30 Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Everyday Life

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

  1. 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.
  2. Moisturizer: Slather coconut oil on your body after showering or bathing for silky, smooth skin.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Shaving Cream: Smooth coconut oil over legs before shaving. It will act as both a shaving cream and after-shave moisturizer.
  8. 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.
  9. Sugar Scrub: Mix coconut oil, brown sugar, and peppermint oil for a refreshing lip or skin scrub. Click here for the recipe.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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.
  15. Sunburn Soother: Gently rub coconut oil over sunburned skin to help sooth and moisturize.
  16. 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.
  17. Chafe Protection: Use a little coconut oil to soothe chafing.
  18. 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.
  19. Squeaky Hinges: Apply a little bit of coconut oil to the door hinge.
  20. Nonstick Garden Tools: Rub your garden tools and lawnmower blades with coconut oil to prevent dirt and grass clippings from sticking to them.
  21. Surface Polisher: Use coconut oil to polish stainless steel, bronze, leather, furniture, wood, fake plants, etc.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Insect Repellent: Combine coconut oil with peppermint oil and rub all over your exposed skin to help keep bugs away.
  25. Diaper Cream: Rub a little coconut oil on your baby’s sore bottom to reduce inflammation. Works with cloth diapers too.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Indigestion: For acute cases of indigestion, take 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil internally. If needed, take 1 Tbsp. again 6 hours later.
  30. Itchy Skin: Massage warm coconut oil into affected area. Repeat as often as necessary.

Click here for other ideas that involve coconut oil!

Sources:
The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, N.D.
Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut by Bruce Fife, N.D.

Homemade Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

While some essential oils can be used “neat” (without dilution), many do require dilution, especially when used on children, pregnant women, or people with sensitive skin. The most common way to dilute essential oils is to mix them with fractionated coconut oil. Sometimes this can get a little messy—especially when you’re on-the-go or applying oils to a wiggly child. We found a dilution solution by creating a thickened blend of carrier oils stored in a twist-up container: a dilution stick. This stick contains a formula of carrier oils that are good for sensitive skin and will remain solid at room temperature.

Our dilution stick recipe does not contain essential oils, so it can be used with any essential oil you need at the time. To use the stick, simply twist it up and rub it onto your skin before (or after) applying your essential oils.

If you have a favorite essential oil that you use frequently, you can also add it to the melted liquid before pouring the mixture into your containers. Or you can add the essential oil after pouring the carrier oil mixture into each container. Just be sure to stir the essential oil in with a toothpick or bamboo skewer before the mixture cools. A good dilution ratio is 1–2 drops per .15 oz. (4.25 g) of carrier oil mixture, or the following:

If you love this idea but don’t want to make it, you can always buy the Essential Oil Carrier Oil Stick that is ready to go. A smaller On-The-Go Essential Oil Extender is also available.

The following recipe fills at least 2 dilution sticks—1 large and 1 small. (Or make 1 round one and 2 small ones, or many little ones—any combination of containers totaling 3 oz.) Keep a big one at home and a small one in your purse or travel bag. That way, you’ll always have one when you need it!

Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

  • Servings: Yield=3 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place the mango butter and beeswax in a double boiler on the stove over medium-low heat. You can create a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup (containing the ingredients) in a pan filled with an inch or so of water.
  2. Once the mango butter and beeswax are melted, reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut oil. When the coconut oil is melted, add the sweet almond oil, and remove boiler from heat. Continue stirring until all the oils have melted together.
  3. Make sure your containers are clean and twisted all the way down. Pour the oil into your containers, and allow them to cool. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  4. To use, rub the stick over the skin before applying essential oils.

NOTES:

Other twist-up containers also work, including our Round Twist Tube (2.2 oz/63.4 g) and our Lip Balm Dispensing Tubes (.15 oz/4.25 g). When choosing containers for this recipe, just use as many containers as needed to hold a total of 3 oz.

