Coconut Oil for Your Survival Kit
“Good to know about” or “Essential” ?
When I’m writing about items for a survival kit, I often have to distinguish between “good to know about” and “essential to have.” Today, I’m writing about coconut oil. It straddles the line between “good to know about” and “essential to have.” I’ll let you decide!
Coconut oil has been popular in health and beauty news for several years, and a couple of years ago coconut water emerged as a very popular drink. (I don’t care for it, myself.)
Coconut Oil for Emergencies
Lately articles about coconut oil as a survival item have jumped out at me. Then, when I got a sample recently — as a unique favor at a wedding party! — I looked into it at more depth.
Here’s what I’ve found out, and tested for myself. See if any of these work for you – then try some of the oil! It’s inexpensive and available everywhere.
First Aid with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is claimed to have antiviral, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties! Whew! Makes me wonder how I got along without it so far!.
Some simple ways to use it that certainly sound sensible:
- Apply to a cut to prevent infection.
- Dot on bites, stings or rashes to relieve itching.
- Rub between toes to prevent athlete’s foot (a fungus).
- Relieve chapped lips with a thin coating.
- Apply to scalp to kill lice (and get rid of cradle cap).
Shelter-in-Place with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has an extended shelf life (up to two years, maybe longer), doesn’t need refrigeration, hardens at temperatures below 76 degrees and is liquid at temperatures higher. The image above shows my two bottles — the one I’ve been using and the one I stuck in the refrigerator.
Some excellent survival or camping ideas:
- Rub into wood or leather to condition and protect.
- Use to season pans and in fact, as a substitute for butter or oil for frying.
- Use as the basis for a candle. Just add a wick to liquid oil, then allow oil to harden.
- Use coconut oil to clean your hands – of dirt, wax, paint. (It works great as a make-up remover, too, but you won’t be needing that in an emergency!)
Eat Coconut Oil
I’m not a trained dietitian or a doctor, so I’m not making any recommendations about taking coconut oil internally. Certainly, there are many, many testimonials on the internet and on TV about its ability to improve your health. I suggest you simply research on your own. (Try looking up “coconut oil + _____” and fill in the blank with your own condition: constipation, diabetes, cancer, acne, etc.)
I did find an article that laid out healthy limits for a daily dosage of coconut oil based on your weight. Find out more about this, too, before you start taking it.
Finally, consider the quality of the coconut oil you buy. While there are no internationally agreed-upon quality terms (like “extra virgin” vs. “virgin” olive oil), it does make sense to read about how the oil is captured and processed. It all comes from the coconut — but can be washed, steamed, pressed, bleached, etc. For our survival purposes, I would look for virgin oil for the best benefits.
Here are some examples of what look like good buys in three different categories. Click on the image to get full details and current pricing.
I selected this because its labeling specifically calls out some of the survival uses discussed above. Note that some other jars of coconut oil at Amazon refer only to their use for COOKING. In fact, some of them add extra flavors to the coconut! Anyway, this is the one I would start with for my own survival kit.
Note that this oil has been treated to remove certain fatty acids, rendering it odorless and greaseless and permanently liquid. So-called “fractionated” oils like this may be more convenient for cooking or general purpose beauty care, but may have lost some of their anti-oxidant properties.
Nativa – Refined, in Gallon size!
If you are planning on cooking with coconut oil (French fries!), you may want to purchase refined oil in much larger quantities. Here’s an example of an oil that has a high smoking point, no coconut smell or taste. The customer reviews are very positive.
Note: At Amazon many of the coconut oil product distributors assume you are going to want to sign up for a regular delivery, and they offer a discount for that purchase. My recommendation: try out ONE item first, or even better, try out at least TWO so you can compare, before you sign up for monthly delivery. Don’t accidentally click the wrong box!
I think you’ll end up adding coconut oil to your survival stash, just as I have!
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
P.S. If you have discovered great uses for coconut oil, write and let us know in the comments!
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