Coconut oil earned a bad rap in the 1970s and 1980s because of its high saturated fat content. As a result, companies started substituting Trans fats, not knowing their impact on everyone’s health. However, coconut oil has made a comeback – big time. Why the switch back, you ask? Because coconut oil has many unknown and all-natural uses.

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While coconut oil is high in saturated fat and we are supposed to be minimizing their consumption in our diet, this product contains lauric acid that converts to monolaurin once in the body – a fat only found in breast milk that creates a better blood cholesterol profile. This makes it a healthier alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Coconut oil has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor and a high smoke point of 351⁰F that makes it perfect for frying, sautéing and baking. Vegans love coconut oil because it is dairy free and can be substituted for butter and even coffee creamer. What is unexpected and quite exciting about coconut oil are the hundreds of other things it can be used for besides cooking.

15 Alternative Uses for Coconut Oil

  1. Smooth some coconut oil on the dry skin of your hands and elbows and watch the cracks and flakes disappear. It is also animal friendly; use it on your dog or cat if they are suffering from a little winter itch.
  2. Lighten age spots by rubbing directly on the affected area.
  3. Coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium, so take a little with your supplements.
  4. Use coconut oil internally or externally to quicken recovery time from Urinary Tract Infections.
  5. Ingestion of coconut oil has been found to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s Disease, as found in a case study done in 2008. Additional research is needed, but the entirety of the study can be viewed here
  6. Apply a small amount of coconut oil for an automatic SPF 4 amount of protection from the sun.
  7. Reduce frizz by rubbing a small amount through your hair.
  8. Mix with equal parts sugar for a fantastic body scrub.
  9. Use as a natural chap stick when applied to lips.
  10. Deep conditioner your hair by applying to dry hair. Let sit for several hours to restore, moisture and soothe the scalp.
  11. Use as an all-natural way to fight athlete’s foot and other foot funguses.
  12. Add coconut oil for an added source of energy. A teaspoon in your tea or an addition with a tablespoon of Chia seeds can boost energy because the oil is not stored as fat.
  13. Use as a bug repellent when mixed with rosemary or mint essential oils.
  14. Rub on the inside of the nostrils to help alleviate allergies.
  15. Use as an all-natural antibacterial ointment for the treatment of acne as well as cuts and scrapes to promote the healing process.

Additionally, some users report that when taken internally, coconut oil fights Candida, boosts hormone production and circulation. Others claim external use has spurred hair growth, slowed the formation of wrinkles, and stopped irritating itches due to poison ivy and eczema.

For external purposes, it is best to use expeller pressed coconut oil while internal purposes call for an unrefined virgin coconut oil. You can pick up a jar of coconut oil at any grocery or big-box store. My grandmother has always suffered from a dry scalp; I can’t wait to see if some coconut oil will help relieve this issue!

Information taken from:

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education
Assisted Living for Dementia
Chicago Senior Services