Coconut Milk: How Much Is It Antifungal?

I decided to put the coconut milk in a test to find out how much antifungal coconut milk actually is.

I tested the common cooking coconut milk you can buy in a grocery store – so no fancy “organic, no additives…” – just a regular cheap coconut milk for cooking.

The label on coconut milk states: 80% of coconut extract, water, E412 (guar gum), E466 (carboxymethylcellulose), E435 (Polysorbate 60).

The amount of coconut fat in this canned coconut milk was 18%.

The coconut milk sold in cans is usually prepared by grating the coconut flesh and squeezing it (like through the cheesecloth) to get the liquid – coconut extract. Then the manufacturer adds the pure water to the extract and this is the final product – coconut milk.

I tested the coconut milk the same way in 4 Petri dishes to get more accurate results.

The Petri dishes were covered with lid, exposed to normal indoor daylight and (on average) to 20°C (68°F).

I ran the experiment for a few weeks until the coconut milk completely dried. Here are the photos…


As you can see there is a fungal growth in each of the four Petri dishes. The coconut milk in all Petri dishes started to mold after about a week (6-8 days).

Personally, I consider anything what can not stay fungus-free for at least 7 days very weak in terms of its antifungal effects.

The three of them are almost completely covered with fungi.

That’s exactly the scenario for which I ran the experiment using the 4 Petri dishes. Using just one Petri dish we might get a false results that this canned coconut oil was a relatively good anti-fungal food.

For comparison here is the photo of the comparable test using the cassia essential oil as an potential antifungal. The oats in the orange juice did not get moldy at all!

Orange juice and oats without any essential oil after 6 days at room temperature.


Actually, coconut milk of this quality is not a good anti-fungal food because the mold started to grow in all Petri dishes in 1 week.

Canned coconut milk is not the “most favorite food” for the fungi when compared to grains but still it is not worthy as an anti-fungal remedy in my opinion.

You can read my previous post “Orange Juice with Oats: Fungus vs Essential Oils and “Day 21: Fungus vs Essential Oils – Very Strong Antifungal Activity of One Essential Oil” to learn more about the strong antifungal effects of cassia essential oil.

I plan to repeat this test with fresh coconut water, home made coconut milk and cold pressed coconut oil in the future experiments.

Also in a few days I will publish the results of antifungal activity of other essential oils (cassia, clove, peppermint, rosemary).

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