At Green Theory, we're interested in healthy lifestyles and doing whatever we can to live better. Many natural products offer solutions to problems in much safer and sometimes are more effective than the standard commercial options. One of our favorite natural products is coconut oil due to it's versatility and effectiveness in so many applications. We've compiled a list of ten great uses for coconut oil that you may have never considered.
1) As a mouthwash/teeth whitener - Also known as oil pulling, coconut oil makes a super effective mouth cleaning agent. Originally practiced in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to help purify the body of toxins, oil pulling has recently gained some popularity in the Western Hemisphere.
To begin take 1 tsp. or so of coconut oil and place it in your mouth. The heat from your mouth will begin to melt the oil and you can begin swishing it around in your mouth. You'll want to do this optimally for 15-20 minutes but, can be done for as little as a few minutes. It might take a few times to get used to the texture but the results you will get from it will be enough to keep trying. A cleaner mouth, fresher breath and whiter teeth are all benefits of oil pulling. Some report a feeling of drained or cleared sinuses and even some relief from allergy symptoms.
Oil pulling works because the oil bonds to bacteria in the mouth and disposes of them when you spit it out. Speaking of spitting it out; you'll want to spit the used oil into a garbage can rather than the sink so as to not clog up drain pipes. After spitting it out, try not to swallow and go right into brushing your teeth or using mouth wash to make sure to get as much bacteria out of your mouth. It should also be noted, oil pulling is a supplement to brushing your teeth, NOT a replacement. Keep brushing.
2) Coffee Creamer - Add a Tbsp. to your coffee as a dairy replacement for an extra boost of energy in the morning. You'll be pleasantly surprised with the smoothness it adds. The MCT's (medium chain triglycerides) in coconut oil add a great fat burning addition to your diet. For kick even beyond the coconut oil, add in a little grass-fed butter as well. It'll keep you feeling full well through lunch.
3) Prolong the Freshness of Eggs - You may think that eggs can last a long time because they come in a protective shell but, that shell is actually porous. Rub a little bit of coconut oil over egg shells to add an extra week or two of freshness to them.
4) Post-Shower Skin Hydration - Lock in moisture after your shower by using coconut oil all over the body as you would body lotion. The coconut oil will hydrate the skin and has a natural SPF in it. If you put it on your feet, be careful to do it after you get out of the tub so you don't go for a slide.
5) Wound Salve - Rub some coconut over wounds to help fight potential infection and speed healing. Coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties while the lauric acid helps cells heal.
6) Natural Shaving Cream - Because coconut oil is skin protective, it makes a great shaving cream. Warm the oil up in your hands and apply to the skin over the region you'd like to shave. Rinse well with warm water after shaving.
7) Insect Repellent - Melt down some coconut oil ahead of time and add a few drops of tea tree, peppermint and rosemary essential oils or citronella for a natural insect repellent without the chemicals that you can feel good about wearing.
8) Natural Hair Conditioner - Melt down some coconut oil or warm up in your hands and run through your hair starting at the ends. Leave it in overnight and wash out in the morning for silky smooth, shiny hair.
There is also a good amount of evidence supporting the fact that coconut oil may be a very effective treatment for hair loss due to its ability to reduce inflammation and penetrate the hair follicle, making it less likely to break. For more information, you can check out this awesome article on coconut oil's hair loss benefits at www.hairlossrevolution.com.
9) Natural Vapor Rub - Mix up some coconut oil with eucalyptus essential oil and apply as you would a vapor rub. It will loosen congestion and increase blood flow making you feel better when you're sick.
10) Natural Deodorant - Coconut oil contains anti-bacterial properties which makes it a great base for a deodorant. Many natural deodorant products, such as Green Theory utilize the amazing benefits of coconut oil in them. For those that shave their armpit, as mentioned above, the coconut oil adds an extra benefit in protecting the skin from razor burn and inflammation. Many commercial deodorants have harmful chemicals in them and so, you can reduce your risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer by using a natural deodorant.