Coconuts and their seemingly infinite uses have been a staple in Asia, Africa, and South America basically since the dawn of man.
But now, coconut products have made their way into mainstream supermarkets here in the US -- particularly coconut oil.
Seriously, this stuff is all over the place now. The rather remarkable natural substance is extracted from the meat of mature coconut palms, has uses up the wazoo, and benefits attached to all of those uses, too.
It's got vitamin E, lauric acid, protein, something called caprylic, (an anti-fungal fatty-acid), and the pleasant smell brings to mind a heavenly beach setting.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that coconut oil is pretty damn affordable, too.
Simple Truth Organic Coconut Oil, $5.49, Vitacost
Here are eight ways coconut oil can work its magic on your entire body.
1. You Can Use It To Improve The Health Of Your Mouth
An Indian tradition of yoga's sister science, Ayurveda, oil-pulling is a practice that entails putting a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut) in your mouth and swishing it around for five to 15 minutes.
It pulls toxins from your gums, tongue, and teeth, and is said to help with bad breath, tooth decay, heart disease, and it can boost your immune system.
If you're wondering if oil-pulling feels weird... well, it does
I gagged the first time I tried it, and it has yet to make its way into my daily routine.
But I have to say, my mouth did feel really nice after the fact.
2. Incorporate It Into Your Beauty Routine
Coconut oil makes for a really great eye-makeup remover, and apparently a solid cheekbone highlighter, too.
Plus, you can wash your face with the product to help fight acne.
While it might be too oily for some, I used this as a treatment for a particularly bad breakout, and I definitely noticed a decrease in the inflammation of my pimples.
3. You Can Moisturize Literally Everywhere With It
I've used coconut oil both in and out of the shower to ease dry skin. In fact, I regularly use it to shave my legs, which always feel so silky smooth afterward.
Coconut oil can also help soothe the burn of a new tattoo, if you've got some ink on your bod.
And if you ever find yourself looking after a little one, coconut oil can be a wonderful alternative to diaper rash cream.
4. Lather It Onto Your Luscious Locks
Coconut oil can both moisturize and protect your locks from split ends and heat damage.
And, if you ever have the unfortunate experience of having to deal with lice, coconut oil is rumored to help get rid of those, as well.
5. It Can Help Make You "Regular"
This magical stuff can help with your digestion, and it can cleanse your colon, too.
Some claim it helps ease constipation and helps you poop more, too.
And, honestly, at the end of the day, isn't that what we all want?
6. You Can Even Use It On Your Nose
Or, rather, in your nose.
If you tend to suffer from nosebleeds, wipe the interior of your nostrils with a little coconut oil.
The product can help soften and moisturize the nasal passages.
Plus, you'll get to enjoy that pleasant beach-y smell all damn day.
7. It May Serve As An Alternative Medicine In Some Cases
There are claims of all kinds that it might be an alternative preventative treatment for diseases, but one in particular is Alzheimer's.
According to the Alzheimer's Association website, the caprylic acid in coconut oil may provide an energy source for brain cells that have lost the ability to utilize glucose due to Alzheimer's.
This sh*t is actually a miracle product, guys.
8. You Can Even Try Using It "Down There"
Coconut oil is a natural lube, and is often suggested as a remedy for yeast infections.
Some say you can even lather a tampon with the oil for a more direct application.