Let me count the ways.
1. Frying. I use butter, lard, tallow or coconut oil for frying, as they are the only things that are heat-stable enough not to become carcinogenic when used for frying. Coconut oil works great for frying eggs, veggies, stir frys, etc. And it is actually more heat-stable then butter, although not as stable as either tallow or lard.
2. Baking. When a recipe calls for oil for baking (like in my waffles this morning), I just use CO in the summer. When it's cold, it's a pain as it's solid, so I don't always choose to use it then. But when it's warm, it's great!
3. Greasing pans. It works great for greasing baking pans, for cookies, etc. I just use my fingers and then wipe the leftovers on my skin.
4. Lotion. We've been using it as lotion for some time now. It's amazing! The kids use it with impunity. We use it all over our body without any concern of chemicals or over-use. It soaks into the skin and does some good internally as well!
5. Antiseptic. When one of us gets hurt, we pour hydrogen peroxide over it until the bubbles stop, and then we put CO on it and cover it with a band aid. The CO gets put on whenever the kids think of it. I am positive it has helped us to heal faster and keep out germs in the meantime. It's an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasite.
6. Burn Cream. When we get a burn, or a sunburn, we keep CO on the burn liberally until it's healed.
7. Sunscreen. I have not used it successfully when we are out in the super hot sun and swimming. But for every day use, it's great for a sunscreen.
8. Oil Pulling. I have been oil pulling for over a month and really like it. I need to figure out a schedule to get the kids doing it every day as well. I simply dip a tablespoon into the jar (about half full) and pour it into my mouth. I could not put the solid CO into my mouth as it made me gag, so I used EVVO when I first started. I'm hoping by the time it gets cold again, I'll be able to put the solid CO into my mouth and let it melt.
9. Tooth Paste. I'm not a huge fan of it this way, but Myia likes it. And I have used it a few times and didn't mind. It's great for traveling, as you can use it as first aid, lotion and tooth paste.
10. Lip Balm. It works great for dry lips.
11. Dry/Itchy Skin. Vaginal itching as well as just dry itchy skin.
12. Rashes. Myia had what I think was poison ivy. And she put some on it and it stopped itching after a short time.
13. Detoxing. It's great for detoxing. I put a spoonfur in my broth when I remember to drink it.
14. Weight Loss. It can speed up a sluggish metabolism by helping the thyroid to work more efficiently.
I love simplicity. Multi-purposed items are my favorite things to have around the house. And coconut oil definitely falls into that category. The longer I have it around, the more uses I find for it.
While I prefer local for most things, there is just no way to raise coconut trees here, and it's worth the extra money and resources to keep some on hand. If we bought the vast majority of our food locally and only a few things from over-seas, this is definitely one I would choose to keep. It's great for so many things!
I keep a small jar of it in the bathroom for first aid. I also put some in a small spray bottle for the summer, as it sprays fabulously when it's liquid. The kids are allowed free access to them. I would like to buy another small container for the car to keep along with some hydrogen peroxide and band aids for when we get hurt when we're out and about.
I love the expeller pressed coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. It's inexpensive, has very little coconut-y taste, was responsibly harvested and processed and comes from a Christian company. I bought 2 gallons when it was on sale in the spring. I ended up paying approximately $30 for each including shipping.
Don't be intimidated by my gallon bucket though. There is coconut oil sold at most grocery stores. Just make sure it has no other added ingredients.