oral health problems in the future.
11. Treating kidney stones
Kidney and bladder stones can cause severe discomfort if left untreated, but some sufferers cannot be subjected to the invasive technique of surgical removal. Coconut oil has been found to be a natural alternative for removing kidney and bladder stones. When consumed daily, it helps to produce the monoglyceride Monooctanoin, which contains a cholesterol solvent that is capable of dissolving gallstones completely in some cases.
12. Reduces symptoms of arthritis
Coconut oil contains high levels of antioxidants, which have been found to reduce inflammation. This means it is capable of tackling one of the most significant effects of arthritis, and, as such, can reduce the impact of the condition on the day-to-day lives of sufferers.
13. Cancer prevention
There are many treatments and therapies that are thought to prevent cancer, but coconut oil is believed to be one of the simplest natural protectors. Tumor cells require glucose in order to thrive and cannot access energy in ketones, but the ketones produced by coconut oil consumption are thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and so prevent the development and spread of cancer.
14. Improve digestion
A more effective digestive process means your body can better absorb minerals and nutrients. Coconut oil is highly skilled at aiding the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients due to its ability to improve the efficiency of the enzymes related to metabolism. As a result, coconut oil can help to improve the digestion process and create a healthier body.
15. Prevent osteoporosis
The ability of coconut oil to aid digestion means the increased absorption of calcium. Calcium is an important part of maintaining strong bones and so preventing osteoporosis, which can decrease bone volume and increase bone loss. This means the consumption of coconut oil on a daily basis can help to reduce the chances of osteoporosis and help to ensure bones remain healthy.
16. Aiding hormone balance
The high levels of 12-carbon Lauric Acid in coconut oil means it has a positive impact on high-density lipoproteins, which help to protect and conserve estrogen in pre- and post-menopausal women.
17. Reducing stress
The Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil has been found to be particularly successful in reducing stress. When consumed daily, coconut oil is also thought to reduce the chances of onset, helping the user to maintain their mental health.
18. Natural moisturiser
Coconut oil has become a favourite among beauty connoisseurs, delivering non-greasy moisture for the body and face that absorbs in a moment. At room temperature, the solid coconut easily melts in the hand, making application easy and fast.
19. Anti-aging wrinkle reducer
Anti-wrinkle beauty products have always had a large following, so the news that coconut oil makes an affordable anti-aging product has not gone unnoticed. It’s also simple to use, just requiring a quick dab around the eyes and other areas of concern before bed so it can be allowed to soak in overnight.
20. Easy makeup removal
Even if you use waterproof makeup, a small amount of coconut oil can easily dissolve it and make it ready to be wiped away with ease. As well as being easy and gentle, coconut oil is the ideal alternative to commercial removers thanks to the hydration it provides and its ability to remove makeup without stinging.
21. Post-shower body rub
Many people suffer from dry skin post-shower, but coconut oil is the perfect body rub for providing quick hydration. When applied liberally around the body, coconut oil makes skin feel smooth and silky and even offers the added benefit of sun protection.
22. Natural lip balm
Dry lips can be sore and uncomfortable, but coconut oil offers healing properties rarely found in commercial lip balms including sun protection and instant hydration. Coconut oil lip balm can be produced by combining the oil with beeswax and shea butter before allowing to set.
23. Alternative mouthwash
Commercial mouthwashes can be harsh on sensitive mouths, while coconut oil offers a significant number of health and beauty benefits without causing irritation. Some of the oil’s greatest benefits include natural teeth whitening, improved gum health, fresh breath and natural destruction of bacteria.
24. Sensitive odour prevention
Thanks to the natural antibacterial properties found in coconut oil it makes an ideal deodorant. It can be used alone or combined with baking soda and other essential oils to create an easy-to-apply paste.
25. Antibacterial face wash
The antibacterial properties of coconut oil mean it is an effective face wash, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Before use, it should be combined with other ingredients as part of a natural face wash recipe, such as honey and tea tree oil.
26. Anti-cellulite treatment
Cellulite, a common beauty concern, can be tackled using coconut oil, which can be massaged into the skin to help stimulate circulation and reduce its appearance.
27. Alternative shaving cream
Skin irritation is a common result of shaving, which is why it’s important to use a shaving cream or gel to ease the process and reduce razor burn. Once warmed in the hands, coconut oil can be applied easily to the relevant area before shaving, helping to avoid the negative effects associated with hair removal.
28. Repelling insects
Coconut oil is an effective insect repellent that can prevent interest from many types of common pest including gnats, bees and mosquitos. For those sensitive to commercial repellants, this alternative is a safe method of dealing with unwanted attention.
29. Protecting hair
As well as skin, coconut oil can also improve the appearance of hair thanks to its sun protection properties, which block around 20% of the UV rays produced by the sun. The fat content in coconut oil also means a significant moisture boost if applied to the hair during washing.
30. Anti-dandruff treatment
As well as protecting the hair from damage, coconut oil can also prevent the development of a dry scalp, reducing itching and eliminating unsightly symptoms such as dandruff.
