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by Marge Maghoney

So for a while now, everybody seems to be going crazy over coconut. And for good reason. Aside from honey, it just might be nature's SUPER product for the body, both in and out.

I remember when I was growing up back in the Philippines, my mom would take me to the wet market where she would have a couple of mature coconuts grated, take 'em home then cook it. Not to eat, but to extract the oil from it. She would then massage this on my scalp and hers. You can't be more DIY than that! Personally, this does not even compare to, but exceeds treatments you could get from a spa. Pure and natural, from scratch.

Our hair always felt rich and healthy after, though as a child I wasn't a fan of the coconut-y smell on my head. But I was a kid. I had issues about everything. But now, I absofreakinlutely love it.

We also bought coconut juice to drink not in a can or a plastic bottle (this was unheard of) but from a street vendor who pushed around a cart filled with fresh coconuts, chop the top off and stick a straw on top. Coconut juice straight from the shell. Can't get any fresher than that. It didn't taste like what you get these days from the store, which have all kinds of artificial sweteners and preservatives. It was just clean and pure and refreshing. My favorite part was when I was done with the juice and start scooping out the meat (pulp) from inside the shell which was so tender it was almost like jelly.

Today, I don't have to go through finding mature coconuts, have them grated, cook 'em for hours just to have a little bowl of coconut oil. They're available almost anywhere and I use them not only for myself but also for Happee Body products (lip balms, scrubs, creams). It's just nature's ultimate moisturizer. The best value is still Trader Joe's (grown in the Philippines). For a little over eight bucks a pop, it's the best deal you can get. It's great for oil pulling, cooking, baking, moisturizing and massaging.

How else have you used coconut oil?

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