Yeast is the common fungus that is present on the skin, in the body and in areas of the body that are moist, such as the mouth and the vagina. Most yeast infection is caused by the common yeast called Candida albicans. While it is common for the human body to have yeast cells, yeast infection occurs when there are too many of them, causing symptoms and problems associated with the infection. Yeast infection is technically referred to as Candidiasis.
Yeast Infection Types
The most common type of yeast infection is the vaginal infection. It is estimated that as many as between 30 and 50 percent of women would have experienced yeast infection in their lifetimes. Yeast infection could also be associated with the penis, commonly referred to as penile yeast infection, yeast infection of the skin causing skin rashes, nail yeast infection and yeast infection of the mouth. Yeast infection could occur in underarms or groins, areas that are moist are prone to infections. While skin is effective in barring yeast infections, cuts or bruises could let the yeasts penetrate into the skin. In babies, yeast infection could occur in areas around the diaper and in the mouth region, while adults could be susceptible to infections under the breasts, lower abdomen or in areas of skin fold. While blood, brain, kidney, heart, eyes and the skin are the most susceptible to yeast infections, organs such as the liver, lungs as well as the spleen are also some of the candidates for yeast infection.
Yeast Infection Causes
Causes of vaginal yeast infection tend to be changes in the environmental conditions in the vaginal region and changes in the chemical balance of the body, menstruation, diabetes, pregnancy or use of birth control pills. Prolonged treatments for chronic conditions could weaken the immune system and could cause yeast infections. Since bacteria are essential in the body to maintain the normal balance of the system, prolonged and consistent use of antibiotics in certain areas of the body could lead to weakening or elimination of the bacteria in the area, which could give yeasts a free ride. Improper use of needles for injection, as in the case of drug use, could prove to be access points for yeasts to get straight into the bloodstream, causing systemic yeast infections.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
One of the first symptoms of yeast infection would be itching in the affected areas, and in and around vagina in the case of vaginal yeast infections. There could also be white vaginal discharge along with pain and burning sensation during sexual intercourse and in urination, which may occur initially or with time as the itching gives way to pain and burning sensation.
Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
Yoghurt for Yeast Infection
One of the time-tested home remedies for yeast infection involves the use of yoghurt, the natural source of lactobacillus acidophilus, one of the most important naturally occurring bacteria in the human intestinal tract, in the vagina and in the mouth.
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been known to have positive effects on the digestive system and also in the immune system, promoting the growth of antibodies and in negating the symptoms associated with cold and fever. It is to be noted that having the right levels of the useful bacteria is an essential part of keeping yeast growth in control, and yeast outburst that leads to yeast infection is caused by lessening of the numbers of the useful bacteria in the system.
It would help to go for natural yoghurt in terms of home remedies for yeast, while you could also go in for yoghurt that is labelled as ‘live culture’ or one that specifically states the presence of lactobacillus acidophilus in it. While you could apply plain yoghurt on to the areas of the skin that have been affected with yeast infection, you might also couple it up with sufficient consumption of yoghurt on a daily basis to support your system with internal availability of the useful bacteria. Consumption of a cup of yoghurt in the morning with breakfast would do your system a lot of good, as also a consumption of a cup of yoghurt again for dinner. When it comes to vaginal yeast infection, you could dip a tampon in yoghurt and place it in the vagina for around five minutes, encouraging the presence of lactobacillus acidophilus in the vagina to control the growth of yeasts.
a. Caution with Yoghurt for Yeast Infection: While you could make your own yoghurt by adding a few drops of yoghurt on to pasteurised milk after it has cooled down, any normal yoghurt that you buy from the neighbourhood shops, with the lactobacillus acidophilus label on it or one that claims to have ‘live culture’ could serve the purpose. However, ensure that the yoghurt that you use has no added fruits, flavours or sugars that would normally be the case for added taste and nourishment. While nourishment may be good for you, added sugar or other ingredients may be counter-productive in that they would feed the yeasts that you would want to get rid of by promoting bacterial presence.
Garlic for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Another popular option among home remedies for yeast infection would be garlic. Garlic is one of the natural health options with strong healing powers, deriving its capacity to heal on account of the chemical called Allicin that it has. Apart from considerable levels of proteins, the other constituents in garlic include Vitamins A, C, K, B complex vitamins, high levels of calcium, phosphorous and potassium, along with iron, manganese, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium, minerals and vitamins that when had in good quantities would boost the performance of the immune system.
Further, garlic is also known for its antibiotic properties and is a reputed antioxidant, apart from having anti-microbial, anti-vital and anti-fungal properties, each of which come into play when it comes to garlic’s being used as one of the home remedies for yeast infection. You could use either raw garlic cloves, or garlic oil that may be readily available, as home remedy for yeast infection. You could remove the outer paper-like thin skin of the garlic bulb, separate the inner garlic cloves, tie them up in gauze, add a few drops of garlic oil on to the outer layer of the gauze, insert it into the vagina and leave it overnight.
You could adjust the strength of garlic by adding or removing a few cloves if the strength proves to be an irritant in the skin. You could remove the gauze the next morning and take a shower to eliminate lingering garlic flavour.