*Shea butter contains latex (a natural rubber). If you are allergic or sensitive to latex, do a skin patch test before making this recipe with shea butter.

EO Life Hack: Sanitize and Season Wood Kitchenware

Refresh your wood cutting boards and spoons by rubbing a little coconut oil and lemon essential oil on them. The coconut oil helps season the wood, and the antibacterial properties in both the coconut oil and lemon essential oil help sanitize your kitchenware at the same time.

Sore Muscles Salve

Give your sore muscles some relief with this salve. The essential oils in this recipe may not only help soothe muscle pains, but they also create a warming/cooling effect that makes this salve extra special!
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Men’s Essential Oil Body Wash

bodywash2This sudsy body wash smells great and leaves men’s skin feeling healthy and moisturized! This makes a great DIY Father’s Day gift!

 

Men's EO Body Wash

  • Servings: Yield=1 1/4 cups (300 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Measure all ingredients, stir them together, and pour the mixture into the bottle. (Note: There will be a little too much to fit in one 8 oz. bottle. You can either use the extra right away or pour it into another bottle.)
  2. Shake up the bottle to ensure ingredients are mixed thoroughly before each use.
  3. Use in the shower with a wash cloth or loofah.

We liked this essential oil blend, but have fun experimenting with other ones as well!

Coconut Lime Muddie Buddies

Try this awesome twist on traditional muddie buddies! The lime-coconut combination is delicious, and you won’t want to put the bowl down once you try it.

Muddie-Buddies

Coconut Lime Muddie Buddies

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 box toasted rice squares cereal (12 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pour the cereal into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate over the stove in a double boiler. Stir in the coconut oil once the chocolate is almost melted. Remove from stove when the chocolate and coconut oil are fully melted together.
  3. Add lime essential oil and lime juice to the chocolate, and stir together until well incorporated.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal, and stir with a wooden spoon until the cereal is evenly coated.
  5. Pour the mixture into a gallon-size zip-top bag, and add 1 cup of powdered sugar.
  6. Seal the bag, and shake gently to distribute the powdered sugar.
  7. Enjoy right away, or store in an airtight container.

 

 

All About Carrier Oils—FAQs and Information Charts

Because we have had many questions and figure others do too, we decided to dig deep and find the answers about the differences in carrier oils and how to choose one for your needs.

What are carrier oils, and how are they used?

A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels, or the nuts. Carrier oils are used to dilute and “carry” an essential oil into the skin during topical application.

In this article we are going to include oils, butters, glycerin, salts, and soap bases because they can serve similar purposes, even though some aren’t technically carrier oils. We’ve also included information graphics on other ingredients we offer that are commonly found in DIY products such as zinc oxide and citric acid.

What is the difference between essential oils and carrier oils?

“Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from plants (including their respective parts such as seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.)” (Modern Essentials, p. 6). Because essential oils are volatile, they will evaporate when exposed to air.

“A carrier oil refers to a vegetable oil, wax, fat, or other oil that an essential oil is mixed with. The carrier oil ‘carries’ the essential oil and dilutes it so its effects can be spread over a larger area” (Modern Essentials, inside front cover). As mentioned above, carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant. Carrier oils do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils.

Can carrier oils go bad?

Yes. Because carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant, they often contain essential fatty acids that, although very beneficial to our body, also contribute to a short shelf life. Because carrier oils vary in their ratio and the specific essential fatty acids they contain, their shelf life also varies. The level of natural fatty acids, tocopherols (vitamin E compounds found in many carrier oils), method of extraction, and other characteristics of an oil can all affect how quickly it becomes rancid.

How can you tell if a carrier oil is rancid?

Carrier oils, in general, should have a soft aroma. If you find your carrier oil has a strong, bitter aroma, it has likely gone rancid. The best way to tell is to compare the odor with the odor of the same carrier oil that is fresh.

How do I store my carrier oils?

