Home remedies for yeast infection you are invited to try…
Yeast infection is just another condition which affects millions of people across the world daily which can effectively be treated with home remedies.
Although there is a perception that it only affects women; yeast infection in men is indeed a fact. Symptoms of candidiasis in men generally develop after intercourse with an infected partner, usually in the form of skin irritation of the penis. “…men can get yeast infections too. And not just thrush, the oral yeast infection that is common in men who are immune compromised. Men can get penile yeast infections, and although I’ve never had one myself, I hear it’s not pleasant. Not only that, but heterosexual couples who have unprotected sex pass yeast infections back and forth endlessly”
Before I get into the topic any further though, I need to clarify that this article addresses yeast infection, not urinary tract infection (UTI).
So, what’s the difference between yeast infection and uti since both conditions are very common in women?
“Yeast infections are also common in women but are quite a different matter. They are characterized by an itchy, painful-to-the-touch feeling around your vagina and labia. As the condition worsens, you will start to produce thick, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. The consistency of this substance is often compared to cottage cheese.”
“A UTI begins in the urethra and then works its way up your urinary tract. This means that the next symptom you have will be a dull pain in the lower right portion of your back. This is where the urinary tract runs up to meet your kidneys. At this point, it is very important to get to a doctor quickly, as you may develop a kidney infection if left untreated.”Source: http://www.empowher.com/urinary-tract-infection/content/utis-and-yeast-infections-how-know-difference
What is yeast infection? A fungal infection caused by any of the Candida species of fungi of which the most common is Candida albicans. The correct term for yeast infection is thus Candidiasis. The condition occurs when different forms of yeast naturally found in the human body at quite low levels, are in “over” production.
Types of candidiasis are:
Angular cheilitis (AC) is aka cheilosis, angular cheilosis, commissural cheilitis, angular stomatitis and perlèche. This is the inflammation of either one or (more often) both corners of the mouth; presents itself in the form of a lesion.
- Antibiotic candidiasis aka latrogenic candidias typically occurs with excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Healthy bacteria are killed off, leading to the growth of candida (resulting in yeast infection).
- Candidal intertrigo is inflammation of the skin. “The condition appears in natural and obesity-created body folds. The friction in these folds can lead to a variety of complications such as secondary bacterial or fungal infections.”
- Candidal paronychia is nail fold infection. “It is usually caused by injury to the area — for example, from biting off or picking a hangnail or from trimming or pushing back the cuticle.”
- Candidal vulvovaginitis is “caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans. Candida vulvovaginitis is not considered a sexually transmitted disease because Candida species are commonly found in the healthy vagina. It is a rare disease in girls before puberty and celibate women. Vaginal yeast infections tend to occur more frequently in women who are pregnant, diabetic and not controlling their disease, taking birth control pills, or taking antibiotics.”
- Candidid is “a secondary skin eruption that is an expression of hypersensitivity to infection with Candida elsewhere on the body.”
- Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC) “refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by recurrent or persistent superficial infections of the skin, mucous membranes, and nails with Candida organisms, usually Candida albicans. These disorders are confined to the cutaneous surface”
- Congenital cutaneous candidiasis is an extremely rare skin condition which presents itself in the 1st 6 days after birth in newborn babies.
- Diaper candidiasis: commonly known as diaper rash. “A diaper rash left untreated can easily become infected with yeast (Candida albicans), even if your child is a boy. You may not be able to detect yeast in a subtle diaper rash, but once it’s full blown you can usually tell a yeast infection (versus a plain old diaper rash) because the rash will be well defined and beefy red, with slightly raised borders and “satellite” lesions (red lesions a slight distance from the main rash). Your child’s skin may also be scaly. A yeast rash tends to hang around for more than two days and doesn’t respond to any traditional diaper rash treatments. It also usually shows up in the skin folds of the groin area.”
- Erosio interdigitalis blastomycetica is a Candida albicans infection which typically presents the infection in an oval shape on the area of the skin on the web between fingers.
