If you're a regular reader of the CocoTherapy blog, you'll know that coconut oil is an incredibly versatile and beneficial oil for both people and pets. From skin health to dental care, digestion, and more, coconut oil offers numerous health benefits.
But did you know that coconut oil can also be used for other, less-obvious applications that can benefit you and your furry family members? In this blog post, we'll explore six surprising uses of coconut oil that you may not have heard of before. So, let's dive in and discover the wonders of this amazing oil!
1) Eye Drops: A Soothing Solution for Eye Injuries, Dry Eye, and Scratched Corneas
Coconut oil can be used as a natural eye drop solution and helps treat various eye issues in both people and pets. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) and MCT oil are excellent for treating dry eye, blepharitis, and conjunctivitis. The oils offer soothing and moisturizing effects while keeping bacterial infections at bay.
These benefits are backed up in the scientific literature too. In a 2015 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers investigated the use of VCO as an ocular rewetting agent in rabbits. The study found that applying VCO to the eyes was safe, improved tear film stability, and reduced damage to the eyes.
CocoTherapy co-founder Charisa has used VCO to treat her own severely dry eyes and finds it very soothing. She applies it right after waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night (after removing contact lenses if she's wearing them).
Our customers have also shared their own success stories with us. One customer with a Yorkie named Breezy developed an eye injury and conjunctivitis. With the supervision of her veterinarian, she applied coconut oil to the pup's eyes 2 – 3x a day. Breezy's eyes showed significant improvement with less redness and inflammation after just a few days of treatment.
Breezy’s mom applied melted CocoTherapy Virgin Coconut Oil to Breezy’s eyes, which showed remarkable improvement in a few days. (Photo: Lori R.)
These stories serve as a testament to the power of coconut oil for soothing and healing dry and injured eyes. So, if you or your pet need some relief from dry eye or other ocular conditions, reach for coconut oil and give it a try!
Here's how to use VCO as all-natural eye drops:
For humans with dry eye: apply 1 drop in each eye, 2 times a day. In the morning, apply upon waking up. In the evening, apply before bed. If you wear contact lenses, be sure to remove them before applying.
For dogs and cats: apply 1 drop in the affected eye, 2-3 times a day. Remember to always keep the eye dropper clean.
2) Mouthwash: A Natural Solution for Chronic Dry Mouth, Thrush, Inflamed Gums, and Plaque Reduction
Streptococcus mutans is one of the main bacteria in your mouth and plays a significant role in plaque buildup and tooth decay. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, coconut oil kills S. mutans and other oral bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis.
In one study, scientists compared the effectiveness of coconut oil and chlorhexidine in reducing S. mutans count in fifty female children. The study found that coconut oil was just as effective in reducing the bacteria count compared to chlorhexidine, indicating that it's a viable option for reducing plaque and tooth decay.
So, why not ditch your chemical-based mouthwash and switch to a natural solution that works just as well? Coconut oil mouthwash is simple to use and has numerous benefits beyond reducing plaque. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the gums, prevents bad breath, and may even help treat oral thrush.
Here's how to use coconut oil as a mouthwash:
- Put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth. Swish the oil around your teeth and gums for 20-30 seconds.
- Use in the morning and evening, before brushing your teeth.
- Spit the oil into the garbage, not in your sink to avoid clogging the drains.
To further illustrate the effectiveness of coconut oil as a natural mouthwash, we'd like to share CocoTherapy customer Diane Smith's story. It's an amazing testament to the power of coconut oil for restoring oral health:
"A dear friend of mine went through treatment for throat cancer over 10 years ago. He had chemo and radiation and fortunately appears to have beat it for over 10 years now. Because the radiation fried his salivary glands, he continues to experience dry mouth and thrush. He has been on numerous medications to try to resolve the issue, but nothing has worked. It was getting so bad his voice was becoming weak.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to see if there were any new articles on the condition since I originally researched it 10 years ago and immediately found this article. I told him I just happened to have a high-grade coconut oil and he started using it as the article outlines. He has had relief for the first time in over 10 years! It’s amazing. I wanted to share this in case it can help someone else.
Thank you for your wonderful products."
3) Throat Gargle: A Natural Remedy for Bacterial Throat Infections, Sore Throat, and Acute Laryngitis
Coconut oil's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it an excellent throat gargle for soothing pain and irritation caused by sore throats, bacterial infections, and laryngitis. The medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in the oil help kill harmful organisms, reduce inflammation, and alleviate pain.
