Treating Yeast Infections Naturally
Basic Things to Do:
If you have a plan to get rid of vaginal yeast infection, there are many different ways to treat it. Here are a few:
- Yeast loves warm moist places, so limit how long you wear panty hose, tights or leggings.
- Choose underwear with a cotton crotch.
- Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothes.
- Don’t use deodorant tampons or feminine deodorant sprays.
- Do NOT douche on a regular basis.
- Don’t wear tight pants.
- Dry off quickly after swimming or bathing.
Yeast Infection Home Remedies
If you are very aware of your body and can catch a yeast infection before it becomes full blown, one of these home remedies may work for you.
- Yogurt – Yogurt which contains live lactobacillus acidophilus cultures can be ingested in the hope these “good” bacteria will offset the imbalance which has developed and will take care of the yeast infection. Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria create hydrogen peroxide which kills yeast. To help with a current yeast infection soak a tampon briefly in yogurt. Insert the yogurt-soaked tampon and wear overnight until the symptoms clear. Another option is to directly insert the yogurt (gently) into the vagina with a small spoon, spatula or vaginal cream applicator.
I have heard suggestions to use a needle-less syringe to shoot the yogurt into the vagina. It is also recommended to apply the yogurt directly to the vulva to relieve the symptoms there. Make sure you use unpasteurized, plain yogurt that has no added sugar or you will defeat the purpose of the treatment since you will be feeding the yeast sugar at the same time you are trying to kill it. (Check out how much sugar is in Yoplait yogurt – I think it is around 40 grams of sugar per serving.) Do this for three to seven nights and use a pad to catch any yogurt which might slip out. A natural health food store or coop would be your best bet to find exceptional yogurt containing live lactobacillus acidophilus culture with NO sugar.
- Garlic – Garlic is great for treating viruses and also for treating fungal infections. In order to treat a vaginal yeast infection, peel the garlic clove being careful to not nick the clove. If it is nicked, the garlic could burn the vaginal wall. Wrap the clove in muslin or gauze and tie with dental floss so the suppository is easy to remove and insert into the vagina. You may leave the garlic in the vagina for up to 12 hours. Garlic capsules could also be used for this, just make sure that the capsules will dissolve. Do be prepared to smell strongly of garlic during this treatment. Of course, if you are allergic to garlic this is not the treatment for you.
- Tea Tree Oil – Soak a tampon with a lubricant like KY Jelly or olive oil. Add a few drops of pure Tea Tree Oil to the tip of the tampon and then insert. Use an applicator with the tampon as contact with the vulva could sting. Lift the top part off, apply the lubricant and the tea tree oil, replace the top and insert. Tea Tree Oil is available at your local health food store and is also used to remove head lice and dust mites from the laundry. A little bit goes a long way. One suggestion is to wash your underwear in a solution of Tea Tree Oil and then iron it afterward to eliminate any lingering yeast.
- Boric Acid – You may insert 600 mg Boric acid capsules into the vagina each night before bed for five to seven days. This is a very potent treatment and you may experience a large amount of vaginal discharge and even burning at first. It may effectively eliminate even very severe infections. To make sure you have killed all the yeast, continue the treatment twice a week for a total of three weeks. Discontinue this method if the burning is severe.
- Potassium Sorbate – Potassium Sorbate is a potassium salt version of sorbic acid, a polyunsaturated fat used to inhibit mold or fungal growth. Interestingly, candida overgrowth is essentially a fungus, so the use of potassium sorbate does make some sense here. It is typically used in brewing beer to stop the growth of yeast at the appropriate time. Dip a cotton tampon with a 3% solution (eight grams of potassium sorbate [about 1 tablespoon] to one cup of water) and insert into the vagina overnight. Remove in the morning and repeat for three to seven nights. You can purchase potassium sorbate on the Web.
- Cranberry Juice – Drink a lot of unsweetened cranberry juice. This will help keep your urinary tract healthy, too. J. Cranberry pills may also be beneficial.
- Calendula – Calendula is derived from marigold flowers and may be found at health food stores. This cream is soothing and anti-fungal and should be applied directly to the affected areas on the OUTSIDE of your vagina. Do not insert the cream into the vagina unless the product specifically states this is an acceptable practice
- Acidophilus Pearls – Take enteric-coated acidophilus pearls to help increase the amount of “good guy” bacteria present in your system. The delivery system ensures a very good percentage of acidophilus to your digestive system where it can do some real good. Repopulating your system should really help to rebalance you and hopefully, prevent recurring yeast infections.
- Gentian Violet – Paint the vagina, cervix (you will need a speculum to do this), and vulva (the lips of the vagina) with genetian violet. It is quite purple and will stain, so make sure and wear a pad. Some women may be allergic to genetian violet, so test a small part on your arm to be sure you won’t react to it. If it is available at your local pharmacy, it will probably be close to the iodine. This usually works with the first treatment.
Douching is not generally a good idea, but there are some effective douches out there. Please be careful to keep the douche bag below your pelvis and to apply gentle pressure. Too much pressure could force the liquid into the uterus. Also, be careful when removing the apparatus, cuts on the surface of the vaginal wall could lead to very serious infections. Do not douche if pregnant or menstruating. Douching while in a reclined position will allow for more retention of the solution.
- Hydrogen Peroxide douche – Hydrogen Peroxide has historically been a great killer of candida, bacteria, and viruses. I really believe it is not used prevalently because pharmaceutical companies can’t make any money from it. To douche with it, mix one tsp. of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water and douche once per day until your symptoms clear. Then douche one more day, just to be sure.
- Tea Tree Oil douche – Tea Tree Oil is a powerful substance. A few drops in your washing machine can kill dust mites and lice, so it stands to reason you will need to dilute this particular liquid. You want to make a stock solution you can store and then use a few drops when necessary. Mix one tsp. Tea Tree Oil with one tsp. isopropyl alcohol. The mixture will turn milky white in color. Store this is a dropper bottle. Add 10 drops of this combination to one pint of water and douche daily for one week.
- Grapefruit Seed douche – Add 16 drops of Grapefruit Seed extract to 16 ounces of room temperature water and shake well. Use only water that is distilled or filtered. Douche once a day for three days. Repeat every fifth day. If severe vaginal irritation occurs reduce mixture to five drops per pint of water. Discontinue use if irritation persists.
- Acidic douche – Two tablespoons of vinegar (cider or white are fine) with one quart of water. You may also vary this by using ½ of a lemon or one tsp. of vitamin C instead of the vinegar. You may use this every day until the symptoms abate.