Coconut oil: 50 science-backed uses and benefits (and all contraindications)

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Initially disparaged and then praised, coconut oil is now widely marketed as a superfood. But what are the really confirmed benefits and how to use it? Are there any drawbacks and contraindications?

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Initially disparaged and then praised, coconut oil is now widely marketed as a superfood. But what are the really confirmed benefits and how to use it? Are there any drawbacks and contraindications?

THEcoconut oil until a few years ago, at least in the West, it was considered a concentrate of fats potentially dangerous for cardiovascular health. Now, however, this product has seen its popularity increase following some scientific research that has confirmed it different properties and possible uses for health and beauty.

About coconut oil for food use there are still basically two factions: those who do not recommend it as it is rich in saturated fats (a bit like butter, egg yolk and animal fats) which would increase LDL cholesterol and those who instead promote it as it is not always fats as harmful as trans fats are (often the two are confused), or fat molecules that have been transformed (for example vegetable oils that become margarine). Furthermore, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid (a substance with many properties) and this would compensate for the presence of the so much offending fats. (Read also: Coconut oil: what if it's not so beneficial for health?)

According to those who stood up for the defense of saturated fats, already in indigenous cultures around the world it could be seen that the consumption of fats such as those present in coconut oil were actually useful for survival itself. However, it must also be said that today our society leads very different lives in which there is little outdoors, sedentary, etc. Perhaps the comparison does not stand up, however, there are those who recommend using coconut oil in many ways and to obtain different benefits.


We introduce you well 50 benefits and ways (both food and non-food) per use coconut oil:


Coconut oil for cooking

Coconut oil is a fat that can also be used for cooking due to its high smoke point and that its structure remains intact when heated, producing no harmful substances.

Whipped coconut oil

A greedy and all-vegetable recipe is the one that uses coconut oil to whip it until stiff and make it frothy, a kind of vegetable whipped cream with a soft consistency and suitable for garnishing or filling sweet preparations. The more patience and time you take to whip the butter, the better the final effect will be. Here is the recipe: Stir-fried coconut butter 

Suitable for those who follow a vegan or paleo diet

Coconut oil is an ingredient that is often used inside vegan cakes or paleo recipes because it solidifies at room temperature and keeps the preparations intact giving them the right consistency.

Enrich smoothies

To make more nutritious and rich in fruit and vegetable smoothies you can add coconut oil which will also help to better absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.

Decrease the sense of hunger

Some people take a teaspoon of coconut oil before main meals in order to increase the sense of satiety. Science has revealed that the ketones (which are produced when coconut oil is consumed) can lead to reduced appetite.

Helps balance hormones

Coconut oil is a nourishing fat for the adrenal glands and the thyroid gland that can also have beneficial effects on balancing hormones.

More energy and better metabolism

MCTs, medium-chain triglycerides, contained in coconut oil create a long-term release of energy and help increase metabolism and fat loss. Medium-chain fatty acids are not stored as fat in the body and are used immediately by the liver as an energy source.

Keeps blood sugars at bay

Coconut oil releases its nutrients slowly, providing a source of energy that helps support blood sugar levels. It appears that a diet supplemented with coconut oil may show improvements in glucose tolerance levels.

Boosts brain function

Studies have shown some effects of coconut oil on brain health. It has been shown to be useful for example in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's by helping people feel more alert.

Against cold sores

The anti-viral compounds contained in coconut oil can make cold sores heal faster and also provide pain relief.

Relieves sore throat

To soothe a sore throat, try dissolving a teaspoon of coconut oil in hot lemon water.

For ear pains and infections

A natural remedy for ear pains and infections can be to use a little boiled coconut oil with a clove of garlic. Once allowed to cool, use on the infected area.

Treatment of Candida

Candida Albicans is a yeast and parasite that, if it grows out of all proportion, steals life energy from the body. The lauric acid in coconut oil helps kill Candida.

Boosts immune defenses

About half of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a substance that turns into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can destroy viruses and bacteria, making it an effective treatment for some diseases.

Helps digestion

Taking coconut oil with meals can aid digestion since lubricates the digestive tract allowing digested food to pass through much easier.

Fights parasites

The lauric acid contained in coconut oil is anti-parasitic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral, thus helping to create an inhospitable environment for these microorganisms.

Heals sunburn

You can use coconut oil to heal sunburns and burns faster and provide immediate relief from these problems.

Treatment of ulcers

Coconut oil helps rebuild intestinal walls and its mucilaginous effect facilitates the passage of food into the digestive tract.

Getting rid of lice

A study has shown that the combination of coconut oil and aniseed extract is more effective than common head lice treatments.


Coconut oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and its moderate analgesic activity has also been discovered which can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Lower the fever

The same study mentioned above also showed how coconut oil can be effective in lowering fever.

It increases testosterone and reduces the risk of prostate cancer

It seems that coconut oil is a great food to have a right hormonal balance, it not only helps regulate thyroid and adrenal glands but its beneficial effects on testosterone and the ability to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer have also been demonstrated.


Polish the furniture

You can use coconut oil to make wood furniture shine, it's probably cheaper and more importantly less toxic than the products you buy for this purpose.

Shoe polish

With coconut oil it is also possible to make leather shoes shine, just a teaspoon on a dry cloth to rub gently.

