The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil


If you’ve been around the real food community much, you’ve heard many references to the benefits of coconut oil. Once ostracized by the medical community for it’s saturated fat content, it seems that coconut oil might finally be making a comeback in the mainstream health community.

Coconut oil is the most nutrient dense part of the coconut. It is solid at room temperature like butter. It doesn’t break down in heat or light or become rancid like many oils, and in my opinion has a wonderful tropical smell.

It is a wonderful way to increase the amount of healthy fats in your diet, and is helpful in assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.

For years, “health” advice has warned against consuming saturated fats, and coconut oil has gotten thrown out with the rest without good reason!

The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconuts are an excellent source of nutrition and have healthful meat, juice, and oil. The oil is arguably the most nutritious and has many health benefits. Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals.

Coconut oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits.

Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)

Most of the fats we consume are long chain fatty acids that must be broken down before they can be absorbed. Coconut oil is high in short and medium chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and sent right to the liver for energy production.

Because MCFAs are sent right to the liver for digestion, no bile or pancreatic enzymes are needed for digestion, making coconut oil a healthy food even for those with diabetes or those who have gallbladder problems.

MCFAs can help increase metabolism since they are sent directly to the liver and give the body an instant source of energy. Most of the MCFAs  in coconut oil are the highly beneficial Lauric Acid.

Lauric Acid

Lauric acid is found in abundance in human breast milk and converts to a substance called monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has been shown to be useful in increasing immunity and fighting viruses and disease.

Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil, has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacteria than antibiotics. Lauric acid has also been shown to be preventative against some cancers.

Coconut Oil is over 40% lauric acid, the richest source naturally available.

What About The Saturated Fat?

If you are still concerned about saturated fat, consider taking a second look. Even if you still avoid/limit saturated fats, it is important to note that not all saturated fats behave the same way in the body. Coconut oil, due to its high lauric acid content, is actually beneficial to the body.

It is also fascinating to note that countries like Thailand eat very high amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and lard, and have very low levels of disease on average.

In fact, people consuming a traditional diet in Thailand have less instance of heart disease and the lowest rates of cancer for all 50 countries studied by the World Health Organization. Diabetes is TEN times more frequent in the United States that in Thailand, despite (or perhaps because of) their high fat consumption.

What do they Thai people eat? A large part of their diet consists of coconut, fermented foods, meat, a variety of vegetables, and rice. If you’ve ever tasted Thai food, you know that they also have bold taste in seasonings and make use of potent herbs and spices like curry, lemongrass, basil, and chilis.

Overall, the Thai people consume very little soy, except for fermented condiments.

Their living conditions are considered to be less sanitary and more difficult, so these factors cannot account for the lower instance of disease.

Other countries, including some in the Mediterranean, show similar trends, even with high consumption of saturated fat. Even here, saturated fat is getting a second look from the medical community.

Does Saturated Fat Cause Heart Disease?

This has been the refrain for the last several decades, but history doesn’t back it up. As I have discussed before, there really is no scientific backing to the idea, and in fact, the lipid hypothesis has been largely discredited.

Think about it: Currently, coronary heart disease and related problems are the number one cause of death in the United States. The field of cardiology didn’t even exist prior to 1940, and there has been a 60 fold increase in cardiologists since that time.

Also, coconut oil and other saturated fats were phased out since that time, and has been replaced with “healthy” vegetable and seed oils.

You’d think with all those specialists and the move away from saturated fats , we’d be seeing less heart disease…. except, we aren’t. In fact, rates of heart disease have risen despite doctors best attempts to get us to eat low-fat whole grain diets low in saturated fats (or perhaps because of this).

Saturated fats are necessary for cell function and growth, and have been linked to increased health and even weight loss. Coconut oil is an all-star among saturated fats with many benefits beyond its strict nutritional content.

Over 1/3 of the world’s population depends on coconut for food, and if you haven’t already, you should consider incorporating coconut oil into your diet!

The Many Ways To Use Coconut Oil

If you haven’t already started using coconut oil, there are many ways that you can get this nutrient packed powerhouse into your diet/lifestyle:

  1. In Cooking: Coconut oil is a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. It is great for cooking eggs, stir fries, grain free baked goods, and practically any other cooking use.
  2. Skin Lotion: Coconut oil is without question my favorite body lotion. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily feeling at all. It makes skin incredibly silky and has wonderful antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. I use it after showering, and on my hands after washing each time I change diapers or do dishes. My hands don’t ever get dry, even in winter. If you want to get really creative, add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil for scent.
  3. In Smoothies: It’s sweet and nutty taste makes coconut oil a great addition to smoothies. It creates a wonderfully creamy texture and makes smoothies rich and smooth.  It also adds a bounty of nutrients and a big dose of healthy fats.
  4. Homemade Mayo: If you’ve never made your own mayonnaise, try it today!  Making mayo is really simple and the taste of homemade mayo beats store-bought versions hands down. By making mayo with a mix of coconut and olive oils, you get a great dose of saturated and monounsaturated fats without the additives and artificial ingredients.
  5. Great Snacks: Because it is so filling and nutrient dense, coconut oil is a great addition (or base) for healthy snacks. These Chocolate Coconut Clusters are a favorite at my house, and I feel good knowing my kids are getting immune and brain boosting lauric acid! Since coconut oil is solid at cold temperatures, it is great for making no bake cookies and desserts in the fridge or freezer.
  6. Eye Make Up Remover: Coconut oil is an excellent eye-make up remover that has been reported to help remove wrinkles and help restore elasticity to the skin. Did I mention it also smells great?
  7. Dandruff Remedy and Hair Conditioner: Coconut oil can effectively get rid of dandruff when rubbed into the scalp a couple times a week. It does make hair oily, of course, but I recommend massaging into the scalp before bed and leaving in overnight before rinsing out in the morning. It also helps strengthen hair and add shine.
  8. For Shaving: Using coconut oil in the shower as a shaving soap gives a smooth shave with no irritation (speaking from a woman’s perspective here, don’t know about how it would work for guys). I usually rub on before getting in the shower and then shave in the shower. It doesn’t wash off and moisturizes legs while getting them silky!
  9. Massage Oil: Coconut oil makes a great tropical smelling massage oil. In the rare occasions I can talk my husband into a shoulder massage, coconut oil is definitely my choice.
  10. In Coffee or Tea: As strange as this might sounds, melting a teaspoon or so of coconut oil in a hot beverage is an easy way to get extra coconut in for the health benefits. I usually add a little to some green tea or herbal tea in the morning. It does take a little getting used to, and is certainly not for everyone, but I like it!

