We all have yeasts, the micro-organisms, present in our bodies but in smaller amounts. Sometimes, due to certain medical conditions and even due to certain medicines like antibiotics, the yeast in our body grow to such a level that it leads to infection, mostly in warm and moist body areas. This is known as Yeast Infection whose medical name is Candidiasis. By now you know that it results from the overgrowth of a type of yeast. This yeast is known as Candida (Candida albicans.) So, our mouths, throat, skin under arms, skin folds like those under breasts or inside elbow or knee area and more commonly genital areas can easily get yeast infection. They all are, however, differentiated with individual names. For example, it is called Thrush when we get it in mouth or throat. When it affects genital area, it is called Yeast Infection. Babies get Diaper Rash on their bottoms, which is nothing but this yeast infection. And when this infection affects our bloodstream, it is called Invasive Candidiasis or Candidemia. Because we are talking about yeast infection, we’ll here concentrate on the home remedies for this infection which is caused in genital areas.
Vaginal and Penile Yeast Infection
Genital yeast infection is more common in women. Men too suffer from penile yeast infection but not as often as women do. When there is extreme itching in the vaginal area accompanied with soreness and redness there, a woman should get alerted as she might have caught vaginal yeast infection. If so, she might also experience white clumpy vaginal discharge along with pain during intercourse and urination.
As far as men are concerned, yeast infection is more likely in those who are not circumcised. They may have red rashes on their penis under the foreskin along with itching or burning sensation on the tip of the penis. Whether men or women, it is essential to cure yeast infection either through home remedies or through medicines because when one gets it, he or she may pass it on to his or her sexual partner.
Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
When the level of acid responsible for keeping yeast in check, decreases, you might get a vaginal yeast infection. There are certain conditions when this level of acid goes down more often like pregnancy, menstruation, diabetes and also when you are regularly taking oral contraceptive pills. Even douching or irritation due to inadequate vaginal lubrication may lead to yeast infection. Apart from maintaining basic hygiene and keeping your genital area clean and dry, you may use the below home remedies for yeast infection to get relief from pain, itching and also to cure your infection.
1. Yogurt Remedy for Yeast Infection
Yogurt, not the sweetened one but plain yogurt with active cultures, can not only soothe your itching and burning but can also cure your infection. The friendly bacteria in yogurt inhibit the growth of yeast.
Yogurt has Lactobacillus acidophilus which promotes colonization of friendly bacteria in the rectum and vagina along with your whole internal system.
- Eat plain yogurt daily.
- You can also apply yogurt locally in and around your vagina.
- Get a cotton ball
- Soak this in yogurt.
- Now apply this yogurt all over your infected area.
- Leave for 20-30 minutes
- Wash off with water. Don’t forget to pat dry.
- You may also drink a glass of buttermilk twice a day if you do not like to have yogurt, Buttermilk has the same effect as yogurt has on your yeast infection.
2. Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection
Many studies worldwide have established that the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil can, in fact, kill candida yeast. William Crook, M.D. Who has written “The Yeast Connection,” says that many physicians have used caprylic acid with success for yeast infections. This acid is especially beneficial for the patients who report adverse reactions to antifungal drugs. This caprylic acid, along with two more medium chain fatty acids, is found in coconut oil and is capable of killing Candida albicans. Thus, you can take advantage of the natural antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil to treat your vaginal infection.
How does Coconut Oil Work Against Yeast Infection
Let’s know how does the medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil help kill candida yeast and cure yeast infection.
A. Caprylic acid in coconut oil kills off yeast colonies
Caprylic acid, also present in coconut oil, kills off yeast colonies by breaking down cell membrane of the yeast they come in contact with. Thus it contains the growth and replication of yeast that causes vaginal infection. As told above too, caprylic acid is also used in conventional treatments by doctors and thus you can have trust in coconut oil and its caprylic acid to treat yeast infection.
B. Lauric acid in coconut oil strengthens the immune system to prevent yeast infection
Coconut oil, especially the virgin coconut oil has large amounts of lauric acid, a nutrient that helps strengthen your immune system so that your body not only can fight against the yeast fungus but also prevents its future occurrence. Did you know that this lauric acid is also present in a mother’s breast milk! Naturally, one cannot doubt the capability of coconut oil in strengthening immune system then.
