8 Home Remedies for Yeast Infection & What to Eat

Medical review: Dr. Sheila Sedicias
Gynecologist

Some home remedies, like chamomiles sitz baths,  contain antifungal properties can help with the treat of a yeast infection. A yeast infection, or candidiasis, is a fungal infection characterized by the overgrowth of Candida albicans fungas that can affect the genitals, skin, mouth or intestines. 

Garlic, tea tree oil and coconut oil can also help to fight yeast infections, as they contain antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Another way to treat yeast infections is to consume food with natural probiotics (like yogurt or kefir), natural prebiotics (like whole grains) and natural anti-inflammatories (like fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy fats). These goods help to maintain intestinal flora balance and strengthen the immune system. 

1. Yogurt and honey

A literature review completed in 2019 concluded that yogurt and honey can be used to complement prescribed treatment for vaginal yeast infections. When eaten or applied externally, it was found that vaginal itchiness and redness caused by fungal cells was significantly reduced.

The study highlighted the importance of using this method solely as a complement to the guidelines given to you by your doctor. 

2. Boric acid

For decades, boric acid has been used for effectively treating vaginal yeast infections. They can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies in the form of vaginal suppositories. You should use them as indicated on the package instructions.

A commonly referenced study showed that boric acid vaginal suppositories had a 92% effectiveness rate of treating yeast infections after 7 to 10 days. Women from this study reported satisfaction with how easy and mess-free this treatment can be. 

3. Coconut oil and tea tree oil ointment 

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and caprylic, which contain antifungal and antimicrobial action, making it a great way to treat genital yeast infections. Tea trees are a medicinal plant with potent antibacterial and antifungal action and using its essential oil to treat a yeast infection can help to decrease fungal growth. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, solid
  • 2 drops of tea tree oil 

How to prepare:

Wash you hands well. In a bowl, mix the coconut oil and tea tree oil with a spoon until well-combined. Apply to the genitals once per day for up to 5 days.

4. Sitz bath with chamomile tea 

Chamomile has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties, which can help to treat and reduce symptoms associated with genital yeast infections, like itching and burning.  Learn more about the benefits of chamomile tea

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 L (33 oz) of water 

How to prepare:

Boil the water, then remove from heat and add the dried chamomile flowers. Cover and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Then strain and pour into your sitz basin, along with more water to fill it up. After performing adequate genital hygiene, sit in the sitz bath for 20 minutes, once per day. You can also soak a gauze in this tea and pat the genital areas with it once per day. 

5. Propolis

Propolis is a resin that is rich in antioxidants that contain bactericide and antifungal properties. It can help to strenthen the immune system to fight yeast infections. 

ingredients:

  • 20 drops of propils extract 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey 

How to prepare:

Stir the propolis extract in the honey and take this once per day for 20 to 30 days to strengthen the immune system and fight a yeast infection..

Considerations for use: Propolis extract is not infeicated for people with bee allergies or for people who have allergies to any components of the propolis formula. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should only use propolis as instructed by their doctor. 

6. Sitz bath with apple cider vinegar 

This vinegar is rich in gallic, lactic and citric acid, which are compounds rich in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These can play a role in treating a genital yeast infection. 

ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 L (33 oz) of warm water 

How to prepare:

Stir the apple cider vinegar into the warm water and transfer the mixture into a sitz basin. After performing genital hygiene, sit in the sitz bath for 20 minutes, once per day.

Considerations for use: The apple cider vinegar should always be diluted in water before coming into contact with the skin, as it can cause irritation. Pregnant women should not perform this sitz bath. 

7. Sitz bath with sodium bicarbonate 

Sodium bicarbonate is a chemiical substance with a naturally alkaline pH level. It can be used in sitz baths to decrease vaginal acidity, which interferes with the growth and spread of Candida sp. fungas. It may help to relieve symptoms like itching and irritation. associated with yeast infections.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate 
  • 3 L (100 oz) of warm water

How to prepare:

Stir the sodium bicarbonate into the warm water and transfer to a sitz basin. After performing genital hygiene, sit in the sitz bath for 20 minutes, twice per day to relieve symptoms. 

8. Oregano essential oil 

Oregano essential oil has potent antimicrobial and fungicide action, making it a great option to treat skin yeast infections. It can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans fungus. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 drops of oregano essential oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of any vegetable or plant-based oil (e.g. coconut, olive or almond oil)

How to prepare:

In a bowl, stir the esstential oil and vegetable oil in a bowl until well-combined. Perform hand hygiene and apply the mixture to the skin, massaging it into affected areas.

Considerations for use: Oregano essential oil is contraindicated for people with allergies to thyme, basil, miny or salvia, as these are plants from the same family as oregano. In addition, oregano should be used by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

What to eat to treat yeast infections

To treat a yeast infection, you should incorporate foods with natural prebiotics and probiotics into your diet (like whole grains, garlic, kombucha and kefir). These foods can help to strengthen the intestinal flora to fight candidiasis. 

In addition, you should try to consume more fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and seeds, as these contain potent anti-inflammatories which can boost the immune system. 

When treating a yeast infection, you should avoid all types of sweets (e.g. ice cream and cookies) and refined cereals (e.g. bread and white pasta) as these foods can cause an imbalance in intestinal flora and worsen the infection. 

Was this information helpful?

Atualizado por Tua Saude editing team, em April de 2022. Medical review por Dr. Sheila Sedicias - Gynecologist, em March de 2022.

References

  • KARIMI, F. Z. et al. Effect of honey and yogurt on vaginal candidiasis: A systematic review and meta- analysis of clinical trials. Scientific Journal of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences. Vol. 24, n. 5. 105-119, 2019
  • Van Slyke, K. et al. Treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with boric acid powder. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Vol.141, n.2. 145-148, 1981
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Medical review:
Dr. Sheila Sedicias
Gynecologist
Physician graduated in Mastology and Gynecology by UFPE in 2008 and member no. 17459 of CRM-PE, Brazil.