Do you know about 3 out of four women have suffered a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their lifetime?
According to the American Family Physician Journal, at least 45 % of women will get two or more infections in their lifetime. And these chances increase during pregnancy.
But you may be wondering what is a yeast infection?
Yeast infection or candidiasis is caused by yeast, a type of fungus known as Candida.
Yeast can be beneficial and disastrous in a human body depending on the type and percentage of fungal concentration.
Candida usually lives in the body parts like the mouth, guts, vagina, and throat without causing infections as long as the typical environment is not altered.
However, in case of any alteration in their balance or organic environment, this fungus can be disastrous. They may multiply and cause infections like a thrust in the mouth or vulvovaginal candidiasis in the vulva.
Scientifically, many types of fungus cause infections in human beings. But in this post, I will dwell on Candida albicans, a fungus responsible for vaginal infections.
What causes vaginal yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis?
Yeast infection occurs due to an increase in the number of fungi that resides in the vagina. The growth can happen when the ph or vaginal normal working environment is altered.
Some of the factors that may increase your chances of getting yeast infection include;
- Being pregnant thus altering your hormonal balance
- Having a medical condition like diabetes
- Some medications like antibiotics
- Some birth control pills
- Weak immune system
- Yeast infection and pregnancy
Under normal circumstances, a healthy vagina contains some bacteria and yeast cells at a considerable amount.
But, when the vaginal environment is altered for whatever reasons, the balance of these bacteria and yeast may be affected. They may either multiple or die, factors that may lead to infections.
Pregnancy is that period that causes a shift in hormone levels. The shift in hormonal levels may change the pH balance in the vagina. This creates a favorable environment for yeast to grow.
If you are not pregnant and have a normal or strong immune system, yeast infection can hardly cause serious health complications. However, if pregnant, most doctors advocate for treating it as early as possible to avoid passing the yeast to your baby during delivery.
How Do I Know If I Have a Yeast Infection?
The signs of yeast infection can manifest in many forms;
- You’ll experience itchiness in your vagina and vulva.
- You’ll have an odorless, white vaginal discharge similar to cottage cheese
- You may experience soreness in the vagina or vulva
- A burning sensation when urinating or during sex
- A rash on or around the vulva
Most of these symptoms may last for a few days if you take treatment just at the onset of the infection. Others can last for days or weeks.
In newborns, candidiasis may occur in the mouth, also called thrust. Similarly, this may happen to women with weakened immunity.
RELATED: 17 Simple Rules To Live By If You Want To Reduce Vaginal Itchiness and Odor
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7 Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
You may want to know; how do you treat yeast infections at home? well, there are many remedies for vaginal yeast infection, but here are my top picks;
1. Fortify your immunity with vitamin C
Pregnancy may put your hormones and immune system in constant flux. And with compromised immunity and disruption in hormonal balance, the yeast cells that have stayed under control may now get a reason to multiply and cause infection.
As such, you must be at the forefront to guard and boost your immunity throughout your pregnancy. The best way to stay on guard is to eat foods rich in vitamin C.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, vitamin C is the most excellent immune booster. And lack of it makes you prone to infections and sickness.
Unfortunately, your body can neither produce nor store these types of vitamins no wonder you must take them daily. And the best way to take them is through your daily diet or dietitian-approved supplements like Amazon Elements Vitamin C and Now Chewable C 500
Why should you boost your immunity?
Yeast is an opportunistic infection and thrives best where there is no defense. If your body can not fight back, you may keep treating and having reinfections over and over.
However, the best thing about vitamin C is that you can get them in almost everyday food. You don’t have to struggle with special diets to consume enough vitamins for the day.
Here is a list of foods that are excellent sources of vitamin C
- Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruits
- Red bell peppers
Additionally, consume foods rich in vitamin B6 to help biochemical reactions in your immunity. Above all, do not forget to include vitamin E. They are excellent oxidants and may aid in fighting off infections.
2. Starve the yeast and Prevent its overgrowth with a candida diet
Yeast thrives on sugar and a moist warm environment. One study found that foods with high glucose concentrations likely promote candida growth in the body.