C. Coconut oil is a sugar substitute that kills off fungi due to starvation
This is not a hidden fact that fungi and yeast like microbes feed on sugar. And that’s why whenever you read about remedies for yeast infection, you find a causation against having sugary foods. Coconut oil has a naturally sweet flavor and when you have it internally, it works as a sugar substitute. When there is no actual sugar, yeast would naturally starve to death. Also when you have coconut oil, it lessens your sugar cravings by boosting your energy. This minimizes your need to have sweets and carbs and you take a step forward towards killing off the yeast present in your system.
D. All medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil kill yeast and similar microbes
Coconut oil is made up of many medium chain fatty acids apart from lauric and caprylic acid. These fatty acids make coconut oil an excellent antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal agent. Now some of these acids are more effective against a type of organism and some others are effective against other microbes. All of these acids in a combined form protect you against dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) in your body. And this is the reason why you will get relief from all the problems caused by yeast infection including fatigue, joint pain, irritability and frequent bladder infections.
E. Coconut oil causes die-off to cure yeast infection
Die-off is a condition similar to flu-like symptoms. People with candida infection and those who do detoxification of their body, are familiar with this term. When you start to detoxify, many fungal organisms inside your body begin to die. Toxins released from these dying fungal organisms enter into your bloodstream. This makes you rather uncomfortable. Many people think that their condition is worsening and thus they stop taking anti-fungal medicine or, in this case, coconut oil which they think is causing such discomfort. But, in fact, this is a sign that coconut oil is working towards eliminating the microbes causing yeast infection. Now, some people experience intense symptoms of ‘die-off’ where as many others feel only a minor discomfort. Die-off is there only for a few days. You can effectively manage the uncomfortable symptoms by increasing intake of fluids and having some rest for the first few days. If, however, the symptoms are so intense that you cannot handle them, you should see your doctor.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection
1st Method to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection- Topical Application
- Coconut oil
- Cotton ball
- Take a cotton ball and soak it in coconut oil.
- If it’s winter time, you may need to heat the oil a little as coconut oil becomes solid in low temperatures. However, the oil melts without trouble when you take it in your hands, of course, due to your body heat. (so, you may well apply the oil with your clean fingers too).
- Wipe gentle the infected area with the cotton soaked in coconut oil.
- Do this twice or thrice a day.
- If you feel sticky, wipe the oil dry with a soft cloth after about 20-30 minutes.
2nd Method to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection- Take Internally with Diet
- Virgin coconut oil, preferably organic- 3-5 tbsp
- Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with your meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- This makes you take 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a day which is enough to counter yeast infection in normal conditions.
- If you have been frequently or continuously suffering from candidiasis for a long time or if your infection is severe, you may have a little more than 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or take 1 tbsp five times a day. In severe conditions however it is always recommended to consult a doctor.
- If you are not in a habit of having coconut oil, start with small amounts like 1 tsp on the first day, 2 tsp on the second day and so on till you make it 3-5 tablespoons each day.
- If you can’t have it, add coconut oil to your toasts, salads, dips, smoothies, health drinks etc.
3rd Method to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection- Coconut Oil Douche
- Coconut oil- 3-4 tbsp
- Warm water- 8 cups
- Add coconut oil to the warm water.
- Mix well and use for a douche.
4th Method to Use Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection- Detoxification
Coconut oil detox programmes have gone rather popular due to their effective results in curing yeast infection. These are intense detoxification programmes that continue for seven days and may give excellent results but one should only do it under expert guidance. If you intend to do this detox with coconut oil, find an experienced naturopathic physician or a certified nutritionist who will guide you. Here is a brief description of how this coconut oil detoxification is done by most of the naturopathic doctors.
- Usually, such detox programme goes on for seven days. You have to fast for these seven days.
- You only have coconut oil throughout the day.
- Sometimes, plain yogurt (unsweetened, unflavored) is also given to support your gut.
- Sugarless lemon juice is also included sometimes that helps in further cleansing of your system.
- Such detoxification with coconut oil kills off all microorganisms that cause yeast infection and other health issues. However, the beneficial bacteria etc. don’t get killed and this is the miracle of coconut oil!
Warning: Coconut oil detoxification for yeast infection should be done under expert naturopathic doctor’s guidance only. Do not attempt to do this on your own.
Whenever you use coconut oil internally or for therapeutic purpose, buy coconut oil that belongs to organic extra virgin food grade variety. Highly processed coconut oils do not give you the desired benefits. High-quality coconut oil is snow white in color when solid. It becomes clear like water once it assumes the liquid state. Coconut oil with shades of yellow or gray is a low-quality product. Therefore, look for pure colorless coconut oil if you really want it to cure your yeast infection.