Garlic for Yeast Infection
Garlic would come in handy as home remedies for yeast infection in the case of skin infections as well. The best way to go about using garlic for yeast infection would be to make it a habit to chew a clove or two of raw garlic everyday to provide yourself with abundant supply of the goodness of garlic. Further, garlic cloves could be separated from the bulb after the outer skin is removed, minced with a knife, mixed with water or orange juice and consumed. You could also rub one or two garlic cloves directly on to the affected areas of the skin on a regular basis to keep yeast infection in control. You could also substitute garlic cloves with garlic oil or use garlic capsules for internal consumption as other options in home remedies for yeast infection.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil is one of the commonly found and commercially used essential oils, the one you could find in a variety of cosmetic and therapeutic applications. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia, which has had its origins in Australia.
While the leaves have traditionally been used to treat infections by being crushed and their extracts applied to the affected areas, modern applications could be made out of the essential oils that are available commercially and in the form of products that have tea tree oil as one of the major components. The medicinal properties of tea tree oil are derived from compounds called terpenoids, lending antiseptic and antifungal properties to the oil.
Tea tree oil has been effective in a whole range of fungal infections such as toe nail infections as well as in treating acne. Its application towards elimination and control of dandruff has been demonstrated, with tea tree oil finding its way in many natural antidandruff shampoos. It is recommend ended that tea tree oil be diluted with water and applied to the vaginal areas as home remedies for yeast infections. One of the safe ways to go about it is to fill the bath with water, making it deep enough to cover your pelvic region, add around five drops if tea tree oil and a teaspoon of vegetable oil, mix them thoroughly in the water and spend 5 – 10 minutes in the tub on a regular basis during your bath. Repeating this for a few days should help as one of the useful home remedies for yeast infection. You could also opt for commercially available tea tree oil suppositories to be placed inside the vagina for a few minutes a day for effective results.
The black walnut belongs to a large tree, whose extract is known to have properties of pesticide. Black walnut is commonly used as a dietary supplement, with liberal amounts of Vitamin A and folate, reasonable quantities of Vitamin C, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid accounting for its vitamin resources. Black walnut is also found to be having large repositories of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium as well as selenium.
Black walnut extract could be consumed internally as home remedies for yeast infection, since the extract is known to be useful in treating systemic yeast infections. Black walnut extract in tincture form could be used as a mouthwash in case of yeast infections in the mouth, where the herbal product could be swished around the mouth for a minute and spit out for effective relief. Black walnut extract could be applied topically on to the affected areas, as could it be added on to bath for home remedies for vaginal yeast infection.
Chamomile and chamomile tea would be familiar names in the herbal remedy world, known for a wide range of medicinal benefits, and they are useful in terms of home remedies for yeast infection as well. Chamomile tea could be prepared by adding a spoonful of dried chamomile flowers on to water, boiling it for 5 – 10 minutes, filtering off the flowers and consuming the tea.
Chamomile tea could be consumed thrice a day for the ingredients to get to work and act against yeast infections. The used teabags could also be used on the skin, dabbing them gently on to provide relief from yeast infection symptoms and for cure.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is potent oil with powerful components of cavacrol and thymol contributing to its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. The oil is also known for its actions against parasites as well as for its anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from claims that oil of oregano is effective in boosting the performance of the immune system, it is also found that the oil is effective in eliminating yeasts and other parasites from the system.
Oil of oregano is not to be applied in its full concentration topically, but should be diluted to the extent of adding one part of oregano oil to three parts of olive oil or coconut oil. The mixed oil could then be applied on the affected areas of the skin as useful home remedies for yeast infection. Oil of oregano could also be taken in using a similar dilution ratio, where the mixture could be used to as treatment for systemic yeast infection.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorise, commonly referred to as DGL licorice, is known for its being abundantly sweet and enormously useful as one of the home remedies for yeast infection. A perennial plant available in Europe and parts of Asia, licorice proves to be useful in treating a host of medical conditions.
Licorice is also known to have antibacterial and antispasmodic properties, being good on the digestive tract, reducing irritation on account of its anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of licorice is known to prevent the onset of vaginal yeast infection. The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice come into play in soothing the inflamed nature of intestines in the event of candidiasis, while it also controls craving for sugar by regulating blood glucose levels, a property that would be particularly useful since abundant intake of sugar is just what you would not want to do when you are trying to get rid of yeast infections.
As home remedies for yeast infection, the herb could be chewed for a few minutes for its goodness to be absorbed by the system.
Cranberries have many health benefits and one of them is their use as home remedies for yeast infection. Cranberry juice is known to strengthen the urinary tract, restoring the natural pH balance of the body. This is helpful in cleansing the vagina off yeasts, even as cranberry juice is known to flush out yeasts and other microbes that may be clinging on to the digestive and urinary tracts.
Cranberry juice is high in Vitamin C, the antioxidant, and in Vitamin K, along with good quantities of calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Drinking cranberry juices helps in flushing out the yeasts during the early stages of yeast infection. Cranberry juice could be taken regularly along with some of the other home remedies for yeast infection for good results. Cranberry juice has to be consumed in its unsweetened form, as sugar would only lead to strengthening of the yeasts in the system. Taking cranberry juice raw may be a challenge, and it could be diluted with sufficient quantities of water to help you push it down your throat. An easier option would be to go for cranberry pills that could be taken with water.