As such, eating foods high in refined sugar, glutens and alcohol may increase the chances of candida growth in your body.
According to the candida diet, eating certain types of food can also help fight yeast infections. The number one food on the list is leaf greens.
Leafy greens contain chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for sunlight absorption in plants. According to medics, chlorophyll is an excellent antioxidant and helps to detoxify and protect body cells from damage.
Likewise, due to its high content of vitamins and minerals, consuming chlorophyll in your diet can slow or stop Candida growth. It can also help with hormonal balancing, one of the causes of vaginal yeast infection.
Also, Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, spinach, sprouts, arugula, swiss chard, and kale, are among the most potent foods that may help to slow or stop Candida in your body.
Some of these leafy greens contain isothiocyanates. These are sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that inhibit Candida’s growth. Their antibacterial properties also support a healthy balance of bacteria.
3. Fortify your gut with probiotics to keep Candida under control
Probiotics are live and beneficial bacteria found in our bodies. Most of these bacteria reside in the guts for digestive purposes.
Likewise, your vaginal environment relies on a balance between harmful and good bacteria to remain healthy. Pregnancy causes hormonal imbalance, and so is the sickness that alters your immunity.
These alterations in body functioning may create a favourable environment for overgrowth and the spread of some bacteria like Candida.
Similarly, it may inhibit the survival of good bacteria. This imbalance between good and harmful bacteria may result in yeast infection if left untreated.
Consuming foods with natural probiotics can help bring the desired balance in your vagina and slow or stop yeast infections. These foods include yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, soft cheese, kimchi, and unpasteurized sauerkraut.
I would recommend Plain Greek yogurt, especially if you’re starting to feel the symptoms of yeast. Taking yogurt is not only safe for pregnant women, but research has also shown that yogurt is effective in treating vaginal yeast infections.
Additionally, you may use probiotic repositories and supplements as they have proved equally effective. Adding probiotic supplements like Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care to your diet will promote the growth of good bacteria, which will combat infections such as Candida or thrush in the mouth.
4. Attack the Candida with herbs and spices
Since time memorial, women have resorted to natural herbs when searching for remedies concerning the illness of reproductive systems. And yeast infection is no exception.
Many studies suggest that most herbs and spices contain potent antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties effective in curing yeast infection. And here are my top picks;
Turmeric for yeast infection
Turmeric is an Indian/Asian spice widely used in food preparation. It consists of curcumin as its primary active compound. One study suggests that curcumin consists of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities, thus proving effective in killing or slowing the growth of yeast cells.
The most common way of consuming curcumin is by adding turmeric powder to food or smoothies. However, doing so alone will not give you enough curcumin dosage to impact yeast infection. Try consuming turmeric through a 150mg to 250 mg encapsulated dietary supplement if you want to see results.
Cloves for yeast infection
One study shows that cloves contain eugenol, powerful oil with antifungal and antiseptic activities perfect for the anti-Candida diet. In another research by the Journal of Drug Target, Clove oil consisted of antimicrobial activities that potentially treat vaginal candidiasis.
Additionally, eugenol is an immune system stimulant; thus, it can enhance your immunity’s infection-fighting capabilities.
Cloves may be taken in clove teas. Likewise, you may soak the dried buds in a water jar overnight or atleast until the water turns brownish. Take a sitz bath for yeast infection using the water.
Cinnamon for yeast infection
Cinnamon is a natural herb with inflammatory and antifungal properties that can damage the cell membrane of the yeast, thus inhibiting their growth.
According to a study, cinnamaldehyde extract combined with Nyastatin was found to have a great effect in combating the fungal growth of both Candida albicans and Candida glabrata
5. Consume more fresh garlic
According to a study, garlic is one of the strongest Candida killers. It contains allicin, a natural antifungal compound property known to inhibit the growth and reproduction of Candida cells.
One research that compared the effect of topical cream made from garlic and thyme with another topical clotrimazole cream found that both treatments were equally effective in treating vaginal itchiness-related symptoms.
Although more research needs to be done to wade off any doubts about the effectiveness of garlic in treating yeast infection, there are other health benefits you reap from using garlic without possible side effects.
