Most women have had one at some point or another- the common yeast infection that brings with it a nice dose of burning and itching. It makes for a very uncomfortable existence, so it’s no wonder there are several reliable home remedies out there for sufferers to try. After all, women have been experiencing yeast infections for centuries, so you can bet that throughout the ages remedies have been tested, tried and passed down through the generations.
What we have here is a collection of the best, secret home remedies that you can try easily and without too much fuss. But first, let’s make sure that’s what you really have by taking a look at the symptoms and causes of the common yeast infection.
Is It a Yeast Infection?
A yeast infection is a problem of having too many yeast cells growing in the vagina. The responsible yeast is called Candida Albicans and will grow out of control if certain conditions are made evident in the body. It’s common, and it’s usually not serious. Characterized by a white discharge, be sure not to mistake normal discharge for a yeast infection. If you don’t have itching and burning, then chances are, the white discharge you may be experiencing is something else.
Also, another affliction “down there” which can be mistaken for a yeast infection is bacterial vaginosis. This is treated with antibiotics which would absolutely make things worse if what you had was actually a yeast infection. Urinary tract infections also sometimes can seem like yeast infections but there is no discharge associated with these.
Look carefully at the symptoms of a yeast infection before applying any of the following secret home remedies. Some of them attempt to alter the Ph of your body so make sure a yeast infection is actually what you have.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection
You’ll know it when you encounter it: a yeast infection is uncomfortable and very annoying. If you’ve never had one before then see a doctor the first time to make sure you’ve got it diagnosed correctly. Here are the symptoms of a yeast infection:
- itching in the vagina and the entrance of the vagina (vulva)
- burning feeling during sex and/or urination
- swollen, red vulva
- pain and soreness in the vagina
- white discharge that’s thick and lumpy
If your symptoms are really severe, causing cracks or sores, then you might have what’s called Complicated yeast infection. Likewise, if you get more than four per year, it might be the same. Both situations call for a visit to the doctor’s office. Same applies if you’ve tried self-treating and nothing gets better.
Causes of Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. What causes the overgrowth of yeast can be any number of things:
- taking antibiotics
Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are particularly amenable to home treatment since they’re really an imbalance rather than a disease. By correcting what’s out of whack in the body, a yeast infection is usually cleared up. Take note: whichever one of these secret home remedies for yeast infection you choose, administer the cure for at least 14 days. Otherwise you’ll not completely cure the infection and you’ll end up getting re-infected.
With that, here we are at the list of best home remedies for yeast infection:
1. Garlic. Garlic is a natural antifungal, which means it will kill off all that extra yeast that’s growing. Eat as much as possible.
2. Probiotics. Probiotics are what live inside us, and are more commonly known as “friendly bacteria”. They may slow the growth of yeast or stop it altogether if introduced into the body. Take Lactobacillus species (rhamnosus, rheuteri) and Lactobacillus GG twice a day until the infection clears up. Alternatively, eat lots of yogurt.
3. Probiotics: a more direct approach. In a recent study, women with yeast infections placed a probiotic tablet right into the vagina every night and voila, an 87% rate of reduction in the infection.
4. Tea Tree Oil. This is a natural home remedy that works because it’s an anti-fungal. Coat a tampon with lubricant and put a few drops on it before putting it in. The terpenoids should kill the yeast inside. Beware, this may sting a little. Sometimes it’s useful to mix borax with tea tree oil and make a suppository to kill the infection.
5. Pau d’arco. If you’ve never heard of this then you’re not alone. However, this secret home remedy is as effective as any other. It’s an herb from South America which will control the growth of yeast in your body. It comes as liquid or tincture, which means the herb has been steeped in alcohol. Take the tincture orally or topically.
6. Calendula. This is a plant…in fact if you’re a gardener you’ll know the flower since it’s similar to a marigold. Again, can be taken as tincture. It’s also available as a liquid. Found at health food stores.
7. Borax 6x or Borax capsules. Borax capsules get inserted for direct contact with the overgrown yeast. The antifungal properties will kill yeast. If you prefer a oral solution, place tiny pellets of Borax 6x under the tongue.
8. Starve the yeast. Yeast feed on sugar (have you ever made bread? The first step is to mix yeast with sugar and water and watch it grow). Therefore, if you eliminate sugar from your diet you will be starving the yeast out. Some women go as far as to develop a yeast-free diet, which means avoiding not only sugar but also the following:
- white flour and other refined carbs
- yeast breads
- fermented foods like vinegar, miso and sauerkraut
9. Palmarosa oil. This is an essential oil that’s related to lemongrass. It’s mixed with tea tree oil and put into commercial antifungal creams sold as cures for yeast infections.
10. Think long term. Vitamins and supplements can increase your immunity so you’re not so prone to yeast infections. Also, some are known to be antifungals. Grapefruit seed extract is one example. Others would include vitamin C, Goldenseal and beta carotene.
When you find a remedy that works, stick to it for at least two weeks to make sure the entire infection is gone. Then, incorporate a regimen of prevention into your daily life (eat right and take vitamins) and you should see a dramatic decrease in yeast infections.