Treating Yeast Infections without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are the keystone of modern medicine, but are we are getting too much of a good thing? At the first sign of a sniffle, do you run to the doctor for treatment? It seems that no matter the problem, the answer is always to take a pill. And while this is quite a lucrative endeavor for pharmaceutical companies, what happened to trying natural remedies first?
Take for example a yeast infection. A natural yeast infection treatment is possible, but because we live in a culture of Western medicine, most people think the only way to solve the problem is through antibiotics. Unfortunately, they may soon realize that traditional oral medications aren’t as effective as once thought for yeast infections. After taking an extended course of antibiotics, they may be confronted with recurrent yeast infections. Why not consider home remedies for yeast infections?
In addition to the failure of treatment, consumers also waste a lot of money since prescription medication can be quite expensive. Thirdly, it’s not always in your best interest to take antibiotics for an extended period of time. For example, were you aware that prolonged antibiotic therapy can cause severe side effects such as chronic diarrhea and you can become immune to that specific antibiotic? Not only is it unpleasant, but what will happen if you need to take that antibiotic again possibly as an older person but cannot due to its ineffectiveness?
Types of Natural Yeast Infection Treatments
If you’ve found yourself in this particular situation, maybe it’s time to try a more holistic and natural way of curing your yeast infection. You could begin by seeking out an herbalist in your community or online. Long ago, the only means of medicinal treatment was with herbs and other types of plants. An herbalist can make recommendations on natural products and remedies for your condition. Natural treatments are generally less expensive than prescription medication and can be just as effective, if not more. Natural products are also less harmful to your body in general.
The amazing thing is that most natural remedies can be found as close as your own refrigerator or kitchen cupboards. You just need to think outside the box and learn how to use these products in a new and different way. Items such as yogurt, cranberries, vinegar, garlic and coconut oil all have natural healing properties which — when used correctly — can help your body recover from a yeast infection without waiting in line at the pharmacy.
Natural Yeast Infection Remedies around the Kitchen, Tried and True
One of the most common, natural remedies for yeast infection is yogurt. You’ve heard how good yogurt is for the digestive track. Those same properties are applied in the treatment of yeast infection. When unwelcome strains of yeast overrun your body, the beneficial cultures in yogurt known as Lactobacillus acidophilus can help put this delicate system back into balance.
The most important thing to remember when using yogurt for the treatment of yeast infection is that it needs to be plain, unsweetened yogurt and it needs to include the active culture Lactobacillus acidophilus. All the sugary, flavored yogurts on the market will not be helpful at all in the battle against Candida yeast. Yeast feeds on sugar, so using any yogurt other than plain is like adding fuel to the fire.
There are different methods of incorporating yogurt into your treatment regimen. First of all, adding to or increasing your dietary yogurt intake is the first step. The good cultures in yogurt will go to work destroying the excessive amounts of Candida yeast within your intestinal track. The less unwelcome yeast bacteria the better. For those with recurring yeast infections, you may want to make yogurt part of your daily diet to help you combat these unfriendly yeast blooms.
Yogurt can also be used as a cold poultice on the affected area of skin. This will help to eradicate the Candida yeast as well as help relieve itching, an uncomfortable symptom of a yeast infection. Leave the application in place for several minutes, even overnight if at all possible. Rinse thoroughly afterward. Be sure to apply the poultice to a wide enough treatment area. Repeat two or three times each day for seven days.
For vaginal yeast infections, try dipping a tampon in yogurt which has been frozen to a firm consistency, though not solid. Insert the tampon into the vagina at bedtime, remove in the morning, and rinse the vaginal opening thoroughly. Yogurt can also be applied to the external areas of the vagina as well. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are countless uses for vinegar around the home. It is gaining more and more popularity as a beneficial component in a healthy diet, as well as an ideal replacement in the eradication of harmful household cleaning chemicals. Now it appears vinegar is an ideal combative in the battle against yeast infection.
When the acidic levels inside our bodies are off kilter, this forms an ideal breeding ground for yeast growth. Yeast and other types of bacteria do not like acid. Vinegar works to restore the natural Ph balance within the body, bringing acid back up to its proper level, therefore making your body a less desirable breeding ground for the yeast to thrive. It is also a natural antifungal agent.
Raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar is the best choice for this job, though common white vinegar has similar components. Organic apple cider vinegar is not the clear reddish kind you commonly find on the grocer’s shelf. The organic variety is a ruddy brown in color with a white thread, or filaments floating about inside. Though it used to be stocked mostly by whole foods and health food outlets, it is gaining in popularity and can be found in many grocery stores today.
To utilize this powerful agent in your treatment against yeast infection, try soaking in a warm bath with one cup of organic apple cider vinegar. You can also mix a couple of tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of warm water. Drink this two times a day for three days. Vinegar may also be diluted with water and applied directly to the affected skin for thirty minutes. Rinse well after each application.