What Can’t Coconut Oil Do?

Still working on this one! As if all the above uses weren’t enough, studies have linked coconut oil to the following health benefits:

  • High lauric acid content can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It doesn’t increase LDL and helps keep arteries flexible and prevent atherosclerosis
  • Studies show that coconut oil may help increase thyroid health because of its unique combination of nourishing properties and the fact that it travels directly to the liver without the need for hormones or enzymes in digestion
  • Coconut oil can help boost metabolism. Since it travels directly to the liver, it is used for energy and not stored as fat. It also helps a feeling of satiety and can assist in weight loss.
  • Can increase bone strength by allowing better absorption of calcium, vitamin D, and other minerals
  • It’s antifungal properties have been shown to help reduce candida and yeast in the body and fight yeast infections
  • Can help fight infection and flu due to its antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties

So what’s your opinion? Already a coconut oil user? Still against saturated fats altogether? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I try to pass the good word about coconut oil and how healthy it is. I use it for cooking, as a hair conditioner, in homemade deodorant, and have recently began eating more of it to be healthier and to hopefully lose some weight. Thanks for your article.

    •  This article refers to the ‘staph virus’.  Staphylococcus is a bacteria, not a virus.  This is fairly common knowledge; I’m definitely no scientist and I know it.  Makes me wonder what other misinformation is in this article…  

      • Cancer is not a fungus either. We “know” this from the American Cancer Society and the AMA and yet, the Mayo Clinic recently determined that pancreatic cancer is, in fact, a fungus. My personal belief is that someday even the AMA will have to recognize that all cancer is a fungus. Check out the wonderful lifetime work of Doug Kaufmann. Still dubious? Google “cancer as a fungus” & read about the wonderful CURES being accomplished when cancer is treated as a fungus. Coconut oil is a natural antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant. This is a cure not a pharmaceutical management system for symptoms. Be well & happy, Claire & question what we’ve always done, that hasn’t worked, instead of what we haven’t done that just may work. Bless you and yours!

      • No it doesn’t say staph is a virus, if you read back you’ll see it says exactly this: “Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil, has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacteria than antibiotics.”

      • Claire…although I doubt that you actually are concerned about being correct or the writer being incorrect enough to return to this site, I would like to say that Claire was obviously looking so hard to find fault with Coconut Oil that she found a problem that didn’t even exist. I read through the article more than three times and saw nothing of reference to Staph as a “virus”. This is a great and well read and researched article with nothing but fact. Thank you for writing it!

      • it really doesn’t matter if staph is a virus or a bacteria…why?
        because coconut oil treats both …which is something antibiotics doesn’t do

        the other good thing about coconut oil…it kills the bad things in your body but not the good… unlike antibiotics which kill off the “good guys” in your gut and that leads to yeast build up…

        you do know you can get yeast infections inside your body, not just your lady bits..yes that sounds sarcastic..because it is…

        but there are people out there that genuinely don’t know… and one of the huge problems with taking antibiotics is you can end up suffering with all kinds of vague symptoms later on and doctors will end up thinking you are a hypochondriac and making it up… when in fact you might just have a yeast infection inside of you

      • It was mentioned as staph bacteria and not virus. You were wrong, please read again! Thank you.

      • It clearly states staph bacteria in bold bright green letters.xo

    • I am fairly new to coconut oil, and a poor college student. Is using cheap coconut oil (ex: Kroger brand) better than not using it at all or if that is my only option should I avoid it?

      • If you can purchase the coconuts you can make it yourself. There are loads of YouTube videos demonstrating the process, but beware of those that say to boil the coconut flesh after blending. If it’s cold press it is fine to use and more effective that which has been refined through heating. Some brands say organic, but does not mean cold pressed.

  2. LOOOVE it! thanks for all the information.

  3. A few questions 🙂

    Does coconut oil have a strong coconut taste?? I have tried over the years and I just do not like the coconut taste so I’m scared to try it for cooking for fear my eggs will taste like coconuts!

    How do you use it as a lotion – sounds fabulous. I know it’s in the solid state, are you just rubbing from the solid state onto your hands?

    • I’m not sure if any1 answered this for you but It doesnt taste like coconut. I dont eat coconut but I LOVE coconut oil. It melts at room temperature.

      • I beg to differ because it does have a bit of a coconut taste. I’ve tried many times to get used to the taste, most recently making Bulletproof Coffee, but I have a lot of trouble with the taste. I think it would be ok in smoothies or other foods in which you would expect a sweeter taste, but it’s definitely an acquired taste.