- Oral candidiasis, widely known as oral thrush can really affect any person, but is more common in babies and toddlers, as well as older persons and those with compromised immune systems. The infection affects the mucous membranes of the mouth. “Oral thrush causes thick white or cream-colored deposits, most commonly on the tongue or inner cheeks. The lesions can be painful and may bleed slightly when they are scraped. The infected mucosa of the mouth may appear inflamed and red. Oral thrush can sometimes spread to the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat.”
- Perianal candidiasis is defined as “An infection of the perianal area by Candida characterized by skin maceration and localized itching or pruritus ani that may extend to the perinium.“
- Systemic yeast infection (systemic candidiasis, systemic candida) is one of the “more severe forms of candida which can affect people and this page will look at invasive candidiasis also known as “systemic candidiasis”. “Invasive” implies invasion past the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Also called systemic candidiasis, invasive candidiasis is a complicated collection of various signs and symptoms which make up different diseases. These forms of candidiasis are most always seen in individuals with reduced function of the immune system or some other type of weakening of their defences, and almost any organ of the body may be involved. However, there are many natural barriers to this form of disease, and it only occurs in individuals who have reduced or altered host defences.”
What are the symptoms of yeast infection?
The symptoms of yeast infection discussed here are generally those associated with vaginal candidiasis. The signs of yeast infection mentioned are however not limited to vaginal yeast infections; they may present themselves in other conditions also:
- itching in the vagina and the vulva (penile yeast infection is also reflected by redness, swelling and itching of male genitals).
- pain or burning sensation when passing urine and during intercourse (can however be indicative of another condition also; get medical advice if in doubt).
- redness and swelling of the vulva and vagina
- a vaginal discharge (not always present with vaginal yeast infection) which is odorless and has the texture of cottage cheese (thick, clumpy and white)
Frequent yeast infections may be an indication that you need to seek medical advice. Your medical practitioner will conduct a yeast infection test which will throw more light on your recurrent yeast infections condition, and decide on the best yeast infection treatment necessary.
What causes yeast infection?
We have already established yeast infection is the result of an increase in the number of yeast cells normally found in the human body at low levels. Essentially we are asking: what causes the yeast cells levels to increase?
Vaginal yeast infection in women happens when an imbalance in healthy bacteria in the vagina (Lactobacillus acidophilus) which control the levels of other organisms is caused. The imbalance subsequently causes yeast to grow too much, leading to the symptoms described earlier. Typical reasons for growth in yeast are:
- Antibiotics and yeast infection often go hand in hand; are regarded one of the culprits to cause an imbalance as they often also kill useful bacteria in the body when taken to treat other types of infection
- Yeast infection during pregnancy is quite common. “Your higher level of estrogen during pregnancy causes your vagina to produce more glycogen, making it even easier for yeast to grow there. Some researchers think estrogen may also have a direct effect on yeast, causing it to grow faster and stick more easily to the walls of the vagina.”
- Stress can cause yeast infection. “One study performed by The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showed that women have chronic stress in their lives have lower levels of cortisol had more yeast infections than women who’s cortisol levels were higher in the first 45 minutes of their morning. Basically, what happens is, your cortisol levels go down and your glucose levels go up feeding the already existing yeast that naturally lives in your body, and then the yeast in your nether regions goes KA-BLAM! Exploding in your hoo-ha, with that way-too-familiar burning itching sensation that will make you want climb bare walls with nothing but your finger and toe nails.”
- Diets which include too much sugar cause blood sugar to spike. Lots of fruit, juice or foods high in carbohydrates especially early in the morning cause an increase in blood sugar which can stimulate yeast to take over.
- Diseases such as diabetes and HIV/Aids
- Hormonal yeast infection happens when estrogen levels drop…” estrogen plumps up your vaginal tissues using a starch known as glycogen. Yeast loves glycogen, and without estrogen, they’d be all over it. But fortunately for us, estrogen feeds acidophilus, keeping the yeast at bay. Right before your period, though, your estrogen levels dip, and while they’re low, the yeast starts to grow. Symptoms tend to crop up right before your period shows up, but estrogen spikes again post-period to help even the score.”
