Yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans, some microscopic fungi that are commonly found in small amounts in the vagina and happen when the balance between the microorganisms in the vagina changes. This can happen because of an antibiotics treatment, hormone therapy, estrogen treatments, stress, chronic health conditions, steroids, or oral contraceptives, to name a few. Its symptoms include itching, soreness, pain, and/or burning in and around the vagina all the time or when having intercourse, especially during the week before menstruation. In this article, we’re going to go through the best home remedies for yeast infection.
Caution! Unlike other conditions, yeast infections are extremely easy to misdiagnose; therefore, a visit to a doctor is imperative before undergoing any form of treatment. Also keep in mind that pregnancy and certain health conditions can deem you unfit for some or all of these remedies, so talk to your doctor about your condition and the best cures and home remedies for you.
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural home remedy that has a multitude of applications. The fact that it is part of the home remedies for yeast infection list may not come as a surprise since it has antifungal properties and can soothe the skin. In addition, using coconut oil for yeast infection repeatedly also protects the intimate area from other fungi, viruses, and bacteria thanks to its 3 active ingredients: caprylic, capric, and lauric acids.
- Coconut oil
Apply it to the affected areas with a clean, sterile cotton pad to avoid further contamination. You will feel an almost instant relief from the burning, itching, or discomfort. Do this as often as needed throughout the day.
Yogurt has been used for years as one of the sworn-by home remedies for yeast infection. It contains lactobacillus acidophilus, the friendly bacteria that normally live in the intestines and vagina.
Choosing the yogurt is by far the most important part. Avoid yogurts which have a high sugar volume and look for those which have no added sweeteners or sugars. Moreover, avoid fruit or flavored yogurts since these boost the growth of candida instead of alleviating symptoms and clearing the yeast infection.
- Plain, non-sweetened yogurt (Greek yogurt is said to work best)
Use the yogurt to restore the pH balance and flora of the vaginal area. Apply topically to reduce yeast infection. Nevertheless, you can also use yogurt for yeast infection by applying it to a tampon.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular home remedies for yeast infection out there thanks to the multitude of nutrients, friendly bacteria, and enzymes that rebalance the local pH and inhibit the growth of fungi. In addition, it also contains malic acid – a natural antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal agent.
- Organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized, unprocessed apple cider vinegar. The best apple cider vinegar for yeast infection is cloudy and contains loads of enzymes, minerals, and bacteria.
- Optional: a carrier oil such as coconut oil (which also fights against fungi) and a few drops of tea tree oil that has anti-fungal properties.
There are 2 ways to use apple cider vinegar to treat a yeast infection: internally or topically. For the internal treatment, you will need to mix about 2 tablespoons into a glass of fresh water or herbal tea (avoid fruity teas, sugar, or honey since Candida thrives in sugary environments). Drink this 2-3 times per day for at least a week or until the symptoms are gone. Many recommend regularly consuming apple cider vinegar to balance the body’s pH and give the immune system a boost.
The topical treatment involves taking an ACV bath. Simply add one or two cups of apple cider vinegar in the tub and soak in for about half an hour. To enhance the effectiveness of this bath, you can also add a mixture of tea tree oil and coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been known as one of the best home remedies for yeast infection for years. Thanks to its high content of Terpinen-4-ol, gamma-terpinene, and alpha-terpinene, it is able to kill excess fungus and inhibit its excessive reproduction.
- 6 drops of tea tree oil
- Half of glass of water
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil
To use tea tree oil for yeast infection, you can mix 6 drops of tea tree oil in half a glass of water and drink this mixture once or twice per day. Alternatively, you can add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil to one teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil and apply the mixture on the affected area, leaving it on for at least 30 minutes. Then, gently rinse and dry the area.
Garlic isn’t just delicious in a wide variety of foods. It also packs a load of health benefits, being antibacterial, anti-microbial and a widely used antiseptic. Therefore, it can give our immune system a boost. While there are no clinical studies underlying the properties of garlic as one of the home remedies for yeast infection, many swear by this natural cure, especially if used on the very first day(s) of infection.
- 1-2 fresh cloves of garlic.
- A few drops of garlic oil;
- 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
MidwiferyToday recommends the use of garlic for yeast infection as a paste or in the vaginal area. It is, however, a risky measure, as garlic can destroy too much of the beneficial vaginal flora and/or cause irritation. If you want to use this as a standalone topical remedy or as an ingredient in other topical home remedies for yeast infection, the safest way to do so is to use 3-5 drops of garlic oil mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil.
6. Boric Acid
Thanks to the mild anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, boric acid is quick to fight the symptoms of yeast infection and make it go away. However, pregnant women should under no circumstances use boric acid for their yeast infection.
- Boric acid powder.
To use boric acid for yeast infection, mix one tablespoon of boric acid in one glass of water. Wash the affected area and leave the boric acid water on for a couple of minutes. Then, rinse with warm water and gently pat the area dry.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda temporarily creates an alkaline environment in which the fungi responsible for your yeast infection cannot survive and multiply in. In addition, it also actively dehydrates the fungus and protects the skin from rashes, itching, and other symptoms that come with having a yeast infection.
- Baking soda
- Optional: tea tree oil with a carrier oil, Epsom salts, hydrogen peroxide.
There are multiple ways you can use baking soda for yeast infection. The easiest is to add a little water over the baking soda until you create a thick paste and apply it to the affected area, leaving it on for a few minutes. Afterward, gently rinse the area and pat it dry.
You can also take a baking soda bath. Just add a cup of baking soda to a bathtub of warm water, stir until it’s dissolved, and soak in for about half an hour. You can also add some coconut and tea tree oil: a spoonful of the first and 3-5 drops of the second should be enough. Alternatively, you can dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl of water and apply the solution to the affected area using a cotton ball.