Most carrier oils (avocado oil excluded) can be stored in the refrigerator to prolong shelf life. Some oils stored in the refrigerator may solidify or become cloudy and need to be returned to room temperature prior to use. Avocado oil should never be stored in the refrigerator because it contains many important, fragile constituents that can be affected by lower temperatures.

Some carrier oils that are less fragile and have a longer shelf can be stored at a cool room temperature.

How do I use the solid butters?

Our butters are solid at room temperature, so you will need to break off chunks and heat them up to get the measurements you need. The best way to melt the butters is to use a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create one by placing the butter in a glass dish over a pan with an inch of boiling water. It is important to use low heat for most carrier oils and butter so you don’t alter their constituents. Do not microwave carrier oils or butters.

Shea butter, however, can become gritty if not melted and cooled properly. Heat shea butter to at least 175º F for at least 20 minutes. If possible, let it cool in the refrigerator. After it is cooled, store your shea butter at room temperature.

How can I use carrier oils?

Carrier oils can be used in many ways. One of the most common ways is to mix an essential oil and a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, etc.) in a roll-on bottle. This can be an easy way to apply a diluted essential oil topically. Vegetable glycerin, Castile soap, or Epsom salts can act as an emulsifier to help disperse essential oils through other ingredients such as water. Epsom salts are commonly used as bath salts and can be a great way to disperse essential oils throughout a bath. Many of the carrier oils and butters can be used to make lotions, creams, lip balms, massage blends, soap products, body care products, candles, diffusers, air fresheners, sprays, and various other products.

General Safety Information

Use caution when trying any new ingredient, including carrier oils, on the skin or in the hair. Those with nut allergies should consult their medical practitioner before coming into contact with nut oils, butters, or other nut products. Also, latex (a natural rubber) is a natural constituent of shea butter. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to latex, avoid shea butter or perform a skin-patch test prior to use. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

What carrier oils does AromaTools™ offer?

AromaTools® offers the following carrier oils:

Information Charts

For more information about each carrier oil and how it can be used, click on an image below to enlarge.

Homemade Chest and Throat Salve

Be prepared for the cold winter months with this Homemade Chest and Throat Salve! This salve incorporates pure essential oils that have been studied for their abilities to help support clear breathing and help strengthen the immune system. Just rub this salve on the chest and on the bottoms of the feet, cover the feet with socks, and breathe a little easier this winter!

AT_ChestSalve

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Cooling Aloe Vera Peppermint Lotion

Are you sunburned or just feeling hot this summer?  Try this lotion recipe to cool off after being in the heat—you will love how it feels! Since coconut oil and peppermint essential oil have demonstrated a low level of SPF protection during testing1, you may even use it to help prevent a sunburn.

Cooling Aloe Vera Peppermint Lotion

Cooling Aloe Vera Peppermint Lotion

  • Servings: Yield = 1 1/4 cups of lotion
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place the beeswax in a medium-size glass dish. Melt in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan filled with an inch of simmering water (creating a double boiler). Heat until almost completely melted.
  2. Add the coconut oil to the beeswax, and finish melting.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature (about an hour). NOTE: You can wrap the glass dish in a towel and place it in the refrigerator (35–45 minutes) or freezer (10–15 minutes) to speed up the cooling process.
    Note: Some glass dishes can break if the temperature change is too drastic. Use caution. Wrap a towel around and under the dish; then let it cool first in the fridge before placing it in the freezer. The towel keeps the glass from touching anything really cold.
  4. Once cool, add the aloe vera gel and peppermint oil, and mix together with a handheld or stand electric mixer for a few minutes until well incorporated and fluffy.
  5. Place lotion in a 12 oz PET Jar or other wide-mouth jar.
  6. Store at room temperature (65–72 degrees) or in a refrigerator. Coconut oil turns to a liquid state at 76 degrees Fahrenheit and your lotion will become very runny.