        It does feel good as a moisturizer/body lotion, although it smells like sun tan lotion, LOL (not bad). Just scoop a small bit (start with maybe 1/2 tsp, on your hands and arms. A little goes a long way.

        I haven’t tried it on my hair, yet, but I might this weekend as it’s time to re-color those roots! I figure it’s a good time to try this.

        • I just tried Louana pure coconut oil , and it doesn’t taste like coconut. However it’s 100% pure , not virgin so I don’t know what the difference is. I also get thrush regularly, do to the steriods in My inhalers for My Asthma. I did the pulling for 15 minutes. And My teeth are whiter, and My sore throat is gone. Works for me.

          • I’ve been pulling/swishing w/coconut oil for the past 8 months and my dental hygienist says that my gums have never looked healthier.

    • yeah, it will melt in your hands and you can just rub it into your skin.

    • Only the refined (less beneficial) coconut oil does NOT tasted like coconuts. That sort of defeats the purpose in my opinion. The virgin organic has a strong flavor, and even though I like coconut, it’s a little much for me. Doesn’t matter – it has helped me in so many ways that it is a small sacrifice and I will continue to use it for as long as I can.

      • That’s not true. I only buy virgin organic (different brands) but while it does smell like delicious coconut, it does Not taste like coconut. And certainly nothing near the flavor of what people associate with coconut (things with added sugar or “coconut” flavored/artificial). The taste is super mild and what’s more difficult to deal with is the texture (if you’re pulling). My opinion is not the end all but myself, my child, and my friends all use it and agree on the lack of flavor.

    • It depends on what type you get. I buy the unrefined organic, which DOES taste like coconut. Not strong, but you can definitely taste it.

    • I have found the unrefined coconut oil tastes of coconut and the refined coconut oil doesn’t. Saying that best results are achieved by using unrefined more natural oil.
      I don’t know how effective refined would be. However you can buy coconut oil capsules which would deal with that problem but you may need to take quite large amounts for best results.

    • I use refined coconut oil for my cooking, skin and hair which doesn’t have a scent or coconut taste, for drinking, I use unrefined/pure/ Virgin coconut oil in my tea, hope this helps 🙂

  4. love it 🙂 we use coconut for everything. (my hubby is a celiac & allergic to casein and i think my son is allergic to dairy). it’s the best! and it is so fabulous in eggs – doesn’t make it too coconut-y – i think it actually makes them sweet!

  5. Is there a specific brand of coconut oil lotion or recipe you use to make your own?

    • I make my own with a combination of coconut oil, cocoa butter and
      shea butter. I’m hoping to post the actual recipe soon!

  6. Great Site. I have two questions for you:
    1) What is the best way to store coconut oil (fridge or in my pantry with other oils)?
    2) Should you use different coconut oils for cooking vs eating raw? I have read to not use virgin cold pressed in cooking.


    • i know coconut oil can go bad if you constantly dip your fingers in it… i found this interesting… most likely from being open too long

      real coconut can also go bad even though it is such a powerhouse for healing, soon to be ex hubby bought one for the kids and cut it open and stored it in the fridge and the kids lost interest because it was too intense a flavor..and it went bad

      i keep my oil out where i can reach it for cooking and i try to avoid double dipping if i have licked the spoon lol

      for using on skin take a small amount from a spoon and then eat the rest after if i took too much

      not sure what you read for the “I have read to not use virgin cold pressed in cooking.”
      i only buy cold pressed and or virgin/bio etc… problem is that the industry/government doesnt regulate it as much as other types of oils

      i cook with it, bake, add it to coffee but the best is hot chocolate! it doesnt fully mix and will sometimes collect the chocolate in oil balls and it looks like a mini universe in your cup!

  7. I discovered the joy of coconut oil in January and now use it in place of butter or vegetable oil in the different variety of cupcakes I bake. And, on the recommendation of the authors of the vegan cookbook “Baby Cakes,” I use a tablespoon or two of coconut flour in all of my frosting recipes. Smooth and delicious.

    • Does this make the topping taste like coconuts? I’m one of those people that do not like the taste of coconuts. I think it’s from growing up and my mom made cakes and cookies with the white ground up coconut. Once I get something in my head I can’t get it out. It may be delicious if someone made what you do and never told me. I sound like a child but I’m 59 years old. I do use it for my hair to sleep in and before I get in the shower I dry brush myself to get that awful dry skin from my diabetes and my thyroid. That skin makes u look so old if you don’t keep it moisturized. That such an inexpensive way to use for all those beauty needs. It seems like my cream is out within a week and I’m on disability so I don’t have money to buy weekly. I guess I could always mix with an essential oil of some type to make a beautiful aroma that blends well. From everything I’m reading coconut oil is really the best for me in so many ways nutritionally with my thyroid, leaky gut, and weight issues. I also heard it’s great for your mouth but I don’t know I can keep it in my mouth 20 minutes before spitting it out. Suzanne somers doctors gave a detox with it and it sounds like that would be beneficial. I don’t know if it was you or someone that said they also have it in capsules for people that don’t care for taste for only certain uses. I would so appreciate it if you would let me know how your icing tastes. I am supposed to cut down on sweets but this I could eat with no guilt. Thanks again for postin

  8. Hi Katie, 
    Thanks for this great article (again). I wanted to ask you whether you think that coconut flakes (organic, unsweetened, basically just dried coconut) is a good substitute for the coconut oil? Would just help me if I could vary the ways in which I consume coconut, and those flakes are delicious too. Thanks a lot for your reply!

