I spent a year and a half suffering from frequent bouts of yeast infections. These home remedies worked for me.
|Natural Remedies for Yeast Infections|
Tea tree oil
Pau D'Arco tea
Vaginal yeast infections are awful. They are painful, irritating, and kill your sex life. They also involve messy discharge, have less than a fragrant odor, and can be really expensive to get rid of with prescription or over-the-counter treatments.
About four years ago, I spent a year and a half suffering from frequent bouts of yeast infections. The doctor's prescriptions got rid of the infections, but within a month I'd have another one. I hated putting so many chemicals in my body and decided to use only natural, at-home, remedies with great success.
What Causes a Yeast Infection?
Very simply, a yeast infection is an excessive build of up candida yeast in the body. The yeast can build up in several different ways.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill off bacteria in your body. That's why we use them to fight infections. However, while they're killing off harmful bacteria, they're also killing off helpful bacteria which is supposed to be in our body to control the growth of candida. Without this helpful bacteria to kill it, yeast flourishes and causes an infection.
- Tight underwear: It's true. Tight underwear (or pants) create a warm, moist environment which is perfect for growing yeast. (Don't believe me? Try putting two pieces of organic bread and a little water in two different petri dishes/plates. Leave one in the fridge and the other in front of a window which gets a lot of sunshine (or by a heater), and see which one has more mould growing on it after a week.) Synthetic materials such as polyester are particularly bad. The material doesn't breathe, and promotes perspiration, which adds to the humid atmosphere that yeast cells love.
- Staying hot and sweaty: Out in the sun all day? Playing a lot of sport for long periods of time? Going for long bike rides? Again, you're sweating and creating a warm and wet environment for candida to multiply in.
- Alcohol: All alcoholic drinks, especially wine and beer, use yeast/sugar in their fermenting process, and if you're having two or three beers after work, or a glass of wine or two a night, you're consistently adding to the amount of yeast in your body.
- Sugar: Giving yeast sugar to feed on is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Unfortunately our diets are full of sugar. Obviously, there's chocolate, candy, cakes, etc... But, all carbohydrates contains sugar, therefore bread, pasta, rice, fruit, crackers, chips, and cereal are all contributors to yeast infections. Breads, and any doughy product, like pizza crust, are particularly bad because they are made with yeast and contain sugars. Most processed foods are likely to contain sugar in some form or another. Furthermore, an excess of sugar in our bodies has been linked to less effective immune systems so it's harder for our bodies to fight off infection.
- Being overweight: It's not the extra weight that makes heavier people more susceptible to yeast infections. It's, very simply, that overweight people tend to consume higher levels of simple and complex sugars in their diet, and the more weight you're carrying around your genital area (Think of thighs that are always pressed together.), the less chance there is of air circulation, hence a more humid atmosphere that encourages yeast cultures to grow. Those two things combined make it easier for yeast infections to exist.
- Sex with someone who has a yeast infection: Men can get yeast infections too. If you're having unprotected sex with someone who has a yeast infection it can be passed back and forth between you.
Great! I Know What Caused It. Now, How Do I Get Rid of It?
Well, there are a whole bunch of creams, pessaries, and oral tablets you can buy at the pharmacy. They do work, but here is a list of cheap, at-home remedies if, like me, you'd rather not pay twenty to thirty dollars, and you're slightly suspicious of how good those chemicals are. Remember though: I'm not a doctor, or nurse, and have no medical training. These are just the things that I've tried that I know work for my body.
- No alcohol: Sorry, but you have to give up the booze until the infection's gone. Also, as a preventative measure, take an honest look at how much alcohol you drink. If you're drinking every day, and you're getting frequent yeast infections, it's time to cut back.
- Cut out all sugar: No bread. No wheat. No fruit. No soda. No candy. No grain. The list goes on, and on, but you need to cut out the candida yeast's food source to eliminate it. Also, avoid mushrooms until the infection's cleared up. They are, after all, a form of fungi, and a yeast infection is a fungal infection. As with alcohol, be honest and look at how much sugar you have in your diet. (Keep a food diary for three days.) Again, if you're getting frequent infections, it may be time to adjust your daily food consumption.
