A yeast infection, also known as Candida, is primarily caused by a group of microscopic fungi or yeast called Candida Albicans. It usually affects the vaginal area, but can also develop around prostheses, under the breasts, the lower abdomen, and under skin folds.
Factors that can increase the risk of getting a yeast infection are pregnancy, stress, chronic health problems, diabetes, oral contraceptive use, steroids and antibiotics.
Women can also get yeast infections after menopause because of the decrease in estrogen, which thins the vaginal walls. Most men and women suffer from a yeast infection at least once in their lives.
Some of the signs of a yeast infection are itching, burning or swelling in and around the affected area. If it is a vaginal yeast infection, there will be pain or discomfort in the vagina during sex, a burning sensation when urinating, and odorless vaginal discharge. There are many simple home remedies that can clear the infection in a relatively short time.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for yeast infections.
1. The yogurt
Lactobacillus acidophilus, a “child” strain of bacteria found in yogurt, helps control the growth of infection in the body. To treat a yeast infection, use only plain, unsweetened yogurt.
You can apply the outside of the plain yogurt to the affected area of the skin and let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes, or preferably overnight. This will help relieve the itchy feeling.
For a vaginal yeast infection, soak a tampon in the yogurt and insert it into the vagina for two hours. Do this twice a day.
If possible, include yogurt in your diet as well.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has effective antifungal properties that can kill the fungi responsible for yeast infections.
Apply coconut oil externally to the affected areas three times a day.
You can also make a mixture of equal amounts of coconut oil and cinnamon oil. Apply to the affected area of the skin to fight the development of the infection.
In case of oral candidiasis, gargle the oil in your mouth for five to 10 minutes. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil or cinnamon oil. Do not swallow and repeat at least three times a day.
3. Cider vinegar
Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar contain distinctive elements that can control a yeast infection and get rid of the fungus behind it.
Mix two tablespoons of cider vinegar in a cup of warm water and drink it twice a day for a few days.
Prepare a hot bath and add a little vinegar. Soak your body in this bath for about an hour. If successful with this remedy the skin irritation and itching will decrease within a few weeks.
Alternatively, you can dilute white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in clear water and then apply it externally to the affected skin area. Leave it on for half an hour and then rinse with water.
Garlic is a well-known plant that can be used to cure various ailments. The natural antifungal, antibacterial and antibiotic components present in garlic can be very effective in treating any type of yeast infection.
Crush a few cloves of garlic and make a paste with it. Apply the garlic paste directly to the affected area of the skin. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can dilute garlic oil with vitamin E oil and a few drops of coconut oil and apply it to the affected skin.
You can also take a few garlic tablets or eat a few cloves of fresh garlic every day. Eating fresh cloves can cause bad breath, but it is very effective in treating yeast infections.
Cranberries contain both antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used to fight fungi responsible for yeast infections. They can also be used to treat urinary tract or other types of bladder infections.
Drink unsweetened cranberry juice several times a day. This will speed up the healing process and produce effective results in a short period of time.
If unsweetened cranberry juice is not available, you can take cranberry tablets two or three times a day. Cranberry tablets are readily available at a natural health store.
6. Boric acid
Boric acid is a chemical substance with mild antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral properties. Boric acid is not recommended for pregnant women.
Dilute a little boric acid with water. Apply the diluted solution to the affected area of the skin and leave it on for a few minutes. Then rinse thoroughly with water. Do this every day for two weeks.
As another treatment option for vaginal yeast infections, you can take boric acid capsules.
Caution! Boric acid can be toxic and should not be ingested or used for an extended period of time.
7. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has powerful and effective natural antifungal properties that can help in the treatment of yeast infections. Pregnant women should not use this remedy as some of the properties present in tea tree oil may be harmful to the child.
Dilute tea tree oil with water or a teaspoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil. Rub the diluted oil on the affected area of the skin several times a day.
For a vaginal yeast infection some grandmotherly remedies advise placing a few drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and inserting it into the vagina for two to three hours. Then repeat the process twice a day. We do not recommend this method due to lack of conclusive tests.
8. Oregano oil
Oregano oil contains antifungal components and is very good for boosting your immune system.
You can apply oregano oil to the affected area of the skin. Since oregano oil can be irritating to the skin, dilute it with olive oil before applying it.
Alternatively, you can take one or two capsules of oregano oil twice a day.
Follow one of these methods for a few weeks to clear the infection.
Calendula is a plant that has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat yeast infections.
Gently crush two to three calendula leaves. Apply the crushed leaves topically to the infected area. Do this two or three times a day.
Tea made from calendula extract is also effective in treating yeast infections. Avoid calendula tea if you are pregnant.
If fresh calendula is not available, you can use a calendula lotion or ointment.
10. Olive leaf extract
Olive leaf extract is very effective in treating yeast infections because of its antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It can also restore the good bacteria in your body.
To make olive leaf extract at home, finely chop a few fresh olive leaves and put them in a glass jar with a lid. Pour vodka over the leaves until they are completely covered. Close the lid and store the jar in a dark place for about four weeks.
Then strain the liquid into another glass jar.
Apply the solution to the affected area of the skin.
Perform three times a day for best results.
These home remedies can help get rid of a yeast infection and annoying symptoms. If you do not get relief from the symptoms, consult a doctor.