    • They are still great and a good source of protein and fiber, but don’t have the same antibacterial and immune/metabolism boosting properties as the oil, unfortunately.

    • i add in dried coconut flakes and chips to non sugared trail mix and keep that on me so i always have a snack

      it doesnt substitute but it is a great additive to the regime

  9. I use coconut oil as lotion. I don’t mix it with anything. I just rub it on my skin, straight from the container. Since it’s summer time, the oil is in the liquid state right now. But in the colder months, it is always in the solid state. If it’s solid, I just put a chunk of it in my hand and rub it for a few seconds until it becomes liquid so I can spread it like lotion. I also use it in my hair as a leave-in conditioner. We always store it at room temperature. When we cook with it, I don’t notice a coconut taste at all.  I think this stuff is just the best!

  10. Can you be allergic or sensitive to coconut oil? I really don’t react well to coconut and was wondering if coconut oil would be ok for me or would you suggest to stay away?

    • It would depend in what specifically in the coconut you were allergic to but I’d definitely be careful if you’ve had reactions in the past

    • Coconut oil can give you detox effects. The oil is very effective against yeast but yeast gives off toxins upon death and if you have an overgrowth it’s possible to feel some effects.

    • my dad is allergic to coconut but he doesn’t get a reaction form coconut oil. Before you consume any, test it on your skin to see if you will get a reaction.

      • I seem to do fine with coc oil but got all stuffed up immediately after consuming coc meat. How do you test it on skin?

    • from what i have heard there are two types of coconut allergies… topical and internal
      some have one or the other and very rarely is it both
      allergies to coconut is rare in general but does happen

      the detox symptoms can be hell depending on how your health has been

      for me i went through two weeks of detox symptoms and i thought i had a flare up or cold but it was mild enough..just really annoying

      now that i am taking coconut oil AND red palm oil the detox symptoms are very strong and some days i take an antihistamine to stop allergic reactions

      for me it isnt so much an allergic reaction to the coconut or the red palm oil but to the crud that has been stored up and leaving my body

      the reason i can tell the difference is because i have had the same experience in the past with other detox programs… yay for autoimmune disorders *eye roll*

  11. MY parents have been into  coconut oil for the past 8 years and they use it for everything.  My Mother has even lost some weight since she has been eating it.  I have just got into it and I have made some coconut lotion that I love.   My brother made some infant formula out of the coconut oil, milk, rice cereal and liquid vitamins.  Coconut oil rocks!!

  12. It’s excellent for Psoriasis!

  13. Does it have to be organic coconut oil?

      • That’s what im trying to research. Why unrined? All i can find in are small town is Spectrum Organic Refined. The cost of it online because of shipping cost too is just more the i can afford. So i have no choose but to use are cheap brand. What benefits em i missing out on and does Refined us chemical extraction?

  14. Any brand recommendations? I know a lot of people use tropical traditions, I have never tried it but hope when the gallons go on sale I can get one. I just got Dr Brommers and its so much better than Trader Joes brand. I have tried Spectrum but now realize its not virgin.

    • I’m personally a Tropical Traditions fan, just because I notice such a difference in the quality, but I’ve heard Dr. Bronners is pretty good too…

    • Our Costco (in Texas) just started carrying coconut oil – Carrington Farms, 54 oz., Pure Unrefined Cold Pressed 100% Organic Extra Virgin!! Sorry I don’t have the price–I’m sure it was pretty good–Costco, ya know. And it tastes good, I like it.

      • The Garlington brand Coconut Oil carried by Costco is $15.97 for a HUGE jar, like 54 oz. I use about 2 jars a month because in addition to all mentioned uses, I feed 2 tbsp. a day to my 85 lb. German Shepherd. It has helped with his energy and reduced his shedding a bit. Most of all, I do it for his health. I take it internally and externally. I’m 63 and it has erradicated all of my age spots. My hands now look 21! I also use it for personal lubricant and do believe it has helped with my hormone shortage. I cannot take any form of estrogen because I had estrogen/progesterone sensitive breast cancer 16 years ago. And, yes, I’m healed from Stage 3 cancer with no chemo/radiation. Since I’ve been using it I’ve had no yeast flare-ups and I’ve suffered with chronic mucocotaneous candidiasis all of my life. I always keep as much spare coconut oil as I can afford because I cannot afford to be without it!

        • good for you! keep going strong!

        • Did the coconut oil help with your cancer?

  15. Previously, I had used coconut oil daily as a skin moisturizer but after using it a few weeks it gave my skin a funny plastic look. It accentuated lines and wrinkles. I am using avocado oil now but I am wondering what caused this as most people seem to love coconut oil as a moisturizer.

    • maybe it’s your skin type, that crazy stuff happens.

    • Did you use pure coconut oil, or was it an ingredient of a moisturizer? I use pure coconut oil for my elbows (melt a heaping tablespoon full in a bath) and have never had issues.

  16. use it all the time in our house, love it!! i even throw a table spoon of it in the bath tub water and let it melt before putting my son in the water, makes his hair and skin so soft!!!

  17. that is very cool, i’m so tryin this.

  18. I use coconut oil for everything. Removing make up, cooking, deodorant, moisturizer, i eat one teaspoon in morning. I can’t live with out it.

  19. I LOVE coconut oil as a moisturizer and makeup remover. I cook with it too but hadn’t thought of making smoothies or using it as a shave cream, thanks for the great ideas!

