The long list of coconut oil’s benefits are nothing short of a miracle. (Well, not the walk-on-water kind at least.) Coconut oil has been the focus of hundreds of medical studies in the past few years, receiving praise across the globe. The benefits of coconut oil include:
- Improving brain function
- Preventing liver damage
- Curing kidney & urinary tract infections
- Reducing inflammation & arthritis
- Treating & improving eczema, dermatitis, burns and psoriasis
Don’t forget the figurative grain of salt: each of the medical studies consulted while writing this article had unique parameters. That means, the health benefits you might expect to see yourself aren’t guaranteed. Your lifestyle and emotional health play a larger role in maintaining your health and happiness. Also, the amount of coconut oil consumed by participants in these studies is a significant factor in the corresponding health benefits of coconut oil.
Internal Benefits of Coconut Oil
We don’t claim to be doctors. So before you start eating coconut oil by the spoonful to reap its benefits, please do your own research and do what feels right for your own body.
Eating 2 tablespoons (30 ml) [of coconut oil] per day is a reasonable amount that leaves room for other healthy fats in your diet.
—Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
Benefit #1: Treating Urinary Tract Infections
Coconut oil is a natural remedy that’s older than the hills. It can be used to both treat and prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) thanks to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It works as a natural antibiotic, killing bacteria by attacking their lipid coating. Coconut oil is often used as a base in natural lubricants (um, the kind used for love making) due to its natural prevention of UTIs.
Benefit #2: Preventing Liver Damage
While it’s not a panacea to counteract binge drinking or prescription drugs, one benefit of coconut oil is to nourish the liver with good fats. The healthy properties of virgin coconut oil was proven in this study to protect the liver from damage caused by antibiotics widely prescribed by doctors.
You will likely have to consume a higher dose than the rats did.
Benefit #3: Anti-inflammatory Properties
Inflammation in the body can take many forms, usually all of them linked to an over-active immune system: rhumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies. It’s a common occurence in America these days due to diets laden with sugar, wheat, starches and mental stress.
Recipie for Arthritis: Coconut Oil, Nettle & Tumeric Tea
This is my personal twist on Golden Milk which is made from a mixture of tumeric powder.
Serving size: 3 | Prep time: 10-20 min.
- Fresh stinging nettles
Pick them anywhere pesticides & anti-bug sprays aren’t used.
Fill a mug or 12oz. – 16oz. glass with chopped nettles.
Pour boiling water over, and cover. Let steep for 10 minutes as you prepare the next step.
Take a bottle of tumeric powder (usually 2.5oz.) and empty it into a saucepan.
Fill the empty bottle nearly full with water, cover and shake. This picks up any little extra bits of tumeric powder still in the jar. Pour into the saucepan, and set on low heat.
- Coconut Oil
Add 6 tablespoons of coconut oil to the warm saucepan. Or more, if you’d like.
- Save the mixture & dilute
Add the super-strong nettle tea mixture into the saucepan after it’s done steeping.
You now have a very potent base mixture to add to smoothies, almond milk, curry sauces or other creations. I usually add four tablespoons to a large glass of soy/almond milk, but you can vary according to taste.
Benefit #4: Weight Loss
Eating fat can help you lose weight.
This might seem backwards to anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s when ‘low fat’ was printed on loads of packaged sweets and snacks in an effort to make them appear more healthy. In effect, chemicals and additives were traded for good ol’ fat, which ironically resulted in weight gain. The body doesn’t know what to do with newly invented chemicals and preservatives and colors added – so they get stored as fat.
Even WebMD agrees that one benefit of coconut oil is weight loss, with an added bonus of lowering cholesterol. Be careful to consume natural, wholesome foods in your holistic diet. Simply adding coconut oil to your diet most likely won’t suffice.
Benefit #5: Preventing Cancer & HIV
Please keep using condoms. Although the headlines might be catchy, lubricant based on coconut oil will not alone suffice in preventing HIV or other STIs. Don’t be stupid.
However, even though a lot of websites drop words like ‘cancer’ and ‘HIV’ like click bait, there are actually quite a few studies confirming the positive health benefits of coconut oil in preventing cancer due to its ketogenic effect. And for those who have opted to receive chemotherapy treatments, coconut oil can decrease the harsh side effects and symptoms. (See our resources below for more information.)
External Benefits of Coconut Oil
Don’t you just love anything you can eat and smear on your body? If I could also roll it up and smoke it, I think I’d quit my day job and become a door-to-door coconut oil saleswoman.
Benefit #6: Coconut Oil for Hair
The rich, healthy fats of coconut oil can be used to nourish and moisturize your hair. Simply rub a tablespoon of coconut oil between your hands (the warmth will soften and melt it), then massage into your hair and scalp. This is best for dry hair, as coconut oil doesn’t absorb into hair as well as argan oil does.
Our propritary product, Love Your Body, contains coconut oil in its blend of all-natural ingredients. You can use it in lieu of styling gel, and it’s not as heavy as using pure coconut oil on your hair.
Benefit #7: Coconut Oil for Skin
Because it’s not naturally liquid at room temperature, you may have to soften pure coconut oil before applying it to your skin. It’s not only hydrating and moisturizing, but due to its anti-inflammatory property, can be very efficacious in treating psoriasis and dry skin rashes.
Try our wonderfully-scented Love Your Body organic body butter, made with coconut oil and other natural ingredients. No parabens, no alcohol, no crap — just pure love for your body.
Coconut Oil Uses: In Your Hair, Coffee, Cookies & More
If you do follow the recommended intake of two tablespoons of coconut oil per day, you might get bored with how to consume it.
Here are a few suggestions for creative ways to benefit from coconut oil in your diet. If you have any more to suggest, that would be wonderful if you could let us know in a comment below!
Creative ways to ingest coconut oil for internal health benefits:
- Bullet-Proof Coffee
The Italians are outraged, I’m sure, at yet another beautiful thing that Americans have ruined.
Mix one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon coconut oil into your coffee. Add heavy cream as well, and you pretty much have a meal in a cup.
- Chocolate Truffles (Vegan)
Increase the calorie intake of your morning coffee by adding a couple delicious truffles to wash away the buttery coffee taste. Here’s a simple recipe that combines 5 TB cocoa powder, 3 TB coconut oil and 1.5 cups of dates. I’ve seen variations with other sugar substitutes as well.
- Oatmeal & Soups
Anytime you eat something warm, simply add the recommended two tablespoons of coconut oil to it: oatmeal, grits, rice pudding, soup…
Resources & Further Reading on Benefits of Coconut Oil
National Library of Medicine: Most Recent Studies on Coconut Oil
Ketogenic Cleanse Against Cancer Using Coconut Oil: Natural News
Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemotherapy: See Study