Coconut Oil For Herpes
Coconut Oil works on herpes symptoms. Can it help to protect you from herpes simplex? Can Oil Pulling help? Some say Coconut Oil for Herpes works.
This article shares our research on whether the super ingredient Coconut Oil has powers to tame the vicious Herpes Simplex virus.
There are reputable sources that claim Oil Pulling can help.
We will share what experts are claiming about Oil Pulling and herpes and let science show us which side is actually right.
Oil Pulling has created a lot of buzz in the news with claims about a multitude of health benefits. This article is part of a multi-part series that uncovers the truth about what Oil Pulling that covers one of those claims.
Can Coconut Oil for Herpes help to reduce the risk and symptoms for Herpes, is one of the claims we’ve seen around the internet.
Who Says Oil Pulling Reduces Risk and Symptoms for Herpes?
Here I look for popular sources that are backing the claim that Oil Pulling reduces the risk and symptoms for herpes.
The popular oil seems to be Coconut Oil for herpes.
Terra & Co.
The folks at Terra & Co. wrote an article about When to Use Coconut Oil vs Essential Oils for Oral Health.
In this article, they talk about using a product called Black Oil for Oil Pulling. Black Oil is a blend of multiple ingredients which includes Coconut Oil. They suggest that Oil Pulling can help prevent or cure up to 30 different systemic diseases.
That’s not all:
Their article goes into various ingredients that can help prevent and/or cure herpes cold sores The following is mentioned about Coconut Oil for herpes (well, for viruses):
Coconut oil is a great option for maintaining oral health and
preventing cold sores. As mentioned, it has antiviral and antibacterial properties that
can help to kill the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores.
The article then mentions that Pepperment oil can benefit someone with these afflictions:
Peppermint oil has a refreshing, cooling effect that can help to
reduce pain and inflammation. To use essential oils for cold sores,
dilute a few drops in carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply
them to the affected area several times a day.
It follows up with Tea Tree Oil claims:
Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that has been shown to be effective
against a wide range of bacteria and fungi, including HSV.
The folks at Loula Natural wrote the following article titled Oil Pulling how and why.
In this article, Loula states:
The health benefits doing oil pulling with coconut oil are; Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
Earlier in the article she talks about sesame oil as an alternative to coconut oil for its liver benefits.
The Coconut Oil Post
Kerry from The Coconut Oil Post published a post called Coconut Oil Treatment and Cure for Cold Sores.
Why am I featuring Kerry?
Kerry makes the strongest case for using coconut oil for herpes to combat this incessant virus. In her article, she provides personal evidence in this form:
I recently had my bloods tested for the herpes simplex virus
and the result was that there was evidence that the antibodies had
been present but not in the last few years.
Earlier she states that she has been cold sore free for 3 years.
Her doctor states this doesn’t mean she won’t have future outbreaks. However:
…the viral activity is low or non existent (maybe in remission). For me it’s still
good news as I really believe that whether coconut oil has killed the virus or at
least made it inactive, it’s also played a role in strengthening
my nervous and immune system…
Great news Kerry! Thank you for sharing.
Who Says Oil Pulling Does NOT Reduce Risk and Symptoms for Herpes?
Hybrid Rasta mama
Jennifer is the Hybrid Rasta mama and posted an article titled CAN OIL PULLING WITH COCONUT OIL SPREAD THE HERPES VIRUS?
What does Mama Say?
In this article, Jennifer, the Hybrid Rasta mama, questions whether coconut oil may actually spread herpes.
The other day someone mentioned that oil pulling with coconut oil can actually spread the herpes virus.
This made her wonder, so she went on a research binge to try and find an answer. However, here was what she was able to find (or not find):
I scoured the internet…I tried to find a definitive answer but I couldn’t.
Interestingly enough a comment on this page had the most interesting information. It talked about a ratio of Lysine to Arginine being an important factor for combating Herpes.
Further research along these lines led us to this article on the Just Herpes web site. In that article it confirms that a diet high in Lysine helps to control outbreaks.
Not so fast:
Coconut Oil being high in Lysine content is one likely reason that people recommend Coconut Oil For Herpes. However, oil pulling with Coconut Oil is NOT adding any coconut oil to your diet.
When you Oil Pull, you spit out the toxic mix when you’re done. So, we can’t say any of this backs up the claim that Oil Pulling can help by using Coconut Oil for herpes.
The Cure Zone
The Cure Zone is a forum site where people go and post their health results from various treatments.