  20. Liquid or solid form? It comes in either, correct?

    • The really good stuff (organic, virgin, etc) will be solid at 76 degrees and liquid at anything warmer than that…

  21. I use coconut oil for my dogs skin allergies. I add it to his food and he had a much better Aug and Sept than he usually does when allergies are at their worst. I add the oil to my coffee, tea and smoothies for immune boost. Many benefits..

  22. Hi, I have read a bit about coconut oil today. Interesting. I have PCOS, IBS, Asthma, Rosacea and recently been diagnosed with wheat/gluten intolerance. I am over weight and 45 Yrs old. I can’t find any details anywhere as to how much I should consume each day. Would love to know what you sugest.

    • I personally take (and suggest) 1/4 cup or more a day. I blend it in to hot coffee or tea and use in cooking.

    • The coconut books I have say to start with one tablespoon twice a day and work your way up. You can mix it in with something else til you get used to it but I put a tablespoon of it in hot water, add a little bit of honey and drink it down. Some people like the taste well enough to do without the honey but I think it makes it taste better!

      • That’s what one of Suzanne Somers books says to do. She has a book I just read where she interviews several doctors and that was a suggestion only with stevia. I think when I can afford it I will buy that really good raw honey that is so good for you because I don’t like the stevia.

  23. Could you substitute the vegetable oil in the fryer with coconut oil? I know this site is all about eating healthy, but I love frying my food lol

      • That information just made my life about a million times better!

    • I heard that this is what you should be using because we do need fat and that is on the good fat list. If I read it right. Maybe someone can let us know.

  24. Try saute’ing it with onions, peppers, zuchinni and mushrooms in scrambles eggs! To die for…I love the coconut flavor!

  25. I so love coconut oil. I use it for everything. I’m a 15 yr old health freak, i really dont want disease as an elderly person . You’ve got to start young to stay healthy for your entire life!

  26. thanks for the health benefits…. I so love coconut oil. I use it for everything. I’m a 15 yr old health freak, i really dont want disease as an elderly person . You’ve got to start young to stay healthy for your entire life!

  27. I use it as an all over face and body moisturizer and love it! I don’t feel greasy like with other lotions and my skin can breathe with it on too, which I really like since I get so hot in the shower and it doesn’t sweat off like lotion.

  28. I started using coconut oil to “wash” my face about a month ago. Just rub it in while your face is dry, steam it with a hot washcloth(although you don’t have to), and rinse. I have fair, sensitive skin that is also acne prone & my skin is so much clearer now. I’m 35 & have had issues with acnr since puberty. I haven’t cooked with it yet.

  29. Hi! I’m feeling rather ignorant right now in my change over to natural products. It says coconut oil helps with dandruff… so I’ve noticed that the switch to natural shampoo literally means I wash my hair twice a week with the addition of dry shampoo (bless you for that– it’s a life saver!). However, on wash days, I’ve noticed my head gets a little dandruff. My hair looks amazing (after 3 weeks, 6 washes), and the dandruff is starting to go down…could it be from using cornstarch instead of arrowroot? I did purchase some arrowroot last night to make deodorant…Anyway, I rubbed the coconut oil into my head the night before my last washing because I was itchy. It did help some, with the itching. So I was going to do it again before I wash on Friday. Could it also be that I should use more coconut milk in my shampoo and less Dr. Bronners? (your recipe, which I love!) More oil? I appreciate all your info. I now have most of my personal products home made, and I love them!

  30. I just started using coconut oil and found this post while looking for a homemade shampoo recipe. I bought it as a facial moisturizer, but the food grade virgin oil was what was on sale, so I got that. I decided to try some left on the spoon after rubbing on my face and was delighted. I even tried some in my coffee this afternoon, before I found your blog! It is great to see all of the uses, including “oil pulling,” which I would like to try soon.

  31. I use it for most of those ways listed in this article but I also use it in another way that wasn’t mentioned. I use it for oil pulling, meaning I swish with it for 20 min every morning before eating and what it does, is pull the bacteria and toxins that are found in the mouth and blood stream. My teeth have gotten whiter and my canker sores leave quickly.

    • I saw that on dr oz today and she said the same exact thing. I just don’t know about 20 minutes

  32. I like coconut oil, but I’ve been noticing that when I use it as a moisturizer it makes my skin smell weird, like baby puke. Does that mean the oil is low quality, even though it’s raw virgin cold pressed organic. Or could it be a problem with my skin? Thanks. 🙂

    • It could be low quality oil or it could be a reaction with your skin if you have any yeast/acidity…

  33. I once put a really big amount of coconut oil in my coffee, and spent the good part of the day on the verge of vomiting. I didnt dare trying it again, but recently I started adding it to my vegetable soups and it’s amazing. I noticed difference in my skin 2 days later!!! I think ill try eating it in yogurt, it will be solid but let’s see how it goes.

  34. It`s really good to know about the benefits of using coconut oil. I`m a regular consumer of coconut oil. I have noticed that it when consumed in diet and applied externally as well, promotes hair growth and nourishes skin. It helps to get rid of sun burns also. One can even get thicker eyebrows and eyelashes.

    I have tried several Indian recipes with coconut oil. It`s great that they taste amazing and better than when cooked with other vegetable oils.

    I`m quite excited about trying it in herbal or green tea. Guess it would taste good with black tea too.

    It`s so relieving to know about the MCFAs. This has actually ruled out the popular myth about the saturated fat.

    Many thanks for the article.

