Coconut oil: 13 clever uses you might not have heard of yet 6 months ago

Coconut oil: 13 clever uses you might not have heard of yet

If you have yet to fall in love with coconut oil, boy are you in for a treat.

Not only is this oil such a must-have staple for your kitchen (I use it in smoothies for the kids, to cook with, as a replacement for butter, to whip op a ton of sweet treats - the list is endless!), but it is also a bit of a super-hero when it comes to a whole lot of other tasks and chores.

So if you, like me, love the idea of replacing more conventional and industrially produced products with a more natural alternative, you are going to go nuts (pun intended!) for coconut oil. Here are just some of the many ways you can use it:

1. Boost unborn babies' immune systems

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial fatty acid that protects the immune system of the fetus and newborn. Expectant mothers can ingest a couple spoonfuls a day to boost their immune function.

2. Use it as bath oil

Add several tablespoons of coconut oil to bathwater for added moisturizing to your skin.

3. Help prevent stretch marks

Rub the oil onto your skin to prevent stretch marks and itchy skin associated with a growing baby belly.

4. Help with heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion

Just take a spoonful in the morning time.

5. Heal cracked nipples

To breastfeeding mothers: Coconut oil is mild, soothing and will soften that sore, cracked skin that can make feeding time a torture. Bonus: There is nothing in it that is harmful to your baby either.

6. Deal with nappy rash

Just rub some coconut oil on your baby's bottom to help keep skin soft and rash-free.

7. Treat yeast infections

Coconut oil taken both internally and topically can help treat the yeast that causes both thrush and candida. A little oil dabbed inside the baby’s mouth, as well as mom eating it and applying it to her nipples before breastfeeding is very effective.

8. Reduce the risk of tearing during labour

When applied to the perineum in the weeks leading up to labor, coconut oil can help reduce tearing and the need for an episiotomy during the birth.

9. Use as hair conditioner

Coconut oil will keep your hair healthy and tangle-free. Bonus: it will also make it smell AWESOME.

10. Super-charge your smoothies

The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil are the subject of lots of scientific studies right now. One recently showed that MCTs effectively destroyed viruses, another that it lowered cholesterol, and a third indicates it might assist in weight loss. Can your almond butter do that?

11. Use as make-up remover

Try using a little coconut oil to take your make-up off at night - and watch how even the most waterproof mascara just melts right off.

12. Shave your legs

Coconut oil is perfect when you run out of your shaving cream. The oil guarantees a close shave and keeps skin soft as well. Plus, coconut oil is a fully natural product, which makes it a great option for people who suffer from sensitive skin.

13. Use for oil pulling

If you are not familiar with the term "oil pulling" here is the low-down: The ancient Ayurvedic practise of oil pulling refers to swishing oil around in your mouth before spitting it out - a technique that is said to help remove germs and bacteria from your mouth. Oil pulling is linked to healthier mouth health and immune systems. Just take a spoonful of raw coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for about twenty minutes. Do not swallow the oil, and keep a cup handy for spitting.

Ideal!