Curtis’s Note: One small study did show that virgin coconut oil can kill candida. But, the study was only performed in the lab and hasn’t been replicated in people. Despite that, the results were promising and considering that virgin coconut oil is extremely safe and has many uses in the home I wouldn’t be afraid to at least try it for a yeast infection.
Reader Question: Does Coconut Oil really work for yeast infections? I was reading about other ways to treat them and one site said that Coconut Oil has been proven to work but I don’t know how trustworthy the site was (I actually don’t even know who wrote it). But, since they said there were actual studies it kind of sounded promising. I suffer from yeast infections from time to time and hate taking prescription drugs so I thought if there was something natural that worked it might be worth a shot?
I wrote an article talking about how to find reliable health and medical information online. I’d encourage you to read it because one of the things you mentioned really hit home with me. And that was you couldn’t identify who wrote the article. In short, someone simply says that coconut oil works for yeast infections and leaves it at that.
Not very reliable.
However, looking beyond that I’ve done my own research on coconut oil and I will say that it’s role in yeast infections (and other diseases) is certainly promising.
Effective Against Candida (In The Lab)
As you probably already know a yeast infection is simply an overgrowth of the fungus family Candida. It can show up as thrush (oral) or other spots on the body.
A small, but interesting study was performed at a hospital in Nigeria in 2007. What they discovered was that the Candida fungus could be killed by placing coconut oil directly on the fungus (in a petri dish). It was compared to fluconazole – a popular prescription anti-fungal – but one that is seeing more and more resistance (1).
In some species of Candida (there are many of them) the coconut oil could kill the fungus even when it was only at 25% strength (meaning, it was diluted). For other types of Candida they had to use stronger, undiluted coconut oil.
But, the study was promising in the fact that something in the coconut oil clearly has anti-fungal properties.
Lauric Acid and Capric Acid In Coconut Oil
For a long time we didn’t know how coconut oil was killing fungus. But this study clearly shows that two fatty acids found in coconut oil – Lauric Acid and Capric Acid – were responsible for it’s actions.
However, what you need to know about this study is that it was also done in the lab. Not on real patients.
Does this mean it won’t work? I don’t think so. I’ve seen enough evidence at this point to suggest that coconut oil is at least worth a shot.
Applying The Coconut Oil
How you take, or apply, coconut oil depends on the type of infection you have.
For example, while not a true yeast infection I’ve had people tell me that coconut oil can be effective applied topically against other fungal infections like Athletes Foot.
So, topically appears to be effective.
If it’s something like thrush, which shows up in the mouth, you obviously have to consume the coconut oil orally. But, the benefits of coconut oil taken orally appear to extend beyond just treating yeast infections and it’s something I’m going to follow up with other articles and reports in the future.
My point is: I think coconut oil is not only promising, but extremely safe and fairly inexpensive. Not only that, my early research makes me believe that coconut oil may be helpful in a number of other different ways.
Be Careful Of Type Of Coconut Oil You Use
While I don’t have reliable evidence for what I’m about to say I would encourage you to use the purest form of coconut oil you can. Meaning purchase virgin coconut oil which has not been hydrogenated. The research available at this point used virgin coconut oil – not the hydrogenated brands. Avoid those.
As I mentioned I have begun experimenting with taking coconut oil myself. After trying numerous brands here is the actual type of pure virgin coconut oil I now use myself.