Coconut oil has many beneficial actions when used either internally or externally. Considered a “functional food” because it has benefits over and above the nutrition it provides; it is used for hair care, skin care, weight loss, stress relief, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and much more. The top 5 uses of coconut oil include:1. Coconut Oil For Hair Coconut oil is used in hair care to nourish and moisturize the hair and scalp, prevent and treat dandruff and lice, and repair damage caused by the use of styling tools and chemical treatments. The essential proteins in coconut oil nourish the hair and scalp and provide a natural shine without the use of chemicals that could be absorbed by the body. It is used externally both in hair care products and as pure coconut oil applied to the scalp and hair. Massaged into the scalp on a regular basis, it prevents dandruff and keeps the scalp free of lice and nits (lice eggs,) as well as moisturizing both the hair and scalp. Used internally, it provides the vitamins, minerals, essential proteins and fatty acids necessary for healthy hair and scalp. Read more about how and why you should use coconut oil for your hair. 2. Coconut Oil For Skin Coconut oil is an excellent option for skin care. It works as well as a mineral oil or petroleum jellies, without the disadvantages of using a petroleum product (toxins that could be absorbed through the skin, more chance of allergic reactions, etc.) Well absorbed, it is a wonderful massage oil, with a beautiful coconut scent. It moisturizes the skin, either alone or in combination with other oils, and is an exceptional base oil for moisturizing creams and oils and aromatherapy blends. It is useful in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and various types of skin infections; and helps to reduce or eliminate itching and flaking of the skin due to dryness. It can also help delay wrinkles and sagging skin related to aging due to its antioxidant properties, and is the basic ingredient of many skin care products like soaps, creams and lotions. Read more about how and why you should use coconut oil for your skin’s health. 3. Coconut Oil For Weight Loss Although much of the current medical establishment is pushing “low-fat” and “no-fat” diets for cholesterol control and weight loss, our bodies require a certain amount of fat intake to maintain optimum health. The use of healthy, natural fats such as coconut oil; in moderation, actually promotes healthy weight. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, which are more easily assimilated by the body than the long-chain fatty acids found in most polyunsaturated oils, and thus are less likely to be stored as fat in the body. In addition, it slows down the digestive process, making you feel fuller for longer and reducing blood sugar fluctuations. Slowing the digestive process can also minimize snacking, because you don’t feel hungry again as quickly. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can also kill candida and other pathogens. Candida overgrowth in the digestive tract can cause symptoms such as sugar cravings, fatigue, and weight gain. Read more about how to use coconut oil to help you lose weight. 4. Coconut Oil For Acne Most accepted acne treatments involve stripping the skin of all oil to reduce blockages of the pores. Acne is a result of the natural sebum (body oil) your skin produces blocking the pores and causing infection below the plug. Stripping the skin of its natural oils causes it to produce even more oil to compensate, increasing the chances of a blockage. Using coconut oil helps to lubricate the pores, allowing the sebum to flow more naturally and reducing the chance of blockages, as well as minimizing the chance of overproduction of natural facial oils. It contains a great deal of lauric acid, which is known to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Not only does this lauric acid kill the bacteria that cause acne blemishes, it also helps to restore the natural acid balance
of the skin. Read more about how to use coconut oil to cure your acne. 5. Coconut Oil For Stretch Marks Stretch marks are scars that are caused when the skin is forced to stretch beyond its limits due to pregnancy or rapid weight gain. This scarring is caused because the body can’t produce enough collagen quickly enough to fill the additional area. Coconut oil is very similar in consistency to the natural oils produced by the skin and is easily absorbed, helping to moisturize and lubricate the skin, making it more “elastic” and stretchable. Internal use is also indicated, since it contains vitamin E, which is necessary for the production of collagen, and is known to help reduce scarring when applied topically. Read more about how and why you should use coconut oil for stretch marks. Plus I share a recipe that includes coconut oil and a few other natural oils for reducing stretch marks. When purchasing coconut oil, close attention should be paid to the label. If the oil is intended for internal use, such as in cooking, it must be a food grade oil. The best option is organic, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, because that has been processed the least and retains more of the natural goodness of the oil. Although food grade coconut oil can be used for hair and skin care, the reverse is not true. I personally recommend Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Take a look at the 296 real customer reviews on Amazon. Nearly 85% of customers rated this coconut oil 5 stars. There’s plenty of other good one’s on Amazon too, but make sure you go for the organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil. Just before you go, here are a few bonus uses that you might not expect from coconut oil. Bonus Coconut Oil Uses 1. Coconut oil helps in preventing various heart problems and reduces the risk of heart disease. 2. Coconut oil is a fantastic aid for digestion and prevents the development of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and the onset of indigestion. 3. Coconut oil can be applied to infections to help speed up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues. 4. Coconut oil increases the ability of our bodies to absorb important vitamins, nutrients and minerals (especially calcium) which is essential for healthy, strong bones. Coconut oil can prevent the onset of osteoporosis. 5. A gentle coconut oil head massage soothes and can help to relieve stress. There we have the top 5 (and bonus 5) uses of coconut oil. To read more about each use, click the relevant links above. And if you want to know the best coconut oil then I personally recommend Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Leave your comments below to share your stories of how coconut oil has worked for you.