This recipe was adapted from GI 365 | Gourmet Innovations.2


Sources:
1In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/)
2GI 365 | Gourmet Innovations (http://gi365.info/lifestyle/cooling-aloe-mint-body-lotion/)

See Modern Essentials: Soothing Insect Bites and Stings

It’s summertime, and the insects are out and likely to bite. Learn which essential oils to keep on hand to help soothe bites and stings.

Soothing Bug Bites

The following information comes from the book Modern Essentials.

The information on this page is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be used to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injury. Seek professional medical attention if you appear to have any disease, illness, or injury.

Some of the best oils to have on hand for dealing with insect bites and stings include thyme, basil, lemon, cinnamon, and lavender.

Bee and Hornet Stings: Roman chamomile, basil, Cleansing Blend, lavender, lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, or thyme. Recipe: Remove the stinger, and apply a cold compress of Roman chamomile to the area for several hours or for as long as possible.

Simple Solutions—Bee Sting: Combine 2 drops roman chamomile with 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) baking soda and a few drops of water to make a paste. Scrape stinger from skin if still there, and apply paste on location. Cover with a cool damp cloth; hold on location for 5–10 minutes.

Gnats and Midges: Lavender or thyme. Recipe: Mix 3 drops thyme in 1 tsp. cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to bites to stop irritation.

Mosquitos: Lavender or helichrysum. (See recipe below for a creative way to soothe mosquito bites.)

Spiders: basil, Cleansing Blend (with melaleuca), lavender, lemongrass, lemon, peppermint, or thyme. Recipe: Mix 3 drops lavender and 2 drops Roman chamomile with 1 tsp. alcohol. Apply to area three times per day.

Ticks: After getting the tick out, apply 1 drop lavender every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.

Removing Ticks:
Do not apply mineral oil, Vaseline, or anything else to remove the tick, as this may cause the tick to inject spirochetes into the wound.
Be sure to remove the entire tick. Get as close to the mouth as possible, and firmly tug on the tick until it releases its grip. Don’t twist. If available, use a magnifying glass to make sure that you have removed the entire tick.
Save the tick in a jar, and label it with the date, where you were bitten on your body, and the location or address where you were bitten for proper identification by your doctor, especially if you develop any symptoms.
Do not handle the tick.
Wash hands immediately.
Check the site of the bite occasionally to see if any rash develops. If it does, seek medical advice promptly.

Wasps: Recipe: Combine 1 drop basil, 2 drops Roman chamomile, 2 drops lavender, and 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar. Apply to area three times a day.

Source: Modern Essentials, Eighth Edition, pp. 230–231 (“Bites/Stings”).

The information above is an abridgment from the Modern Essentials “Personal Usage Guide” section by AromaTools®. This information has been designed to help educate the reader in regard to the subject matter covered. This information is provided with the understanding that the publisher, the authors, and AromaTools® are not liable for the misconception or misuse of the information provided. It is not provided in order to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. The authors, publisher, and AromaTools® shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this information. The information presented is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult a qualified health care professional.

Soothing Bug Bite Sticks

The following recipe is great for soothing annoying mosquito bites and will probably work on other bites as well. These cold coconut oil sticks are perfect for children because they give them something to do instead of itch the bites and make them worse. If desired, these coconut oil sticks can also work as chapstick!

Bug Bite Sticks

Soothing Bug Bite Sticks

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients and Materials Needed:

Instructions:

  1. Place coconut oil in a small glass jar with a lid. Warm by running hot water over the jar until the coconut oil becomes liquid. If using the beeswax, you will need to heat the oils in the microwave or in a glass dish set in a pan of simmering water (creating a double boiler).
  2. Add lavender essential oil, and mix together.
  3. Pour into lip balm or travel deodorant containers, and place in the refrigerator or freezer until solid.
  4. To apply, simply twist the bottom of the tube to push the coconut oil out and rub on the bite.

Store in the refrigerator when not in use. Coconut oil remains solid below 76˚F.

Updated 07/19/2017