Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil, and it is traditionally made by extracting the oil from raw coconuts. At room temperature, coconut oil is solid but it softens or melts when heated.
Coconut oil is full of medium-chain fatty acids, a form of saturated fat.
Coconut oil can help eliminate harmful microorganisms
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties that can protect your skin from harmful microorganisms.
Different types of skin infections, like acne, cellulitis, folliculitis and athlete’s foot, are caused by bacteria or fungi. Applying coconut oil directly to your skin can help prevent the growth of these microorganisms.
Coconut oil's antimicrobial properties are due to its lauric acid content, which makes up about 50 percent of its fatty acids.
Lauric acid helps fight harmful microorganisms. In a study, researchers tested the antibacterial properties of 30 types of fatty acids against 20 different strains of bacteria, lauric acid was the most effective at preventing bacterial growth.
Another test-tube study showed that capric acid in coconut oil had anti-fungal effects that helped inhibit the growth of certain types of fungi.
Coconut oil can help reduce inflammation
Some studies show that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to different types of skin disorders, like contact dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
In one study, scientists applied virgin coconut oil to the inflamed ears of rats. Results suggest that coconut oil had an anti-inflammatory effect and that it also helped relieve pain in the test subjects.
Coconut oil can help promote wound healing
Other studies suggest that coconut oil can also aid in wound healing.
In an animal study, researchers examined the effects of coconut oil when applied to the skin of injured rats. Findings showed that treating wounds with virgin coconut oil helped promote faster healing, improved antioxidant status and increased collagen levels.
Collagen is an important protein that needed for wound healing. Additionally, the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil can help prevent infection, which can significantly complicate the healing process.
Data suggests that when used externally, coconut oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal. Additionally, coconut oil helps promotes healing and is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
By itself, coconut oil can be used to treat common health complaints such as:
As detailed above, coconut oil can be used on its own to soothe wounds and burns. Additionally, coconut oil has natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it a great carrier oil for healing essential oils. (Related: How to make DIY survival pain relief salve using essential oils.)
Below is a lice treatment that combines coconut oil with apple cider vinegar, another versatile item that you should stock up on before SHTF.
Coconut oil can help keep your skin healthy, but applying it to the skin may not be ideal for everyone. Avoid using coconut oil if you have oily skin since it may block pores and cause blackheads.
If it's your first time using coconut oil, do a patch test first to check if it will cause an allergic reaction, irritation, or blocked pores. For external uses, like remedies for skin conditions, any kind of coconut oil will work.
Treat burns or infections naturally with soothing coconut oil and essential oils.