Can You Overdose On Coconut Oil?

Can You Overdose On Coconut Oil:

 True story…

I am chatting with a woman in the health food store. She is casually eyeballing the contents of my shopping cart. She spies some dried coconut and asks me if I know about coconut oil.


Do I know about coconut oil?

I tell her that yes, I have researched it extensively. She apparently thinks that this makes us kindred spirits and begins to outline all of the gory ways in which coconut oil wronged her.


After listening to her tale of woe, I open my mouth to offer her a little nugget of info, but before I can say anything she says, “I hope you know that you can overdose on coconut oil just as easily as I did. You probably want to stop using it.”

I couldn’t help myself. A small giggle escaped.

A coconut oil overdose? Oh boy. Yes, I might be addicted to the stuff but I assure you, coconut oil isn’t some new street drug which will lead you on a journey of self-destruction. In fact, quite the opposite. Even if you do overdose on it.

Let’s talk about what actually happened to this poor woman because quite frankly, it can happen to you.

Coconut oil is powerful stuff. If you have specific health issues that you need to address, there is a strong likelihood that you may experience some rather unpleasant side effects when you first begin consuming coconut oil, especially if you throw caution to the wind and add coconut oil to your diet by the cupful.

Quick disclaimer – I am required to clearly state that I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I pretend to be one on this site. Take what I write as a launching off point to do your own research. My advice, experience, and suggestions are not to be considered medical advice.


What you are experiencing is a phenomenon known as “die off.”

Die off, or a Herxheimer reaction, is the reaction that is thought to happen when toxins from dying pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites, candida, etc.) overwhelm the body’s abilities to clear them out. In simple terms, when your body starts getting rid of the bad stuff, toxins, it creates a natural response throughout the body designed to move the bad out quickly.

This can look different from person to person. One individual might simply have a runny nose for a day or two while another might have full-blown flu-like symptoms for upwards of a week. Someone else may have an upset stomach for several days while another is firmly planted on the throne, pooping their brains out. (If the latter is you, I hope you have a Squatty Potty handy!) The degree in which you shed toxins will depend on how many toxins you need to get rid of.

The key to avoiding severe die-off symptoms, is to start sloooooowly. No really. Go slower. Even slower. If you are new to coconut oil and eating real foods in general, don’t attempt to make a complete overhaul in one 24-hour period. Your body will revolt. It needs time to safely and efficiently move out the bad to make room for the good.

Newbies to coconut oil should start with less than one tablespoon per day and work up the amount you are consuming over the course of 2-4 weeks. Really listen to your body. Feel your body. If you start feeling run down or showing signs of illness, back off a little and give your body time to shed those toxins.

I probably consume about ½ cup of coconut oil per day but I have been using it for three years now. I started with one tablespoon and worked up to ½ cup or more per day over the course of three months. I had little die-off moments here and there but it was always manageable. I was careful not to overwhelm my system. As soon as I felt “icky” I would stay at that “dosage” and give my body a few days to adjust and release toxins.

Don’t let your body’s natural detoxification reaction sway you away from all the health benefits of coconut oil. Simply take care to introduce it slowly and be aware of your body’s reaction. Don’t worry…you won’t end up in the Emergency Room with a note on your chart that suggests you be admitted to the closest coconut oil treatment facility.

Did you experience any die-off type of reactions when you first began your relationship with coconut oil? Please share your experience so others can learn and be more aware!

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  1. says

    Oh my goodness Jennifer. I had to giggle when I read this. I actually asked this same question on Tropical Traditions wall, kind of as a joke, but kind of not. I have always loved coconut anyways, but the last 2 months I have completely changed my bad habits into good and this includes consuming and using coconut oil…partially thanks to YOU.

    A couple of weeks, maybe more like three, after starting to oil pull, cooking with coconut oil, using it on my body as a mositurizer and in my hair, my nose started running like a faucet. I thought, “Holy Cow! What is this?” My sinuses felt a little bad, but it wasn’t like the typical sinus infections I had had in the past. I didn’t feel bad, like it was flu or a cold. What came out of my nose was as clear as water. The only thing I could think of was the toxins coming out of my body. And on top of this, I was breaking out on my face and chest. I reached for banana peels. They work great on clearing up those nasty zits.

    These symptoms only lasted for about 3 days. Not really bad, it was just annoying because I would sit at my computer and all of a sudden my nose started dripping. But I am well over that. I continue to take a spoonful of coconut goodness, oil pull, and put it on my body and haven’t had issues since. But I did wonder if you could overdose on coconut oil.

    FYI- Since I started eating only whole all natural food and started using coconut oil, I have lost 24lbs and have been taken off of 3 of my medications. I would have never guessed that consuming “oil” would be so good for you. I was skeptical at first, but now I know it is so good for you. Thank you for all of your tips and tricks and blogs! I refer to them daily!

    • says

      Every time I use coconut oil, a teaspoon per day first thing in the morning, I feel sick as hell. Shaky, feverish, week and a runny nose. That’s why I googled this, just to make sure.

      I have decided to take it after meals to see if symptoms are less severe. I think people should know about this as everyone reacts differently.

      That said I am going to take a break then keep using it to see if it eventually clears up.

  2. says

    I absolutely loved this! I am new to coconut oil, and now I am “warned”. I will take your advice and go slow- but that woman’s reaction is so funny! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. says

    Hi Jennifer. I have been consuming coconut oil for about a year now. I have never experienced the die off reaction you described, but I can see how the woman thought she was poisoned!! I admit, your post was quite witty and I chuckled while envisioning this encounter. The die off reaction that occurs during the detoxification process is what stops people from truly getting rid of the bad stuff. It’s like being a drug addict going through withdrawal symptoms.

  4. Sandy Marshall says

    I love coconut oil. Do you gain weight eating 1/2 cup a day? Just curious. Maybe I don’t eat enough. I have about 3 tablespoons a day.

    • says

      Hi Sandy! Nope – I do not gain weight. In fact, coconut is pretty incredible at helping you maintain the ideal weight. Just increase the amount you consume slowly.

  5. Yvonne says

    Very interesting. I started using coconut oil in the last month in cooking where I would have previously using olive oil or canola oil. Just this week I started oil pulling with it and I started feeling run down with a running nose. I thought at first it was a cold then maybe seasonal allergies. But last night I forgot to do the oil pulling and today no symptoms. Hmmm….I wonder.