    • I put 1 tsp.coconut oil in Organic Chai tea…added a bit of raw honey and cinnaon.
      Delicious. I also do the same with my coffee…
      Cinnamon is also good for my health…
      I will increase the amount of coconut oil slowly to 1/4 cup per day…
      I’ve used coconut oil for washing off makeup and mosturizing all my skin… make my own deodorants,lip gloss and under eye cream for dark circles and wrinkle recipe also adds essential orders…thank you for this websiight.

  35. How much should an adult/child take per day to benifit from coconut oil?

  36. Coconut Oil is one oil I knew nothing about except it was full of saturated fat and that I should stay away from it. Like many others, I did…until now. Thanks for all the great info on it. I now use it daily whether it’s in my smoothies, handmade hand salves, etc……I use it now.

  37. I’ve been on all kinds of lipid lowering chol. medications. Is it safe for me to digest homemade ccoil? If how much tsp daily. fed up with these pills.

  38. Loving the beneifits of organic coconut oil!! Enjoy sharing too. Never felt better

  39. I just started using virgin coconut oil. It is organic by Spectrum expeller pressed Gold, unrefined but it is not solid. Should it be? Is it bad that it isn’t? Also is there a difference between using Virgin and Extra Virgin Coconut oil? If there is which one should I use? Thank you so much for all the great information you have here at Wellness Mama. It’s been so helpful and I always come here to see what you have to say on all things healthy. THANK YOU!!! Susan

  40. Your link to the coconut site appears to be broken, or else I would have ordered mine through your site! It could be a problem on my end, but I thought you’d want to know!

  41. I have been using coconut oil occasionally but now after reading your article I will definitely incorporate much more into my daily consumption. Thanks for sharing all of this great information.

  42. what the relationship between vitamin D & coconut & coconut oil

  43. I recently began using coconut oil but just had a friend in the medical field (cardiovascular) tell me that it wouldnt be my best choice given my families extensive history with heart disease. This is causing me great stress as I try to sift through the truth and find out if it’s truly a good addition to our household. What are your thoughts?

    • Stick with your doctor. I have an extensive history and consuming Coconut Oil since I ignored my doc’s made my BP rise bad to where I had to take medication. I cut out the Coconut and a week later I was going low with the BP. For what it’s worth- Coconut dries the heck out of my skin and being a soap maker I know how to use it. Coconut Oil isn’t good for everyone.

  44. Hi, I am a coconut-oil-loved user, and I’d love to let all people know how good coconut oil is, but I think I need some powerful evidence. In my country most people still believe that coconut oil causes heart disease, I tried to discover some researches from some world-famous universities like Harvard, but I just can’t find what I need. Can you please show me more and teach us more about coconut oil?

  45. I just started to use coconut oil and I’m loving it! Great post. Thanks!

  46. Mel, I just got my first jar of coconut oil and it has NO taste at all — no coconut or other taste, so it will be easy to use for cooking eggs or other. It is from Wilderness Family Naturalas and is “Ultra Clean Supreme – Expeller Pressed”. I understand that if you WANT coconut taste, you should buy extra virgin, and if you don’t want the taste use cold or expeller presses.

  47. I tried blending a teaspoon of coconut oil with kefir and vanilla to drink (using a hand blender). It left the coconut oil in little hard clumps. Have any of you tried making smoothies with expeller pressed coconut oil? Does it get the clumps out?

    • Melt it first..

  48. I bought coconut oil and realized it says “is finely processed from the coconut meat so there is no flavor or smell” it is the LoAnn brand so I am wondering are thebenefits still there

    • It’s a lower grade of Coconut Oil but it should be fine.

  49. I start using coconut oil for my face and body, it has amazing result and I feel like I’m having baby skin again. My coconut oil smell like coconut, taste like coconut, but the smell changed after apply to my skin, it turn to some funny smell. I wondering if anyone has the same problem?

  50. Love your site! Thank you for all of the information. i am new to all of this and have couple of basic questions: I purchased the coconut oil you reccomended through Tropical Traditions. Can I use the same type for cooking and as a body lotion? For the bottle I use as body lotion, do I just place a few drops of essential oil in the jar and stir? Thank you for your help!

  51. There is one thing I have to disagree with which you implied multiple times. You cannot seriously say that since obesity/heart disease is so prevalent in the United States (“despite there being more cardiologists than ever” and “despite doctors preaching that saturated fats are unhealthy”) ..that it somehow proves that doctors are wrong about diet high in saturated fats leading to heart disease. Atherosclerotic disease is a huge factor leading to heart disease in this county, and it is from unhealthy diet high in fat for the most part. There are multiple things wrong with your statements. 1. The problem in this country is not that people are worried about how much saturated fat they are getting from their coconut oil, as they are meanwhile leading healthy lifestyles regularly exercising and eating their veggies. If that was the issue we wouldn’t be 70% overweight (or whatever the latest figure) . It is that majority of Americans eat out 3x a day at McDonalds /or insert any other food chain that is allowed to profit from ruining our health. People don’t exactly do that in Thailand, and I’m not even going to begin to talk about how ridiculous it is to only compare one minuscule aspect between two extremely different countries and use it to explain a very broad difference. 2. Americans also don’t listen to their doctors about what they should be eating, and don’t exercise. Heck, most of the time the first time they see a doctor is after they have already had a heart attack-and that is the reason heart disease is rampant despite us knowing diet high in sat fats are bad. Everything should be done in moderation though, and your saturated fat from avocados and coconut oil is def better than eating saturated fats from a bucket full of KFC.

