If you follow me on Facebook, about 3 months ago, I started an enlightening and hilarious conversation about the benefits of coconut oil. My “naturalista” sisters have been praising it for years, for being the cure for everything—infection, low metabolism, dry skin, poverty—you name it! As a family doc, I was very aware of its help with dyshidrosis and eczema, but I was skeptical about the other effects that people mentioned. I decided to pour it all over my life and experiment with it myself. I ordered a solid, organic brand online and got started.
-Belief #1: It helps with metabolism and weight loss-I did pulling (swishing of organic coconut oil in the mouth and cheeks to decrease toxins) almost every day and added it to my coffee regularly. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice a difference in weight or energy from this alone. Now, in general, I’m trying to decrease calories and exercise more, but I’m not sure I’m convinced about this one.
-Belief #2: It’s great for dry skin and hair-Yes, this is absolutely true. I used it on my face, hair and body, and my face, in particular, glowed. My face would look better with coconut oil sometimes than when I used my usual moisturizer. I will say, however, that it doesn’t always seem to last as long as my other moisturizer.
I also used it on my girls, too, and they liked the smell of it. They both have sensitive skin, and it didn’t break them out. My 3yo now asks for it by name as her lotion after her bath. I will say, though, that it clumped occasionally in their natural hair. My hair, which has a relaxer (or “perm”) does fine with it. At times, it’s a little too greasy and oily, and my cosmetologist has commented about it when doing my hair, but in general, it works well.
-Belief #3: It whitens teeth-I’m neutral on this one. I used it pretty consistently with pulling for 3 months, but I’m not sure it made a huge difference. I may need to use it longer.
-Belief #4: It tastes great in food-Yes, absolutely. You can use this in the place of your vegetable oil or cooking oil, and it tastes great. It’s healthier and has more omega-3 fatty acid content than vegetable oil, which can lower your cholesterol. Win-win.
-Belief #5: It’s an effective and non-toxic lubricant for intercourse-Yes…..and I’ll leave it at that. Actually, I won’t. It works REALLY WELL for this. Ok, now I’ll leave it alone 😉
Well, I’ll say one other thing. There has been a lot of data–actual and anecdotal–on coconut oil helping postmenopausal women with vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse. I’ve been recommending it as a natural treatment for this issue for women of all ages now, and it works like a charm. Who knew?
All in all, adding coconut oil to your daily life actually works pretty well. I’ll keep a can in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. I can’t guarantee that it’s the fix all for all of life’s problems, but it works quite well for a number of things. It’s also the base of my organic Superwoman Sleep Body Butter, made with other essential oils, evening primrose oil and melatonin (available at my online store, bit.ly/thedocswinerstore).
What’s been your experience with it? Share with the group!
**picture attached inspired by Cornita Horne of Spa JLK**