The throat can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other organisms that cause infections and gargling with coconut oil is an effective natural remedy for keeping them at bay. So, the next time you're suffering from a sore throat, why not try a coconut oil gargle for some relief?
To use coconut oil as a throat gargle:
- Warm a small amount of coconut oil.
- Put a small amount of the oil in your mouth.
- Tilt your head back slightly, allowing the coconut oil to coat the back of your throat.
- Gently gargle for around 30 seconds. Don't swallow the oil!
- Spit out the oil into the garbage, not in your sink.
4) Acne Treatment: Effective for Both Human and Feline Acne
Acne is a common skin condition that affects not just humans but cats as well. In cats, it's known as feline acne and manifests as small, raised bumps with blackheads and whiteheads around the chin, lips, and mouth.
Acne in humans can be caused by a combination of factors, including overproduction of sebum, hormonal changes, and stress. In cats, it's often linked to poor self-grooming habits, allergies or sensitivities, and immune system deficiencies.
Fortunately, coconut oil is an effective natural remedy for both human and feline acne due to its high lauric acid content. Lauric acid has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties, making it especially helpful in treating and preventing acne. Coconut oil also contains medium-chain fatty acids and Vitamin E, which soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, and provide deep hydration to the skin.
In one study, researchers discovered that lauric acid was more effective against Propionibacterium acnes – the bacteria that causes inflammatory acne – than benzoyl peroxide (a common acne treatment). And in a separate study, capric acid, another fatty acid found in coconut oil, was found to be effective against P. acnes as well.
CocoTherapy customer applied Virgin Coconut Oil to affected areas. In several weeks, her acne cleared up. (Photo: Nikki M.)
Coconut oil is definitely worth a try if you're looking for an effective and natural way to treat acne. It's gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin, and its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe inflammation caused by breakouts.
Check out our recent post for full instructions on how to use coconut oil to treat acne in cats – you can also follow the same steps to treat your own acne!
5) Natural Deodorant: A Safe and Effective Alternative to Commercial Products
Coconut oil can be used as a deodorant, killing bacteria that cause body odor and eliminating yeast overgrowth. Unlike many commercial deodorants, it's free of potentially harmful ingredients like aluminum, which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Some people worry that coconut oil will leave a greasy residue or cause staining, but if you apply it correctly, neither of these should be a concern. It absorbs into the skin quickly and leaves a pleasant, natural scent. Plus, it's surprisingly effective at eliminating body odor!
To use coconut oil as a deodorant:
- Scoop up a small amount of virgin coconut oil with your fingers.
- Gently rub the oil under your arms until well absorbed.
- Allow the oil to absorb before getting dressed.
6) Suppository Enemas: A Remedy for Anal Gland Issues, Yeast Infections, Hemorrhoids, and Constipation
Coconut oil's soothing, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties can provide relief for anal gland issues, hemorrhoids, and constipation. It also has powerful antibacterial properties, which promote faster healing.
To make suppository enemas, you'll need a suppository tray, mold, or syringe. Freeze them so the coconut oil is solid and until ready for use. Both the coconut oil and the cold temperature can help to provide rapid relief.
How to use suppositories for your dog or cat:
- Make sure your pet is relaxed. If necessary, have a family member help you.
- Lubricate the rectum with coconut oil. If you're using a syringe, lubricate that instead.
- Support your pet and gently insert the suppository.
- Give your pet a treat or chew toy and encourage them to lay down for at least 5-10 minutes after insertion. This allows the body heat to melt the suppository and absorb the oil.
CocoTherapy co-founder Carmina's cat, Oliver, was severely constipated due to his medications. He was straining to go and couldn't expel any feces. Carmina's vet recommended using coconut oil as a suppository lubricant. After applying the coconut oil, Oliver was able to defecate within the hour!
Oliver, Carmina’s cat, was greatly helped by CocoTherapy coconut oil suppositories when he was severely constipated.
So, next time your pet is suffering from constipation, consider giving coconut oil a try. It's a safe and natural solution that's proven to provide fast relief.
Which of These Coconut Oil Uses Will You Try First?
We hope you found this post useful and learned about some of the amazing uses for coconut oil. Whether you want to treat acne, manage eye issues, or use it as a natural deodorant, coconut oil is a great all-around, natural and safe choice.
Now that you know all these creative uses, which one will you try first? We'd love to hear your stories and experiences with coconut oil, so go ahead and leave a comment below!