Why don’t you try adding a freshly crushed raw garlic ingredient to your anti-Candida diet? It may go a long way in slowing the growth of Candida, if not kill it completely.
Likewise, you may use it as a spice when frying food. Also, you can crush two cloves and soak them in pure coconut oil. Leave the mixture overnight, and then apply it to your vulva.
The trick in using garlic to cure yeast is consuming it as soon as you start feeling the symptoms. Add a little more in food than usual.
6. Use Carrier and essential oil to inhibit yeast colonization
Most of these oils are concentrated liquid extracts from various plants known to have antifungal and antimicrobial activities, thus making them effective in treating yeast infections. Here are my top picks.
Pure organic Coconut oil for yeast infection
Coconut oil derived from coconut fruit consists of caprylic, capric acid, and lauric fatty acid. According to research, caprylic acid can interfere with the cell membranes of yeast fungus, thus inhibiting its growth. They consist of antifungal properties effective in reducing the spread of certain yeast cells.
Recent studies have also shown that pure organic coconut oil has the ability to kill C. Albicans, the fungus responsible for causing yeast infections.
Extra virgin Olive oil for yeast infection
According to a study set to investigate the effectiveness of cinnamon and olive oil on their ability to kill candida cells, the researchers concluded that these two oils were effective in killing about 50% of the candida isolates. Furthermore, both oils were able to combat About 55.5% of fluconazole-resistant C. krusei strains.
Tea tree oil for yeast infection
One study suggests combining tea tree oil and probiotics can effectively treat vaginal candidiasis.
According to researchers, tea tree oil consists of antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, which allows them to break down the yeast biofilm, thus preventing them from spreading.
Likewise, other researchers have also alluded to the fact that vaginal repositories made from tea tree oils were effective in treating candida infections.
I bet you’ve used oregano from your nearest store. However, when dealing with a yeast infection, you may only want to consider the oil of oregano made from the wild oregano, origanum vulgare. This is because they contain thymol and carvacrol antifungals, which are strong antibacterial and can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans.
Oils of oregano inhibited yeast growth by dehydrating the yeast cells and killing the membrane. Its Carvacrol and thymol properties are excellent inhibitors of biofilm formation.
You may insert repositories or Capsules containing oil of oregano at night. Alternatively, you may apply the oil to a tampon before insertion. Worthy to note is, Essential oils like oregano should be mixed with carrier oils before use. Never apply directly to the skin.
7. Sitz bath with Apple cider vinegar
It’s hard to mention the anti-candida diet without mentioning apple cider vinegar. As the name suggests, apple cider comes from apple, a natural fruit with numerous health benefits.
According to research, apple cider vinegar contains antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that kill yeast cells. Studies indicate that ACV can damage candida protein structure and cell membrane, thus inhibiting their growth.
- Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Add to your cup of black tea and enjoy your combo.
One study shows that black tea consists of polyphenols that can equally fight yeast cells. Similarly, the tea can help to absorb and mask the vinegar’s smell, thus allowing you to drink it easily.
Similarly, you may do a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to cover you halfway while seated. Add 2 cups of ACV and soak for about 10 minutes. Taking an ACV sitz bath for about three days can help heal the vaginal infection.
Also, you may consider adding it to your diet, and the best way will be to use Apple Cider Vinegar in salads or smoothies.
Dealing with an Itchy Vagina: 8 Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching
Here’s how I get rid of vaginal yeast infection in three days
Note; I start as early as I feel the symptoms of itchiness and discharge.
- Take a glass of Greek yogurt twice a day. In the morning and evening. You may also consider other types of fermented milk products like mala.
- Take extra virgin olive oil or pure coconut oil in a 50ml bottle
- Add 3 to five drops of essential oil- Tea tree is my all-time favorite.
- Take 3 cloves of garlic and cut them into small pieces. You may crush them in a mortar.
- Add the garlic to your carrier and essential oil mixture.
- Let it stays for at least 12 hours
- Pour the mixture on your pad and wear it overnight.
- You may repeat the procedure for at least three days.
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DISCLAIMER The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. I’m not a health practitioner and as such, this information should not be used as a substitute for consultation with your professional service provider.