  6. says

    Just curious, I can take it straight, maybe a tablespoon or two, but after that it starts being gross. How do you get it all in? Thanks.

    • Niki says

      Lisa, I am new to coconut oil but I found that putting a tablespoon on a slice of bread and thinking of it as butter helps :)

      • Heidy says

        Get ready to love me! I started making chocolate delight during the hcg diet (which I really don’t recommend… 500 calories a day is just not healthy) But anyways, I did come out of that diet with the best treat/miracle ever! You mix 1 cup melted coconut oil with 3/4 cup cocoa powder and honey/agave or any sweetener you prefer (I use pure Stevia powder) Pour your liquid mix in ice cube trays and freeze. You have the most delicious chocolate you can imagine… I eat about 4 ice cubes of choc a day plus whatever I use for cooking. No weight gain and my hair and skin are better than when I was in my 20’s

        • cory says

          Lol. I was looking for a way to work with my sweet tooth but make it healthy. I made this today with honey. Ate to much and found this site because I’m nauseous. I didn’t know there was die off with coconut oil. Now I know!

        • Lisa says

          I also add natural peanut butter and vanilla in with cocoa powder and stevia leaf. It is like Reese’s pb cups. I had major detox symptoms after the first couple days and I had been eating healthy, whole foods diet for 6 months!!

          • Geno says

            Too much Stevia may give you the runs. I’ve been on Cocunut Oil for nearly a month and have experienced the die until I slightly cheated off of my Paleo diet. (I inadvertently bought some frozen “all natural” sweet potato fries shame on me for not checking the ingredients loaded with all unnatural natural processed junk.) Regardless just a handfull of them and now I’ve got the runs. But I have to say I’ve been shredding fat like mad going through the Whole 30 Paelo Diet and adding Cocunut oil to my hot tea every morning and using only that to cook with.

            If you want to loose weight super fast, Cocunut oil combined with a Paleo diet is a sure fire way to loose weight, and feel great. I’m so fired up about Cocunut oil and the health benefits and the results of seen. Phenomenal! Stay away from the processed foods and all those artificial sweeteners, those will make you feel sick and some cause cancer.

            In fact my fiancé and Inhave been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half with no results. Saw a Doc. Told me my “soldiers” we’re healthy but that there wasn’t really enough of them and all the preservatives and pesticides in the foods we eat were killing them off.
            After several more months of trying during those most fertile times and no results we just gave up. We wanted to look good for our wedding coming up and both wanted to get healthier so we decided to try the Whole 30 Paleo diet and incorporated Cocunut oil in the diet. A week later -Boom! We’re pregnant (just found out 3 days ago) so after doing the math it’s after we started the diet and Cocunut oil.

            Love it!!

        • CA says

          COOL! It should work with carob too! THANK YOU! But what sweetener could be recommended for those with Celiac? We’re not supposed to have ANY sugar, honey included, and they say that stevia can also have detrimental effects for those in healing mode. I am being a VERY good girl and obeying all the rules, and starting to feel better. I don’t want to mess that up. Thanks in advance for any input!

          • says

            Hi there! Sorry this took so long to respond to. I have celiac and personally do just fine with honey and Grade B Maple Syrup. Stevia is awful! I would never suggest that and I stay away from all other sugar. The only other option I could suggest is to mash up a date or two. And yes, this works great with carob. Since carob is sweeter on its own, you might find you don’t need any additional sweetener.

  7. Kareen says

    I am so glad I read this. When I started coconut oil after a few weeks I started having horrible gall bladder pains and stopped taking it. I posted the question “has anyone else suffered from Gall Bladder pains when taking coconut oil” on the Tropical Traditions page but never got a response. Perhaps die-off is what I was experiencing. Although it did last for several weeks when I finally decided not to take it anymore. Didn’t like the feeling of having a heart attack. I might try lessening the dose to less than 1 tablespoon and try it again.

    • says

      WENT TO ET LAST NIGHT SEVERE GALLBLADDER PAINS & thought was going to die from pounding heart vasocontriction sweats chills snd pain — last week–the pain and systemic metabolic reaction has been building–using 4tbspns of coconut oil for 6 weeks. I FEEL LIKE THE LADY IN THE STORE–i hate that thd post is now not about this story (sorry) but too much of a good thing–searching for similar stories smd responses and almost stopped looking at the response s, I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS STORY–severe gallbladder pain ans swelling Not gassy-but went from normal to 7 months pregnant in 2 hours-symp immediately after drinking bulletproof coffee-stopping oil immediately startin food journal & hope no reaction todsy T

  8. Leeanne Neave says

    Do you measure it by the tablespoon or cup etc when it is hard or do you melt it down first then measure it. I find it hard knowing how much I’m putting in and being new to this oil I want to get it right.

  9. Rob says

    Both my parner and I are just getting over what doctors think might be a gastro bug, and they are probably right, but I’ll share the story anyhow: We recently bought a high speed blender and plan to enjoy green smoothies plus the other benefits. We’ve used good quality coconut oil in moderation for ages, mostly for cooking, adding to butter and for massages. When making my first green smoothie (breakfast), the bottle slipped in my hand and a lot went in. I don’t know how much, but I blended it up anyhow. It tasted pretty good so I said nothing. That day we entertained friends for lunch, but that night we both erupted (at both ends) with symptoms of food poisoning. We’ve suffered foul smelling diarrhea constantly for four days and five nights. My blood pressure dropped and my heart rate almost doubled, plus I was running a fairly high temperature. We’ve been incapable of doing anything strenuous, so have just slept, 24 hours a day, since it started, and haven’t been able to eat anything. I’m just getting over it, but my partner isn’t so lucky. The funny thing is, if I even look at the bottle of coconut oil, I feel very queasy, like my body is warning me about something. I really can’t see it as being because of the oil, but there has been nothing else happen that might trigger such a reaction. The friends we entertained had no symptoms, so it wasn’t the meal we shared. Who knows????????

    • says

      Oh wow! Well, it could have been the coconut oil but that is probably unlikely. It sounds like salmonella or a gastro bug. But for you both to get it at the same time…hmmm… It COULD have been the smoothie. Too much green in that form?

