Ok it’s time to talk about the most embarrassing subject ever….yeast infections.
Chances are the girl sitting next to you has had one (most likely two). In fact, three out of four women will experience the joy of a yeast infection in her lifetime.
Yup, yeast infections are super common!
If you have ever had one, you are probably familiar with Monistat™ and other vaginal yeast infection treatments bought over-the-counter.
If you are reading this post, then they didn’t work.
That’s right. Most of the time, over-the-counter creams may alleviate those pesky symptoms temporarily, but they don’t cure your recurrent yeast infection problem.
We need to do better than that because let’s face it….ain’t nobody got time for that mess.
My ultimate goal is to share things that will work with your body to heal itself completely, not just cover up symptoms.
So today I want to talk to you about home remedies for yeast infection. All the things available to us that actually promote HEALING!
This post contains affiliate links. Please read the full disclosure for more info.
What is supposed to be down there?
Before we can dive into any home remedies for yeast infection, we need to first understand the cause of them. After all you can’t heal something you don’t understand in the first place!
Our health is greatly dependent on a tight knit relationship with the bacteria that colonize us.
A healthy vagina is colonized by over 50 unique species of microorganisms called normal flora.
After a thorough review of the research, I have come to this conclusion…every woman has different flora but the most common organism is the Lactobacillus strain.
Your specific vaginal flora can actually change throughout the month in response to hormone fluctuations. (source)
Lactobacillus bacteria help to keep the vagina healthy by producing lactic acid, lowering the pH to 3.8-4.5 which makes it hard for the bad bacteria to survive. It also produces hydrogen peroxide which helps to kill candida.
To sum it up, the more “good” bacteria you have down there, the less chance the bad stuff (which gives us all those annoying symptoms) sticks around.
What are common yeast infection causes?
Because this topic is really dry and I don’t want to bore you to tears, let’s switch it up from the science jargon.
Imagine your husband comes home and tells you he wants to host a dinner party for his coworkers. Now you have met these people and really don’t enjoy their company.
The last thing you want to do for this dinner party is turn on the most perfect ambience music, cook a delicious four course meal, and pair it with copious amounts of wine.
They will never leave!
Yeast infections can set up shop because whatever you are doing is making the environment down there much more inviting.
Whether its due an imbalance in the microbiome or you have been snacking on way to much bread, a candida species has moved in to feed, thrive, and drive you bonkers.
Sadly, many women can have candida overgrowth (yeast infections) and not know it.
You can also mistake a yeast infection with bacterial vaginosis because they both produce similar symptoms such as unpleasant itchiness and increased vaginal discharge.
These infections are treated differently by conventional medicine. (Lucky for us, we won’t be using conventional medicine in the first place!)
It is also worthy to note, as I mentioned earlier the dominating microorganisms in the vagina can change with the monthly cycle. This is why it’s possible to have a symptomatic yeast infection, and then it resolve spontaneously. (source)
Here are some environmental factors that contribute to yeast infections:
Yeast Infection Causes:
⚫️ Use of antibiotics
⚫️ Use of scented tampons
⚫️ Using perfumed bath products
⚫️ Diet high in sugar
⚫️ Uncontrolled diabetes
⚫️ Weakened immune system (such as in pregnancy or HIV)
⚫️ Lack of sleep
⚫️ Hormone imbalances due to menstrual cycle or breastfeeding
⚫️ Systemic candida overgrowth
⚫️ Wearing tight fitting clothing made from synthetic materials
Yeast Infection Symptoms
A vaginal yeast infection produces the most unpleasant symptoms. It’s unfortunate that you won’t visibly be sick because you won’t want to be out in public with all that itchiness!
The most common first symptom to appear when you have a yeast infection is a burning sensation in your inner labia.
This sensation may begin locally in your front lady bits but can even creep back there! 😩
The burning will then progress to being hot, swollen, and very itchy. It may even be very hard to contain yourself from itching in public.
You will also have increased discharge. The discharge can be curdled, white, yellow, and thick. Isn’t this fun?
It is quite possible to pass a yeast infection on to your partner during intercourse which could be another reason for recurring yeast infections.
When men have yeast infections it is called jock itch. The symptoms include redness, persistent itch, and cracking/peeling of the skin around the penis.
Basically, when you have an infection down there, you will know it!
The differences between a yeast infection vs bacterial vaginosis are subtle and you would need to have a culture done to really know. However, discharge with BV could be thin, milky, grey, and have a fishy odor.
Symptoms of Yeast Infection
⚫️ Itchiness which can be uncontrollable
⚫️ Curdled white or yellow discharge with no odor
⚫️ Pain during sex or urination
⚫️ Burning of skin surround the vagina or anus
⚫️ Increased urge to pee
Home Remedies for Yeast Infection
I know, this is the part you have been waiting for. We just want this infection gone and we don’t want it to come back!
I struggled with recurrent yeast infections after my son was born. I attribute this to the IV antibiotics I got while in labor with him. You can read my full labor story here.
I have tried all the remedies out there, including the over the counter stuff. I feel very confident in my ability to guide you to find the appropriate natural remedy for your yeast infection.