Cranberries help to balance the vaginal pH which becomes seriously disturbed as the candida takes over. Thus, eating a handful of cranberries or drinking a glass of cranberry juice without added sugars or sweeteners can work wonders thanks to the anti-fungal properties.
- Fresh cranberries
Snack on cranberries while they’re fresh. You can add them to smoothies, yogurt, or other snacks – just remember not to add any sugar or mix them with sugary ingredients, since sugar will make the yeast infection harder to get rid of. Moreover, you can throw one cup of these fruits in a blender and drink the cranberry juice as one of the most delicious home remedies for yeast infection. Do this once or twice per day to get rid of the yeast infection.
9. Gentian Violet
Gentian violet has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it a reliable ally against yeast infections. This cure can also be used to treat thrush in babies and new mothers, hence it’s completely safe for pregnant women, too.
- Gentian violet;
- A tampon.
To use gentian violet for yeast infection, you need to first put the gloves on since this substance will turn purple everything it comes in contact with. Then, slowly pour about a tablespoon of gentian violet on the tampon for it to be absorbed, then insert the tampon as usual. Many advise to leave this on for at least 3 hours, while others advocate it will work best if left overnight. Nevertheless, results are immediate.
10. Oregano Oil
Another natural oil which counts among the home remedies for yeast infection is oregano oil. This antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory substance can fight against candida from the inside and outside. To use oregano oil for yeast infection, you will need:
- Oregano oil;
- Optional: a carrier oil like coconut oil and other antifungal ingredients like tea tree oil.
Mix 3-6 drops of oregano oil with water or herbal tea and drink this at least once per day. To use this as a topical home remedy for yeast infection, gently apply a small amount on the affected area at least 2 times per day. Just make sure that you take this treatment on an empty stomach to reap its full benefits.
Creams based on calendula aren’t just delicately smelling, soothing, and moisturizing. They also pack a wealth of anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as antifungal ones. As such, they are ideal to use as home remedies for yeast infection. To use this treatment, you will need:
- Fresh or dried Calendula flowers;
- Calendula-infused oil.
Just as with other home remedies for yeast infection on this list, calendula works best when administered internally and locally. To make calendula tea, you will need about 2 tablespoons of dried calendula flowers or a handful of fresh ones and some hot water. You can, however, also make marigold sun tea using a tall glass or glass jar. After adding the flowers and pouring the hot water, simply cover the container and leave it in the sunlight for at least 6 hours.
12. Olive Leaf Extract
Another very effective home remedy for yeast infection is olive leaf extract, which holds anti-fungal properties. In addition, this substance also gives our immune system a boost and controls the amount of sugar in our bloodstream, which creates an improper environment for candida.
- Olive leaf extract capsules.
To use olive leaf extract for yeast infection, simply take 2 capsules 3 times per day after meals.
Basil is considered the fountain of youth and health. This plant contains disease-fighting antioxidants, substances that boost the immune system, anti-inflammatories, and anti-stress substances. In addition, basil also regulates the level of sugar in our bloodstream, thus preventing diabetes or recurring yeast infections. This wonder plant also acts as an analgesic, anti-stress, and as a cancer-fighting agent. To use basil as a home remedy for yeast infection, you will need:
- Fresh or dried basil leaves.
Simply throw 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried basil leaves in a cup and add hot water. Then, wait for the tea to cool off and strain the tea. You should drink this at least twice a day to get rid of a yeast infection and eliminate the chances of it coming back. Of course, you can also use this tea locally.
Another way you can use basil to treat yeast infections is by mixing the fresh leaves into a paste, adding a little water only if necessary.
Apart from being an antibacterial and antifungal, rosemary will also give you some relief from the itching and burning that come with the dreaded yeast infections.
- Fresh or dried rosemary.
To use this home remedy for yeast infections, you simply need to boil 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary with one or two glasses of water for 3 minutes. Then, turn off the heat, wait for it to cool down, and use it as a local treatment for yeast infection. You can also use this solution as a douche, twice per day tops.
15. Grapefruit Seed Extract
A study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine has proven that grapefruit seed extract has antifungal properties, especially against yeasts. Be careful, though, since this home remedy shouldn’t be used by pregnant women or on open wounds which yeast infections sometimes cause.
- Grapefruit seed extract.
To use grapefruit seed extract for candida, simply add between 5 and 10 drops of the active ingredient to a glass of water and mix well. You can use this solution for local hygiene up to 3 times a day.
16. Sitz Bath
Sitz baths come in handy when dealing with a yeast infection since proper hygiene is crucial when dealing with this issue. In addition, you can also mix in other home remedies for yeast infection we talked about throughout the article – like the tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar.
- Sitz bath;
- Tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, apple cider vinegar, etc.
To use a sitz bath for yeast infection, simply mix in your home remedies of choice into the sitz bath, wait a few minutes for them to work, and then rinse them off. You can also apply some witch hazel tea at the end of this treatment.
17. Witch Hazel
This wonder plant is a popular home remedy for yeast infections and a multitude of other skin conditions thanks to its effectiveness in treating bruising, itching, irritation, or swelling thanks to the tannic acids it contains.
- Dried witch hazel leaves
To get rid of a yeast infection with the help of witch hazel, just steep the dried witch hazel leaves into boiling water for a few minutes and then wait for it to reach room temperature. Then, use the solution after bathing to restore the skin’s natural pH.
Home remedies for yeast infection are ideal for alleviating symptoms and getting rid of the fungus. Nevertheless, each of these may work differently for every person. Before following a routine to cure yeast infection with any of these home remedies, schedule an appointment with your doctor. And don’t worry. Each of us has a healthy dose of candida in the body. Typically, with a healthy immune system and a healthy gut and vaginal flora, the growth and development of candida are under control.