      • CA says

        I have used coconut oil for cooking for years, but never actually ate it otherwise. Recently, I learned I had damage to my small intestine and Celiac, and changed my diet on a dime. That was okay, as I felt like garbage to begin with. I just wanted to get on with healing. So almost two weeks ago, got organic cold- pressed unrefined, and began taking a spoonful every couple days. I was improving. But the other night, I drank maybe three Tbsp. and in 30 minutes, I felt sick. And sicker, and sicker, then a few hours later threw up bigtime! After a while, I took some grass- fed bone broth, and thought I felt better. But during the night, OH BOY, throne- time and FOUL- ugh. Here I am three days after that 3 Tbsp. and I still feel lousy! The throne keeps beckoning! Clearly, I was foolish not to read up more on it before I took the three Tbsp. Like the other commenter, I felt quesy just smelling it when putting it on my skin. Jennifer is right- to take it easy! I wish I had! :-/

    • says

      Rob, I am going through EXACTLY what you went through. I had maybe 3 very large tablespoons of coconut oil in a small dish I prepared. I knew it was a lot but didn’t think anything of it. Around 20 min later I was having horrible stomach pains, felt like I was going to throw up and not stop, and had to go to the bathroom. It’s been a week and this has been happening on and off. My right lymph node behind my ear is swollen. I’m beginning to think this is some sort of gastro bug now. :( I’m going to call my dr tomorrow and make an appt! Thank you for sharing your story, it made me feel a little better.

  10. Vish says

    I come from that part of India where raw coconut/coconut oil is a basic ingredient in all our dishes. We use coconut extensively in all our dishes. Now I have been told eating too much of raw coconut/ coconut oil can increase cholesterol. I just wanted to check with you if you know anything about this?

  11. Sharon says

    I started taking Coconut capsules 4 times a day and using oil in cooking (not much because I don’t cook or eat a lot since I live alone) and on my body about 6 weeks ago. I lost 7 pounds the first 3 weeks and have never felt so good in my life until a week ago. I have been so sick with the worst cold I have ever had in my life! The amount of awful thick mucous coming from the sinuses and upper respiratory tract was unbelievable. I thought I wasn’t going to make there for about 4 days. It is not the Flu but it feels almost like it. I’ve had the Flu so I know it is not the Flu. I feel better now but am still sick and have had it now for 7 days. The worst part is over though! After reading your article above I think I now know what has hit me!
    Thanks for the info!

  12. Judy Puente says

    What is Oil pulling? I’ve just started taking the capsules, but Fruitrients. I’m only 2 days into it and take 4 a day. I’m switching to coconut oil on many levels. Thank you for the information.

  13. Kris says

    Not sure if it was from coconut oil or if a pathogen took over. I was happily taking about 3 tablespoons a day between meals. This helped my bowels to move along, which I desperately needed 😉 A couple of weeks later, I started “clogging up” again and suddenly the total opposite for almost two weeks. My body became dehydrated quite quickly–I had stopped the coconut oil after a few days of the . . . how do I put this delicately . . . colon flush began.

    Overall, I’ve noticed no difference to my bowels when cooking with coconut oil or consuming it with other foods. On its own, however, it really moves things!

    I’m curious. Are folks taking CO on it’s own (in water) or just with meals?

    • Jerry says

      My wife and I take CO in our coffee and tea a tablespoon works magic (we do 3 tbs a day at present. Two cups in the morning with CO (1tbs)per cup and I’m in the bathroom in
      in no more 20 mins. works wonders. I was always constipated before the start of CO now doing great. When first starting I had pains getting things moving now no more pains. wonderful stuff.

  14. Kathy says


    My husband has been hospitalized with West Nile virus and I’ve read that coconut oil is good for the brain and nervous system. Since there’s been damage, which is apparently temporary, I wanted to start him on coconut oil and started with 2 tablespoons yesterday. Coincidentally, he’s been dealing with loose stools and gas because he’s been on tube feeding until a week ago, and just finished a round of antibiotics too. Not sure what the source of the loose stools has been, but I’m thinking now that the coconut oil may have just added to the problem. I’m also concerned that he may actually loose more weight on the c.o. which he does not need…he needs to regain 30 lbs. Any thoughts you may have would be appreciated…thanks.

    • Tabitha says

      My mom and I had to back down from a tablespoon and allow more adjustment time. I went through a bit of gas. Both of us started to have diahrrea issues.

      Maybe your husband needs to back up and start with 1 to 1-1/2 tsp?

    • says

      I think that your husband does need to scale it back some. Start VERY slowly. 1 teaspoon a day. Work up in 1/2 teaspoon increments. The coconut is doing its work, helping to move things out of his system. It should be temporary. As for weight loss, coconut oil is known to stabilize weight. If your husband doesn’t need to loose weight, then coconut oil won’t cause additional weight loss.

  15. says

    Hi Jennifer; I started taking coconut oil in it’s purest form, from the health food shop, 3 weeks ago, “Organic Coconut Oil – Cold Pressed Extra Virgin” (Gluten Free; Dairy Free; GMO Free; Pesticide Free; Wheat Free; Vegan.) I got up to 3 x tablespoons a day in about 5 days but the only thing that happened to me is that I got really fed up of taking it with no results and I felt I could smell coconut of everything. (Coconut is not my favourite food). I did not have a die off period and I did not lose any weight, so I thought I should start again, so I cut my intake back down to 3 x teaspoons a day; but I have not had any reaction or results as of yet. I put the coconut oil into half a cup of boiling water to melt it; once melted I fill the rest of the glass with cold water. I drink that glass followed by another glass of plain water as I really want to flush the coconut into my system. Am I doing something wrong? Please advise. Thanking you in advance.

    • says

      You are not doing anything wrong at all. Coconut oil doesn’t work overnight. It takes a while to get in your system and begin regulating things. So be patient and give it several weeks before you see any noticeable benefits when it comes to weight loss. Also, not everyone goes through a die off period. Consider yourself blessed if you avoid that fun! :)

  16. says

    Hi Jennifer; I started to take Coconut Oil in its purest form, from the health food shop, 3 weeks ago, “Organic Coconut Oil – Cold Pressed Extra Virgin” (Gluten Free; Dairy Free; GMO Free; Pesticide Free; Wheat Free; Vegan.) I got up to 3 x tablespoons a day in about 5 days but the only thing that happened to me is that I got really fed up of taking it with no results and I felt I could smell coconut of everything. (Coconut is not my favourite food). I did not have a die off period and I did not lose any weight, so I thought I should start again, so I cut my intake back down to 3 x teaspoons a day; but I have not had any reaction or results as of yet. I put the coconut oil into half a cup of boiling water to melt it; once melted I fill the rest of the glass with cold water. I drink that glass followed by another glass of plain water as I really want to flush the coconut into my system. Am I doing something wrong? Please advise. Thanking you in advance.

