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Yeast Infections: DIY Solutions for Relief

Yeast infections, caused by an overgrowth of Candida fungus, can be a nuisance, particularly in intimate areas. Here’s how to identify and address them at home:

Spotting a Yeast Infection:

  1. Recognizing Symptoms: Look out for itching, redness, and unusual discharge in genital areas. Pain during urination or sex may also indicate an infection. If you are extremely itchy, it’s likely to be a yeast infection. If you feel a lot of internal burning, that is likely to be yeast that is very overgrown.
  2. Noting Odor: Though not always present, a slight yeasty smell can accompany the symptoms.
  3. Considering Health History: Those with a history of yeast infections, recent antibiotic use, or underlying health conditions like diabetes are more susceptible. Have you had a lot of sugar and simple carbohydrates in your diet recently? That feeds yeast and can lead to an overgrowth.

Addressing a Yeast Infection at Home:

  1. Over-the-Counter Remedies: Antifungal creams or suppositories containing clotrimazole or miconazole can effectively combat yeast overgrowth. Follow the instructions carefully.
  2. Exploring Home Remedies: Several natural remedies may offer relief:
  • Probiotics: Consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements can restore the body’s microbial balance. Eat one cup of probiotic food or drink daily: unsweetened yogurt or kefir, raw sauerkraut, kimchee, other fermented vegetables, kombucha, etc.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Diluted tea tree oil possesses antifungal properties and can be applied topically to skin. Be sure to dilute with a carrier oil. Do not use internally.
  • Garlic: Incorporating raw garlic or supplements into your diet may help fight off the infection. Mince a whole clove and add it to your food at each meal.
  • Yogurt: Applying plain yogurt with live cultures to the affected area or consuming it orally may aid in rebalancing the body’s bacteria. If you feel burning already, yogurt will increase that sensation and you may want to forego this method and just take it internally.
  • Herbs: Seek out herbal capsules or tinctures that contain herbs known to fight fungus (Candida is a fungus):
    • Garlic (Allium sativum): Contains allicin, a compound with potent antifungal properties. Garlic can be consumed raw, cooked, or in supplement form.
    • Oregano (Origanum vulgare): Rich in compounds like carvacrol and thymol, which exhibit strong antifungal activity. Oregano oil is commonly used to combat Candida.
    • Grapefruit Seed Extract: Contains compounds such as citricidal, which have antifungal properties. It can be taken orally or applied topically.
    • Pau d’Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa): Also known as lapacho or taheebo, Pau d’Arco contains compounds like lapachol, which have antifungal properties. It is often brewed into a tea or taken in supplement form.
    • Caprylic Acid: Derived from coconut oil, caprylic acid has been found to have antifungal effects. It is available in supplement form.
    • Black Walnut (Juglans nigra): Contains juglone, a compound with antifungal properties. Black walnut hulls are commonly used in tinctures or capsules.
    • Berberine: Found in herbs like goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and barberry (Berberis vulgaris), berberine has demonstrated antifungal activity against Candida species.
    • Clove (Syzygium aromaticum): Contains eugenol, a compound with antifungal properties. Clove oil can be diluted and applied topically or used in mouthwashes.
    • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Contains thymol, a natural antifungal compound. Thyme can be used in cooking or as a tea.
    • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Contains berberine, an alkaloid with antifungal properties. Goldenseal is available in supplement form or as a tincture.
    • These herbs can be incorporated into your diet as supplements, teas, or topical treatments to help combat Candida overgrowth. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using herbal remedies, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
  1. Dietary Adjustments: Eliminate sugar and refined carbs (bread, cake, cookies, pastries, white potatoes, white rice, white flour, sugar, corn syrup, fruits except green apples and berries, corn) to starve the fungus, because Candida thrives on sugar. Opt for a balanced diet with emphasis on whole foods.
  2. Hygiene Practices: Maintain good hygiene habits, such as wearing breathable cotton underwear and avoiding scented products and synthetic products, to prevent further irritation.
  3. Seeking Professional Advice: If symptoms persist or worsen, make an appointment for proper diagnosis and treatment. Perhaps what you have isn’t a yeast infection.

Yeast infections can be effectively managed at home with the right approach. Listen to your body! Stay attentive to symptoms, try home remedies, and seeking medical advice if needed, you can alleviate discomfort and restore balance to your body.

Pregnant? Consult your healthcare provider.

Several of the herbs listed may be contraindicated during pregnancy due to their potential effects on uterine contractions or other risks. It’s crucial for pregnant individuals to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using any herbal remedies. Here are the herbs from the list that are generally considered contraindicated during pregnancy (and double/triple check the rest of the herbs before consuming):

  1. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra): Black walnut hulls are not recommended during pregnancy due to the presence of juglone, which may have uterine-stimulating effects.
  2. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Goldenseal contains berberine, which may have uterine-stimulating effects and is generally not recommended during pregnancy.
  3. Grapefruit Seed Extract: While there isn’t sufficient evidence to determine its safety during pregnancy, grapefruit seed extract is sometimes avoided due to concerns about its potential effects on hormone levels.