A yeast infection, medically known as candidiasis, is an infection caused by a group of microscopic yeast or fungi called Candida albicans.
The infection mostly affects the vaginal area of the skin but may also develop around the lower abdomen, under the breasts, around dentures, nail beds, and beneath skin folds. Natural remedies can help you get rid of a yeast infection.
Pregnancy, chronic health conditions, stress, diabetes, use of oral contraceptives and antibiotics are the most common risk factors for developing a yeast infection. (1) The symptoms of the infection include burning, itching or swelling in and around the affected area.
If the infection is in the vagina, the symptoms may include pain or discomfort in the vagina during sexual activity, an odorless vaginal discharge or a burning sensation while urinating.
- Treating Yeast Infection Naturally
- Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Method 2: Use Yogurt
- Method 3: Use Boric Acid Capsules
- Method 4: Use Garlic
- Method 5: Use Coconut Oil
- Method 6: Use Tea Tree Oil
- Tips to keep in mind
Treating Yeast Infection Naturally
Uncomplicated infections may be treated with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications, such as Monistat (miconazole). If seeing a healthcare provider for your symptoms, you may receive a prescription for an anti-fungal such as Diflucan (fluconazole).
However, in uncomplicated, non-recurrent cases, treatment at home may be acceptable. Recurrent cases are defined as having four episodes in one year, or three episodes in one year without concurrent antibiotic use. (2)
Here are six simple remedies to treat a yeast infection with few or no side effects.
Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
A natural antibiotic, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is good for a number of reasons.
First, it helps the body fight against bacteria, fungi, and other infection-causing germs. Secondly, it balances the pH levels in the body, thus preventing the growth of infection as yeast cannot thrive in the lower pH of the vagina.
Thirdly, apple cider vinegar helps increase the count of good bacteria in the intestines, thus improving your immunity against a yeast infection.
There are reports of successful treatment using this method. (3)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply apple cider vinegar twice daily
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
- Apply the apple cider vinegar on the affected area of the skin.
- Leave it for 15 minutes or longer (as long as it does not burn or itch).
- Wash it off using lukewarm water.
Do this 2 times a day for effective results. Repeat daily as needed.
For delicate areas, dilute equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water.
Also, you can mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of filtered water and drink the concoction 2 times a day to cure a yeast infection.
Method 2: Use Yogurt
Yogurt contains lactobacillus acidophilus. This “good” bacteria is of the same genus as lactobacillus that appears in the vagina. These bacteria decrease the ability of yeast to overproliferate in the vagina due to their acidic by-products. (4)
Although some report good results, the evidence is controversial regarding yogurt’s ability to treat yeast infections. (4)
Single-Step Treatment: Slather yogurt on your skin
- Slather some yogurt on the affected skin.
- Leave it to dry for about 30 minutes. You can also leave it overnight.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water.
Repeat the process once each day until you achieve the desired results.
You may also consume yogurt to help speed up the healing process.
Method 3: Use Boric Acid Capsules
Boric acid contains natural antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties that restrict the growth of infection-causing bacteria, thus controlling and preventing the infection from spreading further. (5)
Things you’ll need:
- Boric acid (restricts the growth of infection-causing bacteria)
- Empty gelatin capsules
Step 1: Fill gelatin capsules with boric acid
- Fill 7 empty gelatin capsules with boric acid (about 600 mg).
Step 2. Insert 1 capsule in the vagina every night
- Insert 1 capsule in the vagina at bedtime, every night for 7 days.
In case of a recurring yeast infection, follow the treatment for 2 weeks.
For a non-vaginal yeast infection, you can dilute boric acid with water in the ratio of 1:3 and apply the solution over the affected area of your skin.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with water. Do this once every day for 2 weeks to treat a yeast infection.
Method 4: Use Garlic
Garlic contains incredible anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antibiotic components that may be effective in treating a yeast infection.
Although some report good results, more research is needed to study garlic’s ability to treat yeast infections. (1)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply garlic paste daily
- Peel 2 or 3 cloves of garlic.
- Crush them to form a paste.
- Apply the paste on the affected skin.
- Leave it on for about 30 to 40 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
Use this remedy once every day. Repeat if needed.
Method 5: Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains incredible antifungal properties that help kill the fungi responsible for the infection. (7)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply coconut oil 2 times daily
- Apply a thin layer of coconut oil on the affected area.
Do this 2 or 3 times daily until the infection is completely gone.
Alternatively, you can mix equal portions of coconut oil and cinnamon oil and apply it on the affected area.
Method 6: Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains incredible antifungal properties that may be strong enough to keep yeast at bay. (1)
Please note, tea tree oil may cause skin irritation and/or an allergic rash. Discontinue use and contact your physician if irritation occurs.
Single-Step Treatment: Dilute tea tree oil in water and use
- Add 3 to 4 drops of tea tree essential oil to 3 tablespoons of water.
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the affected area.
Do this 2 or 3 times a day for effective results. Repeat the remedy until you get rid of the infection.
For a vaginal yeast infection, you can squirt a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a tampon and insert it into your vagina for 3 to 4 hours, once each day.
Tips to keep in mind
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, especially those made of polyester and nylon as they tend to hold in moisture. Prefer wearing cotton underwear or ones with a cotton lining in the crotch so more air can flow through the genital area.
- Do not use products like scented sanitary pads, tampons, certain soaps, detergents, powders, and fragrant sprays. These can irritate your vagina, leading to an imbalance in the naturally present bacteria.
- Avoid douching, as it upsets the natural balance of bacteria that can help prevent the infection. Instead, clean only the outside areas of your vagina with a gentle soap and water.
- Do not diagnose yourself with a yeast infection. Instead, visit your doctor for confirmation.
- Eat a healthy diet to help prevent an infection. Avoid dairy products, white flour, sugar, alcohol, and fermented foods. Eat foods high in vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and beta-carotene, as these will boost your immunity.
- Martin L. Candidiasis (vulvovaginal). The BMJ. http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC4360556. Published 2015.
- RINGDAHL ERIKAN. Chronic Vulvovaginal Candidiasis. AAFP Home. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0215/p697.html. Published February 15, 2001.
- Ozen B, Baser M. Vaginal Candidiasis Infection Treated Using Apple Cider Vinegar: A Case Report. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29112940. Published November 7, 2017.
- Kim, Park, Jin Y. Probiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Postmenopausal Vaginal Infections: Review Article. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2011.26.7.893. https://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.6118/jmm.2017.23.3.139. Published December 29, 2017.
- Khameneie KM, Arianpour N, Roozegar R, Aklamli M, Amiri MM. FLUCONAZOLE AND BORIC ACID FOR TREATMENT OF VAGINAL CANDIDIASIS--NEW WORDS ABOUT OLD ISSUE. East African Medical Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26866095. Published April 2013.
- Iavazzo C, Gkegkes ID, Zarkada IM, Falagas ME. Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence. Journal of Women's Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21774671. Published August 2011.
- Shino B, Peedikayil FC. Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine. Scientifica. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808662/. Published March 14, 2016.
Summary of How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection
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