Let us first start by explaining what is a yeast infection? Normally we associate bread or pizza dough with yeast. If you have never experienced a yeast infection you must be wondering how yeast got into your body. The answer to this question is Candida albicans, scientific name for a fungus which is naturally present in our bodies. It usually doesn’t bother us but at times it tends to overgrow. This overgrowth is called a yeast infection. Now, you next question would be, what are the causes of a yeast infection or what causes this overgrowth? This overgrowth or yeast imbalance occurs when the immune system of our bodies starts to get weak because of any medical conditions. The Candida lives in our bodies alongside, antibodies and doesn’t cause us any harm. Throughout our lives, the antibodies and funguses are in a battle mode, and the antibodies dominate. A yeast infection occurs whenever the antibodies get outnumbered by the fungus.
Causes of yeast infection include: pregnancy, reaching menopause, puberty, diabetes, taking antibiotics or birth control pills for a long time, or any other illness which affects the immune system. Hormonal imbalance is also a major cause of a yeast infection. Yeast infections can also occur in HIV and cancer patients. Initial symptoms may not even be noticeable. Some yeast infection symptoms that you might experience include a thick white vaginal discharge, which has a cottage cheese-like appearance. This is often odorless and pain-free. In vaginal yeast infection, as the infection progresses you might feel itchiness in your genital area, there’s a slight burning sensation when urinating and you might experience discomfort during sexual intercourse. If not treated early the infected area gets rashes and in more severe cases bleeding lesions, sores and blisters appear as well. The situation can get embarrassing and painful. The truth is that yeast infection medicines and doctors may provide you with temporary relief; however, there is a wide variety of home remedies and yeast infection treatment and women have been turning to these with confidence for years. These remedies are quite inexpensive and most of the things used in home remedies for yeast infection are easily available. Here is a list of highly compelling solutions for a yeast infection.
“Causes of yeast infection include: pregnancy, reaching menopause, puberty, diabetes, taking antibiotics or birth control pills for a long time, or any other illness which affects the immune system. Hormonal imbalance is also a major cause of a yeast infection.”
As we have already told you that when the good bacteria in your system weakens, you get a yeast infection. Probiotcs can help you stifle the growth of yeast, as these are inviting bacteria. The OTC treatments available may kill the infection-causing bacteria, but they often affect the antibodies as well. In this way the safe framework of your body’s system is disturbed. To eliminate this issue pack on foods which are rich in probiotics. These days probiotics packs which can easily be diluted in water are also easily available in the grocery stores. Some food options for yeast infection treatment include:
- Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut
- Pickled onions and cucumbers
- Dairy kefir, which is easily available at health food stores
- Local ferments available at a farmer’s market which are becoming really popular nowadays.
The little berries are antibacterial and antifungal. They are Mother Nature’s way of fighting against the yeast causing parasites by increasing the good bacteria. Cranberries help you in getting your strength back in the shortest time. That is why they are helpful in urinary tract infections and also helpful in any other bladder-related infections which makes them one of the best home remedies for yeast infection.
- Have unsweetened cranberry juice at least once a day
- If you don’t like the taste of it, you can have cranberry tablets -3 times a day available at restorative stores
- A cranberry juice supplement is also available widely now which can be diluted into water.
Yoghurt is rich in a substance called lactobacillus. This naturally occurring bacterium not only helps in controlling the infection, but also is very effective in preventing it. Therefore, it is a good idea to include yogurt in your daily diet. However, it is important to remember when using yogurt to control a yeast infection it is always better to go for natural, unsweetened and unflavored variety. Yogurt is equally effective in preventing infections as well as when you start feeling first yeast infection symptoms.
- Yogurt is an all natural antifungal healing option. You can dip a tampon in yogurt, and insert it in your vagina. You could also apply it directly on the effected skin. Leave it for at least 15-20 minutes and rinse off with plain water.
- Combining yogurt with orange root is another solution for treating yeast infection naturally. Apply it at least twenty minutes before taking a shower and then wash off with lukewarm water.
- The reason why it is important to use unsweetened yogurt is because it contains sugar, and sugar provides fermentation ground for yeast.
