Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Boric Acid for Yeast Infections
Research shows that boric acid suppository capsules appear to be very effective against vaginal yeast infections, particularly those caused by non-albicans species. An early study found that boric acid suppositories, when taken nightly for 7 to 10 days, have up to a 92 percent cure rate.
More recently, a 2007 article in the journal Diabetes Care found that boric acid vaginal suppositories were more effective against C. glabrata infections in diabetic women (diabetes is a risk factor for yeast infections) than an oral azole medication. And a 2011 review in the Journal of Women's Health found that it's a safe alternative to azole medications for the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (four or more infections in a single year) caused by non-albicans Candida. However, boric acid can occasionally cause vaginal burning, is toxic when swallowed, and shouldn't be used frequently or when pregnant.
Keep Your Skin Clean and Dry
Yeast can only multiply to harmful levels when the conditions are just right. The best way to stop yeast from spreading is to keep your skin clean, dry, and free from scrapes or wounds. Practicing good hygiene and taking care of any open cuts properly helps prevent infections, whether in the vagina, digestive tract, mouth or elsewhere.
Make sure to wash the genital area with soap every day and dry off the area well after showering, since fungi are most commonly found in moist environments (which is exactly why they can thrive in leftover foods and damp areas outdoors, such as soil). When you go to the bathroom, you can decrease the risk for spreading germs by wiping from front to back (from vagina to your anus, instead of the other way around).
Following sexual intercourse, make sure to wash the genital area. It’s possible to spread yeast infections during sex from person to person, and even though women are much more likely to carry yeast infections, men (especially men who are uncircumcised) can develop yeast infections in the genital area, too. Always practice safe sex by using condoms, and abstain from sex altogether if you or your partner have an active infection.
Garlic for vaginal yeast
Garlic was shown in a lab study to be an effective Candida killer. But there is some debate over whether it will help cure yeast infections outside of a lab setting. If you’d like to try garlic to treat a yeast infection, add more garlic to your diet.
A review of research published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy found that some probiotics can be effective against C. albicans.
Yogurt can be considered a probiotic because it contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria are essential to creating a healthy environment in your vagina. They can help treat an overgrowth caused by an imbalance.
Plain Greek yogurt is the best kind to use for this home remedy. Make sure that the yogurt doesn’t contain added sugar, which fuels growth of the Candida fungus.
Wear Clean Clothes
Make sure to wear clean underwear, and ideally make your underwear cotton or another breathable fabric. Allowing air to reach your genitals helps stop moisture and warmth from developing, which worsens yeast growth. (7)
You might also want to wear looser fitting clothes and avoid stockings, tights or bathing suits if you’re prone to getting infections, since these all increase body heat and retain moisture. When you do wear a bathing suit, try not to stay in one for too many hours, especially if the suit is wet or dirty.
Essential oil of oregano
Common oregano, or Origanum marjoram, is what you usually find in your grocery store’s spice section. The oil of oregano used to treat yeast infections isn’t the same type, however. Look for oil of oregano made from wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare, like the one seen here. It contains thymol and carvacrol, which are powerful antifungals.
A study published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found that wild oregano oil could stop or slow the growth of C. albicans, depending on the dosage used.
Oil of oregano is a natural blood thinner. Don’t use it if you take blood thinners for another health condition. Also don’t use it if you have blood-clotting issues, such as from a vitamin K deficiency.
Essential oils should not be taken orally. They are meant to be inhaled as part of aromatherapy. While some studies are examining other ways to use oregano essential oils, at this time it’s recommended that you use it diluted in a carrier oils, such as olive or sweet almond oil. Mix three to five drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Then, apply it to the skin in massage or inhale it through a diffuser. Do not apply essential oils near your vagina.
Boric acid for vaginal yeast
Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic that some women claim is useful for treating yeast infections that are resistant to other remedies. According to a 2009 study, topical boric acid showed encouraging results as a treatment for vaginal infections. Some health websites claim boric acid vaginal suppositories may also be effective in treating vaginal yeast infections.
Boric acid is toxic in large amounts. It can lead to kidney damage, acute failure of the circulatory system, or death if you absorb enough of it. To avoid this, don’t use boric acid on broken skin and don’t take it orally. If you’re pregnant, you should not use boric acid in any form.
Always mix boric acid with water before applying it to your vagina or vulva area.
Probiotic suppositories and supplements
Probiotics help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body. If you start a regimen of oral probiotics that contain strains of the lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, you can bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment.
Oral supplements take about 10 days to reach full effect, so some women use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to see results more quickly. Probiotic suppositories have also been shown to be effective for treating vaginosis, according to Harvard Health.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil. Use to kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Research shows that a vaginal suppository containing tea tree oil may help treat vaginal infections. Tea tree oil help to maintain a healthy balance of flora in the vagina.
Tea tree oil is incredibly powerful. Make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil if you’re going to use it as a vaginal suppository. Only use tea tree oil occasionally, and never swallow it.
Apple cider vinegar
One popular yeast infection remedy is an apple cider vinegar bath. Vinegar has many medicinal uses, some more proven by research than others. When you add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub and soak for 20 minutes, the acidic component of the vinegar is supposed to eliminate any harmful microorganisms.
A vinegar bath is not the same as vinegar douching, which aims to flush out all bacteria (good and bad) from your vagina. Doing so leaves you more prone to a recurrence of the yeast infection.
The oil has many health benefits, including antifungal properties. Studies have shown that coconut oil is effective against C. albicans. Making this home remedy one of the few with strong evidence that it actually works.
To treat a vaginal yeast infection using coconut oil, be sure to buy pure, organic coconut oil. You can apply the oil directly to the affected area.
Hydrogen peroxide is a bacteria and yeast-killing antiseptic, according to lab studies. While it won’t work on every species of yeast, some women swear by using hydrogen peroxide topically when they get a yeast infection. Make sure that you dilute hydrogen peroxide before applying it to your genitals. Don’t use it for more than five days in a row.
Vitamin C for vaginal yeast
Vitamin C is an immune system booster. A strong immune system allows your body to bring itself back into balance. Vitamin C has antimicrobial components when it’s distilled into tablet form, so some women use it to kill candida overgrowths. Its very helpful for vaginal yeast.
Like many other home remedies, using a vitamin C tablet suppository might burn the sensitive skin of your vagina. Instead, try increasing your intake of vitamin C to boost your body’s ability to beat the yeast infection.