I happened to comment on a blog, recently about how we use coconut oil to treat Big Girl’s eczema, on The Oliver’s Madhouse blog, when Jaime blogged about her son’s visit to the doctor for his problematic eczema. I mentioned that we’d used it, in conjunction with an over the counter cream, and it had cleared her skin up beautifully. She asked me if I’d blogged about it, and I hadn’t at the time, but I am now.
We use coconut oil for lots of things in our house, these are the ten I can think of, off the top of my head, every day uses for it. We buy a jar or two of cold pressed, virgin oil from our local health food shop, and each jar lasts about two months or so, or less, if we use a lot of it for a particular need.
- for eczema
- for nappy rash
- as hair conditioner
- also for my psoriasis
- for frying sweet items, such as pancakes and using for some asian dishes and I’ve used it as an oil substitute instead of butter when baking (I refuse to use margarine/fake butters)
- the children and I take a spoonful each day or I put it in smoothies
- For fungal conditions, its naturally anti fungal
- as a substitute for lanolin when breastfeeding (turns out, I’m allergic to lanolin, took me a while to figure out why traditional lanolin based nipple ointments didn’t do anything for me, and actually made soreness 10x worse!) because it’s naturally antimicrobial and antifungal and it wont hurt the baby, it doesn’t need to be wiped off, like prescribed anti fungal ointments do, before nursing, which is an added bonus, when trying to treat thrush in Mama and baby.
- As a sun screen (yes, I’m not joking, I tried it last year, and combined with zinc, it worked beautifully, I plan to blog about this next summer)
- When my hands are dry, and I’m in the kitchen and can’t be bothered to run and get my hand cream, or when the kids have got a patch of dry skin and it’s handy
- I’ve also been told it is a good alternative to using nasty chemicals on hair when trying to eradicate head-lice, I have a friend who swears by it, and has used it regularly, both as a hair conditioner and to bug bust her kid’s hair, and she says it really did help to clear them up fast. I may try it, if we do ever get a visit from the dreaded beasties!
I had never really thought of using coconut oil, before, until a friend on Facebook posted an article, and I read it with interest. It suggested using it for skin conditions. As Big Girl suffers from moderate to severe eczema, and I have psoriasis, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. I was pretty dubious about it, but figured it couldn’t hurt. Her skin was pretty sore, in the creases in her elbows, on her hands and wrists, on her shoulders, and stomach and some patches on her legs in the creases. We had tried numerous over the counter ointments and creams, and a mild steroid cream prescribed by our GP and we had taken most dairy foods out of her diet, with little or no success. We bought a jar, and I applied the oil (it comes white and solid, but melts on contact with skin) to the sore areas twice a day, then covered it with a layer of water based cream to seal it in. At the time, we were waiting for a referral to a dermatologist, via our GP to see if we could get more of a handle on her skin, but after a week, her skin was dramatically improved. Within two weeks, all but the sorest patches on her arms had gone, and the worst bits were healing up. We carried on, using it. I spoke to my GP who was intrigued (she thinks I am a bit of a mad hippy, but is usually happy to work with me, and I always seek her advice when I am trying things that are alternative, and she is thankfully, fairly positive with me, when I’ve approached her) and she was interested, and said to carry on, and she would do some reading and get back to me. She came back and told me that she had found several papers on the usage of coconut oil for treatment of mild to moderate eczema, and that it had been proved effective in a number of case studies. She said there is no “concrete” research, currently, but lots of stuff out there to say it can help, and was happy for us to continue on using it. When Em’s skin gets even vaguely dry, or looks like she may be heading into a bad patch of sore skin, we apply the coconut oil, and Diprobase cream, (and Diprobase on its own does NOT clear up her skin, but it does seem to work to seal the coconut oil in) until it clears up. It has worked for us, I must say, I was very surprised and pleased with the results.
Coconut oil, it seems is an old food source that is fast becoming a new superfood. I’ve been on many websites, and done a lot of reading and know a growing number of people who use it for various things, and have replaced a lot of household products, beauty products and health products with it. It is supposed to be helpful for a huge number of issues from actually lowering cholesterol (contrary to the myths, it is a GOOD fat) to helping with thyroid function, to being anti fungal/killing bacteria in wounds. I don’t make any medical claims or claim miracle cures, but I will say that it has worked for us, for Big Girl’s skin, and we find it safe and useful in many ways.
These are some pages/sites that I found useful, which list the many benefits of using/consuming coconut oil if you wanted to do some more reading and find out about it.
Benefits of coconut oil - a UK based site, which I found very helpful.
Hybrid Rasta Mama - one of my favorite blogs, and she has a long list of uses for coconut oil.
Wellness Mama – when I originally Googled “coconut oil for skin problems” this is one of the sites it sent me too. She has a section 101 uses for coconut oil, that was really helpful and there are some surprising things in there too!
*The usual disclaimer. This is not a medical blog, I am not blogging in a medical professional capacity, and I did all my own reading and research before using coconut oil. This blog post is not offering advice or medical help. Please consult your own doctor or health professional before using alternative products to treat any medical/health condition*