- Cranberry juice: Cranberries fight against the growth of yeast but you must get the completely natural, unsweetened juice that you find in the organic section of the supermarket— not the cranberry juices made from concentrate. (Those contains sugar.) If in doubt, read the label. The only ingredient should be "cranberry juice." It tastes very tart, so you may want to dilute it with water to make it more palatable.
- Pau D'Arco tea: You'll find this in a health food store. Made from South American tree bark, this tea has anti-fungal properties to help combat infection. The boxes of tea do come with a warning though. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or taking anti-coagulants, consult your health practitioner before using it. So far, I've not been able to find research on why this is so. If anyone has any insight into that I would love to hear it.
- Yogurt: It's got to be plain, natural, and contain live/active pro-biotic cultures. If you guzzle down a strawberry flavoured yogurt, you're consuming more sugar which will provide fuel for the nasty yeast cells to multiply. The pro-biotic, live cultures in yogurt encourage the growth of helpful bacteria that work against yeast infections. Eat a generous helping of this every day. (If you don't normally eat dairy and are worried about how it will affect your digestion, try yogurt made from goat's milk instead. You may have to hold your nose as you eat it. It has a strong flavour.) You can also use natural yogurt as a soothing lotion for the vaginal area.
- Virgin coconut oil: This is available from health food stores. Normally, you use it for cooking, but it also has anti fungal properties. It comes in a jar and looks like white wax, but as soon as it makes contact with the warmth of your skin, it melts into an oil. It smells nice and it's very soothing as a lotion on the sore skin of the vagina.
- Tea tree oil: Consider purchasing a tea tree suppository tampon. It's important to note that none of these remedies should hurt. Anything beyond the mildest tingly sensation is an indicator that you should sit in a cold bath, or that it's a good time to see a doctor.
- Salt baths: Take a warm bath (not too hot) and add a cup of salt to the water. When you get out of the bath, air dry the vaginal area using a fan or a hairdryer on the cold setting. Don't douche. That can really irritate the vagina because it flushes out healthy secretions and generally won't do that much good.
- Wear cotton underwear (or none at all) and loose fitting clothes: Also, using panty liners will soak up excess moisture and keep the vaginal area drier.
Following these guide lines, I find that even a severe yeast infection starts to calm down after the first 24 hours, and takes about three to five days to clear up completely. But, if I'm not completely strict about what I'm eating and drinking, and start sneaking in a few drinks and pizza slices, the infection can take over a week to go away.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Pamela on September 24, 2017:
So, you can actually put plain yogurt inside of your vagina and it works!!! I know cranberry works but wat do u use to put the yogurt inside you to hold it in without it sliding back ok??
Cynthia on November 24, 2016:
I have suffered yi for one year 4 months. I have gone to doctor several times but no cure. I have tried garlic,yoghurt,avoid sugars,alcohol,be clean,but no cure.it has really sressed me up.I even don't have a boyfriend because it's embarrassing. Please help me on this.
tanya on September 12, 2016:
I have used the Lady Soma Candida Cleanse the last two times I have suffered with Candida. I have found this to be excellent at keeping it 'under control' even when i've had to take antibiotics, (unavoidable due to a dental infection). Also I didn't suffer any dramatic unpleasant side effects which can very often be the case. Its easy as you only need to take 2 a day...it's realistically priced and in my experience it is very effective.
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on May 11, 2015:
Is it also applicable to men? Like rashes in the inner sides of the upper legs? Thanks for sharing this very informative and useful hub.
Kala on March 07, 2015:
I don't know how long I had this yeast infection. All I know is that it itches like crazy. Now I realize that I have yeast I'm thirteen and I DON'T want to go to the clinic, or tell my mom what do I do?