    • Swan says

      Hi Dolores,

      I hope you don’t mind me answering from my personal experience.

      I notice more weight loss benefits when I take 1 or 2 TB of my coconut oil an hour or so before bed time. It really works overnight for me!

      I hope this helps! :)

  17. Beth says

    While reading thru the above comments – I became aware of how impatient we are as humans. Coconut oil has been next to my stove for +3 years – everyone one in the family is getting it’s benefit and we haven’t had any ‘die-off’ problems.
    A couple of days ago I decided I’d had enough of Kidney Stones (due to the Metformin the Dr insists on or she won’t be my Dr) and so started taking 2 T on my morning waffles – how heavenly. As I’m insulin resistant, gluten intolerant, DSPD, sodium high BP etc etc (and 70 years old) I make my own waffles. 4 eggs, 1 C homemade applesauce/no sugar, 1 C Greek yogurt, 2 C coconut milk warmed to melt 1/3 C coconut oil, and if necessary 1/4 C organic maple syrup. 12 oz fresh ground buckwheat flour, a touch of soda/bkg pdr or 1/2 C Kombucha and lots of Ceylon cinnamon (as much as 1/4 C if I’m splurging) Buckwheat flour soaks up a lot of liquid so if the Kombucha makes it too runny for your waffle maker add a little more (+/-2T) B flour. We have Belgium waffle makers and this recipe makes about 10 deep pocket waffles. 1/2 of one goes a long way when the pockets are filled with coconut oil. Hope someone will enjoy this recipe.

  18. Allison says

    Hi there!

    I have been oil pulling with the trader joes brand of coconut oil for the last 5 days or so. 3 days ago I woke up with a pounding migraine that lasted all day. Then lately I’ve been super dizzy, runny nose, achey body, and coughing up mucous. :/ About a week and a half ago I just got over a cold. I thought I must have not allowed myself to fully get it out of my system, and so it was flaring back up again. Then last night I thought I’d look into potential side effects of coconut oil pulling. (I take 1 tb. a day). Anyways, do you think these symptoms are just my body reacting to the detox process? Should I maybe stop taking a whole tablespoon per day and maybe do a teaspoon instead? Or maybe only oil pull every other day? I’d love some advice as these “die off” symptoms have been so annoying that I am tempted to quit the oil pulling all together. But if this is just my body reacting to getting the bad stuff out, then maybe I need to keep going with it til the if “die off” symptoms go away? What do you think?
    Thanks for your posts!
    – Allison

    • says

      Hi Allison! Sorry for the delay. I had surgery and am really behind!

      Yes, this absolutely sounds like die off. Couple with a cold, your body is in major detox mode. If you haven’t scaled back, I would do so if the die off is continuing at a pace your body cannot handle. Slow and steady is key. You can always work up to move. It is better to not send your body into a major fit of die off it can’t handle.

  19. Stephanie says

    Hi – This is very interesting to me as I have experienced some weird things this week. I have stopped eating wheat and any refined sugar for a week. I have been using coconut flour, coconut oil, and unsweetened coconut in recipes, consuming I don’t know how much daily. I’m not eating coconut oil by the spoonfuls, but sure am feeling different. Going to the bathroom like crazy, feeling weak, jittery, and achy – kind of like the flu. Could this be from the combined forms of coconut, not just the oil? I’ve heard that taking gluten out of your diet can cause a “storm before the calm” in some people. I haven’t been diagnosed with anything, just highly predisposed to thyroid problems because of family history. And I want to lose weight, that is why I am doing this.

    Thanks for any input,

    • says

      You are most likely going through a major detox. Coming off sugar can do this. Coming off wheat can do this. And of course, the coconut. It is hard while it is happening but getting it all over with at the same time is easier for some people. If the die off is too much, scale back a bit. Too much die off at once can be too hard on the body.

  20. Randi D. Hysjulien-Walker says

    I just recently started making my own CP soap and one of the ingredients is coconut oil, so I started researching coconut oil extensively. I have read so much stuff and haven’t really seen anything bad about coconut oil. Anyways, I started consuming coconut oil and using it on my skin, hair etc (even use it on all 6 of my children). I was taking a couple tablespoons for about a week straight and each morning when I woke up, my neck pain was gone and had minimal back aches. About a week ago I ran out! :( And boy I could tell I had not taken any coconut oil! My headaches, neck pain and all my back aches came back full force. Thankfully I just bought an 8lb bucket, for soap making and for my personal use 😉

    • says

      Crazy how that happens right? not that I ever run out, but if I don’t use it for a few days for some reason, my body rebels and practically begs for some coconut oil!

  21. britney says

    Yesterday I bought my first jar of coconut oil. I did a hair mask, washed my face with it and did my first oil pulling. Today, I woke up feeling like I have the flu and also have puffy eyes and bumps on the roof of my mouth. I am wondering if I am experiencing an allergic reaction or if this is normal detox from the oil pulling.

    • says

      This sounds like die off to me! How much oil to did you use for oil pulling and how long did you do it? You probably need to start a lot slower and work up gradually.

  22. John says

    Actually, it might be possible. Heard a radio interview with Ray Peat, and he mentioned that a friend of his wanted to try coconut oil for it’s metabolism boosting and weight loss effects. He said the guy drank a cup of coconut oil for dinner, and felt so hot afterwards that he thought he might explode! Of course, Ray Peat is a huge fan of coconut oil and was laughing as he told the story, so I guess you shouldn’t eat or drink 8 ounces at a time. I made coconut oil my dominant cooking oil about a month ago, and have been loving the post meal metabolic effects.