- Medications such as prednisone “used in the management of inflammatory conditions or diseases in which the immune system plays an important role. Since prednisone is used in so many conditions, only the most common or established uses are mentioned here. Prednisone most often is used for treating several types of arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, systemic lupus, allergic reactions, asthma and severe psoriasis. It also is used for treating leukemias, lymphomas, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Corticosteroids, including prednisone, are commonly used to suppress the immune system and prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs. Prednisone is used as replacement therapy in patients whose adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient amounts of cortisol.”
- Douches and perfumed hygiene sprays also increase the risk of yeast infection in women as these typically destroy the beneficial bacteria in the vagina.
- Tight fitting clothes made from fabrics (Lycra) which does not allow for any “breathing”
Knowing what causes yeast infection can go a long way in helping you find the best treatment for yeast infection, as well as prevent yeast infection.
If treating yeast infection naturally is your preference, look no further than the natural yeast infection cures discussed below. You will find that some of the remedies are as simple as changing your lifestyle; others may require more diligence in order to reap any benefit.
Home remedies for yeast infection:
Yogurt for yeast infection can be used in very advantageous ways. Only plain unsweetened yogurt should be used as it contains the bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus which restores the pH balance of the vagina. Eating yogurt daily will greatly prevent infection; treating candida with yogurt topically can be done as follows:
- Rub yogurt on your vagina or
- “Some people put yogurt in the vagina instead of eating it, in order to get the acidophilus down where it’s needed more quickly. You can insert the yogurt directly into the vagina by dipping a tampon (the kind without an applicator, like the OB brand) into unsweetened yogurt and then inserting it into the vagina. Remove the tampon after an hour or so. Do not forget it’s there. You can also freeze yogurt in the fingers of a sterile plastic glove, and then insert the frozen yogurt popsicle in the vagina like a tampon. This can be a bit messy, so you may want to use a sanitary pad for a few hours. Believe it or not, the icy yogurt will feel good against your inflamed vaginal walls“
- Prepare a yogurt douche by diluting 2 tablespoons yogurt with about 3 cups of water. Add 3 drops of either tea tree oil or lavender for that extra soothing effect. Repeat for 5 days.
Boric acid for yeast infection has been found to be a safe and effective remedy to get rid of yeast. This white crystalline chemical substance has antiviral and antifungal properties which can be benefitted from in capsule form. Prepare your own vaginal suppository by filling 2 gelatin capsules (size 00) with boric acid (about 600 mg in each). The capsules are then inserted into the vagina at bedtime for 10 days (you can stop once infection cleared up or use for up to 21 days if you still have symptoms) .
Warning: boric acid is toxic and should not be taken orally. Keep out of reach of children and remember: it is not safe for pregnant women.
Garlic for yeast infection really should not come as any surprise. This versatile food is a natural cure for yeast infections sure to bring fast relief from candida albicans symptoms as it kills yeast! It’s as simple as putting a clove of garlic in the vaginal opening at bedtime.
“In the morning, remove the garlic clove and throw it in the toilet. The garlic often causes the vagina to have a watery discharge. One night’s treatment may be enough to kill the infection, or it might have to be repeated the next night. Continue one or two days until all itchiness is gone. The reason that the treatment is done at bedtime is that there is a connection between the mouth and the vagina. The moment the garlic is placed in the vagina, the taste of the garlic travels up to the mouth. Most people will find this strong flavor annoying during the day, so the treatment is recommended for nighttime.”
As a preventative measure, sprinkle raw chopped garlic on your food or crush cloves and eat on a daily basis; limited to no more than 3 cloves per day.
Baking soda is an all-time favorite home remedy for just about any ailment. Using baking soda for yeast infection can be either orally or topically. If you can stomach it, dissolve 1 tablespoon baking soda in a glass of warm water and drink. My personal choice is to add ½ cup baking soda to my bath water, and sit in it for roughly 20 minutes twice daily until symptoms clear up. Be sure to thoroughly dry the affected area.
