Most women know the burning, itching signs of a yeast infection. The overgrowth of Candida Albicans (the yeast responsible) can go hand in hand with oral contraceptives, antibiotic use, and be problematic for diabetics, pregnant and menopausal women.
If it’s your first yeast infection, head to your health practitioner to firm up the diagnosis, but if you’ve been around the yeast infection block before, you might try natural steps to combat the problem.
Many dieticians have suggested that yeast infection is more of an imbalance, not a disease, like a virus or flu – therefore by eating the right foods and doing the right things to make your body healthier, you should be able to stave off from yeast infections (or at least a lot less frequency).
Give these natural home remedies a try to help you get rid of yeast infections:
Natural antifungal foods like garlic and onions may help combat yeast overgrowth. Sprinkle raw chopped garlic on salads or pasta. If you can handle it, munch the raw cloves. If not, take garlic tablets. Some women have tried making vaginal suppositories using a garlic clove wrapped in sterile gauze.
You may have heard of calendula in facial products, but the plant taken internally can help with yeast overgrowth.
3. Boric Acid
This crystalline chemical substance has mild antiseptic properties. Boric acid suppository capsules appear to be quite successful in treating yeast infections, according to several studies. Pregnant woman should not use boric acid vaginally. There are also tiny boric acid pellets to put under the tongue. You can also find borax capsules to use vaginally.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Some women have success by making a mixture of diluted tea tree oil and warm water and rubbing their vaginal area or soaking it, using a tampon.
These friendly bacteria, may suppress the growth of yeast. The evidence from studies is inconsistent, but it can’t hurt to add some good bacteria to your diet. Especially for women with chronic infections, as it will colonize the vagina with beneficial bacteria and reduce recurrences. Take Lactobacillus species (rhamnosus, rheuteri) 1-5 billion, twice a day and Lactobacillus GG twice daily when the infection clears and continue for two to six months. Or do it through diet, by adding yogurt.
6. Vitamins and Supplements
A good vitamin and supplement practice won’t hurt and may help boost immunity to fight chronic infections. Grapefruit seed extract, an inexpensive supplement, is antifungal and may help long term. Goldenseal, vitamin C, zinc and beta carotene are also recommended by some nutritionists.
Often used to help prevent and ease urinary tract infections, cranberries and cranberry juice may also help with yeast infections. Cranberries contain substances that prevent bacteria from adhering to the linings of the body.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in several ingredients that have antimicrobial and antifungal properties, reports Home Remedies for Life. These ingredients (lauric, capric and caprylic acid) may help target bad bacteria while leaving friendly bacteria alone. Try adding coconut oil to your diet or apply a thin paste of coconut oil to the vaginal area several times a day.
This herb is often used to fight infections, particularly the common cold and upper respiratory infections. Echinacea may also be helpful in treating yeast infections when it is used in combination with an antifungal cream (econazole). It reduces the chances that the infection will return to about 16 percent, compared to 60 percent when just the cream is used.
10. Wear Cotton Underwear
A warm, moist environment may push a yeasty infection colony into overdrive, so the age-old advice—wear cotton-lined underwear, avoid panty hose and tight jeans, and change out of wet swimsuits and gym clothes right away—still stands. Or, if you’re up for it, go commando. I’m a big fan of wearing long skirts with no underwear to let air get to the perineal area for women who have a history of chronic infections. It is best to stay away from using scented douches, body sprays, and the like, which can disrupt vaginal pH levels. It is also recommended that you shower with an unscented soap after sex (especially oral sex) to avoid letting someone else’s bacteria set up shop.