Keeps fleas away

Just like coconut oil works for lice-affected humans, it works even on animals to get rid of annoying fleas.

To whiten your teeth

Coconut oil is an excellent ally for teeth and gums, helping to make the enamel whiter and brighter. Using coconut oil for teeth and gum health is an ancient method used primarily in Ayurvedic medicine. To learn more, read How to use coconut oil to whiten teeth

Against diaper redness

If the little ones suffer from diaper rash or redness, coconut oil can be used which is soothing and effective in relieving the discomfort of newborns. It is also possible to make DIY baby wipes using one half of a roll of absorbent paper or reusable fabric to soak in a mixture of hot water (1 liter), coconut oil (1 tablespoon) and liquid soap. olive oil (1 tbsp).

Massage oil

If you heat the coconut oil in a double boiler and add it then a few drops of essential oil, you get a perfect massage oil.


Coconut oil is a natural remedy for warts due to its be antiviral and antifungal. It can be used on the wart I understand then with a plaster.

Body scrub

If you combine sugar and coconut oil together in equal parts and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, you can easily make a body scrub to use for example in the shower.

Natural moisturizer

You can use coconut oil all over your body instead of a regular moisturizer, it's orttimo to nourish the pelle and prevent acne. Many people also use it to prevent wrinkles like a regular face moisturizer.

Sun protection

Coconut oil is capable of block the sun's UV rays by 30% it therefore acts as a mild sunscreen that can only be used in the cooler hours of the day and not in the middle of the season. The advantage is that unlike sunscreens using coconut oil you are able to synthesize vitamin D from the sun's rays.


Coconut oil is one wonderful alternative to petroleum based lubricants. Be careful though, as coconut oil has the potential to weaken latex.

For foot health

Applying coconut oil to your feet every day after a shower has an excellent antifungal effect and avoids therefore infections. To have an even more active effect, it can be mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil.

Hair treatment

Coconut oil can be used as a pre-shampoo hair treatment placed the night before and held as a compress with the help of a shower cap. Concentrate the oil especially on the tips of the hair and proceed with the normal washing the following morning. (Also READ: 12 DIY Coconut Oil Beauty Treatments)

Lip balm

With a spoonful of coconut oil dissolved in a bain-marie and then enriched with a few drops of essential oil of your choice, you can make a lip balm. In fact, once solidified it lends itself to being used for lip health.


Applying coconut oil directly to the hemorrhoids helps relieve swelling and soothes pain.


Dandruff sufferers can try a scalp-based treatment coconut oil (1 tsp) and rosemary essential oil (2 drops). Just massage the combined oils into your scalp and allow it to penetrate throughout the night. Wash your hair as usual in the morning and repeat until the problem goes away.


Coconut oil is effective in calming inflammation associated with shaving. Men can therefore experience it as a natural aftershave.

Mosquito bites

You can apply coconut oil directly to mosquito bites to help soothe itching and relieve swelling.

Make-up lever

Coconut oil is a good one natural eye make-up remover, even the mascara dissolves in an instant, leaving the skin hydrated and clean.


Both internally and externally, coconut oil is a possible acne treatment. From the inside it helps to balance the hormones often cause of acne, externally it si can apply it on the pimples for the anti-bacterial effects and to reduce swelling and redness.

Shaving cream

If you want to avoid shaving products, you can try using coconut oil instead of traditional shaving cream.

Against stretch marks

Stretch marks and scars can be treated with coconut oil when the pores are more open then immediately after a bath or shower. You can also apply coconut oil on your belly to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

Perineal massage in pregnancy

About a month before giving birth it is possible massage the perineum with coconut oil to soften and prepare the area, avoiding lacerations or the need for episiotomy.

Eyelash treatment

You can apply a little coconut oil on the eyelashes before sleeping, this is especially useful if you use eye makeup often that weakens your lashes in the long run.

For the cuticles

A coconut oil massage helps the well-being of the cuticles but also of the nails.

Varicose veins

Apply coconut oil every day to carry out gentle massages in correspondence of the varicose veins it could be a way to treat them naturally.


After washing and drying your pots you can add a dash of coconut oil to keep them non-stick and avoid the formation of rust.


The use of coconut oil externally does not present particular contraindications except for a possible hypersensitivity to the product, which is very rare since this vegetable fat is generally well tolerated. The situation is different if you use coconut oil for food use and maybe even very often.

First of all it is a product very caloric (about 850 calories per 100 grams) moreover, as we have said, even if natural and of vegetable origin, coconut oil has high concentrations of saturated fat and therefore should be consumed in moderation. It is also important to buy it of good quality, biological origin but above all cold pressed so that all properties are preserved.

Furthermore, the recent success of coconut oil has caused the demand for this product to increase rapidly resulting in the exploitation of coconut palm crops that cause deforestation and loss of biodiversity. To learn more about the "dark side" of coconut oil:

  • Coconut oil worse than palm oil for biodiversity. The study sparked controversy
  • Coconut oil is pure poison according to this Harvard professor (VIDEO)
  • 5 shocking truths about "miracle foods", from chia seeds to coconut oil
  • Coconut oil: what if it's not so beneficial to health?
  • Monkeys chained and treated like "machines": the dark side of coconuts

Like everything, therefore, it is necessary to use common sense and really evaluate the real costs / benefits for health and the environment, without demonizations or as many accolades.

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