I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coconut Oil

Two nights ago I purchased this jar of coconut oil. It seems that coconut oil was popping up everywhere: on my Facebook Eczema page, and in searches for holistic-minded natural remedies and such. I saw it again and again. So I did some brief online research. Why had I thought that coconut was not a good idea? Here is some of what I learned: LINK

Now of course there are resources on the internet that claim this is all hooey, and that movie theaters and food manufacturers stopped using coconut oil in their products because it was shown to be bad for you. I guess you have to read the research and decide for yourself. 

I have decided to put it through its paces. 

There are many ways in which people use coconut oil:

Food. People use it in place of other oils in such foods as popcorn. I used it to make a grilled cheese sandwichs this morning. It was easy to cook with, made delicious (and yes, reminiscent of movie theater popcorn smells) popcorn, toasted bread well for the sandwichs, etc. And it did not take a lot of the stuff. I will note that coconut oil burns easily at higher cooking temperatures, so keep the temperatures down. 

Hand/Skin Lotion: I have been using the oil in place of my usual hand lotion (another oil) and it has worked fine. It does not seem to irritate my sensitive (eczema) skin, it absorbs easily and is not greasy feeling after being rubbed in. 

Hair: I haven't tried this one, but apparently people use coconut oil in their hair, and it supposed to make the hair super soft. I am dying to try it. Being a non-shampoo user at the moment due to a rashy scalp, I am looking for ways to keep my hair clean and conditioned that are all natural and not too irritating. I'll report back on my trials with that! Here is what I learned at eHow: LINK Sounds like work, but once in a while... Anyhow, I'll give it a try.

Pets: I have read that coconut oil can be helpful in pets with various conditions, including constipation and hair balls. You can read more about that here: LINK You can actually buy cans of the stuff that are marketed for pets. (A funny aside is that the can I saw for pets on Amazon.com was much more expensive per ounce than what I bought for myself!)

Some information I have learned along the way: Coconut oil melts at 76*F. It is a solid at room temperature in cooler areas. It burns easily at high temperatures, so keep your temperatures down when cooking with it. 

As always, I'd love to hear from anyone with experience!

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