Kim T on December 08, 2014:
Fluconazole didn't work for me but, to be fair, I've also been drinking a couple of micro brewery beers a night that my daughter brought me from WI. So, I believe I have found my problem. Of, course it would have to be something relaxing that I like. I use garlic pills when I feel one coming on. It normally works but that is on a yeast infection without alcohol fueling it.
collette on November 23, 2014:
Hey I have been suffering with this infection for a while now but the itching starts to get worst and I really want to get rid of it help me plz.
lizzy on May 30, 2014:
thanks a lot or the great ideas. however i usually use aloe vea for yeast infection, what i do is, cut fresh aloe vera, cut of the thorny sides, divided it in the middle and remove the slimy white substance. then i tie in plastics( sizes that can penetrate the vigina) and put in the freezer. when it is frozen i insert it before going to bed.
Bri02 on March 07, 2014:
Ladies this is my second yeast infection I had one when I was 10 years old and I'm 16 now and I'm going through the symptoms of a yeast infection and also ladies don't be afraid to tell your moms they will understand completely I do eat a lot of sugars but it's hard not to I'm going to try the plain yogurt and the tampon method my fingers are cross that this will work THANK YOU FOR THIS INFORMATION VER USEFUL AND HELPFUL I hope all has a bless day :)))))
Emily on January 31, 2014:
Lana, I'm sorry--that is so hard! Maybe she could buy you some plain yogurt if you tell her you want to eat it and then sneak some into the bathroom to put on the infection--I've been using plain yogurt for about 5 days and my symptoms are almost gone (along with trying to avoid sugars/starches).
danielle on January 31, 2014:
I have had this Infection with discharge and smell for more than 5 years but I eat candy all day every day can this be causing it and What can I do
Clover on January 28, 2014:
I think I might Have a YI. Bit I am definetly not telling my mum. How long will it take to go away on it's own? The symptoms aren't bad it's just itchy.
Lana on December 29, 2013:
I have been dealing with a yeast infection for over two years, I'm a virgin, so I don't know how I got it... My mom has made my life a living hell. She won't let me sleep over at friends houses, or sit on the couch, or take baths. I have to shower everyday. (Which is actually not bad but I don't like being FORCED to do it) I have to put deodorant on my vagina and spray with deodorant spray. She tried burning it off once, with oregano, but that hurt more than it helped. I can't go to a doctor, she doesn't believe in doctors.... I'm only 14 and don't know what to do.
lashy on December 26, 2013:
I understand that you should always stay dry, but how is that possible if your always having discharges?
joe on December 23, 2013:
Angie on December 03, 2013:
Hey ladies, I'm 45 years young and haven't been bothered with this since having kids. I do love my beer but this started after finding out that my tampon was dry. What's that all about?
May on November 24, 2013:
Thanks..so interesting and helpful..and give me advice how to do to white vagina natural way
Help on October 31, 2013:
My vagina is sensitive I'm on my period this is the first day it ever happened and it spikes when i pee. I always feel like I have to pee. Help??
maureen singh on September 25, 2013:
Would this systom help relieve my yeast infections in any way
HelenM on July 12, 2013:
I have Yeast Infection for the past 3 years. I've been using the Candid cream and it does work. But i guess the problem is with my diet. i'm on a strict diet using only curd, unleavened bread, garlic, no sugar. Its slowly working. But i didn't try the inserting of garlic part. i'll try so it doesn't irritate me anymore.
New to the attack on April 08, 2013:
I'm 18 and ive recently just had my first yeast infection when I started dating my boyfriend and being more sexually active. I didn't know how gross and horrible they feel. So glad I found this! This is my third one In 4 months . This really helped! Thanks for sharing
kelly on April 05, 2013:
i have a white discharge and i was wondering how long do it last if i eat the yogurt and drink cranberry juice
Belle on January 13, 2013:
about the tampon coated in yogurt how long should it stay in the genetal area?
madam ro (author) on December 28, 2012:
Hey there, thanks to everyone for reading the hub. I'll try to answer questions as best I can.
First of all, age. Yeast infections can happen at any age, even babies can get yeast infections. Even men can get yeast infections.
Secondly to LadyD, I've never tried cranberry tablets for a yeast infection, but I have read other web posts/blogs from people who recommend them as a remedy. Sorry I don't have a more definitive answer for you but I don't want to vouch for something that I haven't tried myself.
