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What’s the deal with coconut oil, and how can it improve your life? Licensed massage therapist Jean Olsen is eager to show you a few ways–and then some! In this book, Olsen, also the author of Headache Free… Naturally and Mastering the 7 Secrets of Massage Therapy, explores the many potential benefits and applications of coconut oil to one’s health, home, and beyond. Save time, money and the environment with this all-natural wonder substance–Try It for Everything!

Coconut oil is an extraction from the meat of mature coconuts, harvested from the coconut palm. It is one of the most beneficial natural products in our world. It is considered by many people to be necessary for good health, as well as for grooming and caring for the body and our environment. It has been used for thousands of years by native island cultures and is an integral part of daily life for many people living today in tropical or subtropical areas of the world.

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About two years ago, I got a call from a  couple to come to their office to perform my “workplace massage” service, one of the various ways I help clients in my Licensed Massage Therapy business.      When I asked how they had heard about me, I wasn’t surprised to learn that they were referred by my client, who is a chiropractor and often recommends my massage services.

When I go to someone’s home or office, I bring all my equipment with me—my massage table, a bolster, sheets, a foam cushion, a portable stereo, and my massage oils. But these new clients, Karen and Wayne, told me on the phone that I did not need to bother bringing any oil; they had some there. This was a little disconcerting because of prior situations where people had their own oils that were not as good as the oils I used. But what could I say? Sometimes people had allergies or had found a favorite oil they liked on their skin, so I was ready to go along with what they wanted to use. What I wasn’t prepared for was that Karen and Wayne were going to change my life forever.

This was how I was first introduced to coconut oil. They told me they loved it because of all of its health and beauty benefits. They had been experimenting with all the applications of coconut oil, such as a moisturizing their skin and conditioning their hair. They also loved the taste of it and put it on many things, and especially liked it on their toast in the morning.

There was a little bowl of it up on the counter and they told me about how the consistency of it would change depending on the temperature. Though thermostats can vary, the point at which it changes from a solid to a liquid is around 74-76 degrees. When I put it in my warm hands, it softened, responding almost instantly to my touch. This made it especially intriguing.

The type of massage I do is a combination of Swedish and neuromuscular, which requires that the oil or lotion that I use is the right consistency. The Swedish massage process demands that the oil helps my hands to glide across the skin. The neuromuscular aspect means that what I use must be able to help me to grip, as well, without losing a firm connection with someone’s skin or musculature. I was impressed that coconut oil was perfect for my massage, as my hand work felt smooth yet firm with the use of it. By the time I completed the massages for Karen and Wayne, I had a keen appreciation for their wonderful coconut oil.

Since then, I have been doing my own experiments and research on the various uses of coconut oil. I went through a phase where I was trying it on or with everything. In this book I lovingly refer to this as my TIFE (Try It For Everything) stage.

Coconut oil is a wildly versatile oil, as you will read about. Some of what I found out really surprised me, as I’m sure it will you, too. I’ve included some interesting and valid information about the health benefits I discovered in my research. Also, to help you get started with your own ideas for incorporating coconut oil into your life, I will share with you many of my tried-and-true original recipes.

It is my hope that you will enjoy learning about the many uses of this unique and wonderful oil. As you begin to try it, you will be able to stop using many chemically-based products. You will also feel good about your contribution to help resolve our environmental issues, as you won’t need to buy, use, or discard toxic chemicals. When you start using coconut oil, you will also be able to clear out some of your cabinets that hold various products, because this oil is so versatile. These reasons alone should encourage you to get started! As your enthusiasm builds, as mine has, you will come up with even more uses of coconut oil on your own. Enjoy!

Chapter 1


Coconut oil is an extraction from the meat of mature coconuts, harvested from the coconut palm. It is one of the most beneficial natural products in our world. It is considered by many people to be necessary for good health, as well as for grooming and caring for the body and our environment. It has been used for thousands of years by native island cultures and is an integral part of daily life for many people living today in tropical or subtropical areas of the world.

In our culture, the use of coconut oil requires that we break out of some social conditioning that influences us to use highly-marketed chemical products. We also need to be conscious of the (undeserved) bad rap that coconut oil has gotten in the past and continues to suffer today.

There are so many benefits to using coconut oil, both for ourselves and for our environment. My research led me to information about using coconut oil in treating everything from HIV to insomnia. It is capable of reducing the effects of aging, thanks to its power as an emollient and an antioxidant. What I have also discovered is that there are multiple ways of incorporating coconut oil into your environment and reducing the negative impact of chemicals.

Some people question the health benefits of coconut oil because it is a saturated fat. The truth about saturated fats is that there are many different types of them, some good and some bad. Because coconut oil is taken from a plant source, it is very different from the saturated oils taken from an animal product.

There are ten different medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) in coconut oil. Lauric acid is by far the most prevalent. This MCFA, which is also abundantly present in human breast milk, provides the building blocks of growth and good health. In addition, it is known for its antimicrobial benefits, which support a healthy immune system. Its presence is a large part of what makes coconut oil especially healthy for us.

Many health concerns can be helped with coconut oil, either directly or indirectly. For instance, it is helpful for weight loss by improving one’s metabolism and bolstering the thyroid gland’s good health. .With obesity comes a myriad of other problems including varicose veins, high blood pressure, heart issues, knee and foot pain, digestive disturbances, depression—just to name a few. As part of healthy eating and an active lifestyle, coconut oil is a essential food to keep on hand to obtain and maintain a healthy body weight and body fat percentage.

Coconut oil is widely considered to be an antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiprotozoal food. Some of these terms are easy enough to understand: antiviral (kills viruses), antibacterial (kills bacteria), antifungal (kills fungus), and antimicrobial (kills algae, fungi, bacteria and parasites). However, before my research I didn’t know what “antiprotozoal” meant. Do you? This means that it kills protozoa, which is a single-celled organism and parasite. It typically causes infections such as malaria, giardiasis and trichomoniasis. The fact that coconut oil can fight off these diseases definitely speaks to its health benefits!

When we invite coconut oil into our routine, we are making a paradigm shift in our lifestyles. For instance, we no longer need to go to the dentist to have our teeth cleaned as often.  The oil helps our body to absorb minerals such as calcium and magnesium which encourages the strength of our teeth, particularly the enamel.  With all its antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits, it is no wonder that it keeps our gums healthy, as well. Even though it seems to be a time-consuming venture to change our ways, in actuality, the use of coconut oil carves out more time for us. In the instance above, how much time do you set aside for dental appointments and how many hours do you need to work to pay for those appointments?

A lot of things that we use, especially in lubricants, paint, carpets, building materials insulation, and plywood, have high levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are detrimental to us. Not only do our bodies absorb these compounds when we use them, but they also vaporize to a breathable gas. Manufacturing and disposing of them produces hazardous waste that pollutes our air and water. Typically, coconut oil can replace these products with no harmful effects to our environment or our bodies.

Coconut oil has gotten a bad reputation in the past. From what I read, it seems as if some of the bad rap has a political/economic basis to it. For instance, we were told years ago that fat was bad for us, especially saturated fats, but now we are finding that it just isn’t the truth.  This book will not center on this debate, as my intent is simply to expose you to all the wonderful, healthy ways to use coconut oil. This is just a fair warning that you might come across misinformation that will steer you away from coconut oil.

In this book, I won’t go deeply into the chemistry of coconut oil, nor will I delve into the history of it. This book is about using coconut oil, so I will leave these topics for other books. I have provided a list of references and research sources at the back of this book; if you are curious to learn more about this topic.