Though most commonly associated with Thanksgiving, you may be giving thanks to cranberries once you’ve tried them as a natural remedy in the treatment of yeast infection. These potent little acidic berries are both an antibacterial and antifungal agent and have been shown to provide relief from not only yeast infection, but urinary tract and bladder infections as well.
Unsweetened cranberry juice can be drank several times a day to help promote speedy healing. If you have a hard time finding an unsweetened brand of juice, try cranberry tablets a few times a day. Most natural health stores stock cranberry tablets.
Just a few cloves of garlic may be all you need to be on your way to restoring good health. This tiny, common herb is not only a natural antibiotic, but it’s also packed with antifungal and antibacterial properties as well which go a long way in the treatment of yeast infection.
Eating fresh garlic cloves daily or ingesting garlic tablets works to restore your body’s health balance. You can also create a paste by crushing two or three cloves and applying directly to the affected area. If the skin is raw or broken, try wrapping the crushed garlic in a fine fabric such as cheesecloth and gently apply to the area.
One of the fastest growing markets in natural health care products is raw organic extra virgin coconut oil. It seems in just a few short years coconut oil has become the go-to for everything from skin and hair care to a health and dietary aid. The reasons for this are many, but include its effect as an antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral as well as being a substitute for a more healthy fat in the diet.
Coconut oil may be used both externally and internally in the treatment of yeast infection. Try it in different ways to find the method that is most beneficial for you. Internally, coconut oil makes an easy addition to the diet. Use it as a substitute anytime a fat would be used in cooking such as butter, cooking oils or even as a creamer for tea or coffee. Be creative and have some fun experimenting with its different uses while working to heal your body at the same time.
Externally, you may apply the oil to affected areas a few times a day until the infection is cleared. Other essential oils with the appropriate healing properties such as cinnamon oil or garlic oil may be added to the coconut oil to promote healing. Wherever the yeast is growing, coconut oil can be applied.
As with yogurt, coconut oil can be used inside the vagina as well. Mix a small amount with some warm water to create a soothing, healing douche application, or—as with yogurt—dip a tampon in coconut oil and insert into the vagina overnight.
If yeast is present in the mouth, as in the case of thrush, coconut oil can be used as an oral rinse three times a day. If using essential oils such as cinnamon or tea tree, avoid swallowing the rinse.
Other Natural Remedies for Candida and Yeast Infections
For vaginal yeast infections, boric acid is gaining steam in the fight against tough yeast infections. Certain strains of yeast are proving to be resistant against standard treatments and remedies. When this occurs, boric acid — a natural antifungal and antiseptic — may be the key to resolving the infection. A few things to make note of: boric acid should never be applied directly to skin as it is an irritant; it should not be taken orally as it is a toxic substance when taken internally, and it should not be used during pregnancy.
Check your pharmacy or health outlet for vaginal suppositories containing boric acid. If they do not carry them on the shelf, your pharmacist may agree to make them for you, according to the University of Washington’s UW Medicine website, by using boric acid powder (not crystals) in a size 0 gelatin capsule.
One capsule should be placed in the vagina each night at bed for two weeks or as directed by your health care provider. Though boric acid is toxic if taken orally in this form, it is not harmful to your vagina. After treatment is complete, to protect against recurrent infection, capsules may be used twice a week for six to twelve months under the direction of your provider.
Oil of Oregano
Another powerful product of nature useful in the treatment of yeast infection is oil of oregano. This oil is both a proven antifungal as well as antibacterial thanks to its two antimicrobial agents, thymol and carvacrol. Oil of oregano has even been used in place of pharmaceutical antibiotics by the livestock industry in raising both chickens and pigs for human consumption.
When using oil of oregano in the treatment of yeast infection, you can chose one of two methods, either external or internal. Externally, the oil can be used topically on the affected skin, but it should first be diluted in a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil.
Internally, oil of oregano capsules are available at health outlets. Initially start with one capsule per day taken with food. After you find to be tolerating that dosage well, increase to two capsules per day. If taking it in a high quality oil form, start with one drop of oil once per day mixed with water and taken with a meal. Increase to one drop three times per day, taken at each meal.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a popular antifungal which is used as an external remedy for a number of infections such as nail fungus, acne, and even athlete’s foot.
It can be used in the treatment of yeast infection by diluting a few drops in a carrier oil such as olive oil or sweet almond oil. Rub on affected skin occasionally throughout the day until the infection clears. Remember never to take tea tree oil internally, use a diluted mixture, and be cautious when using in areas of sensitive skin.
The Next Step, So Many Natural Remedies from Which to Choose
So, you chose a natural remedy with which you felt comfortable, researched it to your satisfaction and followed the treatment plan for the expected amount of time, but you’re still not over your yeast infection? What now?
As with any course of treatment, if you’ve followed the plan and you’re still having symptoms, it might be time to talk with your healthcare provider. Let them know what natural methods you tried. Yeast infections can be stubborn and uncomfortable, but they are definitely treatable. Working in conjunction with your provider, together you will find a solution.