Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Tropical Experience

Coconut oil is a good oil for cooking foods at high heat because it has a high smoking point and won’t break down as easily as olive oil. I like the combination of coconut oil with sautéed greens and in soups that I’m adding in coconut milk. I’ve also used it to make organic popcorn on the stovetop and for baking.

Yet, I find that more and more I use it as a personal care product more than as food. It has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties that make it a good choice for the skin. Here are some of the ways I like to use it:

As a skin moisturizer – It makes a great total body moisturizer that’s simple and free from synthetic or toxic ingredients.

A deep conditioner for hair – Work a bit of coconut oil into the hair and cover your head in a warm towel for a deep condition. I like to add a bit into my hair before my hot yoga class and let the heat of the room work its magic in it. Apply shampoo to the hair before adding too much water for best results in getting the oil out afterwards.

Lip Balm – Just rub it in for soft, supple lips. Again, because it’s something edible, you’re not ingesting compounds that might otherwise be found in other lip balms.

Personal Lubricant - It's a simple and effective product to use for intimacy with your partner and free of added anything that may cause sensitivities or allergic reactions.

Oil Pulling – This is an Ayurveda practice that involves swishing oil in your mouth for 10 – 20 minutes, first thing in the morning before consuming food or liquids. Spit the oil out, then follow with a saltwater rinse and/or brushing the teeth with a natural toothpaste. In his book Perfect Health, Deepak Chopra explains that oil pulling can be done “to purify the taste-buds and the entire system.” At first it may sound unappealing, but there are believed to be many benefits to doing this. Here a just a few:

  • It moisturizes and strengthens the gums
  • Removes unwanted bacteria from the mouth
  • It is said to draw toxins out of the body
  • It whitens the teeth naturally

It can also be done with sesame or sunflower oil, or whatever healthy oil you have on hand.

Have you ever tried coconut oil? What are some of your favorite ways to use it?

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