How effective is coconut oil as a topical antifungal? Find out more details here!
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Using Coconut Oil as a Natural Topical Antifungal
Coconut Oil Uses
Coconut oil has hundreds of uses, but we’ll focus on one interesting benefit. Coconut oil has some antifungal properties.
Add to this the fact that it can be used both internally and topically, you have one of the most versatile natural antifungals you can get ahold of.
You can use it to replace cooking oils, eat it, add it to beverages and smoothies, and use it on your skin.
Coconut oil contains three different fatty acids that have been found to inhibit and kill candida. Caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acid all work against fungi, but caprylic acid seems to be the most effective.
Use coconut oil directly on the skin and even sensitive areas without worry. This means you can use it to treat vaginal yeast infections or jock itch, to combat athlete’s foot, to kill ringworm, and even as a natural diaper area cream.
Coconut oil is gentle and effective while conditioning the skin and improving its look and feel. It works on many rashes and blemishes, too, and also makes an excellent personal lubricant that happens to be antibacterial at the same time.
Internally, coconut oil is just as easy to use. If you want to consume it, you can do the following:
- Stir it into your coffee or tea
- Use it to sauté vegetables
- Add it to a smoothie
- Eat it with a spoon
- Swirl it into oatmeal
- Include it in a dessert
There are hundreds of ways to get more coconut oil into you where it can fight off fungus in your intestines, reduce inflammation, and supply massive amounts of energy without worrying about weight gain.
Despite the high calories of coconut oil, the medium chain triglycerides burn easily, increase metabolism, and are not readily stored as fat.
What are medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)? MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. Another term for “triglycerides” is fatty acids. Medium-chain triglycerides, have numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs — roughly 62 percent to 65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs.
What Is Candidiasis or Yeast Infection?
Various bacteria and fungi live in the human body to keep it balanced. Though, overproduction of bad bacteria or fungi can cause diseases both internally and dermatologically.
One health problem arising from an overproduction of candida albicans is candidiasis, also known as a yeast infection.
Candida albicans naturally occur in the intestines, mouth, belly, and reproductive organs. When given the opportunity, candida multiplies at an uncontrollable rate and causes itching and white patches on the skin.
Several types of candidiasis may develop depending on the area the fungus grows.
When candida spreads in the throat and mouth area, this becomes oropharyngeal candidiasis or thrush. It’s most common in babies, people with diabetes, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Aside from the usual itching and white patches around the mouth and throat, people with thrush also experience pain while swallowing and soreness in the throat.
2. Genital Yeast Infection
Also known as genital candidiasis, people with this infection feel extreme itchiness and swelling in the vaginal area. They also feel pain when peeing and discomfort when having sex, as well as having thick, white discharge.
Genital yeast infection usually happens to people whose candida growth in the vagina becomes uncontrollable.
The following conditions may contribute to this growth:
- Certain lubricants
- Transfer of infection during sexual intercourse
- Autoimmune disease
Men may also experience this kind of infection. Like in women, men may experience itching and rashes on their penis.
Doctors usually prescribe topical antifungal or anti-inflammatory medication to ease symptoms.
3. Diaper Rash
Babies left alone with dirty, used diapers usually develop diaper rashes because their skin gets irritated and infected.
Since babies can’t express the pain they feel in words yet, they cry and scream instead.
If the baby’s bottom becomes red and sensitive, then it is probably infected. Applying a hypoallergenic ointment helps relieve the pain.
4. Invasive Candidiasis
When the fungus enters your bloodstream, it can travel to the different organs of the body. This becomes a rare yet serious condition.
People who developed this type of fungal infection usually need to take oral or intravenous medication as treatment.
RELATED: Kick Candida For Good In 3 Steps
Fighting Candidiasis Naturally
There’s plenty of OTC antifungals you can buy yourself. You can get an antifungal tablet, antifungal syrup, antifungal soap, antifungal spray, and the favorite, antifungal cream—but these are usually laden with chemicals.
If you want to treat fungal infections naturally, you can try using organic ingredients.
Aside from coconut oil, some people use essential oils with antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties such as oregano oil and tea tree oil.
You can also wash the infected area with equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water.
It also helps to take probiotic supplements to balance bacteria and fungi in the body. Sunwarrior Probiotics, doctor-formulated and plant-based supplements, can keep your gut healthy and in the best condition.
How to Use Coconut Oil to Treat Fungal Infections
There are no special preparations needed when you use coconut oil as a topical antifungal treatment. You can dab the oil directly on the infected area.
Before doing so, though, make sure to clean the infection properly. Use the pure, organic kind for better results.
Other Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil does much more than fend off unwanted fungi visitors.
You will see healthier skin, hair, and nails as you use it more. You may also see your cholesterol levels go down, feel fewer aches and pains, and watch your immune system improve.
Discover more benefits of coconut in this video from Sunwarrior:
Make sure you choose non-hydrogenated, extra virgin oil that has not been bleached or treated with chemicals for the best results.
Aside from using coconut oil as a topical antifungal, how else do you use it in your daily life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 15, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.