Top ways to use coconut oil in a beauty, dental and body care regime.
Coconuts remind me of a tropical island with a gentle breeze and the smell of frangipani flowers. Sadly the frangipani flowers do not come with my gallon tub of coconut oil.
Coconut oil uses for the teeth and body
I use virgin coconut oil for cooking, a little to nourish my hair, skin and nails, toes and very often a spoonful in coffee!
The oil from virgin coconuts is extracted from the milk or the coconut meat, it can be used in amazing ways and recent research is suggesting it is beneficial for the skin, teeth, hair and body. But you knew that already, yes?
photo credit: http://www.istockphoto.com/user_view.php?id=764900
I have used coconut oil for about five years now. I started buying a small jar here and there, but I began to love the oil so much I now order it in gallon drums! I use it for cooking, on my hair, skin and I also have occasionally done oil pulling with it, more on that later.
An interesting study out of the United Kingdom looked at coconut oil and how it reacts to bacteria on the teeth. Lead researcher Dr Damien Brady, from the Athlone Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland  said “Dental caries is a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60%-90% of children and the majority of adults in industrialised countries.”
Wow! That is a high percentage of people having dental caries. Our teeth and gums can reflect the overall health of the body. Heart disease and gum health  appears to be an area gaining interest. So looking after our teeth is not only aesthetically wise but vital to live a long and happy life, perhaps?
It stands to reason that if you have a clean mouth then you will feel better. It was suggested that the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil could be harnessed into toothpastes.
Toothpaste- triclosan versus coconut oil
Considering that triclosan and other synthetic toxic chemicals are used in toothpaste, I think the suggestion of using coconut oil in toothpastes is superb news. Hopefully it will inspire companies to use genuinely natural ingredients rather than relying on toxic chemicals. Read why synthetic chemicals are an issue
Dr Damien Brady, continued and said “Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”
Learn more about natural toothpastes and how to look after your teeth and gums naturally.
Coconut oil for oil pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient way of refreshing the teeth and gums according to Dr Bruce Fife. Some swear by it others think it does nothing (see link in references).  Some use sunflower oil, others coconut oil; personal preference perhaps?
I thought I’d give it a go. I started to do oil pull a few years ago and initially it felt rather strange. After a few days I loved the way my mouth feels fresh and clean but having cleaned my teeth my mouth feels clean without oil pulling, so is it worth it? I don’t know. Lindsay Dahl (blogger and environmental writer) is sceptical and it is true many make some pretty wild claims!
In Bruce’s book there are many fascinating stories of people who oil pull every day, I am not that committed or sure!
Bruce Fife author of the book “Oil Pulling Therapy- Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing” says that oil pulling is “not a new invention…. it was a technique practised in Ayurvedic medicine and had been used for generations.”
According to Fife: “By looking into the mouth, you can tell a great deal about a person’s health. Cavity-riddled teeth, swollen and inflamed gums, bad breath, discoloration on the tongue, receding and bleeding gums, yellowed teeth, plaque and tarter build up, dental fillings missing teeth, etc., are all signs reflecting a person’s state of health. The mouth is part of the digestive tract. When you look inside the mouth, you are seeing a representation of the condition of the entire intestinal tract.”
(buying the book through this affiliate link costs your nothing but helps keep this blog running).
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid
According to Sally Fallon in her book “Nourishing Traditions” in which she discussed coconut oil: “of particular interest is (the) lauric acid, found in large quantities in both coconut oil and in mother’s milk. This fatty acid has strong anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.”
Coconut oil has been used by those with skin rashes, irritation and nappy/ diaper rash.
If you have not tried coconut oil it is a option for an oil to cook with.
I was sceptical about coconut oil at first, I thought ‘if it is so brilliant how come more are not eating it and using it on their skin?’ Yet I now meet lots of people who LOVE coconut oil. Maybe you will too?
Coconut oil in toothpaste
Coconut oil can, when treated with enzymes, (as the researchers did in the UK study) help against the yeast Candida albicans. 
According to The Telegraph “Scientists found that when the oil was treated with digestive enzymes it became a powerful killer of mouth bugs.”
Bruce Fife says “If the mouth is healthy, the intestines will be healthy.”
Is it time we got serious about caring for the teeth and gums, naturally?
Do you use coconut oil? What are you top tips for making the most of coconut oil in your beauty regime recipes?
Regularly using coconut oil in your diet is popular it appears I am not alone in loving coconut oil.
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References and further reading and recipes with coconut oil
 Forget minty toothpaste- coconut oil fights tooth decay The Daily Telegraph
 Heart disease and gum health discussed at Perioheart.com
 Can oil pulling improve your health. http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/can-oil-pulling-improve-your-health-140311.htm
Easy DIY lavender and coconut oil lip balm from Over Throw Martha blog
One way to use coconut oil for cooking from Cheerfully Imperfect blog: http://cheerfullyimperfect.com/2013/07/18/primal-chocolate-coconut-amaze-balls/
Studies on oil pulling: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22oil+pulling%22
Coconut Oil Research Center: learn more about coconut oil
The information on this website is intended as a general guide only and does not relate to any particular individual or circumstance. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-treatment for any conditions before consulting a medical professional or qualified practitioner.
Copyright Actual Organics 2012.