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Cures and Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
There are many home remedies and cures for yeast infections marketed out there on the Internet and in popular medical publications these days.
Some are good while many are, unfortunately, just myth. Telling fact from fiction can be difficult at the best of times.
We've reviewed the most popular home remedies and cures here to try and give an objective perspective on the effectiveness of these home remedies.
The Good Cures and Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
Of course, prevention of Yeast Infection is the beginning of any permanent home cure.
Whether you're fighting off a yeast infection or trying to avoid getting a yeast infection in the first place, there are a few at-home things you can do to make it easier.
Life Style choices and Yeast Infection
First, of course, eat a healthy, balanced diet, get sufficient exercise and enough sleep every night.
These three lifestyle choices help boost your immune system to a healthy level and keep your body on an even keel.
Stress reduction practices such as meditation or deliberate relaxation can also help boost the immune system and fight off yeast infections.
Common Sense and Yeast Infection
Other home prevention and treatment methods include good hygiene practices, avoidance of irritants and staying away from unnecessary medications.
Good hygiene practices for treating or preventing yeast infections are a little bit more detailed than ordinary hygiene but well within home reach:
Never share clothing or towels with other people.
Wash all clothing in sufficiently hot water to kill microorganisms.
Wipe front to back after toileting.
Always change out of swimsuits and wet clothing quickly.
Wear loose cotton clothing to wick moisture away from the skin.
Take a daily shower and make sure the infected or susceptible areas (genitals, armpits, feet, etc.) are completely dry before getting dressed.
Allow susceptible areas free access to the open air on a regular basis.
Use unscented versions of menstrual products such as tampons or pads, and change them more frequently than you think you need to.
Wash hands and genitalia before and after sexual intercourse, and that goes for both men and women.
Use a water-based lubricant for intercourse, not petroleum jelly.
Yeast infections can also occur due to irritation, so avoiding undue irritants is another part of home prevention and relief:
Don't wear clothing or underwear that is too tight, especially in susceptible areas.
Avoid dyed or perfumed toilet paper, sprays, soaps, powders or washes.
Skip the fabric softener in the laundry.
If you get yeast infections in the armpits, don't use deodorant sprays or only use very mild ones.
Women, don't use douches or feminine deodorant products.
Specific, talked about, popular Cures and Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
Yogurt as a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Live culture yogurt has been shown in one study to help with yeast infections when eaten as part of a healthy diet, so feel free to include it as a daily treat in order to get the natural microorganisms of the body back in balance.
However, it doesn't belong anywhere but in your diet.
The bacteria in yogurt don't live outside their natural environment very well, and their natural environment is in your gastrointestinal tract.
They don't belong on your skin, and they don't belong in any other body cavity either.
In fact, if you put yogurt directly into a body cavity, it can wind up feeding the Candida instead of eliminating it.
[I disagree with Loni on this one, I had and elderly doctor recommend this home remedy for my wifes recurring yeast infections and this home remedy really did work for her]
Tea Tree Oil as a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Five drops of tea tree oil per two teaspoons of carrier oil has shown to have antifungal properties when applied to the external skin, so if you suffer from nail candidiasis or candidiasis in folds of outer skin this remedy may help.
However, never apply it to a mucus membrane because tea tree oil is quite powerful and will irritate the membrane far too much.
Research has shown that at a specific dilution rate, tea tree oil works on vaginal yeast infection / thrush. It's better to buy it already made for the purpose though.
Garlic as a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Does garlic work to treat yeast infection? Garlic has been promoted for its antibiotic and antifungal properties for years.
In this instance, folk medicine claims hold up under scientific inquiry.
Dietary garlic probably won't do much against an active yeast infection, but the direct application of fresh garlic juice or fresh garlic cloves to the infected area will help kill Candida microorganisms.
Of course, this shouldn't be the only natural remedy used, and it may temporarily irritate inflamed or seeping areas.
If it starts causing serious problems with pain or making symptoms worse, discontinue use at once.
Hydrogen Peroxide as a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Treating yeast infection with hydrogen peroxide is often thought to help with yeast infections.