  23. Kay D. says

    I started coconut oil in November 2013 – was fine on it for a while, then started having REALLY bad reaction to it. My heart started racing, chest getting tight like an anxiety attack. Now when I eat anything with coconut in it, my chest gets tight and I get short of breath. I had been using it for bullet proof coffee, and cooking, baking – everything. Now even one cookie with a little bit of coconut flour is enough to make my chest tight and head ache.
    Is this normal for detox? Even after months of use?? Very confused and SUPER bummed out I can’t use it (or any other coconut product)
    Any suggestions?

    • says

      Whoa! That is pretty interesting…not in a good way either. Did you change your diet in any other way or add new herbs/supplements to the mix. After that many months, you should not have that severe of a detox reaction unless something else was going on. Have you ever done muscle testing? That might be a good place to start to see what is going on with the coconut.

      • Kay D. says

        I’d also been taking Spirulina, Chia Seeds, and Vitex. All of which I’ve stopped taking. I thought it was the Vitex, so I stopped that first. I stopped the Spirulina and Chia after I stopped taking the Coconut products. I haven’t done muscle testing – thank you for the suggestion; I’d really like to get a handle on this and get back to my coconut!!

        • Swan says

          Hi Kay,

          I have the same reaction if I don’t have enough magnesium. I take about 4 tablets daily and if I miss them, I have the same reaction. Apparently nearly everyone is magnesium deficient these days due to there being a drastic depletion in our food. It is probably important to note, I take a naturopathic practitioner one that is better than what you buy in the normal chemist and notice if I take the chemist ones! They aren’t as effective.

          I hope this helps!

    • Tabitha says

      Did you get tested? This sounds more like a food intolerance. If so it can get worse and become an allergy. Unfortunately went through this with gluten,high prolamine “grains”, and ginger.

      Side note: I still think incorporating grassfed beef gelatin and bone broth helped my gut heal. Made otber changes, too, but the gelatin seemed to speed up the healing.

    • CA says

      Considering the metabolic processes increased by coconut oil, if there is great mineral deficiencies that greatly effect the heart and the thyroid that regulates both the heart and body temperature ( and other things also), then wouldn’t be possible that maybe significant ( big) mineral deficiencies could be in play? That sure effects the heart! I am now using organic blackstrap molasses for naturally occurring in balanced- ratio mineral supplementation, considering the organic bsm is chock full of Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Phosphorus, etc., ( Rich!!) and in organic quantities meaning more than three times that of non- organic. It calms my Arrythmia right down immediately, and never have it anymore. It did a much better job than taking manmade supplements of minerals, which I did before! I’m no expert, but it sure sounds like there’s mineral deficiency being effected by metabolic differences, when the coconut comes into play.

      • says

        I think you really nailed it in this comment. Mineral deficiencies in general can wreak havoc on the entire body. I have been learning so so much about this topic and my mind is just blown wide open with it all.

    • says

      Omg my same reaction plus gallbladder pain sent to er last night–saw someone post they use traderjoes cold pressed organic–i dtsrted coconut oil in bp coffee 6 weeks ago & the last 10 days began having severe symptoms After switching to trader joes brand. I Know its the coconut oil–dont know if the brand made a difference–if its “die off” is just stttops (postings lockk up cause typo)g ood luck

  24. says

    I am going to start coconut oil in the morning. I will eat a teaspoon to a tablespoon each morning (straight up – from the jar) and see if it helps with my lifelong constipation problem. I am so sick of pooping only 1-2 times per week. I hope coconut oil helps! I tried oil pulling last week and loved it. However, I did a little research and found out that oil pulling can cause crowns and fillings to fall out… now I’m afraid to do it again. Have you ever heard of this? Also, is coconut oil bad to take right before bed or is any time of day ok?

    • Jacinda says

      Holly, if you ALWAYS have a constipation problem, you might look into supplementing with Magnesium… the majority of Americans are deficient in this mineral and being deficient can cause muscle tightness & severe constipation… most multi-vitamins include only 12-13% of the RDA for Mag… besides being deficient in intake, stress, too much calcium & too much sugar can cause you to burn through Magnesium even faster…

      Anyway, if you see this, just thought it might be something you would want to check out… coconut oil does help some, but if you’re low in Mag, your intestines are not working efficiently…

  25. Mike says

    I enjoy the benefits of coconut oil, too, but have never heard of “die off”. When you speak so condescendly towards someone else you should probably have facts to back it up, yet I see zero references/documention in this entire write up. It seems as though your ” scientific method” is to imply someone is an idiot, assure us you’ve researched this extensively, and then to basically inherently trust you?

    References, please. Unless you performed your own peer reviewed study of the glorious phenomenon that is “die off”?

    Thank you so much for sharing these incredible new findings with us. I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to actually learning something about it. So far it feels a little bit like like an atheist going to church.

      • emma says

        Wow. You, sir, are the condescending one. I only just read this one entry of the author’s blog & did not feel it condescending or rude in ANY manner. Apparently, neither did any of the other people who made comments. I often wonder why I see such angry people like you taking time to be randomly rude to others on their blogs. I mean, something led you to find this specific blog, then, you took the time to read the article & then, you took the time to be the ONLY rude commentary out of the bunch. Commonsense would tell you to take away from blogs what feels right to you & leave the rest. I rarely make time to comment on blogs whether or not I found the information useful, however, people LIKE YOU always leave me befuddled & beg to be commented against. I just don’t get your thinking & I guess Jennifer defended herself well enough, but outright meanness for no reason just infuriates me. This lady takes the time from her family to offer us a free service…grrrrrrr.

    • says

      Hi Mike. The intention here is not to make anyone feel like an “idiot” nor do I speak in a condescending manner. If you have read my blog for a while, you would know that I have a certain sense of humor that I often inject into posts, especially those where I am sharing a personal experience followed with information I have found in my research.

      I often do not provide sources as the information I am sharing comes from a wide variety of sources, none of which I am directly quoting. If I directly quote something, I share that in the footnotes.

      When asked for references I will gladly provide them. However, it may take several days for me to do so. Maybe longer. I do have other priorities in my life such as my family and my health. I provide the information on this blog for free and as such, reserve the right to respond to comments and request for information WHEN I can. Thank you for posting the link and if you would like further “proof” I will get back to you with a list of books you can read as soon as I am able.

      In addition, I expect that anyone reading my posts will take the information and do further research. I am not a medical professional and have never claimed to be one. I clearly state this at the end of every post and in other places on my site. I share what I learn to help others make more informed decisions NOT to make a decision for them.

