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Originally published June 12 2009

Twelve Creative Ways to Use Coconut Oil

by Elizabeth Walling, citizen journalist
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(NaturalNews) In the past several years, coconut oil has become a sort of rising star in the world of health food. More and more homes have a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil on their pantry shelf. But coconut oil is more than a healthy cooking alternative. There are endless ways to use coconut oil that extend far beyond the occasional cookie or stir-fry. Here are twelve creative uses for a classic health food:

Colds and Sore Throats - Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help you recover from a cold. Mix it with warm tea and honey for a very soothing throat remedy.

Cuts and Scrapes - Coconut oil can be used as a topical cream for common cuts and scrapes, protecting against infection while conditioning the skin to heal faster. It may also prevent scarring.

Dandruff - Several times per week, coat your fingertips with coconut oil and massage it into your scalp for an easy dandruff cure. This is an effective yet gentle method, suitable for young children or babies with cradle cap, too.

Deodorant - You can use coconut oil by itself as a deodorant that leaves underarms feeling silky soft, or you can add baking soda and cornstarch for advanced odor protection.

Detoxification - There are many methods for detoxifying the body, but coconut oil is unique because it can provide energy while cleansing the body. One popular method is to take 1-2 tablespoon of coconut oil seven times per day for one to seven days to cleanse the body from toxins, impurities and candida.

Fungal Infections - Coconut oil contains strong antifungal agents, and can be used to treat fungal infections like athlete's foot, ringworm, thrush and vaginal yeast infections. You can use it internally and topically for these conditions.

Hair Conditioner - Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to your scalp and hair. Allow it to soak for several minutes and then wash as usual. There is no need to use other conditioners with this method, even after washing with shampoo.

Lip Balm - Lip moisturizers are filled with chemicals, and natural products are often pricey. If you need a moisturizer for your lips, try coconut oil in a commercial lip balm container.

Make-up Remover - Coconut oil is a very effective make-up remover, so you can toss out all the chemical-laden products from the drug store. It's also a natural moisturizer, so it won't cause dryness or irritation.

Skin Conditions - Since coconut oil is moisturizing, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory, it's a great natural remedy for all kinds of skin problems ranging from eczema to acne to diaper rash.

Sun screen - Coconut oil provides effective and natural sun protection without exposing your body to the toxic chemicals and metals in conventional sun block. Coconut oil protects against free radicals, which provides added protection against skin cancer.

Toothpaste - Mix an equal amount of coconut oil and baking soda for an all-natural, fluoride-free toothpaste. Add spearmint or peppermint oil with stevia for a fresh, sweet flavor.

As you can see, there is more to coconut oil that what meets the eye - or the frying pan!

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About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer, specializing in articles about health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent common illnesses. To learn more about nourishing foods, stop by Elizabeth's blog, which explores topics like traditional nutrient-dense foods, lacto-fermentation, cod liver oil, raw and cultured dairy, soaking grains, and much, much more.

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