Treating a Yeast Infection Naturally
I recently had to go on antibiotics (don’t even get me started on how annoyed I was that I had to go on them). Once the antibiotics had done their job (which involved killing the bad bacteria… but also killing the good bacteria), both my daughter and I (she was still nursing at the time and so the antibiotics messed up her system too) developed yeast infections. Not wanting to use the standard over-the-counter creams or prescription pills, I decided to research natural remedies for yeast infections.
The good news is that there are a quite a few reliable natural remedies for yeast infections! Better yet, you probably have every single remedy in your home already so there is no need to run to the store for relief!
Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections
Probiotics – Odds are that you developed a yeast infection due to a lack of probiotics (the good bacteria) in your body. Yeast infections are generally due to a yeast overgrowth. Probiotics can help keep yeast under control. Therefore it’s a good idea to take probiotics (whether in capsule form or through lots of fermented foods) before, during, and after taking antibiotics. Not to mention probiotics are a good thing to take no matter what.
Garlic – Insert one clove of garlic (either by itself or you can thread a string through for the extra reassurance of removal) Note: people swear by this one however, garlic can burn a bit so consider yourself warned.
Yogurt/kefir – Along the same lines as the probiotics (because yogurt contains probiotics), plain, unsweetened yogurt can be used as a topical remedy. There are two yogurt methods, 1) simply slather on and in like any yeast infection cream or 2) soak a tampon in the yogurt/kefir and insert. Either method is likely to be messy.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is amazing for it’s antibacterial properties! I would recommend using a carrier oil (coconut oil is my preference as it also is antibacterial.) Mix 4-5 drops of Tea Tree Oil in ¼ cup of oil. Apply part of this mixture (this is a large amount worth at least a few days) as you would any other cream. I did this at night before bed and my yeast infection was gone in just a few days. There are a few benefits to this method: 1) Tea Tree Oil provides instant relief from itching and burning 2) you can use Tea Tree Oil mixed in coconut oil as a diaper cream which is safe for cloth diapers and will clear up a babies yeast infection, although you will still want to strip your cloth diapers.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Drink it and/or take a bath with it. Seems natural that vinegar would be on this list, there’s hardly anything that vinegar can’t do
Skip the sugar – Sugar feeds yeast. Needless to say, it’s best to lay off the sugar at least during a yeast infection. Sometimes just cutting out sugar itself will help, sometimes you need to go all the way and remove all sugar containing foods and the refined grains that convert to sugar. I do think this method is beneficial, but I also think you need a bit of topical help to really get rid of a yeast infection.
I have only used the Tea Tree Oil method so far (outside of including yogurt in my smoothies) so I cannot personally vouch for the other remedies, however I have heard many others swear by them.
I also want to mention that all these methods should be fine to use while pregnant. Of course, since they are home remedies, there really hasn’t been any testing done but the remedies in and of themselves are harmless.
Brittany lives in Seattle with her husband and three children (a 5 year old, a 4 year old, and a 1 year old). She enjoys researching everything that involves living naturally and writes about her increasingly crunchy life at The Pistachio Project. When she is not chasing the kids around, she enjoys sewing, photography and baking.