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5 Surprising Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil seems to be popping up in stores everywhere. From big box stores to the health food markets that have been selling it for decades, the demand is growing for this healthy and beneficial oil. A big part of the growing demand for coconut oil comes from the sheer amount of uses many have found for it. People are discovering the benefits of coconut oil for everything from baking healthier cookies to softening their skin naturally.

Here are 5 surprising uses for coconut oil that may be new to you:

1) Coconut oil can protect your teeth from cavities. A recent study from the Society of General Microbiology has shown that the practice of oil pulling, or swishing coconut oil around your mouth and over your teeth, can kill bacteria that can lead to cavities. When the mineral on your teeth is worn down by anything from chewing to grinding your teeth, the exposed dentin is more vulnerable to tooth decay. Using coconut oil helps protect them against decay and cavities.

2) Use coconut oil to soothe irritated skin, sore throats and minor scrapes. Almost anything on your body that is irritated can be soothed with coconut oil. Coconut oil is soothing because of the antioxidants and nutrients contained within it, as well as its smooth texture. Swallow a small amount to soothe a sore throat. A thin layer applied to minor cuts and scrapes will provide a barrier to germs. Last but not least, apply it to any part of your skin that is rough or irritated to smooth it in minutes.

3) Coconut oil can serve as the base for a number of health and beauty items. Mixed with baking soda and various essential oils, coconut oil can be used as everything from toothpaste to deodorant. Mixed with salt or sugar, coconut oil makes a great body scrub to exfoliate and cleanse skin. The benefit to using coconut oil for these products is being able to avoid the chemicals and preservatives used in commercial products, since coconut oil is natural and contains none of the artificial ingredients of other products.

4) Coconut oil has great benefits for your pets. Put a small amount on your cat's paw for a smoother coat and fewer hairballs. Rubbing some coconut oil into your pet's scalp can decrease the itching and flaking that is common to many animals. Working a little bit into your pet's food has many healthy benefits. Feeding your pet coconut oil can lessen joint pain, help manage weight and even get rid of bad breath. Please check with your vet before making any changes to your pet's diet.

5) Coconut oil is a great hair conditioner. Massaging a small amount of coconut oil into your hair, especially the ends, will help keep it hydrated and manageable. Coconut oil can also be used as a deep conditioning treatment, leaving it on the hair for several hours or overnight, then rinsing out thoroughly. If you have a dry scalp, massage a tiny amount into your scalp to decrease flaking and dryness.

Coconut oil has many surprising uses. It is amazing how much this versatile oil can benefit people and pets alike. Coconut oil is one of the most useful multi-purpose products on the market today.

Sources:

76 Genius Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Your Everyday Life
http://greatist.com/health/genius-ways-to-use-coconut-oil

50 Ways to Use Coconut Oil to Better Your Life
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/using-coconut-oil

Coconut Oil Could Combat Tooth Decay
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120902222459.htm


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