Did you know that there are home remedies for yeast infections that do not include the mass consumption of cranberry juice? Whether you’re a first-time yeast infection sufferer or the lucky recipient of annual yeast infections, this list is a must-have. Excellent home remedies for yeast infection are well within your reach, and you might even have some of them in your cupboard already! Sit back, do your best to relax, and skim through these easy, quick, affordable, and effective ten best home remedies for yeast infections, and get ready to feel better today!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What Is a Yeast Infection?
While yeast infections can be effectively dealt with by taking antifungal drugs, there are a plethora of home remedies that are more affordable and oftentimes easier than medications, especially for individuals who have frequent yeast infections.
Vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overabundance of fungus in the vagina. Distressing as it may sound, vaginas naturally house this fungus (candida albicans) and in normal amounts the fungus is actually beneficial to vaginal health and happiness. But when there is more fungus than needed, things can get uncomfortable. Candida albicans is the usual target, but a yeast infection can also be the unpleasant effect of too much of a variety of fungi, including candida glabrata, candida parapsilosis, or candida krusei.
2. What Are the Symptoms?
When there is too much fungus, the overgrowth causes a variety of consequences: irritation, itching, discharge, and inflammation are the most common symptoms of yeast infections in the genital area.
3. Is It Serious?
Generally, yeast infections are not serious in terms of overall health (which isn’t to say they’re not uncomfortable!). However, more complicated and thus more serious yeast infections are possible: if you develop sores or extensive redness, have more than four infections per year, or have other medical conditions such as HIV or diabetes, you may be at a higher risk for a more complicated infection.
4. Do Home Remedies Really Work?
Home remedies for yeast infections work for some people. When trying a home remedy, if no results or improvement can be seen after a week, it’s time to go to the doctor. If the attempted home remedy exacerbates the irritation or causes other unpleasantness, definitely go to the doctor. The effectiveness of home remedies for yeast infections depends on the individual, the severity of the infection, and the overall treatment quality.
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Plain Greek yogurt has been proven to be one of the most effective home remedies for yeast infection. A study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy supported the claim that introduction of ingredients in Greek yogurt (lactobacillus) in individuals with yeast infections limited the growth of the offending fungus. This is great news!
When using Greek yogurt as a home remedy for yeast infection, make sure the Greek yogurt is plain and does not contain added sugars. These sugars can promote fungal growth, which is the opposite of what you want to do!
Greek yogurt is rated as a “possibly effective” home remedy by the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.
Methods of Use:
· Include Greek yogurt in your daily diet
· Topical application of Greek yogurt to the vulva
· Insert Greek yogurt into the vagina (by using fingers or a tampon applicator)
Much like the ingredients of Greek yogurt, tea tree oil has been scientifically determined to kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses, leading to its effective use as a home remedy for a yeast infection. A 2015 study showed tea tree oil effectiveness as compared to an aloe vera gel and a placebo.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can be used in a variety of ways in the home and is available from many retailers. However, it is also a very potent essential oil and requires dilution before use. It can also be irritating to the skin and cause a variety of allergic reactions, so test yourself (by putting a drop of tea tree oil on the skin and waiting 12-24 hours to verify there is no negative reaction) before using. Do not consume tea tree oil!
Methods of Use
Mix 3-5 drops of tea tree oil with 1 ounce of warmed coconut oil, soak a tampon in the mixture, and insert
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Much like the probiotics in Greek yogurt, probiotic supplements support the growth of healthy fungus and fungal balance. Many probiotic supplements are specifically targeted to women.
A 2012 study reported that women who used probiotic supplements as vaginal suppositories had an 87% improvement rate. Probiotic supplements are not only beneficial home remedies for yeast infection, they also have long-term positive effects on the balance of fungus and bacteria in the vagina.
Methods of Use
· Take probiotic supplements orally
· Insert a probiotic supplement in the vagina (make sure the pill is designed for this use)
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Boric acid is a natural antiseptic that can be effective in controlling and curing yeast infections, but it is toxic in high quantities. If using boric acid to treat a yeast infection, do not use it on broken skin or if you are pregnant, and do not take it orally.
Because boric acid is so strong, it can be an effective home remedy for yeast infections that are unresponsive to other home remedies. A 2001 study found that yeast infections were successfully treated with boric acid in 70% of women whose infections had not responded to other treatments, while an early study from 1981 showed a 92% success rate with boric acid suppositories.