Grapefruit for Yeast Infection
Grapefruit belongs to the citrus family and is known for its usefulness as a home remedy for yeast infection. Grapefruit is, as you would expect of a citrus fruit, high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, along with good levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
It also has fibre and reasonable quantities of Vitamins B1 and B5. Grapefruit is useful as an anti-inflammatory agent, even as a range of components in grapefruit are known for their antioxidant properties. Drinking grapefruit juice should be coupled with other home remedies for yeast infection for best results.
The benefits of grapefruit could be maximised by using grapefruit seed extract for yeast infections. Grapefruit seed extract is the liquid that has been extracted from the seeds and pulp of grapefruits, known to have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, coming in handy as home remedies for yeast infection. While grapefruit seed extract is normally considered to be safe to use, it would be best to go for medical advice with regard to its continued use.
Lifestyle and Diet for Yeast Infection
Eliminate or Minimise Sugar Consumption
It would be an important aspect of home remedies for yeast infection to minimise or completely eliminate consumption of all processed sugar and flour for a few months till you have gotten rid of the symptoms, and the problems, associated with yeast infection.
External display of symptoms are normally associated with systemic infections of the yeast, which means that a holistic approach to dealing with yeast would involve going low on sugar that would actually feed yeasts and promote their growth.
Watch Out for Antibiotics
If you have been prescribed antibiotics for a while now and if you have been persistent with it, you could expect to have the healthy bacteria in that region be affected or eliminated altogether, making way for conditions such as yeast infection.
A normal course of antibiotics would not be for long, and the course should be accompanied or followed up with a supplementation of lactobacillus to help recover the lost bacteria that might otherwise have warded off yeast infections. Home remedies for yeast infection would take the availability of lactobacillus in the body into account if your body has been exposed to antibiotics for a period of time.
Choose the Right Underwear
You may want to check the kind of material that your underwear is made of, since synthetic materials may restrict airflow in the genital areas, leading to yeast infection. Further, wearing underwear and pants that are too tight to allow any airflow would also cause yeast infections for reasons associated with lack of aeration.
Go Natural for Yeast Infection
Excessive use of cosmetic sprays, commercial douches as well as use of strong chemicals could promote yeast growth. Going natural in the sensitive areas of the body would go well with home remedies for yeast infection.
Watch Your Weight for Yeast Infection
having an excessive body weight and obesity could also cause yeast infection, since there tends to be an increase in the number of folds in the skin, causing more sweat, less air flow, and excessive moisture, conditions that are conducive for yeast infection. Losing a few extra pounds would be a strategy that would go with home remedies for yeast infection.
Cut Down on Steroids for Yeast Infection
Persistent use of steroids has been found to be associated with yeast infection, even if they have been mild steroids. It’s best to go for medications that are natural and with little side effects, and steroids should be your last option in treatment.
Other Treatments for Yeast Infections
Boric acid is a compound comprising of the element boron, combined with three parts hydrogen and three parts oxygen (H3BO3). Boron tends to be found in reasonable quantities in fruits, vegetables and in nuts as well as in grains.
Boric acid is widely used as an antiseptic, known for its ability to prevent and eliminate the growth of microorganisms on the skin – it is this property of boric acid that makes it one of the useful remedies for yeast infection, apart from its use in eye disinfectants, external applications in the case of infections and in treatments involving vaginal infections and remedies. Boric acid could be used as a topical treatment for vaginal yeast infections. Boric acid suppositories could be used with good results in treating vaginal yeast infections.
Caution with Boric Acid for Yeast Infections
It is advised not to use boric acid or boric acid suppositories for quantities or durations longer than what have been prescribed to avoid unnecessary complications associated with the treatment. It is best to seek medical advice when it comes to using boric acid for yeast infections.
Confirmation of Yeast Infection
It is important to get the right diagnosis that your condition is indeed that of yeast infection and not something else that is very similar. You could have symptoms similar to that of yeast infection when it could possibly be a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Tale particular care if you have changed your sex partner, have a new sex partner or have multiple partners. There are also other conditions that have yeast infection-like symptoms, as in the case of bacterial vaginosis, where there is basically an imbalance between the different types of bacteria found in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis could be a possibility in women who douche or in the habit of using intrauterine birth control devices. It would be advisable to confirm that your condition is associated with vaginal yeast infection from a trained medical practitioner before you opt for other treatment options.
Medications for Yeast Infection
You could opt for some of the commonly available medications as treatment for yeast infection, such as Miconazole, Butoconazole and Tioconazole, even as you could go in for treatment options in homeopathy with products such as Yeastrol and Candidate. However, you would have to continue with the medications for a period of time even if you feel the symptoms have vanished and the condition, alleviated, as it takes a complete course that starts off in a strong phase and tapers down to continue over a long period to completely eliminate yeast infection. However, as always, it is safe to go in for medical advice and get the right diagnosis to know if the condition that you suffer is indeed that of yeast infection.
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