We have written extensively on health and beauty benefits of coconut oil, but its benefits are not limited to just making you beautiful and healthy. This wonderful oil also helps you get rid of various kinds of Candida infections, including mouth, gut, vaginal, and skin infections. This is because of the anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, and other pharmacological abilities of virgin coconut oil (VCO) (1). In addition to this, it also shows antibacterial and antifungal properties that inhibit the growth of these microorganisms (2, 3). When Candida species influence the vagina, it is known as Genital/ Vulvovaginal Candidiasis or yeast infection. It comes with the symptoms, such as itching, burning sensation while urinating, vaginal discharge, redness, and pain during intercourse. The condition may worsen with time, if not treated properly. In such a situation, immediate consultation with a doctor is critically important. To treat initial levels of the problem, you can use coconut oil, as it is considered as a wonderful home remedy for yeast infection. Want to know more about this natural antidote? Read further!
Composition of Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is edible oil excerpted from the kernel of coconuts picked from the coconut palms. It comprises of many monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Important acids that inhibit the growth of microbes are caprylic, lauric, myristic, palmitic acids. Besides the fats, certain phenolic acids like caffeic, p-coumaric and ferulic acids are also found in VCO that makes it a great antioxidant (4).
Reasons Why Coconut Oil is Effective for Yeast Infection
It is often recommended to use coconut oil for yeast infection on skin. Here are the reasons for why it is so.
1. Natural Anti-Fungal
Caprylic acid in coconut oil has the ability to kill Candida completely and relieve you from the infection. This acid enhances the antifungal and other antimicrobial properties of the coconut oil (5). Caprylic acid breaks the covering layer of yeast cells that cause infection. Thus, coconut oil puts an end to the reproduction and growth of yeast.
2. Enhances Immunity
The presence of lauric and caprylic acids in coconut oil boosts the immune system with their antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties (6). A regular consumption of this oil may prove to be a guard to your immunity, keeping certain ailments and infections at bay.
3. Lowers the Food Source for Yeast
Life of yeast depends on the sugars in our body, and they grow in high sugar concentrations (8). Coconut oil is a great substitute for sugar. It is not only a natural sweetener but also supplies required energy to the body. It reduces the number of carbohydrates. Thus, yeasts don’t get enough food to survive.
4. Protects Skin
Coconut oil guards the skin infected with yeast, and doesn’t let the microorganisms overgrow because of its antifungal properties (9). Apply the oil over the infected part, as it forms a protective layer over the already damaged skin and protects further deterioration. Also, coconut oil for yeast infection itch is quite effective.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection?
If you are confused about how to use coconut oil to cure yeast infection, here are some potent ways –
1. Direct Application on the Skin
Antifungal activity of coconut oil is highly efficient to cure the infection caused by Candida species (10). Its direct application is one of the easiest ways to use coconut oil to eliminate yeast infection. Make sure that the infected portion is clean and dry; you can use a hair dryer for a sensitive area. Now, apply a thin coating of the oil over the affected part. Follow the same procedure for 2 or 3 times in a day. Regular repetition will definitely aid to soothe the infection.
Note: Make sure that you keep the dryer at a safe distance from the vaginal area as it may burn the sensitive skin.
2. Include the Oil in Your Diet
A research shows that medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) in coconut oil have the ability to remove fungal infections, such as Candida (11). Another method with which coconut oil can assist you to exterminate the yeast infection is to include it in your diet. VCO might not taste good, but you can start adding it in your food in small quantities. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons and increase moderately. Some ways to include coconut oil in your meals are:
- Substitute cooking oil or butter that you apply on the toast for breakfast with coconut oil. Also, if you like to have oatmeal for breakfast, you can blend it with coconut oil.
- If it is possible for you, have a tsp of the oil before meals. This will not only enhance your immunity but also protects you from the present as well as future infections.
- Coconut oil is said to be extremely stable and doesn’t break into Trans fats. Thus, it can be heated at high temperatures. Interchanging it with your routine cooking oil is a great alternative.
3. Coconut Oil with Cinnamon
Other than consumption of coconut oil to treat the yeast, direct application is also a good option. It is not only coconut oil that shields your skin from Candida infection, but cinnamon oil also has antifungal properties that combat against it (12). Make a mixture of equal quantities of coconut and cinnamon oil. Spread it all over the infected part. It will regulate the growth of yeasts and prohibit the infection. Repeat the same process till the infection eliminates.
4. Mixed with Garlic and Vitamin E
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic properties, due to the presence of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) (13, 14). When these properties get mixed with the abilities of garlic and vitamin E, it does wonders to get rid of the yeast infection. Combine coconut oil with garlic oil, and vitamin E, and apply it over the affected portion. This process, when repeated, lessens the harmful effects and symptoms of yeast infection.
5. Coconut Oil Douche
Coconut oil maintains the proper moisture in your vaginal area, and thus, prevents vaginal infection (15). You can use coconut oil douche to get rid of yeast infection. You are required to prepare a combination of the oil with 2 quarts of distilled warm water. Douche the infected part with the solution, and repeat the same procedure until the infection exterminates completely.
- Alternatively, you can soak a tampon in the coconut oil instead of douche. Dip a unbleached tampon in the solution, and let it in the vagina for 8 hours or a whole night.
Another easy method to use coconut oil’s nutrients and properties to eliminate yeast infection is to keep its capsules on the infected area. Prefer doing this at night because these capsules may melt and leak, due to the heat of the body. Pads are recommended to be used with this process. 2 or 3 capsules for each night are enough. This method is extremely competent to remove the infection completely (16).
1) Use organic virgin coconut oil for the procedure, as it is natural and pure.
2) Avoid using hydrogenated coconut oil, as it lacks the beneficial characteristics and may contain a large amount of unhealthy trans-fatty acids.
How Long Does Coconut Oil Take to Treat Yeast Infection?
Once you start using coconut oil, it will start showing the positive effects. Due to this, it is recommended to be slow while including it in your diet. Initially, you should take about half or 1 teaspoon of it for 3 times every day. Later, you can increase the quantity to 3 tbsp in a day. In case, your infection is severe, stick to this dose for 2 or 3 weeks. If you face die-off symptoms, stop taking it. You can start it again, once the symptoms disappear. Prefer 3 or 4 small doses of the oil, instead of taking it all in one go. Being a natural and safe food with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antifungal, and antipyretic properties, coconut oil has numerous other benefits too, besides treating Candida infection (17). You can have it regularly for a long term, as it not only makes your hair and skin shine but also keeps you healthy and fit.