Natural Remedies For Yeast Infections
Yeast infections can occur in various parts of the body such as
the mouth, underarms, and respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts
and can affect men as well as women and children. However, the
overwhelming majority of yeast infections occurs in women and
affects the vaginal/genital areas.
Yeast infections are caused by micro organisms (Primarily Candida
Albicans) that are normally found on healthy human tissue. Problems
occur when the natural balance is upset and the microorganisms
increase disproportionately to the level of good bacteria.
The naturally acidic environment in the vagina usually keeps the
levels of yeast in check. However, if the PH balance (i.e. level of
acidity) is affected then yeast may grow out of control causing an
infection. The acidity of the vagina may be influenced by factors
such as menstruation, pregnancy, birth control pills and hormonal
Symptoms of yeast infection include:
Itchiness and burning sensation in the vagina and surrounding
areas. Burning may be more severe during urination.
White, usually odorless discharge.
Redness, rash or soreness
Pain during sexual intercourse.
Yeast levels may be affected by many circumstances including:
Use of oral antibiotics - This tends to reduce the levels of good
bacteria which helps the proliferation of yeast.
Use of oral contraceptives or Hormone replacement therapy.
Hormonal changes affect the PH balance of the vagina.
A warm moist environment promotes yeast growth.
Tight jeans and/or synthetic underwear.
As the old saying goes, "Prevention is better than cure" - There
are many things a woman could do to reduce her risk of suffering a
yeast infection. These include:
Use of cotton rather than synthetic underwear.
While prevention may be desirable, statistics indicate that 3 out
of 4 women will suffer from yeast infection at some point in life.
There is a range of over the counter medications that include
topical and oral treatments. Each has its advantages and
disadvantages. Topical treatments usually provide quicker relief
from symptoms and have less severe side effects.
However, in order to avoid side effects altogether, many women
prefer natural treatments to medication. There are wide ranges of
natural remedies that aim to treat different aspects of the yeast
problem. Many of these natural remedies are just as effective as the
medications. In fact it is believed that natural remedies may
actually help to provide longer lasting control of yeast problems.
Common natural remedies for yeast include:
Yogurt- This works by trying to re-establish the balance of good
bacteria. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus good bacteria
that helps overcome yeast and keep it in check. Yogurt can be
administered by applying locally to the affected area or by smearing
on a tampon.
Garlic is another popular remedy for yeast infections. Garlic
contains natural anti fungal substances that help to control the
yeast. The garlic can be applied by creating a tampon like
applicator with cheesecloth or gauze.
Tea Tree oil is often used to treat yeast. This can be applied
externally or administered on a tampon.
Hydrogen peroxide is a substance produced by the good bacteria.
When levels of good bacteria fall below desired levels using
hydrogen peroxide could lend a helping hand to keep yeast under
Boric acid capsules may be used to restore the necessary acidic
environment in the vagina. Boric acid capsules are used as
suppositories. The heat of the body melts the capsules and releases
the Boric acid. Other treatments that aim to restore acidic balance
include cider vinegar, lemon juice or Vitamin C suitably diluted.
Douching is not generally recommended in the absence of infection.
However, acid douches can be helpful in controlling yeast outbreaks.
Treatments with Gentian Violet and Potassium Sorbate have also
had positive results.
In addition to the remedies mentioned above many common
treatments such as slippery elm powder or aloe vera juice are used
to help alleviate symptoms. These treatments have been found useful
in overcoming itchiness.
While there are obvious benefits from adopting natural remedies
for yeast infections it is important to consider the risks of
self-diagnosis and self-treatment. Symptoms of yeast infection have
much in common with other diseases such as Bacterial Vaginosis,
Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and other vaginal infections.
Misdiagnosis could cause delays in getting appropriate treatment
for these conditions that could result in complications. Therefore,
it is important to consider all circumstances in determining the
most appropriate in an individual case.
When following these treatments to control and cure Yeast
Infections, be sure to adhere strictly to the guidelines prescribed
by your doctor for each one.