How to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection (Candida) – The Ultimate Guide

Coconut Oil For Yeast Infection - The Ultimate Guide

Do you suffer from red itchy skin, thrush, fatigue and low energy or persistent bloating? These are just some of the signs of a yeast infection and you may be interested to know that you can use coconut oil for yeast infection. Read on to find out how to use coconut oil to prevent and treat yeast infections.

What is Yeast (Candida)?

Yeast is a type of fungi which lives in our bodies and just as there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, so there are good and bad types of yeast. The scientific name for yeast is Candida and it usually lives in our digestive system.

Usually, a healthy immune system keeps yeast in its place, doing the functions they are supposed to do. However, certain medications and health issues can cause more yeast multiply, especially Candida albicans, resulting in a condition called Candidiasis (a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida). This can cause great discomfort and, if left untreated, can develop into a life-threatening condition.

Let’s have a look at the symptoms and causes of yeast infection and how to use coconut oil to treat yeast infection.

What are The Causes and Symptoms of Yeast Infection?

Yeast is found in very small amounts in our bodies. To keep yeast under control, we need a proper balance of bacteria in our digestive system. However, when something happens in the body to upset the delicate balance of bacteria, yeast can break through the intestine walls and get into the bloodstream.

This can cause fungal infections on the skin, in the mouth, and in the vagina. Vaginal yeast infections are very common in women and they can cause great discomfort. Commonly, it is referred to as thrush.

Causes of Yeast Infections

There are various factors that can cause yeast infections in people. The most common reason is taking medication which can interfere with healthy bacteria in the body. For example, antibiotics usually disrupt the digestive system and because of this yeast infections can spread (and in this regard read my article about the 3 things you should do after taking antibiotics to restore healthy intestinal flora).

However, birth control pills, stress, alcohol, and/or eating too much sugar in your diet can also bring on yeast infections.

Symptoms of Yeast Infection

A yeast infection in the mouth (sometimes called oral thrush) will show up as white spots inside the mouth and on the tongue (see the 8 warning signs your tongue may be sending), and a person will usually experience a sore throat and redness in the mouth.

Usually, the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections are severe itching in the genital area, swollen labia, vaginal discharge, and pain when urinating. There could also be pain when having intimate relationship.

Here are some of the other signs of a yeast infection in the body:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections
  • Lack of energy and chronic fatigue
  • Digestive problems like bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Strong cravings for sugar or bread products

Yeast infection (Candida) has to be treated with antifungal medications and it is also important to make diet and lifestyle changes. It is also necessary to take probiotics so that you build up a number of good bacteria in your body.

Let’s have a look at all the reasons why coconut oil is an excellent treatment for yeast infections and how to use it.

Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection

The way to kill off yeast infections, stop it spreading further and to make sure it doesn’t become a life-threatening condition is to administer antifungal treatments. However, the antifungal drugs that are usually prescribed can cause side effects and the yeast can become resistant to them.

There have been many studies carried out into coconut oil for treatment of yeast infection and scientists have found that it contains powerful antifungal properties which can be useful in treating yeast infections, including Candidiasis. What’s more, the fungus doesn’t build up a resistance to the antifungal properties of coconut oil.

When using coconut oil for yeast infection, make sure you use unrefined virgin, preferably organic, coconut oil.

Coconut Oil and Yeast Infection – the Studies

Study #1 – coconut oil for Candida albicans

In 2015, an extensive study was carried out into the effect that coconut oil has specifically on the type of yeast called Candida albicans (C. albicans). The study, published in the American Society for Microbiology, examined the amount of Candida albicans in the gastrointestinal tract of mice and how coconut oil affects it.1

It was found that when coconut oil was introduced to the diet, the amount of C. albicans was significantly reduced.

The study also showed that coconut oil actively reduces C. albicans colonization on the gastrointestinal tract (GI). It was also noted that coconut oil also contains medium-chain fatty acids, which also play a role in reducing C. albicans. They concluded that coconut oil “could become the first dietary intervention to reduce C. albicans GI colonization.”

Study #2 – coconut oil against all strains of candida

This study confirms the results of another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods that examined the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida albicans.2

The study showed that coconut oil was effective against all strains of Candida species and was more effective at killing fungi than fluconazole. Fluconazole is one of the most popular drugs used to combat Candida infections. The research concluded that “coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”

Coconut oil for yeast infection – more studies

Other studies have shown that coconut oil is just as effective as ketoconazole, another antifungal drug which is prescribed for yeast infections.3 Also, combining coconut oil with other antifungal and antibacterial drugs can make them more effective.