In the Oil Pulling & Oil Swishing Forum, several people shared their experiences.
An anonymous poster asked:
at day 2 of oil pulling I started getting a bad outbreak and wonder if
this is a detox result. Has anyone else heard of or experienced this reaction.
Another user Lisa stated:
I am oil pulling for the second time in my life at age 40… This time, I’ve been
doing it for 3 weeks, and my teeth are super white now…but during the third
week I developed a big cold sore on my upper right lip. I have NEVER had a
cold sore before…and never has any sign of the herpes virus in my body. The
oil pulling is the only explanation as to why I am seeing this now (I’m single
with no recent kissing in past months).
Definitely scary to think that Oil Pulling could have been the source of this cold sore. However, this is hardly scientific evidence of Oil Pulling being a source of herpes or herpes symptoms.
On Diet And Health
Beverly Meyer runs the blog On Diet And Health. She is a Natural Health practitioner, blogger, podcaster, and patient (among other things).
Here’s the deal:
Beverly published an article titled 6 Reasons to Avoid Coconut Oil, Milk or Flour.
In this article, Beverly says:
The problem with Herpes and Shingles is the protein Arginine, found in
abundance in nuts, gelatin and chocolate. As many of us sufferers know, Lysine (on an empty stomach) helps prevent or manage with these viral outbreaks, but Arginine and Lysine counteract each other. Too much Arginine, and you may have an outbreak.
During my research, as you will see below, the negative effects of Arginine has been identified in several research articles as having a negative effect on herpes.
The beneficial results about Lysine are not as clear.
But, patience grasshopper… I’ll get into that in a little bit.
Proof That Oil Pulling Reduces Risk and Symptoms for Herpes
Now that we have the anecdotal evidence out that we see on a regular basis out for all to see, let’s see what the scientific community has to say about this.
During our research it became evident that Coconut Oil for Herpes is the oil of choice.
A report by Hierholzer and Kabara in 1982 describes how coconut oil contains 92% saturated acids. And, that about 50% of those saturated acids are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a chemical that is very seldom found in nature.
What does this mean?
The journal goes on to state about lauric acid:
The body converts this lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that claims to have the ability to destroy lipid-coated viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes, influenza, measles, Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative bacteria.
While the science regarding a link from Coconut Oil Pulling to herpes isn’t exact, Coconut Oil for Herpes does seem to have some validity.
And, more from Research Gate…
African researchers A.R. Oyi, J.A. Onaolapo and R.C. Obi submitted their research about the antimicrobial properties of Coconut to the Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology in 2009.
At the time Ovi and Obi were Faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology at Ahm adu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.
What did they find?
The preservative efficacy test indicated a synergistic action between the
coconut oil and preservatives, which showed 100% kill at zero hours. This is
in conformity with the finding of Thormar (1996) which reputed that monocaprin a component of coconut oil destroyed HIV, herpes virus and gonococci within a minute.
With this information, simple contact from coconut oil with the Herpes virus can kill the virus.
What does this mean?
This means that residual coconut oil from Oil Pulling could contribute to reducing the risk of Herpes transmission. And, gives credibility to being able to affect the symptoms that the virus brings.
Does Lauric Acid Destroy Herpes?
As I was researching who was claiming that Oil Pulling can affect herpes, I found that several people were talking about how Coconut Oil has a very high concentration of lauric acid.
Let’s see what the research tell us…
Universidad de Buenos Aires
In an article published on the Universidad de Buenos Aires website and several other research sites, I found a 2001 study where the focus was about how lauric acid affects viruses.
What’s the real story?
The research article is titled Effect of fatty acids on arenavirus replication: inhibition of virus production by lauric acid. It documents research that tests specifically targeting how lauric acid affects the multiplication of the Junin virus.
Having identified lauric acid as one of the most effective chemicals at inhibiting viruses, part of the discussion states:
Because fatty acids have a prominent role in the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane
as components of phospholipids, glycolipids and triacylglycerols, the effect of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids on the replication of various viruses, including herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus, visna virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, vaccinia virus, Sendai and Sindbis viruses, has been reported.
The fatty acid being talked about above is lauric acid. My understanding of what is being said is that lauric acid can on contact affect various viruses including the herpes simplex virus. The result being that the virus is not able to replicate.
Specifically in this study:
Lauric acid, the compound with 12 carbon atoms, was the most effective inhibitor of JUNV and TACV replication in a concentration-dependent form…
This study shows an extremely strong relationship between lauric acid and various types of virus. With lauric acid making up to 50% of coconut oil (check your specific brand), it is clear that Oil Pulling using Coconut Oil for Herpes is a real connection.
