Yeast infections affect many women; the Global Healing Center has assembled some of the most common yeast infection home remedies
Here are a few of them:
If you are taking any form of antibiotic, the likelihood of a yeast infection is increased. Probiotic foods help restore the natural gut flora that prevents fungal infections.
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Douche
A douching made from apple cider vinegar can soothe a yeast infection. Try 3 tablespoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar mixed in 1 quart of water.
Garlic has natural anti-fungal properties. Try eating several fresh garlic cloves on a daily basis.
Say NO to Harsh "Feminine" Products
Most of these are too harsh, and strip off natural protective oils. Use organic hygiene products, if possible.
Organic Cranberry Juice
You can drink the juice, unsweetened, to help restore healthy pH balance in the vagina.
Organic Plain Yogurt
Yogurt can be used topically and vaginally to reduce a yeast infection. Make sure yogurt has no added sugars, fruit or other ingredients.
Wear Loose Clothing
Wearing loose-fitting clothing and underwear keeps oxygen moving, and helps prevent the growth of fungus.
To read about their other suggestions, click the link below.
An overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast, can cause a variety of chronic health problems in men and women, not the least of which are yeast infections.
It's estimated that up to 75 percent of women have had at least one yeast infection in their lifetime, which typically is accompanied by intense itching, burning with urination and sometimes a thick, white discharge.
Up to 80 million Americans -- 70 percent of them women -- suffer from yeast-related problems, and if you suffer from yeast infections (especially if they're recurrent) you should also be on the watch for other symptoms of Candida overgrowth like chronic fatigue, weight gain, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, PMS, cancer and more.
While some of the tips above, such as probiotics and garlic, will help to keep yeast under control from a preventive standpoint, and others, like wearing loose-fitting clothing, certainly cannot hurt, you will still need to address the underlying causes of yeast overgrowth to stop the problem from recurring.
What's the Underlying Cause of Yeast Infections?
Under normal circumstances Candida albicans is a harmless part of your skin, intestines, and for women, your vagina.
But Candida cells develop rapidly, and if your system is out of balance from eating unhealthy foods, taking certain prescription drugs, fighting an illness, and more -- Candida can quickly grow out of control. Vaginal yeast infections, particularly, occur when the normal acidity of your vagina changes, allowing the yeast to multiply.
Any woman (and in rare cases men) can experience genital yeast infections, but they are much more common among people with weakened immune systems. They're also much more likely when you're undergoing hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy, if you suffer from diabetes or if you use antibiotics or corticosteroid medications.
As with all yeast-related problems, the infection occurs because your system has become run down or out of balance, allowing the Candida that already exists in your body to multiply out of control, causing illness.
You may also fall into the trap of treating the infection with an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream, and then assuming that when the symptoms disappear the problem is cured. However, these creams only treat the symptoms and do nothing about the underlying yeast overgrowth that caused the problem to begin with.
Preventing the Underlying Causes of Yeast Overgrowth
In order to prevent yeast overgrowth, you need to create an environment that makes it more difficult for fungus to thrive. The most common factors that upset the balance of organisms in your body and contribute to yeast overgrowth are:
- Eating too much sugar and too many grains. Sugar is the main fuel for yeast. If you have a problem with chronic yeast infections it is virtually impossible to recover from it without eliminating all sugars, grains, juices and fruits as they will merely serve as fuel for the yeast.
- Taking antibiotics, which kill both your good and bad bacteria.
- Exposure to environmental toxins, which can lower your immune system's ability to keep Candida in check.
- Taking other medications, such as birth control pills and corticosteroids, is known to promote yeast growth.
- Chronic stress, which impacts your immune system,
So to truly treat yeast overgrowth at its source you must address these primary causes at the root level. Typically you can do this by making the following lifestyle changes:
- Eat the Best Diet for You, and Exercise -- A diet rich in meats, chicken, eggs, seeds and nuts, vegetables, and healthy oils (free range and organic) -- while avoiding sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods -- will restrict the amount of fuel the yeast in your intestine has available to it. Ideally you should make sure your diet is also in tune with your nutritional type.