Prepare a baking soda douche by mixing 2 tablespoons into 4 cups of warm water. Alternatively, put baking soda in a gelatin capsule and insert into the vagina. Keep your treatment of choice up for 2 weeks at which time you should be free of any symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar neutralizes the vagina’s pH level. Add 1 cup of raw unfiltered ACV to your hot bath and relax for 15 minutes with your knees bent up towards your chest. Dry the affected area well afterwards.
Douche with a mixture of 3 tablespoons ACV and 8 cups of boiled water once it has cooled down sufficiently. Do twice daily until your symptoms start to clear up; once daily until you have no more symptoms
With Grapefruit Seed Extract, candida can be treated quite effectively. Grapefruit seeds contain important chemicals such as bioflavonoids which naturally boost the immune system and Vitamins C and E which assist with cell repair in the body. Use GSE, (aka citrus seed extract) as a vaginal rinse. In a jar with a lid, mix well 16 ounces of only boiled, filtered or distilled water with 16 drops of grapefruit seed extract. Douche once every day for 3 days, then every 5th day until yeast clears up.
Olive Leaf Extract has antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which mean if you are looking for a natural cure for yeast infection look no further. The body’s immune system is stimulated by olive leaf extract; forcing it to respond to any unwelcome invaders of the body like candida. It assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels which typically is one of the causes of candida; also gives the body a natural energy boost.
Olive leaf extract can be ingested in either capsule (250-500 mg daily dosage) or tea form. When the capsule solution has 20% Oleuropein, take 2 capsules 3 times daily with meals; if 10% drink 4 capsules 3 times a day with meals in order to achieve desired results. Once yeast infection symptoms are under control, drink 1-3 cups of olive leaf extract tea daily as a yeast infection prevention measure.
Not recommended for nursing or pregnant women; or for diabetics and people on medication for high blood pressure.
Tea tree oil is not my preferred home remedy for yeast infection as I could not find enough evidence that this candida remedy is both safe and effective (unlike its effectiveness for treating dandruff). Please be aware that undiluted TTO can sting and severely burn sensitive areas; be sure to use only a diluted solution in the vaginal area to prevent this kind of situation.
“Take organic tea tree oil and dilute it with water or one teaspoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil. Now rub the diluted tea tree oil over the affected skin area several times a day. If suffering from vaginal yeast infection, then place a few drops of organic tea tree oil on a tampon and insert it into your vagina for two to three hours. Repeat the process twice daily to get relief from the symptoms. Pregnant women should not follow this remedy as some of the properties present in tea tree oil can be harmful to the child.”
Oregano oil can effectively treat yeast infection; it “contains two naturally occurring antimicrobial agents named carvacrol and thymol. Research suggests that these chemicals react with the water in your bloodstream to dehydrate and kill the Candida yeast cells. Another study found that carvacrol was a more effective antimicrobial than 18 different pharmaceutical drugs. Lastly, as oregano oil is entirely natural, it also tends to have fewer side effects than the regular antifungals that you might find in your pharmacy.”
Oregano oil can be administered both orally and/or topically. It contains substances which may irritate skin in sensitive areas with direct application, you are subsequently advised to dilute with some olive oil before topical application. Mix 3 drops oregano oil with 1 tablespoon olive oil; add more olive oil if skin is irritated with application. When taken orally, drink 1 or 2 oil of oregano capsules daily, or add 3 drops to a glass of water and drink twice daily. Keep up your treatment with oregano oil until infection is gone. Not advised for pregnant women or people with iron deficiencies.
Pau d’arco bark is one of those herbal remedies for yeast infection I did not know about until now. It’s considered to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, and astringent properties; all of which contribute to make this a potent natural remedy for yeast infection. I myself have never used this remedy, I however searched the internet to bring you the best way to prepare the tea. To combat candida, you can either drink the tea (limited to 2 cups daily), or use it as a douche (once daily until it clears up should be sufficient; I came across an instance where a user had results in as little as 2 hours!).
