If you were stranded on an island what single plant would you have and why? I was asked that question when I was a child and my answer was - coconut! I could eat it, make a home for myself, make milk, start a fire, make jerky, make curry, use it for my hair, for soap, as a shampoo, and I could even shine my floors with the husks. Yes, I get all excited when I talk about coconuts! Just ask Wellness Mama and she's got a 101 uses for coconuts.
Coconut can be used for so many things. As a child, I remember going to the market with my grandma and nanny to get fresh coconut. On some occasions, we would ask the market vendor to have the meat scraped and take it home where we would squeeze out the milk from its pulp. We would use the fresh coconut milk for cooking and the pulp for cooking or baking. Often, it was boiled and used as a hot oil treatment for my hair. I loved it. It made my hair strong, silky, and shiny. To this day, I still use coconut oil, just in a bottle form.
Last year a co-teacher told me about using coconut oil as a deodorant. I do yoga, walk, and move lot, so I really rely on a stronger under-arm protection! I also have plenty of cysts and non-cancerous tumors (very lucky) in my breasts closest to the armpits. I've read several research about the harmful effects of the chemicals in our deodorants and some can be related to breast cancer. I stopped using chemical ridden deodorants for about two years and switched to the chemical free kind. However with the store-bought chemical free deodorants, I didn't feel confident raising my arms after yoga or moving around during school.
So her news about coconut oil as a deodorant felt too good to be true. Coconut oil contains anti-bacterial properties. It also hydrates, so your skin feels smooth. Since it is also anti-inflammatory, it is kind to my sensitive skin. I was skeptical. I thought it would be best to test it out on a day out at Disneyland. It was a hot 80 degree F day. I perspired and lo and behold, I stayed dry and fresh throughout the day. I was so amazed that this stuff actually works. I swear by it and gave up the store bought deodorant I was currently using. It's been three months and not switching at all!
I buy unrefined organic coconut oil nowadays. One bottle would last at least half a year. From the big jar, I divide it for cooking and personal use. Make sure to store coconut oil in a cool dry place or else it will melt.
Aside from using it for cooking or baking, here's how I use it:
- As a hot oil treatment, I warm it up for a about minute and I use a cotton ball to dip it in the oil (making sure it's not too hot or it will burn your scalp) and rub it on my scalp and hair. I leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes overnight. This feels like you've conditioned your hair professionally.
- Frizz control. Just like pomade, put a teeny in your palm and smooth it over your hair to control frizz. Leaves my hair tame and shiny all day.
- I store a tiny bit in a cosmetic jar and keep in the bathroom vanity cabinet. I use it for dry chapped hands or chapped feet. It's best to leave it in overnight on your feet and wear socks to keep it from smearing all over your bed.
- I use it as a deodorant. This works all day and it leaves you still smelling fresh at the end of the day. Tested it on a whole day at Disneyland!
- It can be used as a toothpaste. Just add mint and some baking soda.
- Sharpie eraser on kids! I used to use sunscreen to clean out kids who "accidentally" draw on themselves with a sharpie marker.
As with trying out new products, please make sure you do not have any coconut allergy. Try out a small patch of skin to see if it gets irritated, then do not use coconut oil.
Posted by Cyndi Wojo. Posted In : Household Cleaners, Soaps, and Stuff