While, yes, hydrogen peroxide will kill Candida microorganisms, it will also kill everything else including helpful bacteria.
Odds are that the Candida will come back before the beneficial bacteria has a chance to.
In addition, hydrogen peroxide can seriously irritate mucus membranes, which can also open up further chinks for a yeast infection to thrive.
The only places that a hydrogen peroxide solution is a viable treatment for candidiasis is in the mouth and on external skin, and then only in adults and only at suitable dilution levels.
Use once or twice a day for thirty seconds to a minute at a time.
Of course, discontinue immediately if symptoms get worse or if new symptoms develop.
White Vinegar, Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera as a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
White vinegar for yeast infection, along with witch hazel extract and aloe vera juice may be beneficial in treating a yeast infection on external skin.
They do well because all three are astringents, which means that they cause the skin to dry out quickly.
Candida thrives in a moist, warm environment, so using drying agents on yeast infections on the outside of the body is a good idea.
However, it's never a good idea to add yet another pH changing chemical to a mucus membrane currently suffering from candidiasis.
There are also no scientific studies out there supporting the idea that vinegar directly applied to a vaginal yeast infection will do anything but irritate the area further.
Yeast Infection Relief
Simple, at home symptom relief can often be gotten from sitting on an icepack, taking a sitz-bath in warm, plain water for twenty minutes at a time, and taking over-the-counter ibuprofen.
If the yeast infection is external, the topical remedies (white vinegar etc) suggested above also provide symptomatic relief, for example, relief from yeast infection itching.
If it's internal, such as in the mouth, the vagina or the anus, then these topical remedies should not be used. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot more that can be done to relieve symptoms in these areas except cure the yeast infection in question.
The Bad Cures and Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
The cures in this section are either proven not to work or medically unlikely to work.
It's impossible to say whether a cure works or not without rigorous scientific study, but the remedies here either have been tested false or have never been tested at all.
Oil Pulling IS NOT a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Oil pulling is an Indian folk remedy for poor oral health and bad breath (halitosis).
The procedure is to take a tablespoon of unrefined sunflower or sesame oil and swish it around vigorously in the mouth for between 10 to 15 minutes, after which you spit it out and brush your teeth.
According to the most common instructions, you should do this in the morning on an empty stomach.
The theory is that the oil pulls harmful bacteria and toxins out of your body through the stimulation of saliva production.
It's currently undergoing scientific testing against prescription chlorhexidine mouthwash for some oral problems, but it's never been tested against an oral yeast infection (oral candidiasis).
As far as oil pulling and yeast infection go, I can't recommend it at this time due to the lack of real information.
In addition, the researchers who promote oil pulling state that your symptoms may get worse as they "heal".
Because of the potential for harm from virulent Candida infections, I really don't suggest using this method.
There's nothing specifically stating that it will do any further harm, but nobody knows exactly what will happen.
Homeopathic remedies ARE NOT a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Homeopathic treatments for yeast infection on skin are basically useless.
Homeopathic remedies are diluted to such an incredible degree that they might as well be, and probably are, just pure water. The chemistry math just doesn't add up.
In normal pharmacokinetics, each and every medication has a minimum efficacious dose.
Ethical pharmaceutical researchers work quite hard to find this dose because ethical medical practice states that you give as small a dosage as possible to fix a health problem.
No substance will fix anything below its minimum efficacious dose.
Homeopathic remedies are so diluted that it's doubtful there's even one molecule of the active substance in the bottle. One to no molecules of an active substance can't fix anything.
Cream of tartar remedies ARE NOT a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Is cream of tartar good for yeast infection? Cream of tartar is an acidic powder, so a common theory is that it will work against yeast infections because Candida microorganisms don't like high acidity.
However, taking cream of tartar orally doesn't make your body's pH level go up. Your body is pretty good at neutralizing both acids and alkalines to maintain a reasonably steady pH.
You'd have to take an insane amount of cream of tartar in order to decrease your blood pH for even a short period of time.
The side effects of eating a huge amount cream of tartar all at once are unknown and I don't even know if its physically possible to consume enough to make your body more acidic overall.