    • CA says

      Mike- It is YOUR responsibility to do your own research. This is an informational blog only. If you had done any research elsewhere, you would have heard PLENTY about die- off! I know I sure have! Jennifer has NOT been condescending, and I’ve only read ONE post! This one. You do your own research and LOOK THINGS UP FOR YOURSELF THE WAY THE REST OF US DO! I don’t keep a bibliography either, because I do FAR TOO MUCH reading and study. Our conclusions end up being from the FULLNESS of ALL of the study. This is not a Triple- blind study website. If you want that kind of information, go look for it. She is Not wrong to share what she has learned. We are here to help each other, not be a jerk- head like Mr. Pride, namely You, Michael!

  26. Tara says

    I started taking coconut oil capsules 5 days ago and I have noticed the past few nights that I have a strange metallic taste in my mouth.. Do you know if this is from taking the coconut oil?

    • says

      Hi Tara,

      I have heard this comment from my readers before. So while I do not know if it is “normal,” you are not alone in experiencing it. The only thing I can think of is that you are “tasting” heavy metals leaving your body. Do you have metal fillings in your mouth? Possibly the heavy metal count in your body is elevated. You want that stuff out for sure! But I can’t say for certain that this is what is going on.

      • Jeremy says

        The “metallic” taste in your mouth is ketosis. Your body is expulsing ketones. It’s a good thing. Chew sugar free gum, chew on mint, or use mouthwash a little more than you normally do. You are burning fat :)

        • CA says

          Since toxins are stored in fat, that makes a ton of sense. It does sound like she’s shedding heavy metals. Good for her!

        • CA says

          Could she also use fresh Lemon Juice= citric acid= vitamin C, = chelation agent= pull some more on the heavy metals to help them exit. Citric Acid DOES Chelate! Even Iron Disorders Institute makes that clear!

  27. Pauley says

    Hi Jennifer,

    I love this & your blog. You’re a new favorite! Thank you so much for taking time to inform & share.

    I go off & on CO, I’m currently on & plan on staying. However, I consume my CO in my coffee, about a tablespoon with a tablespoon off organic, grass fed & finished butter. I notice a slight…I guess tightening of my throat & back of tongue, along with a feeling that creeps up my neck into my face sinuses & sweeps over my entire skull-a little like pressure or numbing…hard to describe. I can feel some type of sensation in my nasal cavity, perhaps a narrowing & also I get jittery & it feels as if my heart speeds up a bit. It can happen within 10 minutes, but usually within an hour after I’ve finished my coffee. It’s a little concerning, but I’m not sure it’s something to worry about. I eat it in cooking and have no reaction at all. I use the same butter on toast or with veggies and -nothing, no reaction.

    Ever heard of this?

    • says

      Hi Pauley! Thanks for your sweet comments! Hmmm….your experience is indeed interesting. I have had this happen before and it is usually related to blood sugar changes. Could it be that you are reacting to the coffee and not the CO or butter? Have you heard of pulse testing foods? I would suggest trying that. What you do is take your pulse at rest. Then put whatever item you are testing for in your mouth and hold it there for two minutes. Spit it out. Do not swallow. Take your pulse again immediately. If there is an increase in your pulse rate, you are reacting to the food. Try each of the three things (CO, butter, and coffee) on different days. Do each separately – don’t test the coffee with everything in it. After you have tested them all, see which is the offender, if any. A small increase in the pulse rate (a beat or two) is not an issue. You are looking for a slightly more elevated pulse rate. If you “test” ok for all three of these items, then you might want to test it together as they normally are in your coffee. Maybe the combo of the three is the issue. let me know what happens!

    • CA says

      When these folks are talking about an increased heart rate, doesn’t that reflect on the metabolic increases produced by CO? As well the coffee, yes, but also this: people need to realize that their mineral uptake isn’t as high as they think it is because there are MANY foods as well as coffee and Tea that block or impair our uptake. Thus, our intake doesn’t equal our uptake. When we block our minerals with grains, legumes, and other foods, our heart may feel that deficiency and let us know. One can find that list@ iron disorders institute/ diet page, and it’s not just iron that’s getting blocked. Our hearts depend on our getting sufficient minerals, and stress uses up so much of them, so we’ve really got to keep up!

  28. says

    Still, you can get all of the things you need for doing the h – CG weight loss protocol for around $100
    or less. First Response Early Results home pregnancy test is the most sensitive, cost
    effective, $12. However you will not know until you check
    it out yourself.

  29. KathyR. says

    Along with being overweight I have lots of muscle and joint pain that prevent me from doing much physical activity. After a horrible divorce I have had a lot of stress as well; in general my health has been getting worse. I recently started using coconut oil in my coffee and along with my meals. A lot of my joint/muscle pain is gone and I feel like actually getting off the couch! However, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours after I eat I start to sweat uncontrollably-this is while I am sitting still. Heaven forbid I do anything or I am soaked to the skin. This can be inconvenient in social situations but so far I have avoided it. Is this normal? Will it go away eventually? I would hate to give up my CO as I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I guess this winter I can save on my heating bill!

    • says

      Hi Kathy! I am not a medical professional but honestly, it sounds like you have some adrenal issues possibly. You might read up on adrenal fatigue and see if you think it fits. It is *possible* that the coconut oil is still removing gunk from your body but I am leaning towards adrenal issues. It is also possible that something you are eating is suddenly causing an issue. Any ideas on foods that you either eat a lot of in the timeframe before the sweating starts or new foods you besides CO that you have added to your diet recently?