  52. This is not a comment its a question I brought organic pure cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil from the health store for my cholestrol, they advised me to take a tea spoon before eating morning lunch and tea it doesn’t taste that good, is this the right way to do this ? can u put it in normal tea instead of herbal ?

  53. Coconut oil is also really good for inner ear infections. I have used it for 14 years on my 4 kids. Never have had to give my kids antibiotics for ear infections. I simply drop a few drops (room temperature) into the ear. Keep it in there for about 10 minuets by lying on the side. Works best if you do it at the unset of an ear infection. If you have had an ear infection for a while already then you will have to give more then one treatment. Works for me every time.

  54. Does the refined coconut oil have the same anti biotic properties as unrefined? I’m asking because I can’t stomach the smell of the unrefined. It makes me sick but I love coconut oil w/out the smell and want to use it as a skin lotion. My main interest is in knowing weather or not it has anti-bacterial properties (I’ve heard the unrefined oil does)
    Thank you.

  55. I love it but I wonder if its good for lowering blood pressure? Also can you swab out ears and nose to help protect against flu and cold

  56. I eat all different brands of Coconut Oil, but it must say Extra Virgin 100% Cold Pressed. Avoid Bleached and Deodorized. I’ve eat 2 tablespoons a day now for almost 5 years, and yes it does create weight loss , because its slows down your digestive system.

  57. Wow you are so right. Coconut oil is really the best invention ever. I haven’t tried it while shaving, after reading this i am going to try it today itself. Thanks dear for sharing this, i love your blog.
    Love and light from India xx

  58. can i use coconut oil for frying which is available in all grocery store here in making lotion and deodorant in your recipe?

  59. Dr. Marla and I want me to use coconut oil to pop my corn. My wife and kitchen boss says no, just use canola or vegetable oil, coconut oil is high in cholestorol. I plan to buy some coconut oil on the sly and slip it in to my ususal saturday evening gallon of popped corn. I think wife will kill me if she finds out. I am diabetic and have an expiration date of 2025 — I hope to make it at least half way to 2025. Whatchatink, Mama?

  60. I am wondering if coconut cream has the same benefits as the oil. I use organic coconut oil in my cooking regularly, as well as, a moisturizer. However, I am on a coconut cream in my smoothies kick and feel like this is where I would get the most internal benefits if the same qualities of oil apply to cream.

    I enjoy your blog! Thank you!

  61. Forget all this talk about using it for your hair, skin, cooking and what ever else your using it for. What about the more important things like the inside of your body. Does it lower cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, blood pressure, raise HDL. What about fighting disease in general. These are the things that are real important. WHAT DOES COCONUT OIL DO FOR YOUR INSIDES?

  62. I’ve been using coconut oil since reading about it on the Wellness Mama blog. At first we tried Trader Joes for a while, which is good, and then graduated to Tropical Traditions. We use it to cook (fry anything), on our skin (feels so smooth), in my hair (but wash it afterwards), in our dog’s dish (he LOVES this stuff). I’ve been having issues with hormone and I swear since we started eating this my hormones are self-regulating; I feel slimmer and my metabolism feels ramped up. I seem to have more energy.

    Just received our box of Tropical Traditions as I wanted to compare to TJ VCO. This stuff (we bought the Gold Label) is amazing. I burned my hand – badly- yesterday; boiling hot coffee grinds and coffee all over. My hand looked like it would blister and I had it in icy water for six hours, which surely helped but I could not take my hand out of that water or the “burning” feeling would instantly come back. For the heck of it, I put some of the VCO on my hand. I know this sounds crazy, but burning feeling instantly stopped. Redness went away. An hour later I was so amazed I was squeezing and even hitting my fingers…no pain, it was miraculous, sincerely.

  63. I have been using coconut oil for about 8 years in my diet and I absolutely love it! It’s delicious and mixes so well with everything. One of my favorite things to do is mix it with natural peanut or almond butter and spread it on a banana. So yummy, also good with chia seeds and a bit of raw honey, eaten right off the spoon. Over the past couple years I started using coconut oil for makeup removal, homemade deodorant and toothpaste, moisturizer, and “personal lubricant”. My hubby loves it! I agree that coconut oil can do just about anything.

  64. Is the pill form of coconut oil just as good?

  65. My doctor prescribed CO to fight candida. I hope it works as it tastes so good.

  66. Which type of coconut oil do you use? Tropical Traditions has a few options on their site and I’m confused on the differences,

  67. thank you for posting data that actually explains why coconut oil is good for us

    i was looking for a link i could show my friend who is scheduled to have gallbladder surgery in a few weeks and all i kept finding was fear mongering and propaganda against coconut oil but no real data to prove what negative or slights that they write about

    it is so frustrating knowing how well coconut oil (i will be adding red palm oil next, after my blood work to keep proof of the happy changes) has saved my health and seeing people react like you are some flake


    so thank you

  68. how does coconut oil stimulate hair growth on your head, but not have the same effect when you use it on your face to heal acne and what not?

    • when you take the coconut oil internally, it stimulates your body by either giving you the vitamins, minerals and amino acids you need…

      or by helping to use more of those things from the food you eat.. so basically you get more from the foods you eat and that means you are more healthy which is why hair grows (needs a good does of b vitamin)

      and why acne happens less (better diet means you stress less, you sleep better and body doesnt make so many bad hormones that give normal acne)

      when you take coconut oil topically, it is only working with the surface layer and what it comes in contact with (thus killing off germs/bacteria/viruses that feed off the acne or make it worse)

  69. Can coconut oil be put on a open sore as an antibiotic and to keep a gauze bandage from sticking and taking the scab off when removed. Thanks for your help

    • you can put coconut oil into the wound and it will help heal..
      but to really bind it is best to add in honey

      the honey will stick everything together and nothing can live in honey, thus it will keep germs and other things from trying to grow…

  70. Hello everyone,
    I know coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids but it also contains long chain fatty acids so I am worried that it might have a negative effect in time.
    Katie, do the MCFA counterbalance the LCFA or something like that?