Cindy, antibiotics don't technically cause yeast infections, but they create conditions in the body that allow yeast infections to grow easily. When you take antibiotics, they kill off all the bacteria in your body, but there are certain types of bacteria that live naturally in the body that control the levels of yeast we have. If that bacteria gets killed off the yeast can flourish especially if you get a little too much sugar or alcohol in your diet for a couple of days.
It is super common for women to get yeast infections after taking antibiotics to clear other infections in the body. Any time you have to take antibiotics, for whatever reason, you should make sure that you're eating a diet low in sugar, with lots of vegetables and water to ward off yeast infections.
Emily on December 27, 2012:
is it normal to have them at 12???
Cindy on December 26, 2012:
do antibiotics cause yeast infections? If so, what can i do to prevent them while on the antibiotics?
Karabo on November 17, 2012:
Is it normal to have yeast infection at your late 20s, i've tried evry home treatment but it doesn't seem to help.. went to gynae and was given anti-biotics but it came back after few weeks. what can i try?
LadyD on November 15, 2012:
Can cranberry tablets help you as well with a yeast infection? Do the tablets usually carry sugars?
madam ro (author) on November 14, 2012:
Alison, thanks for posting, it's great to hear a reassuring comment like that. Ladies, she is entirely right - yeast infections happen to every female, and your mothers will understand and sympathize.
In answer to the recent comment from 'grossed out', yes, if you go to a doctor with a suspected yeast infection, the doctor will examine you to make an accurate diagnosis. I know that can seem really weird and scary, but just remember doctors have seen hundreds and thousands of women without their underwear on, we all look the same to them.
grossed out on November 05, 2012:
if you go to the doctor to get a yeast infection llooked at does the doctor look at you privaates?
Alison on November 01, 2012:
Hey I am 18 years old. Just in regards to these young girls with this problem. There is no reason to be embarrassed of telling your mother. Your mom is a girl and i PROMISE you that she has had at least one if not multiple multiple yeast infections. Its going to be really hard to get rid of on your own. Honestly, I have have many in my lifetime. I am type one diabetic and with diabetes you tend to get them very often. I once had one for, not lying, 4 months. Awful. Told me mom, went to the doctor. Got medication and was cleared up in days. Don't be embarrassed to tell your mom. it may be awkward, but she will completely understand. :)
trippa97 on October 22, 2012:
im 15 i think i have a yest infcetion i don't no what to do is there anything i could do that gets rid of it fast with out telling my mumma
madam ro (author) on September 22, 2012:
Hi. with regards to the salt bath, you can use ordinary table salt. You don't need loads just a couple of tablespoons, a cup at most. The water should be warm but not hot, and 10-20 minutes is long enough. Then allow yourself to air dry.
The salt bath is one of those things that helps soothe the symptoms, but probably won't completely cure the infection on its own. Combine it with other remedies and try to figure out what caused your infection in the first place.
Dev on September 20, 2012:
Glad to see this. I cut out all grains from my diet, cold turkey, the day I got a yeast infection (for improved health, not vaginal reasons). I used one dose of Monistat 7. I didn't use the other 6 doses as I continued my grain free diet because I had NO symptoms of a YI the second day. Also, I've been dealing with BV for 5 months. Talk about terrible! I started an antibiotic (thus the yeast infection) and my symptoms were WORSE 2 days later! LOL! I stared my grain fee diet while on this antibiotic and didn't have to finish my last 2 days of the pills. I will continue my lifestyle change indefinitely!
dirh99 on September 17, 2012:
I tried the garlic without the yogurt and it wasn't that effective. I guess I'll give the yogurt method a try. And the garlic leaves you with garlic breath too so stick to using it during the night.
Erica on August 30, 2012:
This shit realy do work........THANK U SO MUCH;)
Breezybbb on August 07, 2012:
What kind of salt
tricee on August 02, 2012:
Do yu just sit in the salt water and how long if so
tricee on August 02, 2012:
Do yu just sit in the salt water and how long if so
chloe on July 25, 2012:
it helped alot
Courtney on July 21, 2012:
Im about to try it ive have
this infection for a while
So ima try every helpful
madam ro (author) on July 12, 2012:
The salt bath shouldn't sting, and you don't need more than a cup of salt - none of these methods should hurt, if they do, visit your doctor.
