A yeast infection, also known as candida, or sometimes vaginal thrush, is caused by microscopic fungi called Candida Albicans, which exist naturally within the body, only causing infection when the immune system is disrupted.
Candida most often affects the vaginal area—especially in post-menopausal women whose estrogen levels have declined—but it is not the same as bacterial vaginosis.
The infection can also appear around dentures, under the breasts, on the lower abdomen, in nail beds, and beneath skin folds. Most people—men and women—suffer from some form of candida at least once in their lives, and you’re about to learn how to cure it yourself using natural, inexpensive home remedies for vaginal yeast infections.
Vaginal Yeast Infection Symptoms
Below are the most common signs of a yeast infection to help you diagnose if you really have an infection or not. If your symptoms become serious, consult a doctor.
- Vaginal pain and soreness
- Redness and swelling of the vulva
- Burning sensation during intercourse or while urinating
- Vaginal itching and irritation
- Thick, white, odorless vaginal discharge with cottage cheese consistency
Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
All of the natural remedies for yeast infections below are safe for everyone, including pregnant women. Test each one to find out how your body will react before using it continuously.
Cranberries, which are also used to treat urinary tract and bladder infections, are antibacterial and anti fungal. They kill the bacteria and fungi that cause candida infections. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets(2 to 3 times a day) several times a day helps cure a yeast infection at home fast. Click here for more information on how to cure yeast infections with cranberry juice.
Garlic has antifungal, antibacterial, and antibiotic properties which can be super helpful as a natural yeast infection treatment. The simplest way to use it is to cook it into your meals. You can also insert half a clove of garlic directly into the vagina and leave it overnight. For a topical treatment, try garlic paste or a mixture of garlic oil, vitamin E, and coconut oil. You can also swallow garlic tablets or insert them directly into the vagina.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mix one tablespoon into a cup of warm water and use it as a douche once or twice a day. If it causes irritation, stop using it. Alternatively, dilute tea tree oil with water or one teaspoon olive oil or almond oil, and rub it into the affected area. Also try soaking a tampon with diluted tea tree oil, inserting it, and leaving it for 2-3 hours twice a day. If you’re pregnant, consult a doctor before using this remedy. Click here for more information on how to use tea tree oil for yeast infections.
4. Coconut Oil
Apply coconut oil or a mix of equal parts coconut oil and cinnamon oil directly to the affected area. Read more about how coconut oil treats yeast infections.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar balances the vagina’s pH level, and is one of the more commonly used remedies for vaginal itching. Add two cups of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. But make sure to dry yourself thoroughly afterward. You will see results after two or three soaks. Read more about how apple cider vinegar treats yeast infections.
- Basil: Boil 3 ½ cups water, remove from heat, add 1 ¼ tsp ground basil, cover, and steep it for 30 minutes. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, gargle it.
- Thyme: Add 1 teaspoon dried thyme to 1 cup boiling water, steep a few minutes, and drink. Repeat up to 4 times daily.
- Rosemary: Make rosemary tea and use as a douche or apply directly to affected area.
Probiotics, are good bacteria that help suppress the growth of yeast. While taking antibiotics or over the counter medicines may cure your yeast infection, they may also kill the friendly bacteria your immune system needs to stay healthy and prevent future infections. Make sure to eat plenty of foods that contain probiotics. Find out the best probiotics for treating recurrent yeast infections.
Yogurt contains a bacterium called lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps control the growth of yeast and prevent future infections. It also helps relieve itching and irritation. Apply plain, unsweetened yogurt to the affected area and leave it for an hour. You can also dip a tampon in yogurt, insert it, and leave it in for two hours twice daily. Also, add yogurt to your regular diet. Read more about how yogurt treats yeast infections.
Water is the most powerful remedy for every type of ailment. Drink at least 8 to 10 oz of pure water daily to flush out the sugar that feeds the infection.
10. Oil of Oregano
Oregano contains carvacrol and has anti-fungal and anti-candida components that strengthen your immune system and fight the organisms that cause yeast infections. Dilute oregano oil with olive oil and apply it to the affected area, or take oregano capsules 1-2 times daily. Click here to learn ways on how to use oregano oil to treat yeast infections.
