Sometime during their lifetime, most women would experience at least, a yeast infection. Vaginal yeast infections or vaginal candidiasis is usually as a result of an overgrowth of a fungus that lives naturally in the vagina, known as Candida albicans. This overgrowth causes itching, irritation, discharge, and inflammation.
For women experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection for the first time, it is advisable to consult with a gynecologist to ascertain that they really have a yeast infection. But for those who suffer recurring yeast infections, or are not eager take prescription antifungal cream, they can try out other potent alternatives.
For yeast infections that are resistant to other home remedies, boric acid is a strong antiseptic. As a matter of fact, a 2009 study indicated that topical boric acid was a potential treatment for vaginal infections. Boric acid vaginal suppositories are also believed to be effective in the treatment of vaginal yeast infections.
However, it is important to note that boric acid is toxic when used in large amounts. It can result in kidney damage or even death if too much of it is used. To prevent these side effects, do not take boric acid orally or on broken skin. Also, pregnant women should not use boric acid in any form.
Remember to always mix boric acid with water before using it on the vagina or vulva area.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is essential for killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In fact, a vaginal suppository that contains tea tree oil may help in treating vaginal infections. This essential oil also helps to ensure a healthy flora balance in the vagina.
Tea tree oil is very potent, so it should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba if your intention is to use it as a vaginal suppository. Tea tree oil should only be used.
Oil of Oregano
The oil of oregano is effective in treating yeast infections but that isn’t what we’re referring to here. We are talking about the oil of oregano produced from wild oregano which contains powerful antifungals such as carvacrol and thymol. According to some studies, depending on the dosage, wild oregano oil has the potential to stop or reduce the growth of C. albicans.
However, note that oil of oregano is naturally a blood thinner, so you should avoid it if you already take conventional blood thinners. Also, people with blood-clotting issues should steer clear of the oil.
Essential oils should be inhaled and not taken orally. It should be diluted in a carrier oils like sweet almond or olive oil. Then, it can be massaged into the skin or inhaled via a diffuser. Whatever you do, never apply essential oils close to the vagina.
Coconut oil is a fatty oil with a lot of health benefits, including its antifungal abilities. Studies have proven that coconut oil is powerful against C. albicans and actually works.
For treating a vaginal yeast infection with coconut oil, ensure to purchase organic coconut oil. Apply the oil to the affected spot directly.
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that kills bacteria and yeast antiseptic. Although it does not work on all species of yeast, some women have reported that hydrogen peroxide is effective in treating a yeast infection. Only ensure that the hydrogen peroxide is diluted before it is applied to the genitals, and should not be used beyond five days in a row.
According to some studies, there are certain probiotics that are effective against C. albicans. In fact, yogurt is one probiotic that contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria are vital for creating a healthy environment in the vagina. They help in treating an overgrowth brought on by an imbalance.
For this home remedy, plain Greek yogurt is the best kind to use. Just ensure that the yogurt does not have added sugar, which is instrumental in the growth of the Candida fungus.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You must have heard of how well-known apple cider vinegar bath is for yeast infections. Vinegar has many medicinal uses, some more proven by research than others. Simply add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub and soak for about 20 minutes. The acidic properties of the vinegar help to kill harmful microorganisms.
Note that a vinegar bath is different from vinegar douching, which eliminates both good and bad bacteria from the vagina.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a popular immunity boost with antimicrobial properties that kill candida overgrowths.
However, vitamin C tablet suppository may negatively affect the sensitive skin of your vagina. To avoid complications, consume vitamin C-rich foods instead of using vitamin C suppository to beat the yeast infection.
Garlic is an effective Candida killer. To use garlic in treating a yeast infection, simply incorporate more garlic into your daily diet. Some people recommend actually inserting small garlic cloves in the vagina, but note that it burns.
Probiotic Supplements and Suppositories
Probiotics are effective in restoring the yeast-bacteria balance in the entire body. Oral probiotics, due to its strains of lactobacillus acidophilus, can restore the flora of the vagina and digestive tract.
Some women prefer to use probiotics as vaginal suppositories because oral supplements seem to take longer to act. Thankfully, probiotic suppositories have also been proven to be effective in treating vaginosis.
How Long Does Relief Take?
Noticeable relief happens within a few days but some might be within a week. If the vaginal yeast infection gets treated but still returns, visit your doctor for medical advice.
Preventing Vaginal Yeast Infections
Lets’ go over some of the ways to reduce the risk of future yeast infections.
- Yeast survives on sugar. Reduce the amount of sugar and processed foods
- Wear cotton undies that are loose-fitting.
- Avoid spending very long periods of time in wet clothes. Yeast thrives in warm, wet environments.
- Limit the use of antibiotics to only when necessary.
The Bottom Line
There are no guarantees that home remedies would treat yeast infections but a trial wouldn’t hurt. Unfortunately too, the Food and Drug Administration does not monitor the use of supplements, herbs or essential oils.
So keep in mind that any of the home remedies may irritate sensitive vaginal skin. And if that happens, you should consult with a doctor.