  71. Just going to put it out there – if you’re not using condoms or other latex products damaged by oils, coconut oil also makes an amazing lubricant, that just happens to also taste terrific. And if you happen to ingest some in the process, hey, that’s another way to get it into your diet!

  72. It takes some getting accustomed to, but coconut oil also works well as a mouthwash.

  73. I love this article, very well written. Thanks. I have two questions, How do you melt your coconut oil when making those yummy looking snacks with coconut, almond butter and chocolate? Also, What are the caloric count and fat grams for these snacks? Looking forward to incorporating coconut oil in our daily diet.

  74. looking to incorporate coconut oil into my daily diet for good health.

  75. Is coconut manna a good substitute for coconut oil? I gag on coconut oil, but still want to benefits. I can tolerate the manna better. I melt a bit and put it into my am coffee/teachino.

    • It is pretty good too. Have you ever tried blending it into coffee with a blender? That makes a huge difference

  76. Coconut oil can cure tinea cruris(fungal infection), rub the effected area with coconut oil and left it over night, after 3 days you can see the result.

  77. I love cooking with coconut oil as I was told about how healthy it is to use etc, but my mother (who is now borderline diabetic and has high blood pressure ) just came back from meeting with a nurse for her nutrition and the woman told her she should not be using coconut oil at all and that it is very bad for her heart ) She also told her she shouldn’t be cutting out whole grain bread from her diet (I had told my mom previous to this meeting that she should try cutting grains out of her diet and see how things go, but this nurse or nutritionist said that’s not a good idea.) she also told my mom to stop using butter and to switch to becel margarine…
    From what I’ve read all this is bad for you and coconut is good for you. So why is this woman telling my mother this?

  78. Hi, love the article! I was just wondering if anyone could answer a question I have. I can tolerate coconut cream/milk/oil in cooking, but last time I tried home made coconut milk it made me feel really queezy! Anyone know why? Would heating it a bit help?? I’m really annoyed cause I have CFS, so I’m trying to avoid dairy and I have digestive issues too. I don’t get why it made me nauseous. I used organic shredded coconut to make it.

  79. I have oily and thin hair. Can I use coconut oil on my scalp to stimulate hair growth?

    • You could certainly try it! Coconut oil has a lot of protein in it so it is actually good for fine hair 🙂

      • How do you apply coconut oil to your hair for hair growth. I also have fine hair… Would it be good for my health… Being that I have early stage of Lupus ?

  80. #1 – I love your site 🙂
    #2 – where do you get all of your information? I’ve been trying to look up research and studies but haven’t been able to find any that support the amazingness of coconut oil? I would love to be able to find some to share!!

    • Yes, I would like to know also where you get all this information. You don’t make any references to any peer-reviewed articles. You discredit science and yet I’m supposed to believe all this information is correct. Anything that’s too good to be true generally is. I think it’s a dangerous game and socially irresponsible to suggest that coconut oil is more effective than some antibiotics, cures certain cancers, etc. Have you been to Thailand? They’re actually active people and eat a wide variety of foods. To suggest their lower rates of heart disease have to do with coconut oil alone is a bit ridiculous. People in N.A. are sick and fat for a lot other reasons, and frankly I think doctors give up trying to push healthy diets because people are lazy and prefer to take a pill.
      I’m not saying coconut oil is bad but unless I see a large prospective randomized trial showing CV benefits and death prevention, I’ll continue to consume it in moderation. To me the evidence there is still inconclusive.
      I get excited about coconut oil but I think the information available including yours seems cut-and-pasted from other sites or it’s anecdotal. where is the original information, from a coconut oil vendor? Is there anything coconut oil doesn’t do? Sorry, I gave up reading your article.

  81. I love your blog! Posted a linkback to this article on mine. Keep up the good work!

  82. Im from fiji islands and coconut is involved in all food preparation. It is widely used for cooking, body lotion, hair lotion and other hundreds of use.we had very few heart related deaths and cancers,but about 30 or some years ago soya bean oil,corn oil, vegetable oil and other oils were introduced, so people started using all these the majority of death in fiji is of heart attack and cancer. I think with all these beneficial properties people should go back to their old oil that is coconut oil.

  83. I’ve tried to take coconut oil in the past and just cant stomach the taste, personally. So I’m interested in taking the capsules for the health benefits. If the capsules are a total of 4000mg do you think that will be enough to receive optimal health benefits?

  84. Hi I love using coconut oil on everything I started putting it in my tea but I have low blood pressure but I heard that coconut oil lowers blood pressure thanks

  85. Hi! Does coconut butter have the same health benefits as coconut oil?

  86. Thank you for the wonderful article about coconut oil. I have been using red palm fruit oil and canola because they have tocopherols, but maybe some MCFA’s would benefit me. The palms of my hands have athelete’s foot on them. Maybe I have a yeast problem?

  87. if the coconut oil is so benificial, wouldn’t the meat of the coconut be good for you?

  88. Thanks for the outstanding article! I use coconut oil to infuse my medical merijuana “CBD”. I live in Colorado where pot is legal

  89. What about people with artifical heart values … it good for them

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