A traditional staple in the Asian Pacific, coconut oil has a checkered history in the western world. Once mislabeled as a harmful saturated fat, raw, organic coconut oil is now widely recognized as not only a healthy culinary oil, but also an amazing natural supplement for disease prevention and optimal health.
In The Coconut Oil Miracle, author Bruce Fife states, “Eating coconut oil may be a simple solution to many illnesses we face today. Laboratory tests have shown that the MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) found in coconut oil are effective in destroying the viruses that cause influenza, measles, herpes, mononucleosis, hepatitis C, and AIDS; bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers, throat infections, pneumonia, sinusitis, earache, rheumatic fever, dental cavities, food poisoning, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, and toxic shock syndrome; fungi and yeast that lead to ringworm, candida, and thrush; and parasites that can cause intestinal infections such as giardiasis.
“The marvelous thing about using coconut oil to treat or prevent these conditions is that while coconut oil is deadly to disease-causing microorganisms, it is harmless to humans. The fatty acids that make coconut oil so effective against germs are the same ones nature has put into mother’s milk to protect children. Human breast milk and the milk of other mammals all contain small amounts of MCFAs. This is why butter, which is concentrated milk fat, also contains MCFAs. Breast milk, with its medium-chain fatty acids, protects the newborn baby from harmful germs while its immune system is still developing, its most vulnerable time in life. This is one of the reasons why coconut oil or MCFAs are added to infant formula. A mother who consumes coconut oil will have more MCFAs in her milk to help protect and nourish her baby. If it’s safe enough for a newborn baby, it is safe enough for us. Nature made MCFAs to nourish and protect us against infectious illnesses” (pp. 69–70).
Bruce Fife wrote an earlier book titled Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut. This work is based on what he and a Filipino friend, Porfirio Pallan “Paul” Sorse, found about how coconut helps with many health conditions (using the meat, milk, water, and oil). Fife offers many recipes, formulas, remedies, and suggestions. He discusses how to pick good coconuts and extract meat, milk, water, and oil from them. He also outlines what to look for when buying coconut products. Some of his usage suggestions:
30 Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Everyday Life
- Cooking: Use as a substitute for vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter. For a dipping chocolate, add a little coconut oil to melted chocolate chips. Or use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter in chocolate recipes. Make coconut-lime popcorn by combining coconut oil with a few drops of lime oil and a little honey instead of butter. Fife recommends eating 3 1/2 Tbsp. of coconut oil daily to maintain good health.
- Moisturizer: Slather coconut oil on your body after showering or bathing for silky, smooth skin.
- Hair Conditioner: Coconut oil helps repair damaged hair. Apply 1–2 tsp. of coconut oil to hair (particularly to the ends). Leave in at least 15–30 minutes before shampooing. You can leave also it in overnight.
- Dandruff Treatment: Mix 1 tsp. coconut oil with 3 drops lavender or wintergreen essential oil, and then lightly massage the blend into the scalp. Let sit for a few minutes before shampooing.
- Frizz Tamer: Smooth a tiny bit (1–2 drops) of coconut oil onto ends or lightly over loose strands of hair to help tame frizzy or flyaway tresses.
- Bath Melts: Make some simple bath melts by mixing 1 cup coconut oil with 15–20 drops essential oil. Freeze in a silicone mold. Add a melt to your bathwater to give your skin a moisturizing treatment.
- Shaving Cream: Smooth coconut oil over legs before shaving. It will act as both a shaving cream and after-shave moisturizer.
- Massage Oil: Use coconut oil alone or combine it with another oil such as sweet almond oil (2 parts coconut, 1 part almond) to give the massage oil a little more lubrication, since coconut oil absorbs quickly into the skin. This combination is safe to use on babies.
- Sugar Scrub: Mix coconut oil, brown sugar, and peppermint oil for a refreshing lip or skin scrub. Click here for the recipe.
- Acne: Apply a thin layer of coconut oil, and massage it into the skin after washing your face with soap and water. At first, your complexion may get worse as toxins are expelled from the skin. But if you continue applying coconut oil every morning, your skin will improve significantly.
- Makeup Remover: Dab a cotton ball, makeup remover pad, or cotton swab in coconut oil to easily remove makeup. This works incredibly well for eye makeup (including waterproof eye makeup).
- Toothpaste: Mix a bit of coconut oil with baking soda (and add 1–2 drops peppermint essential oil) to make an all-natural whitening toothpaste. For infants and toddlers, simply use coconut oil alone for a healthy, effective toothpaste that they don’t have to spit out.
- Mouthwash: Mix a little coconut oil with 1 drop lemon, orange, or peppermint essential oil, and swish the mixture around your mouth to help freshen your breath. After several minutes, spit the coconut oil into a garbage can. (Do not spit in the sink, or the oil may clog the pipes.)
- Lip Balm: Dab a cotton swab in coconut oil, and rub it on chapped lips. You can also make a recipe for coconut oil lip balm in a lip balm dispenser to use as a chap stick.
- Sunburn Soother: Gently rub coconut oil over sunburned skin to help sooth and moisturize.
- Sunscreen/Suntan Oil: Rub a layer of coconut oil on all exposed areas of skin, and allow it to soak in before going out into the sun. This helps protect the skin from burning rays and may also help absorb tanning rays.
- Chafe Protection: Use a little coconut oil to soothe chafing.
- Goo-Be-Gone: Mix 1 tsp. coconut oil with 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 drop lemon essential oil. This mixture will help remove sticky residue from any surface, including gum in hair.
- Squeaky Hinges: Apply a little bit of coconut oil to the door hinge.
- Nonstick Garden Tools: Rub your garden tools and lawnmower blades with coconut oil to prevent dirt and grass clippings from sticking to them.
- Surface Polisher: Use coconut oil to polish stainless steel, bronze, leather, furniture, wood, fake plants, etc.
- Wood Conditioner: Rub coconut oil on wooden utensils to help condition them. Add a few drops of lemon essential oil to help sanitize wood cutting boards and utensils.
- Bug Bite Soother: Rub a little coconut oil on bug bites to help soothe the irritation. Fife states that warmed coconut oil will work faster since it penetrates quicker and deeper than cold coconut oil. For convenience, you can also make soothing bug bite sticks.
- Insect Repellent: Combine coconut oil with peppermint oil and rub all over your exposed skin to help keep bugs away.
- Diaper Cream: Rub a little coconut oil on your baby’s sore bottom to reduce inflammation. Works with cloth diapers too.
- Bruises and Minor Burns: Apply something cold (ice for bruises; cold, wet cloth for burns) for 10–15 minutes. Then gently apply a layer of coconut oil. Reapply oil 4–8 times a day, or every couple of hours, until the pain is gone or until healed.
- Dry Nasal Passages: Put a dab of coconut oil in each nostril. Then lie down, and let the oil drain into the sinuses to rehydrate them.
- Excess Ear Wax: Lie down on your side or back. Using an eye dropper filled with warm coconut oil, put several drops into the ear canal. Move your jaw around to work the oil down into the canal. The oil will loosen the ear wax and allow it to move out on its own. Repeat as often as necessary.
- Indigestion: For acute cases of indigestion, take 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil internally. If needed, take 1 Tbsp. again 6 hours later.
- Itchy Skin: Massage warm coconut oil into affected area. Repeat as often as necessary.