Yeast infections are a common problem that affects many women. While there are over-the-counter treatments available, some people prefer to use natural remedies to treat their yeast infections.
Another way to prevent or reduce infections is paying attention to your diet. We will also look at foods to eat or avoid to reduce the risk of yeast infections.
Home remedies for yeast infection
Here are five home remedies for yeast infections that have been proven to be effective:
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help to balance the pH of the vagina and prevent the overgrowth of yeast.
Eating yoghurt regularly can help to prevent yeast infections. Another route that may be effective is applying plain, unsweetened yoghurt to the affected areas. These include the vulva and labia, but not within the vaginal canal. Doing so may also provide relief from itching and burning.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal agent that can be effective against yeast infections. The recommended way to use this is by diluting a few drops of tea tree oil in carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil.
You can apply this to the affected area several times per day, but again, avoid inserting products directly inside the vagina.
Garlic has antifungal properties that can help to kill off the yeast. You can eat garlic or take garlic supplements.
Some natural practitioners suggest crushing a few cloves of garlic and apply the paste to the affected area. Others recommend applying a clove directly into the vagina. The latter requires careful hygiene and could create more problems if done incorrectly.
Some side effects that may follow after garlic application to the surface of your vulva (or in the vagina) are itching, vaginal discharge, hives, nausea or vomiting and headache.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic and can help to restore the natural pH balance of the vagina.
Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bathwater and soak in it for 20-30 minutes, or dilute it with water and use it to rinse the affected area.
Boric acid is a mild antiseptic that can be effective against recurring yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Insert a boric acid suppository into the vagina at bedtime for several nights in a row. If you do not know how to use boric acid, be sure to follow the instructions carefully or speak to you doctor.
Boric acid can be toxic if used improperly (for instance, if taken by mouth).
Diet recommendations for treating yeast
Your diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body, including your vaginal health.
Here are some dietary changes you can make to help prevent yeast infections naturally:
Avoid sugary foods and drinks
Yeast feeds on sugar, so reducing your intake of sugary foods and drinks can help to prevent yeast infections.
This includes foods like candy, desserts, and sweetened drinks like soda and juice.
Increase your intake of probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to balance the pH of the vagina and prevent the overgrowth of yeast.
You can find probiotics in fermented foods like yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Eat more fibre
Eating a diet that’s high in fibre can help to reduce your risk of yeast infections.
This is because fibre helps to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut, which can help to prevent the overgrowth of yeast.
Good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important for overall health, including vaginal health.
Drinking plenty of water can help to flush out toxins and bacteria from the body, which can help to prevent yeast infections.
Limit your intake of alcohol
Alcohol can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body, which can increase your risk of yeast infections.
If you do drink alcohol, and find you suffer with recurring yeast infections consider putting back on your weekly consumption.
Making these dietary changes, you can help to prevent yeast infections naturally.
However, if you’re experiencing recurrent yeast infections or if your symptoms persist, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Also remember that while these remedies can be effective, they may not work for everyone. You can also speak to one of our clinicians for some more guidance around your yeast infections.
Editing by AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to promote quality healthcare.
The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Don’t hesitate to contact a health practitioner to discuss your condition or reach us directly here.
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