Methods of Use
· Insert vaginal boric acid capsules into the vagina
· Mix boric acid with water and apply externally (to the vulva)
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Although the debate rages about whether garlic is an effective home remedy for a yeast infection, lab studies have determined that garlic is an effective killer of the candida fungus.
There is little evidence to support the claim that eating more garlic will treat yeast infections; however, some women have found success by inserting garlic into their vaginas to treat yeast infections. As garlic can be an irritant to sensitive skin, do not use the insertion method if you have sensitive skin.
Methods of Use
· Eat more garlic
· Thread garlic with a string and insert in vagina
Coconut oil has been all the rage for the last couple of years in cooking, but it is also one of the few home remedies for yeast infections with substantial scientific support. A study in 2016 demonstrated that coconut oil is significantly effective at destroying the fungus that causes yeast infections. And, because of its popularity, it is available for purchase at a variety of retailers and grocery stores.
Make sure that if you are buying coconut oil for use as a home remedy you buy the pure, organic version, and ensure that the coconut oil you purchase isn’t specifically for cooking (it may have other additives).
Methods of Use
· Apply directly to vulva
· Insert into vagina (using fingers or tampon applicator)
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Oil of oregano (a different type of oregano than what is used for cooking) is made from origanum vulgare, which has been shown to contain powerful antifungals that target yeast infection-creating fungi. Just like tea tree oil, oil of oregano needs to be mixed with a carrier (like coconut oil) before use. Also, it is a good idea to test your body’s reactions to oil of oregano before use on the genital area by sprinkling a drop or two on the skin and watching for a reaction.
Oil of oregano is a natural blood thinner, so if you are being treated with blood thinners or have blood clotting issues, do not use oil of oregano. Avoid applying oil of oregano directly around the vagina, and do not take oil of oregano orally.
Methods of Use
· Mix 3-5 drops of oil of oregano with one ounce of warmed coconut oil; soak a tampon in the mixture and insert
· Insert oil of oregano capsule into the vagina
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Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for a yeast infection. While there are no scientific studies to support the theory that it prevents or treats yeast infections, many people anecdotally find it effective. The acidity in apple cider vinegar is purported to kill the overabundance of fungus in the vagina, causing an end to the yeast infection.
Using apple cider vinegar to treat your yeast infection does not mean using it to douche; douching has been shown to increase the likelihood of yeast infections.
Methods of Use
Add one-half cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes
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Hydrogen peroxide is more commonly known as a hair treatment product than one of the home remedies for yeast infections, but it is an effective yeast and bacteria killer. However, not every type of fungus is affected by hydrogen peroxide, so if you try it and it is not effective after five days, try an alternate treatment or take a trip to the doctor.
Methods of Use
Dilute with water and apply to affected external areas
Price: A 16 ounce bottle of hydrogen peroxide can be purchased on Amazon for about $12
Vitamin C is both a major component in a healthy body, which can be used to re-balance the yeast in the vagina, and is also an antimicrobial agent used to kill the candida fungus. Whether it is ingested or externally applied, vitamin C can be one of the best home remedies for yeast infection.
Vitamin C suppositories can cause irritation to sensitive skin, so avoid this treatment if your skin is sensitive.
Methods of Use
· Add more Vitamin C to your diet
· Insert Vitamin C suppositories into your vagina
· Take Vitamin C supplement tablets
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The Verdict on Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
No matter the time, place, or frequency, yeast infections are terrible. If any of these home remedies for yeast infections are effective in your body, use them! Some of the best in terms of scientifically proven effectiveness are coconut oil and tea tree oil, but if apple cider vinegar or vitamin C works for you, use them! As with all medical conditions, if you have frequent yeast infections, a yeast infection that lasts over a week despite treatment (with home remedies or over-the-counter medications) or want to verify that you are actually dealing with a yeast infection, consult a doctor.
Most women will experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, and the best way to treat a yeast infection is to prevent it. Prevention strategies include wearing cotton underwear, removing wet or damp clothing as soon as possible, avoiding prolonged antibiotic usage and douches, and cutting back on the amount of refined sugar in your diet. Even if this yeast infection is not your last, hopefully with this list of home remedies for yeast infection, your next yeast infection will be much less painful!