31. Fighting skin conditions
A number of skin conditions can also be soothed as a result of topical coconut oil application. Applied daily, it is capable of relieving the symptoms of even complex complaints, including eczema and psoriasis.
32. Encourage muscle gain
According to scientists, coconut oil is excellent at stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin. As insulin’s role is to control blood-sugar levels through the body and pump nutrients into muscles, this increase in secretion can help bodybuilders to increase their muscle mass using a natural product.
33. Treating cold sores
Millions of people around the world suffer from cold sores but coconut oil is an affordable and easy-to-use treatment. When dabbed on the affected area several times a day, coconut oil can prevent the virus from spreading and can even help to reduce the chance of scarring or discolouration of the skin once it has healed.
34. Soothing cracked heel
Dry, cracked heels can feel uncomfortable and appear unsightly if left untreated. Coconut oil can simply be rubbed into the heel to reduce dryness and encourage the healing of damaged skin.
35. Natural makeup brush cleaner
To prevent infection or the spread of bacteria, it’s important to regularly clean makeup brushes. Coconut oil makes an ideal cleaner thanks to its antibacterial properties, which ensure all brushes are disinfected without being damaged by the cleaning process.
36. Protecting nails
Coconut oil can be applied to the fingers to prevent the risk of fungal infection in the nails, which is particularly important following a visit to a public nail salon. Coconut oil also helps to naturally increase the growth rate of nail cuticles.
37. Natural hair styling
Unlike commercial hair gels and styling clays, which often contain alcohol, coconut oil can be used to hold a hairstyle without drying out the tips or adding unnecessary fragrance.
38. Reduce stretch marks
When rubbed into the affected areas, coconut oil can help to prevent and reduce stretch marks by hydrating the skin and encouraging fast, natural healing, particularly during pregnancy when the skin’s elasticity comes under significant strain.
39. Natural energy boost
Research has revealed that coconut oil is one of the greatest sources of saturated fats available. However, the fats contained in this natural superfood are actually perfectly fine to consume, with countless studies demonstrating that it has no link to heart disease whatsoever. In fact, the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) contained in coconut oil are metabolised via a completely different process to long-chain fatty acids, which means they can travel immediately to the liver and provide a rapid energy boost without the same risk of increased body fat.
40. Perfect cream alternative
It may be traditional to add milk or cream to your hot drinks but an increasing emphasis on healthy eating (and drinking) has resulted in many seeking alternatives. Coconut oil has become the front-runner thanks to its ability to deliver a rich and creamy flavour without the calories. Coconut oil also provides the added benefits of delivering an additional energy boost and is the ideal choice for anyone avoiding dairy products.
41. Transform smoothies
Smoothies have become popular around the world, replacing traditional breakfasts and providing a healthy surge of energy as a snacking alternative. Coconut oil can further boost the benefits delivered by smoothies, improving texture and taste while delivering a burst of cholesterol-boosting fatty acids.
41. A non-stick cooking oil
Although not traditionally associated with your average supermarket oil, coconut oil can be used to replace them at the bottom of the pan. Whether used to cook something sweet or something savoury, coconut oil prevents sticking and unnecessary mess while boosting flavour and health benefits.
42. Alternative popcorn topper
Once associated with a trip to the cinema, popcorn has now entered the snack market and become one of the most popular health foods on offer. However, while sweet and salty have timeless appeal, coconut oil is a healthy option that boosts energy while delivering great flavour.
43. Transforming sports drinks
With its reputation as a natural booster of health, it’s hardly surprising that coconut oil is now being used by many as an alternative to sports drinks following exercise. For some, a few drops in a bottle of water is adequate, but others have also included fresh fruit for that extra health boost.
44. Frying at a high heat
Coconut oil is regularly called for in recipes that require frying, but the addition of this useful superfood to produce cooked at a high heat can do more than simply add flavour. Unlike many common oils, coconut oil offers a high smoke point, making it the ideal choice when cooking under high temperatures.
45. Remove sticky labels
Sticky labels can sometimes be difficult to remove, even failing to shift following soaking. Coconut oil is an effective alternative to water, making it possible to wipe off sticky residue after just a few moments.
46. Polish furniture
A natural alternative to strong commercial furniture polish, coconut oil can be added to a small amount of lemon juice to provide a shiny finish on wooden items around the home.
47. Clean leather sofas
Sofas and other leather furniture require careful cleaning to avoid damage. When rubbed into leather for a few minutes and removes with a cloth, coconut oil delivers natural cleaning and a smooth finish.
48. Clean stainless steel
Stainless steel appliances such as ovens and sinks can be easily cleaned using coconut oil, which should be rubbed in using a circular motion. Remove excess with a dry cloth to produce a shiny surface.
49. Remove marks from floors
Scuff marks can be removed from wooden and tiled floors using a small amount of coconut oil. Once the mark is removed, the oil should be wiped away to prevent creating a slippery surface.
50. Remove tight jewellery
It’s not uncommon for rings to become stuck on fingers but sometimes they need to be removed. Coconut oil is a natural lubricant that can be easily rubbed on and around stubborn rings and other jewellery to help encourage removal.