For example, clotrimazole is an antifungal drug used for the treatment of vaginal yeast infection. When clotrimazole was combined with coconut oil it was more effective in treating vaginal yeast infections.4

It is clear that coconut oil can play an important role in treating yeast infections. It can be used on its own to kill off yeast infections, or it can be combined with medication to make it more effective, thus reducing the dose a person has to take.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infections

The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oils are effective when it is taken internally and also when used as a topical application.

Coconut Oil in Diet

You can use virgin coconut oil to clear up a yeast infection by incorporating it into your diet.

First of all, it is good to know that as far as fats go, coconut oil is classed as a healthy fat. Although it contains saturated fats, these have been proven to actually lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL).5

Also, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil is quickly turned into energy, rather than being stored as fat and this is one of the reasons for using coconut oil for weight loss.

In the study mentioned previously into the effect of coconut oil on Candida albicans, it was noted that consuming larger doses of coconut oil as a short-term measure shouldn’t have any long-term cardiovascular effects.1 However, you should remember that, as with all fats, coconut oil is high in calories.

To get the antifungal benefits of coconut oil, you should take between 3-5 tablespoons a day. Here are some ideas how you can incorporate it into your diet:

  • Use coconut oil as an alternative to butter or margarine and spread it on bread or toast
  • Add coconut oil to your oatmeal breakfast
  • Take a teaspoon of coconut oil before each meal
  • Use coconut oil for cooking
  • Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a smoothie

You can find more ideas in my ultimate guide for cooking with coconut oil.

You should always start out with smaller amounts of coconut oil and then gradually increase your daily intake.

Coconut Oil as a Topical Treatment for Yeast Infection

Virgin coconut oil is also a very effective antifungal topical treatment for Candida. As the studies mentioned have shown, coconut oil is just as effective as many antifungal medications that doctors provide.

Here are some ideas how you can use coconut oil as a topical treatment for yeast infection:

Coconut Oil Treatment

To make a topical treatment of coconut oil for Candida, do the following:

  • Clean and dry the affected area
  • Apply a thin layer of virgin coconut oil
  • Repeat this 2-3 times a day until the infection has gone

Coconut oil and Essential Oil Treatment for Candida

I’ve already written in great detail about the health benefits of cinnamon oil. By adding cinnamon oil you can increase the antifungal properties of coconut oil.

Studies into cinnamon oil have shown it to have anticandidal properties.6 Another study has shown that cinnamon oil together with clove oil is an effective combination to kill yeast.7

To use coconut oil together with essential oils for antifungal activity against Candida, you can do the following:

  • Add a few drops (2-5) of cinnamon oil and clove oil to 1 tbsp. of virgin coconut oil and mix well.
  • Apply a thin layer to the affected area
  • Continue until the yeast infection disappears

Other Ways of Using coconut Oil for Yeast Infection

Coconut oil and tea tree oil for yeast infection

Another essential oil which has proven antifungal activity is tea tree essential oil.8 And indeed tea tree oil is one of the natural remedies that I’ve mentioned for yeast infections.

You could add some tea tree oil to the above recipe and apply to the affected areas.

There has also been research which shows that tea tree vaginal suppositories are effective in preventing and treating acute vaginal candidiasis.9

Tea tree oil can also increase the effectiveness of traditional antifungal drugs and this can be especially useful for yeast infections that are difficult to treat. For example, diluted tea tree oil can be added to fluconazole to increase its effectiveness. This can also help in reducing the dose of fluconazole to reduce the side effects and avoid developing drug-resistance.10 But remember that you should always use diluted tea tree oil especially if you have a sensitive skin (add a few drops of tea tree oil to 1 tbsp. of coconut oil).

Coconut oil treatment for oral thrush

If you have oral thrush, then you should mix 1-2 drops of clove or cinnamon oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil. Swishing this around in your mouth for several minutes will help you to treat the thrush and it also has other health benefits. Don’t swallow any of the liquid.

After that spit all the oil out (it is recommended not to dispose the oil in the sink drain or the toilet, as the oil accumulates and can clog the pipes).

After spiting all the oil, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and brush your teeth as usual and floss. After this is done, you can drink and eat as usual.

I have other natural remedies for yeast infection – read our article on how to identify and treat yeast infection naturally.

You can also use yogurt for treating yeast infection. Raw plain yogurt contains certain “good” bacteria that can be useful for treating various yeast infections. For more information and for step by step instructions, please read my article on how to use yogurt as a natural home remedy for yeast infections.

Using more coconut oil in your daily routine is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Read these related articles:
1. How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Yeast Infection
2. How To Treat Yeast Infection Naturally
3. Candida Die-Off: What It is and How to Prevent it


Healthy and Natural World