Yeast infection is one of the causes of vaginitis, it is also known as Candida. This is a common problem faced by most of the women. It is actually an irritation in vagina or vulva. When a woman suffers with yeast infection, she experiences pain, burning sensation during sex or urination, discharge, and itching in vagina. It mainly develops when there is excess growth of yeast cells in the vagina. The fungus grows in damp and warm areas of genetalia. It mainly affects the vaginal area, but may also grow under breasts, dentures, lower abdomen, beneath nail beds and skin folds.
One of the major causes of yeast infections is antibiotics. These antibiotics damage the vaginal bacteria which disturbs the balance of vaginal microorganisms. This balance is also influenced by hormone levels. Thus, women using contraceptives are more prone to yeast infections. Women with weak immune systems also experience the same problem. Stressing out yourself, intake of alcohol, lack of sleep, pregnancy, diabetes, chronic health conditions and use of steroids may also cause excess growth of yeasts.
The major symptoms of yeast infection are given below:
- Itching in vulva or vagina
- Redness in vagina
- Burning sensation
- Pain during urination or sex
- Thick, white and odorless vaginal discharge
Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
Due to this burning sensation, pain and discharge, the daily routine of woman gets disturbed. Sometimes ignoring such infection may lead to some other major disease. There are a lot of home remedies for treating yeast infection naturally. These natural remedies generally have lesser side effects and are very easy to use.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acidic and antibacterial properties which control the growth of yeasts and help getting rid of fungi easily. To use it as a home remedy, you need to take a cup of warm water and add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to it. Mix the solution well and drink it two times a day on regular basis for a few days.
- You can also prepare a hot bath. Just add 1 or 2 tablespoon vinegar in lukewarm water tub. Soak yourself in the water for an hour. This will reduce itching and skin irritation.
- Blend water and vinegar in equal proportion. Apply it directly on the troubling area. Leave it for 30 minutes. Wash it off with normal water.
Note- Apple cider vinegar should always be used in the diluted form.
One of the best remedies for yeast infection is yogurt. It soothes the burning sensation and itching in the vagina. It also slows down the growth of yeast. Prefer using unsweetened and plain yogurt to check the growth of yeast. Dip a clean cotton piece in plain yogurt and insert it in the vagina. Leave it for at least two hours. Wash it off with water. Do not use this remedy more than two times a day.
- You can simply apply plain yogurt directly to affected region. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Clean it with water and pat dry. You can also apply it overnight for quick relief in itching.
- Increase the quantity of yogurt in your diet.
Since garlic has antifungal, antibiotic, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties it cures yeast infection. To use garlic, get a few garlic cloves and crush them till it becomes a fine paste. Apply this paste directly onto the affected area.
- Alternatively, you can also use garlic oil. Dilute it by adding a few drops of vitamin E oil and coconut oil. Stir it well and apply it on the troubling region.
- You can also consume a couple of fresh garlic cloves. Or else, herbal tablets made out of garlic, on a regular basis.
Note: Consuming fresh garlic cloves causes bad breathe but relieves yeast infection.
4. Coconut Oil
The anti-fungal property of coconut oil kills infection causing yeasts. Take a few drops of coconut oil on your finger tips and apply it gently on the affected area. Repeat this remedy three times a day.
- Coconut oil can also be used with cinnamon oil, which lessens the growth of yeasts. Mix up both the oils in equal ratio and gently apply on the infected area.
- Add a few drops of cinnamon or tea tree oil in some coconut oil. Swish the mixture in your mouth for ten minutes and make sure you do this twice a day.
Note – Do not swallow the mixture of oil.
5. Grape Fruit Seed Extract
Grape fruit seed extract is also used in healing yeast infection. The anti-fungal properties of grape fruit seed resist the growth of yeasts and other pathogens that causes infection. Take two cups of plain water and add 5-10 drops of grape fruit seed extract in it. Blend the solution till the extract gets finely dissolved. Use this solution for washing the vaginal area. You can also dip a cotton ball in the solution and apply it on the affected area. Use this maximum three times a day.
