(NaturalNews) Often mis-diagnosed and even dismissed, candida is culprit behind numerous health problems. The symptoms associated with candida include fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, chronic coughs, frequent sinus infections, reoccurring fungal infections, blurred vision, sugar cravings and abdominal pain, to name a few.
As many as 40 million people in the United States suffer from candida, most without realizing the core issue. Many people who have candida overgrowth will end up treating the symptoms instead of the root of the problem, causing an endless spiral downward, sometimes for many years.
Even those who realize their symptoms are linked to candida find conventional drugs are not a permanent or effective solution. Not to mention medical treatments are often accompanied by side effects worse than the original symptoms. It's no wonder candida patients are seeking an alternative natural treatment. And fortunately, coconut oil can provide the answer.
In countries where coconuts are regularly consumed, candida occurrences are surprisingly low, as noted by Dr. Bruce Fife, a strong believer in the healing power of coconut oil. Although many people in these regions live in conditions that typically promote candida overgrowth, they rarely suffer from candida.
This is because coconut oil is high in both lauric acid and caprylic acid, which both have antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These components of coconut oil target harmful bacteria but leave friendly bacteria alone, which helps balances the flora in the digestive system. They also kill off excess yeast and other fungal overgrowth in the body. Studies in Iceland and Nigeria show coconut oil is an effective agent for killing off candida yeast.
If you've heard conflicting reports and are concerned about whether or not coconut oil is healthy, keep in mind the natural, unrefined fats in coconut oil are medium-chain saturated fats–the kind that are more easily converted into energy instead of being stored. Adding a moderate amount of coconut oil to your diet should be considered safe. In fact, the saturated fat content in coconut oil makes it an excellent choice for cooking, because the oil is not damaged at high temperatures like other cooking oils.
Be sure not to buy coconut oil that has been hydrogenated. This destroys the beneficial attributes of coconut oil and makes it high in dangerous trans-fatty acids. The best kind of coconut oil is organic virgin coconut oil, which is closest to its natural state and will provide the most health benefits.
Both Dr. William G. Crook and Dr. Bruce Fife suggest working up to consuming about three tablespoons of coconut oil daily. It's best to start with one teaspoon per day and then work up to the full amount. The more severe the candida, the slower you should work up to this number to prevent overwhelming die-off symptoms as excess yeast is killed off. These symptoms are flu-like and include headaches, chills and fatigue. They will normally last about 3-5 days, depending on the severity of your candida.
Adding coconut oil to your diet is not difficult to do. Depending on the brand you buy, coconut oil has a very light flavor suitable for almost any purpose. You can easily substitute coconut oil for butter on toast or cooking oil in recipes. Try adding a tablespoon to coffee, or stir some into your oatmeal.
You can use coconut oil topically if you have a breakout of athlete's foot or yeast rash. Coconut oil can also be used for localized treatment of jock itch and yeast infections. For any topical treatment, apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area 3-4 times each day. This treatment is most effective if you are also taking the oil internally.
Crook, William G. (1986) The Yeast Connection, Vintage Books.
Fife, Bruce. (2005) Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut. Piccadilly Books.
About the author
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...