Yeast infections (candida albicans) are most prevalent among women in their child-bearing years. Sometimes called “thrush”, this is a really miserable condition caused by an imbalance of natural organisms, and NOT by a lack of hygiene as some people think. Fortunately, there are yeast infection home remedies that are effective at both preventing and treating it.
Candida can occur in any moist cavity or area of the body. It can affect children, and when it does it’s usually found in the mouth or around the diaper area. Men can also have it, usually if they have not been circumcised.
Having said that, it is far more common among women, and most often in the vagina.
Preventing Yeast Infections
One of the problems that young women are often not aware of is how extremely tight clothing can be a cause of yeast infections. They do not allow the area to “breathe” and so it becomes hot and damp with sweat. Another issue is that bath products can irritate the vaginal area and be another contributing cause of yeast infection.
So, the old advice you may hear from grandma is spot on — choose cotton-lined underwear, don’t wear panty hose or very tight jeans, and always change out of damp clothes right away. That especially applies to sweaty gym clothes and wet swimsuits.
Include curds in your diet on a regular basis. Curds help to maintain the right balance of vaginal organisms and ward off candida. Yogurt is a good source of curds (and delicious!)
Okay, but what if you already have a yeast infection. What about a cure?
If you detect a candida infection, wash the area immediately with clean water. Again, avoid the use of soap or other bath products, as they may only irritate and inflame the problem. Flush the affected area with a flow of clean water, and then pat it dry. It’s very important that you keep any infected area as clean, cool, and dry as you can manage.
Then, you can use one, or a combination, of the following …
Our List of 12 Effective Yeast Infection Home Remedies
1. Curds. Not only are curds a good prevention as part of your regular diet, there’s also a way to use them as a cure. Soak a tampon in buttermilk, insert it in the vagina, and leave it there for an hour. It can provide noticeable relief from the discomfort, and this method of direct application will begin to quickly re-balance those vaginal organisms.
2. Natural yogurt. This is another similar source of curds that you can apply directly onto the affected area. The enzymes in the yogurt work to stop the overproduction of the candida fungus.
3. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water. This works by helping to balance your pH levels.
4. Aloe vera gel. The very best source is to have your own plant. Simply split open a stem, squeeze out the natural gel and apply it to the infected area. Not only will the properties of the aloe fight the infection, but this remedy is very soothing and will provide fast relief.
5. Coconut oil is well known to have properties that, among other things, can effectively deal with the fungi that cause yeast infections. Apply it directly to the affected areas several times a day. Some people choose to mix it with equal parts of cinnamon oil.
TIP: In the case of an oral infection, swirl coconut oil around in your mouth continually for 5 minutes. (You can try adding a few drops of tea tree oil or cinnamon oil.) NOTE: Do not swallow. Repeat three times a day.
6. Garlic has many uses as a home remedy. It also has antifungal, antibacterial and natural antibiotic properties that are effective in the treatment of candida infections. Crush several cloves and mix them into a paste. Apply this directly. Fresh garlic is readily available, but you can also substitute garlic oil mixed with a few drops of vitamin E and coconut oils.
While we’re on the subject of garlic, include it in your food, or take garlic capsules daily. It has many health benefits, and one of those is in yeast infection home remedies.
7. Olive leaf extract and grapefruit seed extract. Mix equal parts in a glass of water and drink it.
8. Cranberries. Cranberries have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They are well-known as a treatment for urinary tract and bladder infections, but they are also effective in fighting the fungi that cause yeast infections. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice three times per day will aid in the healing process. If unsweetened cranberry juice is not available, 2-3 cranberry tablets can be taken each day instead.
9. Tea tree oil. This has many uses because of it’s powerful antifungal properties, including as a remedy for candida. Caution: this is not an option for pregnant women as it can be harmful to the unborn child.
There are 2 ways to use it: For a vaginal yeast infection, put a few drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and insert it for 2-3 hours, and repeat twice a day. Alternatively (for any yeast infection), dilute organic tea tree oil with your choice of water, a teaspoon of olive oil, or sweet almond oil, and massage it into the skin of the affected area several times a day.
For more information on the marvelous benefits of essential oils, don’t forget to get our free eBook package!
10. Calendula. This herb has very powerful antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Crush 2-3 calendula leaves and apply them onto the infected area several times a day. If fresh calendula isn’t available, an alternative is to use a lotion made from calendula. Also, if you are not pregnant, you can get a tea made from calendula extract, and drink it. But again take caution, you should avoid calendula tea if you are pregnant.
11. Elderberry and milk thistle. These both help to cleanse your liver from prescription medications and from hormones that result from taking birth control pills. These hormones can promote yeast infections.
And finally, here’s an option if other more natural yeast infection home remedies don’t work. The treatment that many have found effective for dealing with stubborn chronic or recurrent yeast infections is:
12. Boric acid. This is a chemical that’s available over the counter, which acts as both an antifungal and antiviral agent. You can get it in suppositories to insert vaginally each night right before bed. CAUTION: Boric acid is not to be taken orally, or given to children or pregnant women. Even when used correctly, it can have some side effects including skin irritation or a burning sensation in the vagina.
Join the conversation …
We’d love you to share your experience with any of these yeast infection home remedies – whether they have been effective or not. And if you know of another, let us know that too. Just leave a comment below.