Candida is a type of fungus or yeast that normally lives on the skin and in the mouth, throat and genitals. The body’s healthy microbial flora inhibits abnormal growth of the Candida yeast. However, in certain circumstances, the Candida yeasts start multiplying abnormally, leading to yeast infection. Yeast infection can affect the skin, mouth, throat or the genitals. Home remedies are often effective in treating mild to moderate yeast infections.
Given below are some time-tested home remedies for alleviating yeast infections.
Yogurt is a natural source of the good bacteria that help in preserving the body’s healthy microbial balance. As yeast infection is frequently attributed to destruction of the body’s microbial balance, by introducing the good Lactobacillus bacteria in the areas of the body affected by yeast infection, yogurt helps in treating yeast infection naturally.
It is always advisable to use home-made yogurt for treating health disorders. If you are using a commercial product, use unsweetened plain yogurt.
How to Use
For treating skin fungal infections, apply yogurt on the affected area. When used for treating thrush or yeast infection of the mouth, mix a teaspoon of yogurt with a glass of water and rinse the mouth with the yogurt drink. The yogurt drink can also be used as a douche for treating genital yeast infection. Symptoms of yeast infection subside when this home remedy is used daily, at least twice a day.
Vinegar is a popular antimicrobial agent. Acetic acid present in vinegar helps in killing the Candida yeast. Moreover, applying vinegar to the affected areas creates a mild acidic environment, which is not conducive for yeast growth.
Although all types of vinegar can be used for treating yeast infections, apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar are commonly used for treatment. As acetic acid may cause irritation, do not apply vinegar directly to the infected area. Before application, dilute it with equal amount of lukewarm water.
How to Use
Prepare a sitz bath by adding generous amount of vinegar to a bathtub half filled with warm water. Sit in the bath for about 30 minutes. Take the sitz bath at least once a day to treat vaginal yeast infection. You can also use diluted vinegar as mouthwash for treating oral yeast infection.
This popular culinary ingredient is widely used as a home remedy for yeast infection. Garlic contains a powerful antifungal component called ajoene. It works by destroying yeasts that cause skin, oral and vaginal infections.
You will need a clove of fresh garlic or a small amount of garlic oil. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can also use garlic capsule or tablet that is readily available in any chemist’s store. You may also need clean gauze to hold the garlic in place.
How to Use
For treating yeast infection, apply garlic oil or fresh garlic paste to the affected area. Wrap the area with clean gauze. In addition to topical application, you can also take a fresh clove of garlic daily as a natural antifungal medication.
Coconut oil contains three powerful antifungal substances, namely lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. By destroying the walls of the Candida yeast cells, they help in suppressing yeast growth. Moreover, Candida yeasts cannot develop resistance against the antifungal compounds present in coconut oil. Hence, coconut oil is effective in preventing recurrent yeast infections.
For treating yeast infection, you will need one to two tablespoons of coconut oil used for cooking, preferably virgin coconut oil.
How to Use
Apply coconut oil to the infected area, two to three times daily. For treating vaginal infection, soak a tampon in coconut oil and wear it for several hours. You can also include coconut oil in your diet by using it as salad dressing or for cooking. Regular intake of one to two tablespoons of coconut oil helps in strengthening the natural defense mechanism of the body against yeast infections.
Boric acid powder is easily available in pharmacy stores. The antifungal property of boric acid helps in treating fungal infections. The effectiveness of boric acid suppositories in killing Candida yeasts is supported by several clinical trials. However, boric acid should not be taken internally. It is only recommended for external application.
For treating yeast infection, prepare a solution by diluting boric acid powder with equal amount of water.
How to Use
Apply diluted boric acid to the infected areas on the skin. Leave it for a few minutes and then rinse the area with water. For treating vaginal yeast infection, soak a tampon with diluted boric acid and wear it for a few hours. Do not use boric acid for more than two weeks.
Mild yeast infections can be treated with the help of cranberry juice. The acidic ingredients in cranberry, by creating an acidic environment in the infected area, prevent the Candida yeasts from growing and multiplying.
For suppressing yeast growth, you will need unsweetened cranberry juice. If you cannot find cranberry juice, use cranberry tablet or supplement, which can be found in any food or pharmacy store.
How to Use
Cranberry juice can be taken internally and also applied topically. To treat vaginal yeast infection, drink 8 ounces or a glass of cranberry juice daily. If you cannot stand the sour taste, take a cranberry tablet daily. The acidic components in cranberry, when excreted through urine, create an acidic environment in the vagina that helps in killing the Candida yeasts present in the vagina.
Hydrogen peroxide is a common antimicrobial substance found in households. 3% hydrogen peroxide, readily available in any pharmacy store, can effectively kill Candida yeasts. In a healthy person, the bacteria present in the vagina produces hydrogen peroxide that helps in preventing Candida infection naturally.
For treating yeast infection, you will need 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. For treating oral yeast infection, in addition to diluted hydrogen peroxide, you need baking soda.
How to Use
For douching, add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to a cup of water and wash the vagina with the solution once daily. If you are suffering from thrush, rinse your mouth with the diluted hydrogen peroxide solution or blend diluted hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and brush your teeth with this antifungal toothpaste.