    • CA says

      Kathy: Have you looked into Hyperpermeable Small Intestine, otherwise known as Leaky Gut Syndrome? It is where the small intestine is damaged, resulting in poor digestion and poor uptake of nutrients, and also allowing partially digested proteins that are too big to pass prematurely into the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. The immune system regards these intruders as foreign matter, and goes all out to vanquish them from the bloodstream. This IS an immune response, and effects the entire endocrine system ( ALL the glands), and the organs too. Dr. John Bergman explains well how the whole body is interrelated and effected by a damaged gut. Cause and effect, one thing leads to another, and with poor uptake of minerals and all the stress, your Thyroid can easily begin to do body temperature gymnastics, as it simply isn’t getting the minerals it requires. Everything you’ve described virtually hits the nail on the head: weight gain ( calories, but not nutrition), muscle and joint pain, temperature variances ( hot flashes), all of it. It’s true that coconut oil is PART, but healing the gut involves other things too, like not eating damaging and inflammatory foods, grassfed bone broth, probiotic, juicing, no sugars at all, not even honey, no grains whatsoever of any kind because they continue the damage, and probably no nightshades. Researchers are now believing that Leaky Gut is the root cause behind every auto- immune disease, including diabetes, asthma, allergies of all kinds, and environmental illness, toxins helping greatly to damage the gut. It can be healed, the sooner, the better, before severe damage is done to liver, kidneys, pancreas, Thyroid, Adrenals, etc. It turns out our entire physiology hinges on the health, soundness, and integrity of the small intestine, the home of our digestion AND our immune system. Damaged gut, damaged immune system, especially because it’s already very busy fighting the big proteins that made it into the bloodstream inappropriately. It sounds like you should REALLY look into healing a Leaky Gut, asap. The consequences of allowing it to advance and become more severe are costly. Healing, and bringing up mineral uptake is vital. Without these, the body can only malfunction and grow sicker. The symptom list on all this is extensive, so anyone concerned should look into it: chronic fatigue, sleepy, no energy, emotional upsets, lack of focus and attention, anxious, depressed, all kinds of symptoms result from a damaged small intestine. Given study, I believe most westerners are both mineral deficient and suffering from a Hyperpermeable gut. Everyone should look into this. It’s extremely prevalent.

  30. says

    I started putting coconut oil in my smoothies a few weeks ago. I was told three and half tbl. I was not told liquid pill or hard oil. Long story short I was drinking a quarter cup of oil for over a week . I stopped last Thurs.because I didn’t feel right. I now am very sick with like you said flu like symptoms occasional fever and feel like my mess have stopped working. Please let me know if I should just let this pass or what. Btw.. I’m totally constipated, I have not had diahrea at all.

    • says

      This sounds like you went too fast! I am so sorry you are feeling this bad. Take a break for about a week and then start again SLOWLY and see what happens. Start with a teaspoon and increase in teaspoon increments every few days. This should help but if you still feel terrible going this slow, you may have deeper issues resulting in severe die off. By deeper issues I mean a pretty messed up gut. :(

  31. Michele says

    I’m glad you wrote about the normal side effects of starting coconut oil because I think a lot of people are using too much at first and then their guts react in a way they aren’t used to and stop altogether not realizing that their bodies are just detoxing. I started using coconut oil just last week and I noticed some loose stools and a runny nose and I knew right away that something was different but it won’t thwart me from using it. I just should have started with less. Thanks for the info!

    • says

      No problem Michele! This is exactly why I wrote this post. So people wouldn’t panic over their “die-off” symptoms. Good luck as you begin your coconut oil journey.

  32. says

    I started taking coconut oil late last week – about a half a tablespoon in the morning and another half a tablespoon in the afternoon. I am not experiencing diarrhea, but I am experiencing flatulence of the most unpleasant aroma. I did not take any today (because of work), the residual toots are there, but not the unpleasant aroma. Is this my body’s way detoxing? If so, how much coconut oil should I go down to? I certainly cannot bless my family and coworkers with my musical talents and I certainly do not need to evacuate the room!

    • says

      Oh Suanne! Thank you for a giggle. I’m sorry it had to be at your expensive but your wording just put a smile on my face. I would venture a guess that YES, you are detoxing. I would start with one teaspoon and work up in one teaspoon increments each week. This ought to slow down the room-clearing toots. 😉

  33. Rhonda says

    Hi Jennifer,

    I found your blog while researching stomach upset due to coconut oil. My 78 year old mother has some dementia, and we are trying to halt the decline, and possibly even reverse it. She has been going through EDTA chelation for the past few months, in addition to taking mega vitamins, along with magnesium, turmeric, and coconut oil for her brain, eating a healthier diet, and walking. She is taking 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in divided doses. I’d like to get her to 4 T, but she experiences terrible stomach cramps and occasional diarrhea. She has had no herx effects at all. Her thinking process has actually improved, she has more energy, is not depressed, and her weight has been consistent even through the holidays (124 pounds). She has had bronchiectisis for many years, and has not been sick one day. She usually takes antibiotics 3 times a week for that condition, but she probably hasn’t even had 7 tablets since September. The past two months I’ve switched her to Barlean’s MCT oil, which is more pleasant tasting to her, but we’re still dealing with the cramps. Ironically, she doesn’t seem to have them every time, especially if taken with food, and they last about 15-20 minutes when she does have them. I can’t figure out why she has them, and why they aren’t consistent. Any advice on what I can do to alleviate this problem and increase her dosage?

    • says

      Hi Rhonda! First off, WOW! This is wonderful to hear about your mother. What a fabulous testament to coconut oil’s ability to heal. Thank you for sharing. Before I write a big old response, let me ask you a question. Has your mother ever gotten cramping when she takes the coconut oil with food? Or is it just when she takes it away from meals? This will help me respond better. Thanks so much!

  34. says

    I began using coconut oil about a week ago. I do the oil pulling 3 times a day. I also have my husband massage it into my feet using pressure points. After about 5 minutes of massage I am out like a light. I have felt more rested, and a little more energy except for yesterday and today..I have felt drained and have some cramping. What do I do?

    • says

      Hi Wilma. It sounds to me like you need to cut back on the the oil pulling. Maybe only do it 1-2 times a day and see how you feel. You might be detoxing too fast.

  35. says

    i ve been taking c oil for 1.5 yrs i still have very loose stools and my globulin is way down. decided to give it up fo give it for a few weeks see if matters improve.

  36. says

    Thank you for posting. Recently started taking coconut oil supplements and have bad taste in mouth and feels little like slight cold but believe it is just cleaning out the gunk. Lol. Taking two capsules twice day. 1000 mg per capsule. Do you think this is too much to start with?

  37. says

    Been using coconut oil for a while for oil pulling, the last couple of weeks been using it in my coffee, I put about a tablespoon in each cup, then I realized I drink a lot of coffee..heh

    But, I have dropped about 10 pounds in the last 3 weeks, I use Carrington Farms, unrefined cold pressed extra virgin oil purchased at Wallys Mart…
    I am trying to get my wife to use it, but she doesnt care for the taste, her triglycerides are high the doc says and he wants her to take even more drugs to bring it down, I told her to coconut oil will help and bring things in check, but…..