Note- The solution may increase the extent of already existing irritation, so consult your doctor before using this. Refrain from using this solution during menstruation and pregnancy.
6. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Cranberries contain anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which kills yeasts. It is also used for curing bladder and urinary tract infections. Drink unsweetened cranberry juice multiple times a day. Drink it regularly to speed up your healing procedure.
- If in case, juice is not available, you can consume cranberry tablets twice or thrice a day.
7. Boric Acid
Since boric acid is anti-viral and anti-fungal in nature, it can prove to be a great natural remedy for healing yeast infection. Use diluted boric acid to prevent this infection. Combine water and boric acid in equal ratio and apply it directly on the infected part. Let it sit for a few minutes. Wash it off thoroughly with clean water. Repeat this remedy two times a day.
- Some people intake herbal capsules of Boric acid to cure vaginal yeast infection.
Note- Pregnant women are advised not to use boric acid at all. Apart from pregnant women, even others should not use it for a longer time because it is toxic.
8. Sitz Bath
A sitz bath could also be helpful in relieving the discomfort caused due to infection. In this bath, water is filled in a special basin and it is placed on a toilet seat. Water is allowed to overflow into the toilet bowl. To ease swelling, burning and itching, add 1 cup of baking soda (or vinegar) in the basin. Alternatively, add Epsom salt. Sit in it for a few minutes.
9. Cold Compress
Put ice pack on your vulva to get relief from itching and pain.
10. Black Walnut
The antifungal property of black walnuts eradicates yeast infection. It is rich in tannins which kill fungus, yeasts and bacteria. The nut is soaked after it is harvested, to remove its husk. This extract opposes the growth of yeasts.
Note: Black walnut is not suggested for breastfeeding and pregnant women. People suffering from kidney or liver conditions should also avoid its use as it may cause irritation in or damage to these organs.
Herbal Home Remedies
Yeast infection can also be treated by using herbal remedies. Some of them are as follows:
11. Slippery Elm Powder
Slippery elm powder is also an effective remedy for curing yeast infection. It helps relieve the irritation. Add some water to slippery elm powder to prepare a smooth paste. Apply it directly on the infected area to get instant relief. You can also add refrigerated aloe vera juice with slippery elm powder. Dip a cotton pad in it and place it on vagina. It does not kill bacteria, but soothes irritation.
Calendula is a natural herb with anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, which cures yeast infection. Finely crush 2-3 calendula leaves. Apply this paste on affected region. Follow this remedy thrice a day for effective results.
- You can also prepare tea from calendula leaves.
- If fresh calendula leaves are not available, you can use calendula ointment or lotion.
Note- Calendula tea is not recommended for pregnant women.
13. Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are also helpful in getting relief from yeast infection. Boil 3-4 cups of water. Combine 1¼ teaspoon ground basil in the boiled water after turning off the heat. Cover the container with a lid. Let it steep for some time. Gargle with the water when it cools down. You can also add maple syrup for sweetening and drink two cups daily.
The anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and antiviral properties of goldenseal resists yeast infection. Goldenseal has an active component called berberine which kills the yeasts. This compound helps in detoxifying the liver and stimulating the immune system. The roots of this herb are used to deal with this problem.
Note- Nursing and pregnant women should avoid using goldenseal. Excessive usage of goldenseal may cause nausea. So, seek advice from your physician before using this herb.
15. Rosemary Tea
Rosemary is another natural herb which is commonly used to cure yeast infection. Prepare rosemary tea and place a cotton ball in the tea and dab it on the affected area. This remedy will relieve itching and burning sensation.
16. Thyme Tea
Boil one cup of water for a few minutes. Add one teaspoon of dried thyme in it. Let it steep for some time. Drink 1-4 cups a day to get rid of yeast infection speedily.