Topical Remedies to relieve vaginal itching
TEA TREE OIL:
Pure Tea tree essential oil has anti-fungal properties which can be used to fight yeast infections.
I used coconut oil as my carrier when applying tea tree oil due to their anti-fungal properties.
I used this combination many times. I found tea tree oil to be marginally helpful in soothing the unpleasant symptoms.
I never found it strong enough alone to completely clear my infection.
When using tea tree oil, make sure it is organic and free of ethyl alcohol otherwise it will irritate the sensitive skin further. Here is the tea tree oil I used.
After my third infection, I knew I needed to switch my topical remedy because the tea tree oil just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
I bought this Calendula salve and oh my goodness, it helped so much. I felt relief from the burning almost instantaneously and within the hour the itchiness subsided by half.
Honestly Calendula salve is great to keep around the house if you have kids because it can be used for everyday bumps and bruises and even diaper rash.
Plain Greek Yogurt or Kefir:
Ok this isn’t one of my finest moments in life. But yes, I have inserted fermented milk like yogurt and kefir inside my lady bits.
Why on earth would I do that? Believe it or not there are actual studies that back me up when I say yogurt is effective at treating the symptoms from yeast infections.
I actually like to use plain kefir over greek yogurt because it has more strains of bacteria.
Whether you choose greek yogurt or kefir the key is to make sure there is no added sugar. We don’t want to give the candida anything to feed on now!
It is easier to find plain kefir at stores like Whole foods or other health food stores than a chain grocery store (They usually only stock kefir with added sugar.)
The best way to use greek yogurt or kefir for yeast infections is to get yourself a simple box of rubber gloves and fill in the fingers half way with yogurt. Then throw the glove in the freezer.
You will be able to peel off the glove once frozen and insert the yogurt like a suppository. The cold is quite relieving to the burning sensation.
Diet And Yeast Infections
Another thing worth mentioning when treating a yeast infection naturally is diet. If you are someone who suffers from recurrent yeast infections and you are truly over it, it’s time to start thinking about changing what you eat.
Yes, I know this sounds awful to make diet changes but even just changing a few minor things can help starve that candida of what it needs most….sugar.
Here are some simple switches that can help you rid your body of yeast infections using diet:
Dietary changes to fight yeast infections
⚫️ Eat a lot more garlic and ginger, these foods kill yeast and boost the immune system (here is a supplement if you don’t like the taste)
⚫️ Drink a tbsp of apple cider vinegar in the morning on an empty stomach (it helps break down yeast)
⚫️ Avoid refined sugars (think junk food here: crackers, chips, candy)
⚫️ Avoid foods fermented with yeast (so sorry that means 🍻 &🍷)
⚫️ Eat more raw vegetables (roughage helps to push the dead yeast out)
⚫️ Sprinkle cinnamon on everything (anti-inflammatory and antifungal) Make sure you are using the RIGHT cinnamon!
⚫️ Add lemon to your water (helps to detoxify your liver as it is processing all this dying candida)
Full Body Candida Cleanse
There are some instances where a vaginal yeast infection is just a glimpse at a much bigger problem.
If you have widespread candida overgrowth (i.e. candida has colonized your gut), it would be prudent to do a whole body candida cleanse along with dietary changes, and treating your vaginal symptoms topically.
So how do you know if you have widespread candida overgrowth? Here are a few hints:
Candida overgrowth symptoms
- Other fungal infections are showing up such as athletes foot
- Digestive problems such as bloating, gas, constipation, or even diarrhea
- You are chronically tired
- Poor concentration
- Strong sugar cravings
- Suddenly have seasonal allergies or allergies are worsening
- Autoimmune issuse such as exzema, psoriasis, or other skin rashes
♦ The first step in treating your gut for candida is going to be to clean it out. It is impossible to fully detoxify the body from candida overgrowth if you are clogged up with excess feces.
Related: How to heal the gut naturally
Coffee enemas are completely safe and works wonderfully to remove fecal matter and detoxify the liver and colon. (source)
♦ After you have treated your colon, you are going to want to follow the strict dietary guidelines as mentioned above for some time.
♦ Lastly, you want to replenish the good bacteria by supplementing with a probiotic.
In the ideal world, this supplementation wouldn’t be necessary because we would all be going outside to our organic home garden, picking our vegetables, and eating them right then and there without washing them.
We have gotten away from our roots so we must supplement our gut.
Please do not be fooled into buying encapsulated probiotics. The way these supplements are processed destroys most of the cultures and you are throwing your money down the toilet.
It is best to consume live probiotics, that are growth together and still in their food medium.
These probiotics are by far the absolute best I have found on the market because they are all grown together in a mother culture of organic, non-GMO sugar molasses.
Homeopathy for yeast infections
Homeopathy can be used for yeast infections. Like anything else in homeopathy the symptoms must match up to the remedy.
Sulphur 6C– use when you are very itchy, sweaty, and smelly & symptoms worsen after heat
Carbo vegetabilis 6C– use when the labia is visibly swollen
Calcarea phosphorica 6C- use when itchiness is worse around menses and works better for women who are overweight
Candida albicans 30C– homeopathic nosode meant to provide a vaccination against the organism. You should probably consult a Homeopathic Practitioner before going this route.