Because yeast multiplies so quickly, it's necessary to restrict not only sugar and refined carbs in your diet but also all yeast- and mold-containing foods, including:
- Vinegar (and vinegar-containing foods like mustard and salad dressing)
- Carrots, potatoes and beets (high-sugar veggies)
- Fruits are important to avoid if you have this problem as the sugar in the fruit typically worsens those who are suffering with yeast infections. Fruit can be resumed once the yeast is under control.
- Peanuts and corn (which often contain mold)
- Mushrooms (fungus)
- Aged cheeses
Also remember that the number one source of calories in America is not regular sugar but high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is included in most all processed foods and should be avoided, especially if you have yeast infections or other signs of yeast overgrowth.
- Avoid ALL sugars. Most people are never able to recover unless they eliminate all sugar from their diet.
- Get Plenty of Good Bacteria -- You will want to increase your probiotic (good bacteria) intake with a high-quality probiotic supplement and/or by eating cultured and fermented foods, such as natto. These contain the good bacteria that keep your vagina and gastrointestinal tract healthy and will ultimately replace the Candida.
- Avoid Exposure to Chemicals and Medications -- Antibiotics, corticosteroids and birth control pills all need to be avoided. Paints, household cleaners, perfumes and scents may also cause allergic reactions, and chemical sensitivities are very common in people with yeast overgrowth.
- Address Emotional and Psychological Issues -- Food cravings, especially those for sweets, often are exacerbated by emotional dependencies. Tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can help you to overcome unhealthy food addictions while also helping you relieve stress.
3 Tips for Natural Symptom Control
Vaginal yeast infections can be painful and extremely uncomfortable, so while the above steps should be followed to prevent the infections in the first place, if you do come down with one you can try any of these all-natural techniques for near-immediate relief:
- Insert one boric acid powder capsule into your vagina morning and evening for three to seven days for an acute infection, and 14 to 30 days for a chronic infection. I have not seen Boric acid capsules widely available in health stores or pharmacies but you can make your own by buying a bottle of Boric acid powder and gelatin capsules (a capsule-making machine makes the process go faster).
Studies show the effectiveness of boric acid is very high especially in women with chronic resistant yeast infections -- one study with 100 women showed a 98 percent success rate with this condition. If you find that the Boric acid irritates your external genitalia you can protect the tissue with vitamin E oil.
- Insert one garlic clove into your vagina in the morning and an acidophilus capsule in the evening for three to seven days.
- Prepare a retention douche with bentonite clay, Pau D' Arco tea, plain yogurt, tea tree oil and goldenseal and douche two times a day for seven to 10 days.
Be Aware of Other Yeast-Related Health Conditions
Again, if you suffer from yeast infections (especially if they're chronic or recurrent) it's a sign that yeast may be growing out of control in your body.
A good sign that Candida is taking a hold is feeling "run down" and developing a craving for sugars and carbohydrates, as this is the main fuel for the growing amounts of yeast in your body.
Please remember that if yeast infections are a long-time challenge for you it will be imperative to stop ALL sugars, grains, fruits, juices, breads, pasta, rice, corn, and potatoes as they will serve as fuel for the yeast.
The more sugar and grains you eat, the more the yeast grows out of control. Eventually, this will weaken your immune system, which in turn can allow the yeast to infiltrate various other organs, leading to numerous health issues.
Chronic fatigue is perhaps one of the most common ailments rooted in yeast and fungal overgrowth, but yeast may even be a causative factor in cancer. So if you suspect yeast is playing a role in any of your health complaints, it's time to immediately make the lifestyle changes noted above, and also to seek the help of a knowledgeable natural health care practitioner.
Yeast overgrowth can be challenging to overcome, so I recommend working with a holistic health care practitioner who is experienced in this area. You can also find out more information by reading my free Candida Special Report.