Top 5 Benefits and Uses of Coconut Oil

The use of coconuts have been used in many countries for centuries for both eating raw, cooking and even for its health benefits.  However, over the past few years, it seems that we have begun to see an increase in the use of coconut oil in everything from baking needs to beauty supplies and even in some holistic/medicinal tonics.

While there are many uses for coconuts, including its meat, water and even the tree itself, here are my top 5 benefits and uses of coconut oil.

1.  It is one of the healthier fats.

Coconut oil is a fat, but it contains fats that are actually good for the heart and does not raise cholesterol levels and blood pressure like vegetable oils are known to do.  Almost 90% of the makeup of coconut oil is from saturated fat.  The majority of the saturated fat content is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCT).

MCTs are a healthy fat that you want to include in your daily diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight.  There have been some studies that show that MCTs are good for burning fat, increasing energy and suppressing appetite - which is typically seen in a low carb, high fat, medium protein diets such as Keto.    

Coconut oil has also been touted as helping to heal and treat infections (which is due to its anti-viral, anti-fungal and antimicrobial attributes) and help with different ailments that are viral and bacterial in nature, such as sore throats and even the flu.

2.  It is good for the skin.

If you go to any store and look at some of the ingredients for lotions to moisturize the skin, you will be shocked at all of the different ingredients and chemicals that are you potentially putting on your skin.  REMEMBER:  Your skin is technically an organ.  Whatever you put on your skin can and is potentially absorbed into your body.  So even if you are eating organic foods, if you are using lotions or even shampoos that are full of chemicals, you are still putting toxins in your body, just in a different manner.

If you want to venture out and make your own skin regime, coconut oil makes a great base for making your own soaps and creams.  However, if you are not inclined to make your own, look at the ingredients in the soaps and creams and lotions available in the stores for ones that use coconut oil as their primary ingredient to get still get the benefits of coconut oil.

But you do not need to make any type of soap or cream to reap the benefits of coconut oil.  Coconut oil can be used on the skin directly - no need to melt it.  When put on the skin, it will remind you of putting mineral oil on, so a little bit goes a long way.  You will want to try to rub in as much as possible, but it is an oil, so you will be left with an "oily" look to your skin.

Coconut oils is comprised of at least 50% of lauric acid.  It is the lauric acid  that makes coconut oil great in treating skin issues, namely eczema as it has anti-fungal, antimicrobial and anti-bacterial properties.  (See my most recent post on Managing Eczema the Natural Way on how I used coconut oil to help with my daughter's eczema and contact dermatitis issue.)

3.  You can use it for oil pulling.

Oil pulling is gaining more and more popularity as a way to help "clean" your mouth.  It is believed that by oil pulling for at least 15 minutes every day, it will help to pull toxins out of your body and is good for oral health.

To oil pull, you will want to start off with a teaspoon (you will want to work your way up to a tablespoon) of coconut oil (not melted) and swish it in your mouth for at least 15 minutes.  After that, you can rinse with warm water (or even warm salt water) to get the "oily" taste out of your mouth.  You will still want to floss and brush your teeth like you are normally already doing.

While I have yet to find any formal trial testing that has been done to show that oil pulling is beneficial or not.  But then again, oil pulling has been done in some cultures for hundreds, if not thousands, of years so the probability that there are benefits of oil pulling are pretty good.

4.  Higher smoking index when cooking.

Oils have a smoking index, which means the higher the smoking index, the higher the heat the oil can be used at without releasing any toxins or turning the chemical make up of the oil into something that is no longer considered "safe" to use while cooking.  See my post on Going Paleo: Top 10 Ingredients (#3 ingredient) about more information on what smoking index is and choosing what type of coconut oil to cook with.

5.  Good for dogs.

That's right, coconut oil is also good for your 4 legged family member.  Recent articles that I have seen have shown that coconut oil is good for your dog similar to how it benefits humans.  It has shown to help with skin issues, digestive issues, and even helping overweight dogs to lose weight and gain more energy.  Of course, you will want to speak to your veterinarian before giving your dog coconut oil and if it is safe for cats as I have not seen any articles on giving cats coconut oil.

Are you currently using coconut oil for your health or cooking needs?  If so, I'd like to hear if you have had any health benefits that you have noticed since using coconut oil.



"Health Benefits of Coconut Oil." Organic Facts. Organic Facts, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.

post signature


  1. I just recently started eating more Paleo and have just discovered coconut oil and butter. I am learning how to use and all the great effects it has on the body. Still researching and learning - thank you for sharing. Cathy

  2. I rarely use it. I tried oil pulling and it was NOT successful. But I'd like to use it more in cooking and baking. I just need to get myself focused on doing so.

  3. I just started using it as a makeup remover and I will never buy harsh makeup removers again!


Back to Top