The Power of Coconut Oil

Over the past few years I have grown to know and love the power of coconut oil in personal health and hygiene.  Here are a few of the uses we have found in our family:

1. Moisturizer for acne prone skin
Not only does coconut oil keep my face soft and breakout free, but it helps heal any scars I have from my epic acne days.
(Read about how I changed my life to rid my acne here).

2. Super conditioner for damaged and brittle hair
After three summers in the garden without a hat, the Texas sun did some serious damage to my hair.  I have been working diligently to heal it and coconut oil has played a large part.  Leave it on your tips overnight for split end relief.  Fair warning, this will make your hair greasy the next day, so do not do this the day before a big event! (Read about my experience going shampoo free here).

3. Stretch mark prevention and healing
I applied coconut oil diligently during my first pregnancy.  I made it until the due date without stretch marks, but my skin just could not handle the sheer size of my gut any longer and I ended up with purple stretch marks on my hips and lower abdomen.  I have continued to apply coconut oil to these areas after I shower and have watched these stretch marks slowly fade away.  Now, just one year later, my stretch marks are small colorless indentions on my skin that you have to really look to see.  We’ll see how this pregnancy goes!

4. Rash relief for baby
When Aliana broke out in a red, dry, itchy rash after eating a particular brand of strawberry yogurt ( ) we applied coconut oil and witnessed her immediate relief. She stopped itching and the rash faded quickly after application.

5. Diaper cream for baby
In an effort to use more and more raw ingredients and fewer and fewer store bought processed goods, we decided to test the healing powers of coconut oil on Aliana’s rear instead of diaper cream.  The results were astounding.  First of all, the Burt’s Bee’s diaper cream we use creates a potent foul smell when combined with urine, the coconut oil left her smelling fresh all day long.  Additionally, the coconut oil heals any rash she might develop on her tush with only one application!  The Burt’s Bee’s usually took more than one!

6. Lip gloss for parched lips
Sick of eating chemicals all day through your lip gloss?  Have chapped lips?  Coconut oil has you covered!  Not only does coconut oil assist my lips in healing major dryness or sunburn, but it leaves them glossy and shiny without the need to apply lip gloss!  Because of coconut oil’s fast transition from solid to liquid, this may not be possible in the summer as it would make a mess!

7. All over body lotion
Coconut oil leaves you smelling nice and feeling smooth.  Why apply chemicals to your body when mother nature has you covered?  Use mid-day as a refresher oil to stay smelling sweet into the evening!

8. Cuticle Relief
If you garden like me, your fingernails are always seeking special treatment.  Give your cuticles and instant boost by rubbing coconut oil on the base of your nails.  You’ll find dry, cracking skin quickly restores to natural soft beauty!!!

These are just the topical applications of coconut oil that we use in our lives!  Later I will post bout other uses!!

Here is my favorite brand of coconut oil!

PS: None of this is medical advice, just observations and conclusions we’ve drawn from our personal experiences!


Hugelkultur For Your Garden

In the late spring of 2011 John and I broke ground on our first raised garden bed.  After researching various methods we decided to utilize the hugelkultur method where you bury rotting wood underneath your soil.  This serves several purposes.  First, it provides nutrients to your garden. Second, it provides water to your garden during times of drought (the soil loses moisture faster than the wood). Third, it provides natural aeration (brings oxygen to your soil). Fourth, it provides beneficial bugs with a reason to dig around in your soil. Fifth, the decomposition of the wood provides warmth to your plants’ roots at during the late fall and early spring, extending your gardening season.

I literally watered our first and best made hugelkultur bed three times this summer.  And it wasn’t just any summer.  Months of 100+ degree heat and little rain for weeks at a time left many gardens suffering.  Not ours.  It flourished with very little maintenance!  Our tomatoes were planted in flower beds that already existed on our property before we arrived (no hugelkultur beds) and I had to water them two to three times a week.  That’s a huge difference in hose-water consumption!

Here our photos from our hugelkulture experiment (more at


Below you see the empty bed.  Two cinder blocks high, with one layer of cinder blocks buried below ground level.


Next you see our cinder block-high layer of wood inside the raised bed.

We then alternated horse manure and soil that originated from the hole where we made the bed.

This has been our most productive bed in the garden!  I believe the fact we cemented the cinder blocks together makes all the difference (our other beds are simply stacked…

Again, for more pics from our home garden please visit!

Here is a photo thread on the Survival Podcast that shows pics of other people building massive hugelkultur beds!