The Lysine Effect
Since we found several articles that mention the high concentration of Lysine in Coconut Oil, I decided to search for the effectiveness of Lysine against Herpes.
This is what I found.
A double blind, placebo controlled crossover study was performed that include 65 patients.
Here’s the deal:
In this study patients were given L-lysine monohydrochloride 1000 mg daily for 12 weeks. The same patients were then given a placebo for a following 12 weeks.
What’s the real story?
The results of the study were:
On the whole, lysine prophylaxis had no effect on the recurrence rate of
herpes simplex. However, significantly more patients were recurrence-free
during lysine than during placebo treatment (p = 0.05), suggesting that
certain patients may benefit from prophylactic lysine administration.
The wording here is confusing. First there was “no effect”. However, “certain patients may benefit”?
What’s going on here?
After reading through additional studies, I’ve come to the conclusion that for patients that had recurrences, their rate of recurrence did not change. However, there was a significantly higher number of patients that did not have recurrences during their Lysine phase of treatment.
In this 1984 study, 21 patients were given 400 mg of oral lysine hydrochloride, three times a day. The results were:
…we were unable to detect any substantial benefit of lysine therapy either
as a treatment for episodes in progress or as a prophylactic drug for the
prevention of recurrences…
This trial from long ago implies that Lysine doesn’t have any effect. However, later studies found that perhaps the dosage wasn’t high enough to do anything.
The JAMA Network
Seeing the 1984 study, three doctors decided to challenge that study by enhancing it to include different doses of Lysine. In their abstract, they state:
…we carried out a similar study whose results strongly suggest a
dose-dependent effect of this drug…
The theory for this trial was that the dosage mattered. So, in this trial the doctors started with two 250 mg pills given twice a day (1000 mg total). Following the first trimester of the trial, the dosage was changed to one pill in the morning and two at night for a total of 750 mg per day.
The results were adjusted for the “placebo effect” of an expected 25% improvement. After the adjustment, the Lysine group experienced a 47% improvement.
The results for the 2nd trimester were that the Lysine group actually experience worse results than the placebo group.
Another possible reason for seeing better results, is the theory that taking the Lysine dosage on a full stomach could affect the results (apparently Lysine doesn’t absorb as well while eating). For this study, patients were asked to only take the dosage on an empty stomach.
This MedLine Plus article summed up what might be going here. In this article about Arginine, the article states:
Herpes: There is a concern that L-arginine might make herpes worse. There is some evidence that L-arginine is needed for the herpes virus to multiply.
Why is this important?
Well, Coconut Oil has a very high ratio of Lysine to Arginine. If Arginine is truly a contributor to Herpes, then by eating or taking in more Coconut Oil, you could be taking in less of something that has Arginine.
Conclusions About Lysine And Oil Pulling
From an Oil Pulling viewpoint, Lysine is much less important because none of the research I found about Lysine describes having an affect immediately upon contact.
All of the research I found was about having Lysine in your diet. And, the effects of Lysine if consumed.
So, based on current research (that I was able to find), Lysine really has no effect one way or the other when it comes to Oil Pulling For Herpes. Even with Coconut Oil having a high percentage of Lysine. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide if they want to add more Lysine to their diet by consuming more Coconut Oil.
Which are the Best Oils For Herpes?
In this section we typically talk about several possible oils to use for Oil Pulling.
However, if you are looking for a reduction in transmission risk and/or a reduction in symptoms that are the result of having the herpes virus, that Coconut Oil with an abundance of lauric acid is the clear choice.
Wrap Up: Oil Pulling Reduces Risk and Symptoms for Herpes
In this series of articles proving or debunking various Oil Pulling methods, I tackled the claim that Oil Pulling reduces the risk and symptoms for herpes.
Various sources weigh in on each side. And, during my research I found two main “claims to fame”.
My research into Lysine did not result in a final answer. The best I can do for Lysine is say that you should probably worry more about having Arginine in your products than looking out for Lysine.
However, for Lauric Acid, there does appear to be research to has a strong enough scientific link to preventing the multiplication of viruses including the herpes virus.
So, while we can’t say that Lauric Acid is a cure for herpes (this was never really the claim), we can say that if you are Oil Pulling using Coconut Oil for herpes prevention or a reduction of herpes symptoms, we are coming down on the side of Fact.
CLAIM RESULT: Fact