Garlic happens to be another one of Mother Nature’s gifts. It is famous for its antifungal properties and has been a pivotal part of Chinese and Indian Aurvedic medicine for centuries. You can chew on garlic cloves or add chopped garlic to your food. Some women insert peeled garlic cloves into their vaginas and leave it overnight as a natural cure for yeast infection. OK! We know that sounds strange but you will see great outcome within a couple of nights. Off course the pungent smell of garlic would be a little hard to get rid of but weight it against the benefits in relieving from vaginal yeast infection.
- If you are thinking that the garlic clove would be hard to remove, simply wrap it up in a muslin cloth and tie it with dental floss, then insert it into your vagina. Leave some floss hanging out, so you can pull it out just like a tampon
- Another way to use garlic is take equal amounts of garlic oil, Vitamin E oil and coconut oil, then apply it on the affected area, leave it overnight and wash it in the morning with lukewarm water.
Tea Tree Oil
This hands down is one of my favorite oils. It is no doubt one of the best home remedies for yeast infection. This oil is loaded with both antibacterial and antifungal properties. we use it to get rid of pimples, treat zits, acne, tick bites and even minor burns. Tea tree oil should be always either diluted with other oils or in water when using for a yeast infection. Your effected skin is already sensitive and this burns a little upon application, if applied directly.
- Take a tablespoon of tea tree oil and dilute it in a cup of water. Douche your genital area and effected skin with this water. You may repeat this 2-3 times a day. You will feel immediate relief after a few applications.
- Another way to use tea tree oil is to spill a few drops of the oil on a cotton tampon and insert in your vagina. Leave it for a couple of hours and remove. It is very effective in vaginal yeast infection.
- If you are pregnant please only stick to external application.
“The truth is that yeast infection medicines and doctors may provide you with temporary relief; however, there is a wide variety of home remedies for yeast infection which women have been turning to with confidence for years. These remedies are quite inexpensive and most of the things used in home remedies for yeast infection are easily available.”
Apple Cider Vinegar
If the idea of inserting garlic into your vagina didn’t appeal to you much, how about you try some apple cider vinegar? Apple cider vinegar or ACV as it is popularly known as; helps in restoring the pH level of your vaginal environment and destroys the infection causing bacteria. You can dilute a cap full of ACV with 2 cups of warm water. Here is how this yeast infection treatment works:
- Dip a clean cloth in this and blot the infected areas. Let it dry for about fifteen minutes, do not wash off
- Simply put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray onto the areas that hurt.
- You must apply this ACV mixture after taking a shower and ensuring you are completely dry as it is not supposed to be washed off. Once it is dry, get dressed and you are good to go.
Gentian violet belongs to the antifungal group of medicines. It is to be used tropically. This has been part of Asian women’s medicine cabinets for ages. Even doctors recommend using these home remedies for yeast infection before any ointment and yeast infection creams. It is completely safe, and is also used for treating oral infections and mouth ulcers. To use genital violet for treating yeast infections you can use it in two ways.
- Dip a cotton ball in gentian violet; apply a deposit layer of the liquid on your effected skin by bloating gently over it.
- Another way to use it simply dilute it in some water which is filled in a tub and sit in it for 10-15 minutes for immediate relief from the burning and itching.
Calendula facials and treatments have become quite popular recently. The orange flower has mitigating properties and is considered a substantial antifungal alternative and one of the most effective home remedies for yeast infection. The treatments work like magic for acne prone skin. Calendula foot powder is used by athletes to keep their feet dry and fungal free. For yeast infection relief you can
- Take few petals of the flower; crush them till you get a gooey paste. Apply it to the affected area and leave for as long as you can. Repeat this 2-3 times a day.
- Calendula powder is also available and herbal and beauty supply stores in tincture form. You can dilute it in water to make a paste and apply it the affected areas.
- Creams of calendula as also available, but as these are processed never apply it to bruised or bleeding skin.
Some commonly found herbs also work as a yeast infection cure. You can brew a strong tea of the following herbs to get rid of vaginal yeast infection. Let it cool down to room temperature. Then you can either use cotton to dab the affected skin or fill up a spray bottle and spray on the yeast infected area. Better try this remedy when you first feel yeast infection symptoms:
- Basil tea. First boil approximately 3 cups of water, then add 1/4th tsp of ground basil to it, let it sit for 30 minutes and strain, then use it as you prefer.