“Pau d’arco tea must be made very strong. Unlike leaf and stem teas, which are delicate and should be simmered, this is an inner tree bark. It should be BOILED for a very long time. Pau d’arco was my herb of choice for curing serious systemic candida a few years ago. I had symptoms for years and ate a very strict diet but pau d’arco was a turnaround herb.
Again, this tea must be a strong brew to be effective. I have been researching the online info and I feel very dismayed to see “simmer for 5 – 15 minutes” This will not do it! I would generally place two handfuls of the shredded bark in my large soup kettle and boil it for at least an hour. Then turn off the heat and go to bed, letting it soak all night. I would turn on the heat again in the morning and simmer it for a long time. I would use this very strong concoction . . .mix it with water to taste. . . I very much like the taste of the strong brewed pau d’arco. I would not drink it bitter, but pleasantly strong. The advantage is that the medicines have been released into the cooked batch. . .then you may mix half and half or whatever tastes right to you.
Then, you will experience the healing power of pau d’arco.”
OTC Home remedies for yeast infection:
Over the counter yeast infection treatment “technically” may not be regarded a yeast infection home remedy; for those people who prefer not to bother with preparing their own remedy however I decided to just touch on these products. For detailed information on specific products, I suggest further research by the individual.
OTC nonprescription drugs usually consist of creams and suppositories, and are available at your local drugstore and/or supermarket. These treatments come in strengths of 1-day, 3-day and 7-day doses. The ingredients in many of the OTC products are often the same as those in prescription drugs, the concentration of the ingredients is less.
FYI: “Before choosing OTC medication for uncomplicated vaginal yeast infection, know the symptoms. Symptoms include thick white discharge, painful urination, and pain, swelling, and redness in the vaginal area. Most vaginal yeast infections are considered uncomplicated if they occur only once in a while with mild symptoms. The following information applies only to healthy, nonpregnant women.
OTC vaginal yeast infection cures contain clotrimazole, miconazole, tioconazole, or butoconazole. When choosing an OTC medication, read the ingredient list. Bypass the advertising claims. These ingredients work similarly whether taken in a one-day or a one-week product. The concentration of the active ingredient is strongest in the one-day product and weakest in the one-week product, but they all continue to work after being applied inside the vagina and cure takes about the same amount of time.
OTC vaginal yeast medications sold in combination packs may include creams and wipes containing ingredients such as aloe, vitamin E and hydrocortisone.”
Products typically include butoconazole (Gynazole or Femstat), clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin, Mycelex), miconazole (Monistat) and tioconazole (Vagistat-1).
How to prevent yeast infections:
I believe most of us who have been around for a while, know how true the old adage ”prevention is better than cure” is. Whilst not always possible to avoid infection, it certainly is worth our while to at least try and lower the risk of infection by observing the following:
- Preventing yeast infections may be as simple as wearing cotton underwear and steering clear of using panty liners. Yeast overgrowth happens in moist environments; so keep moisture away from the body.
- Wear loose fitting clothes so you can stay dry and cool. Avoid wearing nylon pantyhose and/or synthetic leotards daily. If not an option, wear the kind with cotton panels which can absorb moisture, and so keep the body dry
- Whether you have gone swimming or worked out, change clothes as soon as possible to prevent the damp clothes from instigating yeast growth
- Routine douching and especially while infected is a big no-no as it can further spread the infection into the uterus. Avoid using perfumed soaps, deodorants, scented tampons and scented powders as the chemicals in these products mess around with the pH balance of the natural yeasts and other micro-organisms found in the vagina.
- High blood sugar levels are the result of uncontrolled diabetes and linked to all types of infection. Diabetics need to control their sugar levels to avoid infection.
- Follow a diet which consists of nutritional well-balanced meals
- For more tips, click here
Itching in the genital area may not necessarily be an indication of yeast infection. When accompanied by a yeast-like smell, chances are it is. However, since many other genital diseases have similar symptoms, you are advised (if in doubt) to consult with your physician to make sure whether it is a yeast infection or an STD.