By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Sister Knowitall
Sometimes you feel like a nut
By Cindy Gilbert

Dear Sister Knowitall,

I keep hearing about the benefits of coconut oil. Is it like eating a mounds or almond joy or is there really something healthy about it?

I heard it is really high in fat so I'm confused as to why it's supposed to be the  answer for everything. Can you explain to me what all the hype is about,  Is it all the same or should I look for a certain kind. How do I use it anyway? 

Sincerely,

Coconut Confused

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Dear Coconut Confused, 

I am so glad you asked.  I love, love, love coconut oil.  I use it every day.  Some natural products are staples in my home, coconut oil is one of them. Coconut oil is not the same coconut you get in a candy bar that is full of sugar and other things so don't use this article as an excuse to gorge yourself on candy bars.  Coconut is made by pressing the fat from the white "meat" from inside the coconut.  It still smells like coconut but the taste is rather flavorless without the sugar.  It melts at a really low temperature, if you put it in your hand it will melt very quickly.  It is also known to be able to withstand high cooking temperatures. It is a healthy fat and there is research that it is a great replacement oil for cooking and that  it may be beneficial for thyroid and heart health. 

What do you look for,  I always look for;  pure, unrefined, cold pressed 100% organic, extra virgin coconut oil.   I buy it in big containers because I don't have to be skimpy with it.  I could write a dozen articles about the benefits and uses of coconut oil.   I have read all the hype too and a lot of it has value. Just remember, when you read any cure all you have to really do your research and never take anything you read at face value. It's about finding reputable sources for your information and doing comparisons and sometimes trial and error.  

A few uses for Coconut oil, it makes a great alternative for goo gone/goof off. Use it straight on a label or mix with a bit of baking soda and rub in let sit for a few minutes and take a paper towel to remove labels from jars or other items you would use goof off. It's  great hand degreaser for car repairman in your family. There are some skin care uses as it works great on dry patches, you can also make a  mixture using sea salt, sugar or baking soda and some essential oils. 

I keep a small container in my bathroom to use as an awesome eye make-up remover.  It makes an amazing hair conditioner or hot oil treatment.  Put some on your dry hair before you get in the shower or warm  it first  and pour on your hair leave for ten minutes to a couple of hours based on  time and then wash your hair with your normal shampoo, so soft.  It absorbs so quickly that I have not found it to leave my hair looking greasy.  If you do feel a  residue that feels greasy after you wash do a second shampoo then dry as usual.   Coconut oil is also great for your teeth. Oil pulling is an interesting concept. Take a spoonful of coconut and slosh it around in your mouth for anywhere from two minutes to twenty. I have tried this in the shower, can be odd or even gross as coconut oil is sloshing around in your mouth,  There is research that it helps reduce plaque, make healthy gums and whiten teeth. You can mix it with some baking soda and peppermint oil to make a natural toothpaste. So do I think it's amazing? Yes!  Do I think it's the answer to everything, No.  So to nut or not to nut.  I'm definitely a "coco"-nut kind of girl.

Cindy Pitts Gilbert is Director of Training for Know It Training for Professional and Personal Development in Gwinnett County.  She is also the Home Remedy Guru of the Blog Sister Knowitall: sisterknowitall.blogspot.com.  She has been learning natural home remedies after she developed allergic reactions to chemicals in household cleaning products. Send your questions to: askme@sisterknowitall.com


Tips are based on Cindy’s experiences, as well as “old wives tales” and local lore. They are not meant to be considered medical advice.