- Thyme tea. To make thyme tea use 1tsp of thyme in a cup of water. This is quite mild and can be used up to four times a day
- Rosemary tea. Rosemary provides instant relief against the itching and burning caused by a yeast infection. 1 tsp of rosemary blended into a cup of boiling water will do the trick.
- It is best to apply these herbal treatments on clean, dry skin. Leave them on skin for as long as you can and let them air dry.
“Most important! If you have any sort of vaginal discharge first make sure you get a correct diagnosis. These remedies have no side effects but they would be of little use in case of any other type of infection.”
Oil Of Oregano
This is not a much-known fact but oil of oregano happens to be nature’s antibiotic which makes it an effective yeast infection treatment. This is a staple in Mediterranean food, probably one reason why people of that region live such healthy long lives. This creates a hostile environment for yeast to ferment any further, and mitigates the vulnerable environment of your vagina by balancing the bacteria-fighting antibodies.
- When purchasing oil of oregano go for the one with highest concentration or carvacrol value.
- Dilute it with olive or coconut oil and apply to the affected areas of your skin
- This oil has an instant relieving effect. This will moisturize your skin and take care of any rashes immediately.
All the beauty gurus and nutritionists have been raving about coconut oil but did you know coconut oil is one of the best natural home remedies for yeast infection!! Coconut oil provides relief against sunburns and has soothing effects on irritated skin
- You can apply it as many times as you want to throughout the day on your affected skin
- This creates a barrier against the yeast due to its high antifungal properties
- Coconut oil provides relief and will also help in formation of new skin layer after your yeast infection is cured.
Boric Acid Suppository
This is another top-shelf treatment for yeast infection. You don’t need a prescription to get these and you may find them easily at health food stores. Boric acid is a natural antiseptic and antifungal agent. This works by inhibiting the augmentation of Candida albicans, the yeast which gives us the horrible infection. So start using it when you first feel the yeast infection symptoms.
- It is never a good idea to apply the powder directly to skin, as it might alleviate irritation. Use it in the suppository form. Use these suppositories for up to 5-7 days
- Another boric acid solution available is Borax 6x, this is a homeopathic alternative available in palette/tablet form. Dilute the powder in palette in some water and douche with the solution.
Other Useful Tips On How To Prevent Yeast Infections
Whether you’ve gotten a yeast infection multiple times or it’s your first time the above-mentioned home remedies for yeast infection will be very useful. However, there are some things you should know about how to prevent a yeast infection
- Yeast fermentation begins in moist environments. Avoid wearing wet bathing suits for too long
- Change immediately after working out or any other physical activity
- Tight clothing such as nylon tights and leggings may also sometime give you a yeast infection. Take good care of your hygiene and always make sure you are completely dry after a shower before you put on clothes. This will especially prevent vaginal yeast infection.
- Try to use Cotton underpants and panties at all time. Avoid synthetic materials and wear cotton or any other natural breathable fabric whenever possible.
- Do not use harsh douching washes, or body washes to use your sensitive areas
- Avoid using antibacterial soaps, as they sometimes tend to kill the good bacteria along with the bad ones
- Once you get an infection and start to experience yeast infection symptoms, make sure you have at least 8-10 glasses of water every day, this helps in flushing out the toxins and bacteria through urination
- You can also prevent a yeast infection by making some dietary changes. Avoid dairy products, breads, sugars and starches. All these products are fermented during preparation and may sometime aggravate a yeast infection. Eating healthy food is another simple but effective yeast infection treatment.
- Instead pack up on fruits and vegetables especially the ones rich in vitamin C and zinc.
- If you are pregnant or lactating please consult your doctor before using any of these tips
- Most important! If you have any sort of vaginal discharge first make sure you get a correct diagnosis. These remedies have no side effects but they would be of little use in case of any other type of infection. There are OTC at home screening kits available, they come with a vaginal swab which will measure your pH levels and give you an accurate diagnosis.