Vaginal candidiasis is the medical term for a yeast infection of the vagina. Most women will experience at least one some point throughout their lifetime. It is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans, which lives naturally in the vagina. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include irritation, itching, inflammation, and a painful discharge. A gynecologist should diagnose your condition, especially if this is your first yeast infection. There are prescription creams that can help as well as over-the-counter medication. However, natural remedies can also help treat yeast infections.
According to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, yogurt is a probiotic that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus. Eating this live bacteria can create a healthy vaginal environment as it treats an overgrowth caused by C. albicans. Plain Greek yogurt is ideal because it does not contain added sugars, which can fuel the growth of Candida fungus.
Oil of oregano is not the same as the conventional oregano seasoning found in the spice aisle. It should come from wild oregano known as Origanum vlugare and contain powerful antifungals like thymol and carvacrol. According to Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, wild oregano oil can help slow or stop C. albicans from growing. However, oregano oil is also a natural blood thinner. If used from an essential oil collection, you should inhale it rather than take it orally.
Coconut oil has many uses including the treatment of yeast infections. It can work as a natural remedy because of the anti-fungal properties. The fatty oil comes from the flesh of a coconut and can be applied directly to the affected area. However, you should use pure, organic oil to treat the vaginal infection.
Tea Tree Oil
Vaginal suppositories that contain tea tree oil can help treat yeast infections by maintaining a healthy balance of flora in the vagina. This essential oil is known to destroy bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Since it is so powerful, you should dilute it with jojoba or a carrier oil for vaginal use. Never ingest tea tree oil and use it minimally.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular at-home remedy for multiple ailments. It can also help with yeast infections. Add a half cup to warm bath water and soak your body for about 20 minutes. The acid can help eliminate harmful microorganisms from your vagina. This method is not the same as douching with vinegar, which flushes out both bad and good bacteria leaving you more prone to yeast infections.
Did you know garlic could effectively kill Candida? Although more research is needed to see if it can work outside of a lab setting, garlic might cure a yeast infection. Add more garlic to your diet, and you can determine if the yeast infection clears faster and stays away thanks to the potent spice.
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which means it has antimicrobial properties. Rather than burning your skin with a suppository, increase the amount of Vitamin C you eat and drink. Not only can it help kill Candida overgrowths, but it will boost your immune system in general. That way, your body can stay healthier overall.
Boric acid is effective treating vaginal yeast infections thanks to its powerful antiseptic components. However, you should always mix it with water before applying it to the affected area. Using large amounts of boric acid can be toxic and lead to kidney damage. You should never use this method if you are pregnant.
Speaking of antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide can kill both bacteria and yeast. More research is needed as to why hydrogen peroxide does not work on every yeast species, but it can be used topically on a yeast infection. Always dilute it with water before putting it on the affected area and never use it longer than five days consecutively.
Like Greek yogurt, probiotic supplements and suppositories can treat yeast infections, too. You should include oral probiotics that include Lactobacillus acidophilus strains of bacteria to balance your digestive tract and vaginal flora. An oral supplement can take up to 10 days, so a suppository might be more effective. According to Harvard Health, a probiotic suppository can also treat vaginosis.