17. Concoction of Essential Oils
Essential oils like tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, grape seed oil etc have several properties which withstands yeast. To overcome this problem, you are supposed to prepare a concoction with the help of these essential oils as well as carrier oil. Mix two tablespoons of grape seed oil with 2-3 drops each of oregano oil, lemon oil, cinnamon oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil. Store the mixed oils in a bottle. Take a cotton ball and soak it in the oil. Apply it directly on to the affected part. Let it rest for some time and then wash the affected area. Wipe it with a clean cloth.
- These essential oils can also be used separately.
18. Tea Tree Oil
Another natural way to cure yeast infection is to use tea tree oil. You will have to dilute the oil before using. To dilute, add some organic tea tree oil in water. You can also dilute it by adding one teaspoon of sweet almond oil or olive oil to tea tree oil. Rub it gently over the infected area multiple times a day.
- Put a few drops on a tampon and place it inside the vagina for 2-3 hours. For better results, use this remedy two times a day.
Note- This remedy is not suggested for pregnant women.
19. Oregano Oil
The anti-fungal properties of oregano oil help in boosting the immune system. As it may cause irritation, dilute it by adding some olive oil to it. Apply it directly onto the affected area. This will reduce the pain and itching.
- You can also intake herbal capsules of oregano twice a day.
20. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is very helpful in treating yeast infection. Cut open a leaf and get fresh pulp directly from the plant. Apply it gently on the infected area for a soothing effect.
21. Olive Leaf Extracts
Another effective way to cure yeast infection is olive leaf extract. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of olive leaf extract restores good bacteria in the body and kills infection causing yeasts. To prepare olive leaf extract at home, get some fresh olive leaves and chop them finely. Place them in a jar and pour a little vodka on the leaves until they get covered completely. Cover the jar with a lid. Store it for 4 weeks. Then, filter the liquid into another vessel. Apply this solution gently on the affected region. Do not apply more than 2-3 times a day.
22. Herbal Douche
Mix 1 tablespoon tinctures each of chamomile, thuja, lavender and calendula. Pour this mixture into 1/3 cup hot water. Transfer the lukewarm fluid to a douche bulb (you can get it from the drug store). Now lay down in the bath tub and gently insert douche bulb in your vagina. Allow the liquid to flow in the walls of vagina. It will help you get rid of inflammation and irritation.
23. Pau d’arco
This herb is a native of South America and checks the overgrowth of yeasts. It works wonders and you can apply either topically or consume it in the form of liquid form as tincture. You can choose to have it as soon as you notice the symptoms of yeast infection, in order to check it from spreading further.
24. Palmarosa Oil
Combine 4 drops of palmarosa oil with 2 drops of tea tree oil. Add this mixture to topical yeast infection cream. Apply it on the infected areas.
Pour ½ teaspoon of Echinacea tincture into ½ cup of water. Drink it four times a day for minimum 2 weeks.
Note- Consult your doctorbefore using this remedy as it may cause a few side-effects, especially if you are allergic to certain flowers and plants.
Do’s and Don’ts for Yeast Infection
You can curb yeast infection by taking preventive measures. Follow the guidelines described below to get rid of this troubling infection.
- Keep the vaginal area dry and clean.
- Put off wet swimsuits and clothes after completing your workout.
- Wear cotton clothes and panties.
- Wear loose fit clothes.
- Let the area breathe.
- Add up non-fat dairy products, whole grains, veggies and fruits in your diet.
- Consume probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha etc.
- Apply antifungal creams.
- Use feminine hygiene products.
- Practice yoga and meditation to lead a stress free life.
- Change tampons and pads in an interval of 6 hours.
- Change panty whenever you find it damp.
- Avoid wearing panties at night to let air pass.
- Abstain from bubble baths, deodorant tampons and scented hygiene products.
- Do not wear tights and nylon or synthetic fibers.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol and cut down sugar consumption.
- Don’t use harsh soaps.
- Avoid sexual intercourse during yeast infection. Or use condoms to minimize the risk of passing of infection to your partner.