So you have a yeast infection, and you want to get rid of it as quickly as possible! We have compiled a list of home remedies for yeast infection, how to use them, and how fast they can give relief. Vaginal candidiasis affects about 3 in 4 women at least once, but it’s not only a women’s problem. Learn what causes yeast infections and all about the natural remedies that can help you get relief from your symptoms.
What Actually Is A Yeast Infection?
Our healthy bodies naturally have yeast on them, but sometimes it grows too much and causes an infection, also called a yeast overgrowth, candidiasis or thrush. Candida albicans is the usual problem yeast but there are other Candida yeasts which can be harder to get rid of. Because yeast likes warm moist places, most infections are vaginal, but they can appear in your mouth, under your arms and breasts, and even your nails.
What Causes Yeast Infections?
Yeasts live on our bodies all the time, but some things encourage them to take over.
Antibiotics kill good bacteria (lactobacillus) that keep natural yeasts under control, and sugary foods are a feast for yeast. Being overweight or diabetic puts you more at risk of yeast infections.
Being tired or stressed weakens your immune system, and people with HIV or needing chemotherapy should be particularly alert to the risks of yeast overgrowth.
Women are most likely to have yeast infections because hormonal changes encourage yeast growth. You are more likely to suffer from Candida symptoms if you are pregnant or near your period. Taking estrogen based contraceptives including some morning-after pills encourages yeasts too. So that sounds like almost all the time for most women right? Now add to that, yeast infections are even more common post menopause. And guess what? Hormone therapy makes things even worse again!
Can Men Get Yeast Infections?
Yes men can and do get yeast infections on their genitals as well as orally and elsewhere. Yeast infection in men can be as a result of sex or other intimate contact with someone who has an infection, or due to a weak immune system, antibiotic treatment, sugary diet or diabetes. Male yeast infection symptoms are very similar to symptoms in women. An infection on the penis, called candidal balanitis, is itchy and sore. A red or white speckled rash and unusual discharge are common and yeast infection bumps may appear as the problem spreads to the outer groin area. The same home remedies for yeast infection work on men and women.
Symptoms Of Yeast Infection
The most common symptom of a vaginal yeast infection is itching. Unbearable itching! If you’ve experienced it before you might be forewarned by a little itchiness or burning for a few days first, giving you a chance to stop it early with a home remedy from your kitchen. You may have an unusual whitish discharge, a red or white rash and some swelling. Rarely you’ll notice a yeast infection smell which is, unsurprisingly, yeasty.
In your mouth a pale furry or lacy tongue and speckled rash is easier to see, and is where the alternative name “thrush” comes from.
Candida overgrowth in the gut is also common, and causes discomfort and wind. If you are still unsure, try one of these home tests.
How To Treat A Yeast Infection
Have your symptoms returned after taking a prescribed yeast infection medicine? Yeast infections can be very persistent, and some are resistant to commonly prescribed drugs. As drug resistant strains like Candida auris are discovered, scientists are looking at home remedies to control and cure yeast infections.
Natural remedies may have fewer side effects, and be easier and cheaper than a doctor’s prescription. Many women use them and find that they give relief, and several have been proved effective in animals or lab cultures. Some can have side effects, so read the descriptions before choosing one.
If you are pregnant, always check with your doctor when choosing a treatment, and consult your pediatrician for a diagnosis and advice on treating your baby. This government fact sheet has straightforward advice on diagnosis and treatment of yeast infections in women.
Natural Remedies To Treat Yeast Infection.
Live Natural Yoghurt
The most traditional of home remedies for yeast infection contains good bacteria called lactobacillus acidophilus which kills yeasts and helps the body fight the infection. It is safe to use topically on the infection including inside your vagina, even in pregnancy. It’s likely that you have candida in your digestive system, so it’s good to eat live yoghurt daily, especially after taking antibiotics.
Check that the yoghurt is “Live” meaning that the bacteria are still alive and can get to work on your infection. Yeasts love sugar, so only use unsweetened unflavored natural yoghurt.
Tip some yoghurt into a small bowl before applying it, or make yoghurtsicles in an ice tray to rub on affected areas. Rinse and apply again every 4-8 hours, or when the itching returns. Remember to wash your hands before and after touching the infected area.
Probiotic pills and capsules are available which contain the same good bacteria as yoghurt. You can swallow them and also make them into a paste to apply in the same way.
OK it doesn’t sound natural, and it’s actually poisonous, so don’t eat it, and also avoid if you are pregnant. However if you really need a remedy for a difficult infection, this is worth a try. CDC have tested boric acid suppositories and found them better than popular prescription drugs for curing vaginal yeast infections, including drug resistant strains.
You can make your own boric acid suppositories or ask your pharmacy to make them for you. Fill size 0 gelatin capsules with around 600 mg of boric acid. Push one capsule up into your vagina before bed for 7-10 nights. If your infection keeps returning you can use these twice a week for up to a year.