As for whether or not it will work, it's really important to figure out why you have the infection in the first place (Is it your diet, is it the type of underwear you have, your lifestyle etc..), and tackle the cause as well as the symptoms.
madam ro (author) on July 12, 2012:
Hi Nini, the garlic can be inserted last thing before you go to bed, and removed first thing in the morning. I don't suggest using it during the day purely because you might smell of garlic.
tamara1234 on July 11, 2012:
Will it work if I use the salt bath method. will it sting or burn if I may have some soreness
nini on July 08, 2012:
How long is the garlic suppost to stay inside vaginal? Hours? Minutes?
Samantha23 on July 07, 2012:
im 13, and i found out i have a yeast infection. it doesn't smell bad, and im embarrassed of telling my mom about this
Sam123 on June 30, 2012:
Am so happy I read up on this am 14 years old and Ive been having these yeast infections for a while now I wil try all your remedies !
uriha on June 30, 2012:
So happy I found this hub, I have had this for almost a year. I have been to docters,done the over the counter stuff(works for a little) and I was running out of I'm going to try the cocanut stuff. But isn't bad for you to wear a tampon when not menstraiting?
jj on June 26, 2012:
lily on June 25, 2012:
Im 13 and i have a yeast infection which smells terrible. Is there anything i can do without telling my mum to get rid of it?
madam ro (author) on June 23, 2012:
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Different people have different causes of reoccurring infection (one lady told me that she had yeast infections all throughout high school because she was on antibiotics medication for acne). For me, it's definitely the food I eat that causes infection; I have a killer sweet tooth, love bread and enjoy wine and beer and cocktails - all those things cause candida bacteria to grow, sigh.
Anyway, good luck, I hope you have success.
shanna on June 22, 2012:
Glad i found this ive been dealing with this for about 6 months and im going to try this ive been to the doctor about it they gave me a pill and 2wks later i had another so no more wasted money on the doctor visit :) thanks
sick and tired on June 16, 2012:
Ive been dealing with yeast infections for over a year and a half I'm so glad I found this I've tried the yogurt on a tampon it worked for a little while but going to try it again along with the garlic clove thanks ladies :)
madam ro (author) on June 06, 2012:
Hi Nee, you could try talking to your mom/older sister/ aunt/school nurse for advice. Yeast infections are super common amongst girls and women of all ages, so your mom or the school nurse will know what you're going through.
madam ro (author) on June 06, 2012:
Hey Desiree, thanks for reading the hub. I don't have any medical training so I'm not qualified to give you advice on treatment, the hub is all about stuff I've tried and what works for me.
What you should know though is that yeast infections are really common amongst females (I've never met a woman who hasn't had this). Even babies can get them! So even though it's embarrassing to talk to your parents about this stuff, your mom will know exactly what you're going through.
madam ro (author) on June 06, 2012:
Hi Taniya. This hub is just based on my own personal experiences and I'm not medically trained so I can't give you a definite answer. All I can tell you is that I've heard positive things about the oral single dose pills, that they clear up symptoms fairly quickly.
desiree812 on June 06, 2012:
i just found out i got a yeast infection and haven't told anyone im 13 and i would wana cure it the healthier way.So i don't want to tell my mom or dad should i?Should i be overprotective of curing it or what should i do?
taniya on May 31, 2012:
Ive had many yeast infections but this one is painful.my gyn doctor prescribed me one pill of fluconzole.does that pill works?
madam ro (author) on May 28, 2012:
Hi thanks for the comments.
Chandi, I've never heard of the Yeast Arrest, but I don't know how I'd feel about using anything with boric acid as a suppository. I am a big fan of the coconut oil though, it doesn't smell bad, it's immediately soothing, and you're spot on about using it as a lubricant ... although I don't know if it would have a negative effect on condoms like some oil based lubricants do.
Née on May 28, 2012:
Money I meant
Nee on May 28, 2012:
I have that problem too but I'm a kid I don't really know how to do that and don't hav that dough :(