3. Garlic Remedy for Yeast Infection
Garlic, one of the super foods of our times, can also come to your rescue when it comes to killing the yeasts causing infection. How does garlic help in yeast infection? Well, there are two components of garlic that give it anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties- Allicin and Ajoene. A whole clove of garlic, however, do not contain allicin. Allicin is created only when one of the other components of garlic, alliin, gets combined with the enzyme alliinase, also present in garlic. And how does this happen? Simply by crushing the garlic clove.
A word of caution: Garlic, however, may affect the working of a certain medication that you are taking. Also, using garlic along with oral contraceptive may lower the effectiveness of these birth control pills. As per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, some birth control pills have the hormone estrogen, which a woman’s body naturally breaks down. Taking garlic may increase the rate at which the hormone estrogen breaks down. Many people also advise against taking garlic as a remedy for yeast infection because it can burn the mucous membrane of vagina leaving sores that are tough to heal properly. If your skin is sensitive and you can cure your infection with other remedies, it’s better not to use garlic in vagina even if many women have experienced positive results. However, you can use garlic paste for other non-vaginal yeast infection.
4. Grapefruit Seed Extract for Yeast Infection
Many natural health practitioners recommend grapefruit seed extract to cure yeast infection including that in a vagina. It has natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties that kill the growing yeast along with a wide variety of other pathogens. However, it has to be accompanied with a cleansing diet – a diet which is low in sugar, starches, fermented foods, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and high in fiber, low starch vegetables, proteins, complex carbohydrates and fruits. If you are ready, you can make a grapefruit seed extract rinse to cure a vaginal infection.
- Add 5-10 drops of grapefruit seed extract to 2 cups of clean water.
- Shake this water well so that the extract gets totally dissolved in it. You may use a closed jar for the purpose.
- Wash your infected vaginal area with this water. You may also soak a cotton ball in the water and apply it on the infected area.
- Do it every day for three days.
A word of caution: If you feel any kind of irritation after using this mixture, you should discontinue its use. Also if you are pregnant or menstruating, avoid using this. Ask your physician before using any home remedy.
5. Essential Oils for Yeast Infection Remedy
There are many essential oils that have strong anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. For example, cinnamon oil in which yeast cannot survive. Tea tree oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, all of them have such properties that can cure your infection. Here is a recipe to make a concoction using such essential oils along with a carrier oil so that you can get immediate relief from your infection.
- Grapeseed oil (carrier oil)- 2 tbsp
- Tea tree oil- 2-3 drops
- Cinnamon oil- 2-3 drops
- Oregano oil- 2-3 drops
- Peppermint oil- 2-3 drops
- Lemon oil- 2-3 drops
- Mix all the oils.
- Store in a bottle.
- Using a dropper or soaked cotton ball, apply this oil on the infected area.
- Let it sit there for few minutes.
- Wipe off with a clean soft cloth.
- Do this twice a day.
Natural Remedies for Penile Yeast Infection
Male yeast infection, in its basic form, is not different from vaginal infection as it is also a result of uncontrolled growth of yeast. So, men may also apply the following to the infected area to get rid of yeast infection.
- Yogurt- Apply it or eat it daily.
- Coconut oil- Apply coconut oil on the affected area.
- Tea tree oil- mix two drops of tea tree oil with 1 tsp of almond oil or olive oil and apply on affected area.
- Cranberry juice- Have cranberry juice twice a day to restore good acidophilus bacteria level.
- Apple cider vinegar- Don’t apply it directly on your genitals. Add a half cup to 1 cup of ACV in your bathtub and sit in it for few minutes. You may also dilute ¼ tsp of ACV in 2 cups of water and wash the affected area.
- Oregano Oil– Carvacrol, the active ingredient of this oil is beneficial in treating infection but always dilute it before applying. Mix two drops of oregano oil with a tbsp of olive oil, coconut oil or water and then apply to the affected area.
- Harad herb– Siddha medicine talks about harad (Terminalia chebula) remedy for male candidiasis problem.
- Mix 1 tsp of dried harad powder into a glass of water.
- Drink it before going to bed at night.
- Continue this for at least 3 days to get rid of itching and irritation due to yeast infection.
- It is, however, a mild laxative so do not have it in greater amounts.
- Don’t give it to kids.