Coconut oil is this multi-purpose unicorn-like ingredient. You’ve heard amazing things, maybe you even have a jar… well here’s 20 things you can do with coconut oil.

Coconut oil used to be considered as bad as trans fats. It's not. Get yourself a jar of raw virgin coconut oil and add a tablespoon to your smoothies

When a calorie is not a calorie

Even though 1 tablespoon of coconut oil has around 120 calories, these 120 calories don’t act the same in the body as say, 120 calories of say canola oil or safflower oil.

Coconut oil is more thermogenic, compared to other foods and fats. This means eating it tends to increase energy expenditure. In other words, eat more coconut oil to burn more calories. You know the saying, “eat fat to burn fat”? well, coconut oil is that fat.

Unlike other fats which are made of long chain fatty acids (LCT), coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCT) which are more efficiently absorbed by the body and metabolised. 

These medium chain fatty acids are not used by the body like other fats, but rather like carbohydrates. So rather than circulate freely in the blood or get stored as fat to add to bodyweight, instead MCT are sent to the liver, where they are immediately converted to energy.

Research exploring the effects of MCT on satiety are few but results have found that MCT consumption lead to decreased food intake. Much scientific literature researching the effects of MCT in humans does suggest that replacing dietary LCT with MCT could facilitate weight maintenance in humans. So there you have it, switch out your pro-inflammatory LCT fats for coconut oil and lose weight! (or maintain it, whatever your goals are).

Experts agree that on average, medium-chain fatty acids triple the rate of metabolism as compared to long-chain fatty acids. This means that medium-chain fatty acids aren’t only a healthy energy source, they also help burn off stored fat.

Balance your hormones

The second thing that needs to happen for you to be even able to lose weight is for your hormones to be balanced. For this to happen you need a healthy liver and thyroid gland.

So you might have heard that omega 6 fatty acids are not that great for you, these are the kind you find in yellow oils like canola. These unsaturated fats block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. So what do you get? Messed up hormones.

For ages we were told that ‘fat-free’ was good and that saturated fat was bad, it just is not true. Fat is one of the most critical macronutrients for healthy hormones. Hormones are made from certain fatty acids and cholesterol, so if you’re lacking any of these, you’ll end up with hormone issues just because you don’t have the building blocks for healthy hormones. The lauric acid found in coconut oil additionally is very beneficial to the production of hormones. So here’s how to get the most out of your jar.

1. On toast

Instead of butter or processed spreads, spread a little coconut oil on your toast.

2. In smoothies

Add 1-2 tablespoons to your daily green smoothie to boost your metabolism. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are easily digested and converted to energy rather than stored like other fats.

3. Make a body scrub

Mix coconut oil with an equal amount of coconut sugar until you get a thick paste to create an exfoliating scrub. Your skin is going to feel ultra smooth and smell insanely delicious!

4. Bake with it

Coconut oil is a staple ingredient in raw baking that creates delicious creamy cakes and slices. Coconut oil can also replace butter in baking and other oils. A 1:1 substitution usually works.

5. On oven baked fries

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut organic potatoes or sweet potatoes into thick fries. Place on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for about 1 hour or until chips are crispy and brown. Add salt to taste.

6. Makeup remover

Coconut oil is a totally natural make-up remover. Just dab some coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently wipe your make-up off. Even waterproof mascara is no problem for coconut oil.

7. Oil pulling

Sounds complicated but it’s not. You put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. You may have to build up to that, start with 5. Apparently, we store toxins in our salivary glands. Toxins get drawn into the oil, so when you spit out the oil, you spit out the toxins.

8. Groom your pooch with it

Brushing some coconut oil into a dog’s coat can also ward off fleas. The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of coconut oil make it good for disinfecting cuts, soothing rashes and hot spots, and promoting healing of wounds.

9. As a skin moisturiser

Rub coconut oil into your skin, it works as a moisturiser and is great for people who have eczema.

10. On popcorn

For an awesome gluten free snack, instead of butter, melt a little coconut oil and pour it over your popped popcorn, then sprinkle with a little sea salt and spices.

11. Hair conditioner

Get gorgeous shiny hair by using coconut oil as a deep conditioning hair treatment. Rub a small amount of coconut oil into the ends of your hair. Put your hair in a loose bun and wash rinse the next morning.

12. As a deodorant

Apply coconut oil on your underarms, even if solid, the coconut will melt into your skin. Using coconut oil as deodorant will not only help you perspire less, you’ll be moisturised and smell downright amazing too!

13. Soothe diaper rash

Coconut oil soothes nappy rash and acts as a barrier, preventing further irritation. Coconut oil will also nourish your baby’s skin. And, coconut oil will not ruin cloth nappies, which is an added bonus.

14. Remove lice

It happens, but you can get rid of it by rinsing your kid’s hair with apple cider vinegar, then comb using a fine lice comb. Dry hair and then apply coconut oil, leave on for 12 to 24 hours. Wash the comb thoroughly, then comb through again and wash hair with shampoo.

15. Clean your makeup brushes

If you can use coconut oil to remove makeup from your face, it makes sense you could use it to remove makeup from your brushes. Rub a small amount into the brush and rinse thoroughly with water then lightly pat them dry with a soft towel.

16. Bathe in it

Run warm water for a bath. Add half to one cup of coconut oil and several drops of your favourite scented essential oil. The warm water can stimulate blood circulation, and the oil will help soothe the skin’s dry patches.

17. Make coconut oil chocolate

You can make your own raw organic chocolate.

18. Soothe insect bites

Apply coconut oil to mosquito bites, ant bites, and other small insect bites to help alleviate that annoying itching.

19. Get ultra smooth feet

This one’s perfect for winter. Massage coconut oil into your feet and put on a pair of thick socks to hydrate dry skin while you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, your feet should feel soft and smooth.

20. Add it to your coffee

Also known as the fat black. Melt a teaspoon or so of coconut oil in your coffee. It's an easy way to work coconut oil into your diet.