    Any ideas to try to get it in her diet to help get her off her drugs?? She is also a diabetic…

  38. Lory says

    I began taking coconut oil capsules, and i am experiencing sever itching all over my body. I have HCV and my doctor told me it would be beneficial. I havent experienced any other symptoms other than a mild headache. Is this an allergic reaction to the coconut oil? Or is this because the coconut oil is clearing the toxins from my body? Could it be due to my disease even though my doctor suggested that it would help?

    • says

      Hi Lory,

      Is coconut oil that ONLY new you added into your diet? Itching without a rash usually lends itself more towards an allergic reaction or sensitivity versus die off BUT that isn’t always the case. Do you have any sort of tightness in your throat?

  39. Cyndi says

    I began with organic VCO topically for a small spot of nail fungus on my toe. Upon a little further reading, was advised it would be most beneficial to also incorporate it into my diet to fight fungus from within in the intestinal tract. I was stupid; scooped out a heaping tablespoon and gobbled it right down and hated the taste. I noticed all of the the things had I done due diligence to begin with in my reading that were noted ‘side effects’. The first was nausea (duh), and immediately the thermogenic heat spreading throughout my entire body. Heh. I continued with another T at night.

    After a few days of this, I began getting a burning headache at night that traveled from the back up and over to my forehead. I went back to reading, and sure enough, it could possibly be expected, so I cut back to just 1 T in the morning. As the days went by, I developed a ‘cold’. I had not had a cold in 5 years. This ‘cold’ transformed into what I can only surmise is the worst sinus infection I could imagine. I could barely eat a meal for the need to have to stop for a kleenex. During all of this amazing stuff, I did notice that I had a TON of energy; was not nearly as hungry as I usually am, and that I developed a few classic whitehead pimples in odd places. I didn’t understand how I could feel both so bad and so good at the same time. I developed so much mucus that I was afraid I would choke or suffocate. Therefore, I increased my water intake greatly. This was all new to me. My face hurt without even having to touch it; around my eyes, and over my cheekbones. My apologies for being graphic, but what came out of my head was very thick, olive green stuff that just didn’t end.

    This illness took approximately a whole month to begin to resolve. In the meantime, I developed a few huge cravings for sugar. During the worst week I eliminated the coconut oil entirely. I am pretty much a skeptic, but these effects were overwhelming, and as I read more, could see exactly what was happening. I was shocked! I still am! As I got better, I resumed the 1 T in the morning in my coffee. Too, I also have a teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth in the juice of 1/2 lemon in warm water in the morning as well. Clearly, there was such a battle raging in my body that I can only attribute it to a Herxheimer reaction in its purest form.

    I never weigh myself, but am down 2 sizes in jeans (from 10 to 6) and people notice and comment. I still battle the urge for sweets once in a while, but have only been doing this since the beginning of April. One day out of boredom I slathered a great amount into my hair, put a plastic bag over my head and shampooed it out about a couple hours later. Amazing results. If I can stay away from my dog, because she likes to lick it off, I rub it all over my skin and face and have never found a better moisturizer. Seriously, I do not sell the stuff, but I could.

    As for my toenail, after the first night I applied and covered with a bandaid, the yellow/brown patch had turned almost black by morning, and with continued use lightened to white and is almost half grown out just fine now. I know I am forgetting things – I wish I had documented everything, but it was a very trying time. I must have been full of yeast or candida or whatever; I have a history of diabetes in my family and am very mindful of that. I’ve read that not everyone has this sort of experience, but it was so enlightening for me, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I feel better than I have in years. I will turn 60 at the end of the year, and I will do this forever!

    • Cyndi says

      Oh, shoot; as if I didn’t write enough above, but somehow forgot completely – for years I have had some arthritis in two joints in my right hand. During the sinus inflammation and other issues time, my right hand began to swell until I literally could not bend my fingers or cup my entire hand. I have come to believe it is just another example of the coconut oil doing its thing. I know the human body is amazingly interconnected and that there are untold other things that could be affected, but would bet money this was a part of the whole process!

  40. Luther Huffman says

    I have been doing oil pulling every morning with Coconut oil as well as consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons also. Should you do the oil pulling and consume the oil also or do one or the other. And if so which would you recommend.

    It seems that I am having bad die-off effect. I am I doing to much?

    • says

      Hi Luther! Did you start it all at the same time or were you consuming CO before you started oil pulling? It could be too much too so if that is the case. Otherwise, oil pulling can really hit some people hard, even if you have been consuming coconut oil for years. I would pull back a bit on the oil pulling. Either scale back to every other day or do it for a shorter period of time and see if that helps any. Keep me posted!

  41. says

    Hi everyone

    My first try was 2 teaspoons and regretting it now every minute. Feels like vomiting my intestines out for 12hours straight. Why o why didn’t I read more….

  42. Meghan Sutton says

    Hi, I started using CO last week and had 1/2 tablespoon every day in my coffee from Monday-Thursday. Since then, I have had diarrhea for 6 days. Is this type of reaction normal? I’m starting to wonder if it’s a dairy allergy, but I’ve never been sensitive to that before. Please help!

  43. Elaine says

    I have had gastritis/ulcer type symptoms for 4 months now.. Weight loss of 6 lbs since Feb. I am trying to eat healthy calorie dense foods that will not aggravate my stomach. I took a tbsp of coconut oil the other day in my morning shake and that day I started having the horrible ulcer pain, along with nausea, rectal spasms, bad taste in my mouth and just feeling awful. I have had in the past candida in my gut which was treated by an MD. I believe I have a small bowel overgrowth which set me up for the gut problems. Going to see the GI Dr in a few weeks. I am a retired RN and suspect I might have H-pylori, candida etc. I never knew that coconut oil would do this. Glad I found this site as I thought I was crazy.

      • Elaine says

        I was wondering how long these side effects last. I did the 1 tbsp last Friday and I am still having digestive problems. Upper gastric pain is subsiding, but I have what feels like colitis now. I was doing pretty good until I tried the oil. It seems like the oil stirred up what ever is going on in the gut. After reading about it, I had no idea how powerful it is for killing candida and other bad organisms. This is a great site and a wealth of information. Thanks!

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