You have probably eaten or cooked with oregano without realizing its strong anti-fungal properties. Oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol which have been proved in laboratory tests to cure candida infections. Take 1 drop of pure oregano oil up to 3 times daily or on your skin twice a day. It is strong stuff and you might feel a burn. For sensitive areas mix 1 drop of oregano oil with some olive or coconut oil.
Tea Tree Oil
A popular home remedy for yeast infection, apply tea tree oil to your skin, but don’t eat or drink it. With its natural anti-fungal properties and clean smell, laboratory tests have shown that tea tree oil kills common and drug resistant yeasts including Candida auris. Concentrated tea tree oil is especially effective for nail infections.
Concentrated tea tree oil can damage sensitive skin, especially on your genital area. Mix a few drops with coconut oil before applying it. Not only is there less chance of irritation, but you get the benefit of both remedies.
Avoid this remedy if you are pregnant.
Coconut oil has become very popular recently both as a food and a home remedy. It contains lauric acid and capric acid, both proven lethal to common and drug resistant yeasts. Cook with it or use as a cream on infected areas. Put it in the fridge to set, so it’s easier to apply to your skin. If you have oral thrush try swilling coconut oil around your mouth for up to 10 minutes. Spit it out and repeat 3 times a day.
Garlic is a food-safe natural anti-fungal . You can apply it directly to yeast infections, or even insert it into your vagina overnight. Garlic is one of the safest home remedies for yeast infection in pregnant women and the only known side effect is garlic breath.
Cut a garlic clove or make a paste from odorless garlic tablets to rub onto yeast infection sores.
To use garlic in your vagina overnight, peel the papery skin off a fresh clove of garlic. Use whole, or cut in half to make it more potent. Sew a thread through the middle of the clove and tie it securely at about the length of a tampon string to help removal in the morning. Sometimes it will come out by itself on the toilet, but if you have to feel around for it your nails might damage your skin and worsen your infection. After a few days your infection should be gone, but treat for one extra night after you stop feeling the symptoms.
Eating garlicky food is believed to fight candida infections anywhere in your body. If you don’t like the taste or smell you can take odorless garlic tablets instead.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural douche to keep yeast at bay by re-balancing the acidity of the vagina after sex. If you are worried that cider vinegar might continue to ferment inside you, distilled white vinegar works just as well.
Vinegar is not a scientifically proven cure, but if you really must douche this is better than using a scented douche.
Calendula officinalis comes as a soothing yeast infection cream or ointment you can apply to your skin, including in and around your genitals. For oral thrush, mix a few drops of calendula tincture into warm water as a mouthwash. This is also a great remedy if your baby has oral thrush. Wash your nipples with diluted calendula tincture before and after feeding, and carefully swab the insides of your baby’s cheeks with it too.
Echinacea purpurea is well known for boosting the immune system, but did you know that taking echinacea has been proved to help the body fight yeast infections? Swallow a supplement daily to increase the effectiveness of your chosen home remedy or prescribed medicine.
Olive leaf extract
Proven immune booster oleuropein is available as olive leaf extract, and may also help to balance blood sugar levels. Both help your body fight yeast overgrowth. Take 1-2 capsules daily with food, or drink it as a tea up to 3 times a day.
Avoid this remedy if you are pregnant or diabetic, and don’t exceed the recommended dose.
Yeast Infection In Babies
Baby yeast infection is common, mostly as oral thrush or aggravated diaper rash with yeast infection bumps, which are sometimes puss filled. Baby oral thrush easily spreads to a breastfeeding mother’s nipples and makes them burn when suckled. Candidiasis can be dangerous, especially for premature newborns. Ask your pediatrician’s advice if you think your baby has candida symptoms.
How Can I Avoid Getting A Yeast Infection Again?
So naturally you want to know how to get rid of a yeast infection for ever. Many women get candidiasis repeatedly even after treatment. Here are some easy ways to help yourself to avoid Candida symptoms for the future.
Yeast loves moisture, so change out of wet clothes as soon as possible, and launder clothes worn next to your skin after each wearing even if they don’t look or smell dirty. Wear natural fibers like cotton, linen or silk, which breathe better than man-made fibers, especially for underwear. Loose clothing helps keep you dry too, so avoid tight pants, pantyhose, and leggings.
Wash underwear on a hot cycle of 60 C or 140 F, or iron the gussets of your underwear to be sure of killing any yeast.
Douches and deodorant feminine items interfere with the balance of bacteria and encourage yeasts to grow down below. Do wash and change your underwear daily though, and change sanitary pads and tampons frequently. If you use scented laundry powder or liquid this might be encouraging yeast growth, so try an unperfumed detergent instead.
Yeast infections are spread by touch, so remember to wipe from front to back after using the toilet, to stop yeast from your gut spreading to your genitals, and always wash your hands thoroughly with soap afterwards.
Finally, live a healthy lifestyle with plenty of sleep and regular exercise. Eat sensibly avoiding refined sugars when possible, and include some of our home remedies for yeast infection in your regular diet.