11. Olive Leaf
Extract of olive leaf contains antiviral, antioxidant, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to restore the body’s good bacteria. To make it, follow these steps:
- Finely chop 2-3 fresh olive leaves and put them in a jar that has a lid.
- Add vodka until all the leaves are completely covered.
- Put on the lid and store in a dark place for 4 weeks.
- Strain the solution into another jar.
- Apply directly to the affected area 3 times a day.
Calendula has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that suppress the growth of yeast. Crush a few fresh leaves to make a paste. Apply directly to affected skin 2-3 times a day. Calendula is also available in capsule and tincture form. If you’re pregnant, consult a doctor before using it.
13. Gentian Violet
Gentian violet can be found in most pharmacies. Use a cotton swab to coat the vaginal walls with it. Repeat this process until your infection subsides, but be careful, as it will stain clothing.
14. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can also prevent yeast infections. Avoid dairy products, sugar, white flour, vinegar, and alcohol. Make sure to get vitamins and supplements that will boost your immune system, like grapefruit extract, golden-seal, vitamin C, zinc, and beta carotene.
15. Pau d’Arco
This South American herb is available in liquid form or as a tincture you can take orally or apply topically. Take a quarter teaspoon per day internally, more if you apply it topically. Take it at the first sign of symptoms to prevent a full-blown yeast infection.
16. Borax 6X
Borax 6X prevents yeast from growing out of control. It comes in the form of vaginal capsules or little pellets you put under your tongue. You can also dilute Boric Acid with water, apply it to the affected area, and leave it on for few minutes. Wash it off with plain water. You can also fill size O gelatin capsules with boric acid and use them as suppositories once a day for a week. If you’re pregnant, don’t use this method.
17. Wear Dry, Loose Clothing
Yeast grows in warm, moist conditions, so keep your vaginal area dry and wear cotton underwear and loose pants. Remove wet swimwear as soon as possible after swimming for temporary relief for yeast infection.
18. Good Hygiene
Good hygiene plays a major role in curing and preventing yeast infections.
- Make sure to regularly wash away excretions that result from yeast infections in order to prevent further irritation. This will keep the infection from worsening while you’re waiting for medications to work.
- Yeast infections can be transferred to your partner during sex, or through shared baths or towels.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom and before eating, and use hand sanitizers.
- Wash clothes in hot water to kill bacteria that may cause infections. You can also add a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle.
19. Slippery Elm Powder and Aloe Vera
Add water to slippery elm powder to make a paste, or soak a cotton pad in Aloe Vera Juice, and apply directly to affected areas. These methods relieve itching but do not kill bacteria.
20. Over-the-Counter Solutions
If the above methods don’t cure your yeast infection, if your infection comes back, or if you don’t have the patience to stick out a natural regimen, ask a doctor about how to get rid of a yeast infection in 24 hours using OTC medications.
These may relieve yeast infections faster, but it’s important to make sure you’re aware of possible side effects. Try creams like Miconazole (Monistat) and clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin), or oral treatments like Diflucan and fluconazole, and make sure to complete the full course of treatment.
Tips for Preventing Yeast Infections
When used in conjunction with one of the above vaginal yeast infection home treatments, the simple tips listed below are very effective for preventing yeast infections.
- Avoid soaps that contain alcohol and chemicals that may cause irritation or alter the pH balance of the vagina.
- Routine douching increases the risk of infection.
- Use condoms during sex to prevent transmission of a yeast infection.
- Many studies have shown that oral contraceptives increase glycogen in the vagina, which encourages the rapid growth of yeast. Ask a doctor about alternative birth control methods.
- People with compromised immune systems, uncontrolled diabetes, or increased estrogen levels run a higher risk of developing yeast infections. Sex with an infected individual and frequent use of antibiotics also cause yeast infections.
- Avoid hot tubs, extremely hot baths, feminine sprays, deodorant tampons, and bubble bath solutions with chemicals.
- Check your pH levels with an over the counter test. A vaginal pH lower than 4 could indicate a yeast infection.
- Don’t use baking soda to relieve itching. It raises the pH, creating an environment that promotes the growth of yeast.
- Avoid stress or reduce it with meditation, yoga and other techniques.
Share Your Thoughts on These Yeast Infection Home Remedies
Have you tried any of these home remedies for yeast infections? Do you know of any others we haven’t mentioned? Share your experience with us in the comments below!