Fact Check: Benefits of Coconut Oil as Genital Herpes Treatment
Do you suffer from genital herpes infection OR know someone with the infection?
Although genital Herpes is some kind of STD, you don’t need to be embarrassed, because this disease is so common and affects about 60 percent of adults worldwide
What is Herpes?
Put is simply, Herpes is a viral infection, it comes in two different types: oral herpes and genital herpes. Both are highly contagious.
Oral herpes is experienced by over 80% of children and young adults. It’s commonly known as fever blisters or cold sores and caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). These sores occur in or around the mouth and face. They usually start out as red and white blisters which painful and then burst and heal over, leaving yellowish, crusty scabs. Herpes simplex virus- 1 is spread by the non-sexual way such as kissing and sharing personal items like toothbrushes.
In this article, we are going to focus on genital herpes. Genital herpes, on the other hand, is a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four sexually active teens and adults have herpes simplex virus- 2. It can only be spread by direct skin-to-skin sexual contact with someone who has the disease.
It affects the genital area, including the buttocks, genitals and anal area and the outbreak start out as a red skin rash in the genital area. This red bumps form blisters, ooze, and scab over after bursting and usually very painful and occur frequently, though the pain will lessen over time.
It’s important to know that sometimes herpes may exist with or without symptoms. Besides the blistering sores in the body parts mentioned, other indicators of infection include:
- Painful urination
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- A headache
The Claim: How Coconut Oil Treat Genital Herpes
Now, we will talk about the benefits of coconut oil as genital herpes treatment. Genital herpes usually treated by antiviral drugs to reduce the symptoms, but sometimes the virus is becoming immune to the drugs and cannot fight off the infection. Here comes the coconut oil as a superhero.
Coconut oil is one of those powerful ingredients that has been widely used medicinally for thousands of years. It’s derived from a tree that has been called numerous times “the tree of life.” Dubbed as one of the healthiest foods in the world, coconut oil can benefit your health in many ways starting from reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to manage diabetes. One of coconut oil wonder is claimed to be a potential remedy for cold sores and genital herpes.
These claims are not actually unfounded since coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that have strong antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties that composed from natural virucidal components of coconut oil, lauric acid, and monolaurin. These two components have been researched since 1966, and have been established to have “profound antiviral and antibacterial activity”, all of which can promote healing and help prevent secondary infections in wounds caused by viral infections.
It also has the MCFAs that are capable of inhibiting the growth and spread of HSV-1 and HSV-2 by destroying the “lipid-coated” herpes viruses. Indeed, you may also check out the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Breast Massage
The Claim: How To Use Coconut Oil For Treatment
With a little surfing on the internet, you can find how to use coconut oil for treatment by taken coconut oil internally or applied topically for genital herpes treatment.
Coconut oil is made from copra, the dried meat (kernel) of the coconut. Unfortunately, most copra is dried by smoking, kiln-drying, or sun-drying in unsanitary conditions and most commercial coconut oil must be refined by bleaching and deodorizing it to get the impurities out. To prolong shelf life, coconut oil is added sodium hydroxide and either hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. This type of coconut oil should never be used as its contain trans fat.
On the other hand, virgin coconut oil does not use copra and the coconut meat is not refined or heated. The oil is separated from the water by pressed the wet or quickly dried coconut meat. This unrefined, wet-milled virgin coconut oil has highest antioxidants. Indeed, you may also check out the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Anti Aging!
Is it effective?
Though lauric acid is proven to kills lipid-coated viruses, such as herpes and HIV. But there are a few factors affecting how well this coconut oil herpes treatment may work:
- How much coconut oil your body need to achieve therapeutic amounts of lauric acid in your body.
- How much lauric acid actually converts into monolaurin for an effective anti-viral response.
It appears that results are mixed, the wide range of results may be due to how frequently you eat coconut oil, the type of coconut oil used and most importantly, the actual amount of lauric acid you’re getting in the coconut oil and how effectively your body digests and converts the lauric acid to monolaurin. Indeed, you may also check out the Benefits of Coconut Water On Face Overnight
Risks And Side Effects
Those with sensitive skin may experience skin irritation or acne by applying coconut oil topically, though its safe for most people. You should apply a small patch of skin to test to ensure your skin sensitivity before applying it on a more widespread basis.
The risks of ingesting coconut oil are higher as coconut oil is fat. Coconut oil can cause digestive problems, making your stomach upset, especially if your stomach aren’t used to consuming it straight or in large amounts. If you choose to taken coconut oil orally, do it in moderation and start with a small amount such as use it as your primary cooking oil at first, then you can start taking one tablespoon at a time.
Some evidence also shows that ingesting coconut oil may be bad for heart health due to its high number of saturated fats. Consume coconut oil only in small amounts.
While there is big talk about using coconut oil for treating genital herpes, there are no scientific studies to support that ingesting the oil can cure the infection. There are many treatments available that may help suppress your outbreaks and reduce symptoms. Natural products, such as Lysine and Monolaurin supplements, may help lessen ongoing symptoms and provide relief. Though there’s no harm if you want to try coconut oil as treatment as long as you use it with caution.