Coconut Oil For Candida: Does It Help?

Medically reviewed by Dr. Laura Belus, ND
Written by Shaheen Naser

Did you know that there are a number of microorganisms living in your body? One such species is a class of fungi called Candida. While most of the time, these fungi live in harmony with your body, in some cases, they can multiply rapidly and trigger infections.

The fishy smell in your lady parts and the white deposition on the tongues of infants are due to Candida. While there are a variety of medical treatments and natural remedies to treat such infections, coconut oil is one remedy that is quite popular. How can coconut oil help combat Candida? Will it actually help clear such infections? Read on to find out.

How Does Coconut Oil Work?


Coconut oil is derived from the dried kernels of coconut. It contains medium-chain fatty acids and is known to possess a number of health benefits.

One such beneficial property of coconut oil is its antimicrobial nature. Many studies conducted for determining the antifungal nature of coconut oil against Candida and other fungal species showed positive results.

A laboratory study conducted in 2007 concluded that coconut oil was active against Candida species at 100% concentration. In fact, less coconut oil was needed to prevent further growth of the yeast as compared to fluconazole, which is an antifungal medication (1).

Another study carried out in 2012 showed that the antifungal properties of coconut oil were effective against C. albicans (2).

A canine study conducted in 2014 using coconut oil also produced similar results. Around 20 dogs were treated with a mixture of essential oils and coconut oil. The treatment produced good clinical outcome against a yeast called Malassezia pachydermatis (3).

However, more research is needed to find out the short-term as well as long-term effectiveness of coconut oil against candida.

The following are some easy ways to use coconut oil to deal with different types of candidiasis (yeast infections).

[ Read: 11 Effective Home Remedies For Yeast Infection ]

How To Use Coconut Oil For A Yeast Infection?

1. Coconut Oil For Yeast Infection On The Skin

You Will Need

Organic or pure coconut oil (as required)

What You Have To Do

  1. Take pure coconut oil in your palm.
  2. Spread it all around the affected area.
  3. Leave it on.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times daily.

2. Coconut Oil For Yeast Infection In The Mouth

You Will Need

1 tablespoon of pure coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Swish pure coconut oil in your mouth for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Spit the oil out.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once every morning, preferably before brushing your teeth.

3. Coconut Oil For Vaginal Infections

You Will Need

  • Pure coconut oil (as required)
  • A tampon

What You Have To Do

  1. Dip a tampon in pure coconut oil.
  2. Insert the tampon into your vagina.
  3. Leave it in for a few hours and remove.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once every alternate day for up to one week.

[ Read: Treat A Vaginal Yeast Infection With A Clove Of Garlic ]

Coconut oil can work wonders in battling a yeast infection. While this remedy is comparatively safe and does not have a lot of side effects, there may be a few risks associated with its use.

Risks And Precautions

Avoid using coconut oil for treating a yeast infection if:

  • You are not sure that you have a yeast infection.
  • You are taking other medications for the infection. In this case, consult a doctor before using coconut oil as an adjuvant treatment.
  • You are allergic to coconut oil or coconut.
  • You are suffering from recurring yeast infections.

Pregnant women should also consult their gynecologist before using coconut oil.

Other than coconut oil, there are a number of other options to battle Candida and treat yeast infections.

What Are The Other Ways To Treat A Yeast Infection?

A few additional ways to treat candidiasis include:

  • Limit your sugar intake. This includes starchy foods that convert into sugars, such as breads, rice, and snack foods.  Increased sugar intake can promote antifungal resistance in Candida (4).
  • Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt (5).
  • Your doctor may also prescribe antifungal medications and suppositories to treat a yeast infection.

If coconut oil is not your thing, do not worry. There are many other options out there to treat candida. But if you do not fall into any of the categories mentioned above, do give coconut oil a try and see if it works for you.

Hope you found this post helpful. Let us know your feedback and suggestions by posting your comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between candida and yeast infection?

Candida Vs. Yeast Infection

Candida is a class of microscopic fungi that consist of single oval cells and are also referred to as yeasts. A yeast infection is caused by the overgrowth of Candida in your body.

Candida is a term used to describe one of over 150 species of yeast fungi. They are commonly found in the belly, mouth, and skin. Under the right conditions, these fungi can multiply in the body and trigger infections. Such infections caused by Candida are referred to as yeast infections or candidiasis.

What are the types of yeast infections or candidiasis?

  • Oral Thrush Or Oropharyngeal Candidiasis: It is triggered by the spread of the Candida yeast in the mouth. It is commonly seen in those with a weak immune system like newborns and the elderly. White/yellow patches on the tongue, soreness in the mouth, cracking at the corners, and pain while swallowing are the symptoms of this condition (6).
  • Genital Yeast Infection Or Genital Candidiasis: This type of candidiasis is a result of yeast overgrowth in your vagina. It often occurs when there is a change in the pH balance down there. Diabetes, pregnancy, certain medications, lubricants, a weak immune system, and sexual intercourse can cause a genital yeast infection. The symptoms are extreme itchiness, redness, swelling, pain, and white, clumpy discharge from the vagina (7).
  • Diaper Rash: Diaper rashes are most often a result of leaving a soiled or wet diaper on your little one for too long. The irritated skin is at an increased risk of a yeast infection (8). It can cause the baby’s bottom to become red and sensitive and trigger the appearance of sores with a raised red border.
  • Invasive Candidiasis: Candida can also enter your bloodstream through medical equipment, wounds from trauma, severe burns, or surgical wounds. It can then travel to your heart, brain, blood, eyes, and bones and cause serious, life-threatening complications.

When to see a doctor for a yeast infection?

See a doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms of a yeast infection. In some cases, you could be suffering from something more severe, like a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). You must also see a doctor if you are pregnant and suffering from a yeast infection.

How long does coconut oil take to cure a yeast infection?

Most cases of mild yeast infections ease in a few days if caught early. However, moderate to severe cases may take 1-2 weeks to clear completely and often require additional antimicrobial treatment for longer durations.

Is coconut oil antifungal and antibacterial?

Yes, coconut oil is both antifungal and antibacterial (9).


  1. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria.” Journal of Medicinal Food, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine, Coconut Oil, Probiotics, and Ketoconazole on Candida albicans Isolated in Children with Early Childhood Caries: An In Vitro Study” Scientifica, US National Library of Medicine.
  3. Clinical and mycological evaluation of an herbal antifungal formulation in canine Malassezia dermatitis.” Journal of Medical Mycology, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. Glucose Directly Promotes Antifungal Resistance in the Fungal Pathogen, Candida spp” Journal Of Biological Chemistry, US National Library of Medicine.
  5. Impact of eating probiotic yogurt on colonization by Candida species of the oral and vaginal mucosa in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women.” Mycopathologia, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Oral candidiasis: An overview” Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  7. Candidiasis (vulvovaginal)” Clinical Evidence, US National Library Of Medicine
  8. Superficial Mycoses Associated with Diaper Dermatitis” Mycopathologia, US National Library Of Medicine.
  9. Comparison of antibacterial efficacy of coconut oil and chlorhexidine on Streptococcus mutans: An in vivo study” Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, US National Library of Medicine.

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Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.