Coconut Oil for Herpes: How Effective?

virgin-coconut-oilDo you suffer from herpes infection?

You are not alone.

Herpes affects about 60 percent of adults worldwide [1].

Here’s the good news:

This condition can be defeated with the use of natural remedies like coconut oil.

Of course, it helps to know more about this condition to make treatment and management much easier.

In this post, you’re going to learn more about the following:

  • Basic guide on herpes, including its causes, symptoms and risk factors
  • Medicinal properties of coconut oil, and how it can help combat this viral infection
  • Useful and cost-effective herpes remedies that also make use of other natural ingredients

What is Herpes?

Herpes is a viral infection that comes in two different types: oral herpes and genital herpes [2].

Also called cold sores, oral herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) [3].

It causes the appearance of red and inflamed sores around the mouth and face [3].

Genital herpes, on the other hand, is typically triggered by an infection of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), although there are some cases in which it is caused by HSV-1 [3].

It affects the genital area, including the buttocks, genitals and anal area [4].

Both infections are highly contagious.

The first type can be transmitted through kissing or sharing of utensils, while the second one can be passed on through sexual intercourse [3].

It’s important to know that herpes may exist with or without symptoms.

Even if a person does not have blisters around the mouth or genitals, it is still possible that he or she is infected with herpes, and may transmit the virus to other people.

Apart from the blistering sores in the body parts mentioned, other indicators of infection include:

In some cases, the viral infection can affect the eyes, resulting in a condition known as herpes keratitis.

Some of its symptoms are:

  • Eye pain
  • Eye discharge
  • Gritty sensation inside the eye

Who Are At Risk?

Herpes can affect all ages [5].

In the case of genital herpes, the following factors up the risk of contracting the infection:

  • Sexual intercourse with different partners
  • Weak immune system
  • Sexual intercourse without the use of condoms
  • Another sexually transmitted disease

If a pregnant woman has a herpes infection, the virus can be transmitted to the child during delivery, and put the infant at risk [5].

Anyone who’s already had this condition will have the virus in his or her system permanently.

The virus can become dormant and not cause any unpleasant symptoms, but will continue to exist in the person’s nerve cells [6].

An outbreak can be triggered by any of the following:

  • Stress
  • Menstruation
  • Fever
  • Illness
  • Fatigue
  • Trauma to the affected area
  • Excessive sun exposure

It’s good to know though that the outbreaks become less severe as time goes by, as the body produces antibodies necessary for fighting off the infection.

It also helps to make use of natural remedies that have been found to have strong antiviral activities such as coconut oil.

Properties of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is derived from a tree that has been called numerous times “the tree of life”.

To extract the oil, the copra is traditionally crushed and pressed [7].

This oil has been used extensively around the world for various purposes in culinary, local industries, and traditional medicine [7].

According to a report by Indian scientists, coconut oil is an excellent source of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which are easily absorbed in the intestine and used by the liver for production of energy [8].

The following MCFAs can be found in coconut oil:

MCFAs comprise 62 percent of coconut oil, and 91 percent of the fat in this oil is saturated fat.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Dubbed as one of the healthiest foods in the world, coconut oil can benefit your health in more ways than one:

  • Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Protect liver health
  • Treat urinary tract infection
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Lower the risk of cancer
  • Boost the immune system
  • Empower brain function
  • Shoot up energy levels
  • Aid in digestion
  • Promote skin health
  • Prevent oral diseases
  • Help manage diabetes
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Combat yeast and Candida infections
  • Maintain hormonal balance

How Does Coconut Oil Work for Herpes?

Coconut oil is also deemed an excellent solution for herpes.

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That’s because coconut oil is a strong antiviral agent that can ward off a wide range of infection-causing viruses.

The natural virucidal components of coconut oil are lauric acid and monolaurin [9].

Monolaurin is a monoester that’s derived from lauric acid [9].

Both have been researched since the 1966, and have been established to have “profound antiviral and antibacterial activity” [9].

Based on several experiments, the MCFAs in coconut oil are capable of inhibiting the growth and spread of HSV-1 and HSV-2 [10].

Lauric acid works by destroying the “lipid-coated” herpes viruses [10].

In fact, coconut oil has been proven effective even in viral strains that have grown resistant to medications [9].

If you have recurrent case of herpes that seems to come back even after being resolve by medication, it would be better to rely on natural remedies like coconut oil.

Most viruses have not yet grown resistant to coconut oil’s antiviral effects.

Ways to Use Coconut Oil for Herpes

Here are various ways to use coconut oil to treat herpes and alleviate its symptoms.

#1. Consume orally

When taken internally, coconut oil can suppress the activities of viruses that cause herpes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Take one tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning.
  2. Take another tablespoon after eating lunch, and then another after eating dinner.

#2. Use as cooking oil

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils that won’t only combat herpes infection but also supply the body with much-needed nutrients.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Do not use butter or other cooking oils for your dishes.
  2. Instead, make use of coconut oil.

#3. Apply topically

Another way coconut oil helps in control viral infections is by applying it directly on the skin.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Use a cotton pad to spot apply coconut oil on your herpes lesions.
  2. Do this twice a day for one to two weeks or until lesions disappear.

#4. Use in combination with facial cream or body lotion

It can also be combined with facial cream or body lotion. Just make sure that you choose a product that’s made with organic ingredients.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of organic facial cream or body lotion

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add coconut oil to body cream or lotion.
  2. Slather a generous amount of infected skin.
  3. Follow remedy once a day for up to three weeks.

#5. Use in combination with tea tree oil

It has long been confirmed in scientific research that tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine tea tree oil and coconut oil.
  2. Apply oil blend on herpes lesions.
  3. Repeat procedure two to three times a day for one week.

#6. Pair with lemon balm oil

Use lemon balm oil not only to tone down inflammation but also to help control viral infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 5 drops of lemon balm oil
  • 2 drops of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Dilute lemon balm and lavender oil in coconut oil.
  2. Pour oil blend in a glass jar with lid.
  3. Shake to blend.
  4. Use a cotton pad to apply oil mixture on herpes lesions.
  5. Let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping it off.
  6. Do this everyday until lesions are gone.

#7. Mix with chamomile oil

There are many benefits that you can get from chamomile oil. One of these is to fight off viral infections like herpes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 5 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 drop of star anise oil
  • 1 drop of geranium oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put all the oils in a bowl.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Soak a cotton ball in the oil blend.
  4. Apply mixture on the infected skin.
  5. Wait for 30 minutes before wiping it off.
  6. Repeat procedure once or twice a day for one to two weeks, or until infection clears.

Tips for Using Coconut Oil as Remedy

When using coconut oil as remedy for herpes or any other ailment, here are some important points to remember:

  • Coconut oil may elevate blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, it’s best that you consult first your doctor before taking coconut oil orally.
  • Oral consumption is said to be more effective in combating viral infections such as herpes.
  • It would be a smart move to do oral intake and topical application of coconut oil for the best results.

If you suffer from herpes, whether oral or genital, and would like to tone down an attack and get rid of the symptoms, coconut oil should be among your top considerations.

It is effective, safe, and readily available.

When combined with other antiviral substances, it becomes even more powerful.