In addition, no controlled scientific study has ever been done on direct application of cream of tartar to the body.
Being acidic, it will most likely irritate the skin, which could wind up making the Candida infection even worse.
The use of cranberry for treatment of vaginal yeast infection is highly questionable.
Cranberry juice is often touted as a cure for urinary tract infections.
Clinical studies do show that cranberry juice can be effective against bacterial urinary tract infections and has other antibacterial properties.
The problem is that Candida is a fungus, not a bacteria.
Cranberry juice's only use in treating a yeast infection lies in its high nutritional value.
If you drink it, you'll be well protected against bacterial urinary tract infections while having a yeast infection, but it won't do anything against a urinary tract infection of Candida.
However, as long as it's drunk it won't do any harm either, as bacteria aren't supposed to exist within the bladder or urinary tract at all. You're not killing off bacteria that are supposed to be there.
Boneset / Eupatorium perfoliatum IS NOT a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
Boneset / Eupatorium perfoliatum in the treatment of yeast infection, is another of the commonly recommended home remedies for yeast infections.
Unfortunately, even the folk medicine lore doesn't suggest it for such.
It's been used as an anthelmintic, which means it supposedly gets rid of intestinal parasites like tapeworms, but that's not the same thing as an antifungal.
Common boneset is completely useless against yeast infections.
The Ugly Cures and Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
There are a few suggested remedies that are almost guaranteed to make the problem even worse.
Douching or rinsing with a baking soda solution IS DANGEROUS AND NOT a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
The first is douching or rinsing with a baking soda solution.
This makes the environment more alkaline and, even if it doesn't create a better environment for the yeast infection, will probably irritate the tissues to no living end.
Douching with commercial products not specifically formulated for yeast infections will also make the problem worse and if done vigorously enough could even push the infection further up into the female reproductive system.
Honey IS DANGEROUS AND NOT a cure and home remedy for Yeast Infection
The last one that is a really bad idea is using honey as a yeast infection remedy.
Honey has antibiotic properties but it's never been shown to have any antifungal properties.
In addition, it has 97% of the sweetness of table sugar, which provides a perfect food for Candida yeasts.
Using honey on a yeast infection is about like putting up a neon sign saying "Eat At Joe's" for yeasts of all kinds.
Some Internet sites say that the bacteria in honey competes with the Candida yeast. That bacteria is known as dormant botulism, and it's why you can't feed honey to babies. They'll get infant botulism from it.
Adults normally don't get botulism from honey because dormant botulism doesn't go active when passed through the intestinal tract of an adult with a healthy immune system.
The botulism in honey will probably stay dormant in any case, but dormant bacteria won't do any good against an active yeast infection.
In the highly improbable event that the dormant botulism in honey goes active, you just traded a simple yeast infection for a very deadly botulism infection.
Cures and Home Remedies for Yeast Infections References
Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res 2008 [cited 2008 Aug 27];19:169.
Study number 0639, Efficacy of Oil Pulling on Oral Health Status, performed by A. Sharath, J. Jeevarathan, M.S. Muthu, V. Rathnaprabhu, E. Pamela, R. Raghuraman and G.S. Chamundeswari, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College & Hospital, Chennai, India.
Jepson RG, Mihaljevic L, Craig J., Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections. Department of General Practice, Edinburgh University, 20 West Richmond Street, Edinburgh, UK, EH8 9DX.
Allyl alcohol and garlic (Allium sativum) extract produce oxidative stress in Candida albicans Katey M. Lemar, Ourania Passa, Miguel A. Aon, Sonia Cortassa, Carsten T. Müller, Sue Plummer, Brian O'Rourke and David Lloyd
Erika N. Ringdahl, "Treatment of Recurrent Vulvovaginal Candidiasis", American Family Physician 61:11 (June 1, 2000)
Shapiro, MD, Roger L.; Hatheway, PhD, Charles & Swerdflow, MD, David L. (August 1, 1998), Botulism in the United States: A Clinical and Epidemiologic Review
Wahdan H (1998). "Causes of the antimicrobial activity of honey". Infection 26 (1): 26–31.
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