Got that burning/itching won't-go-away-feeling between your legs? Before you reach for toxic and messy Monistat or that toxic devil Diflucan (it’s harsh on your liver), trust that the answer to your problems is in nature!
A yeast infection is your body's way of telling you that more than your vagina is sad--your body is out of balance! Throughout our body exists a delicate and intricate network of micro-organisms that control quite a few things about us. They help maintain homeostasis across multiple bodily systems. When our microbiome is out of whack, it can result in a multitude of symptoms. A yeast infection or candidiasis is just one of these.
Maintaining balance involves lifestyle changes, but they can influence you greatly--from having chronic yeast infections to never having one again!
Some health issues contribute to your chances of getting "the itch."
- Compromised immune system: If you have a chronic illness or are run down, you're at more risk of a compromised microbiome.
- Birth control pills: Birth control pills can affect the microbiome because synthetic hormones raise "fake estrogen" levels in the body, contributing to a lack of balance in your body.
- Antibiotics: A round of antibiotics will kill both the bad guys and good guys in your system. The good bacteria eat yeast like pac-men, so when you annihilate your allies, you're prone to invasion.
- Diet: Processed foods, alcohol, a diet high in sugars and simple carbohydrates as well as fruits and vegetables heavy in pesticides all promote candida overgrowth.
So, here are some natural ways to combat a yeast infection or chronic yeast infection issue:
Take a probiotic daily: Get in the habit of taking a high-quality probiotic daily.Replenishing your gut microbiome with good bacteria helps keep candida in check. A strong, vibrant microbiome supports better digestion and immune function
Ever heard of Saccharomyces boulardii? It’s a beneficial yeast that combats candida overgrowth. In addition, Saccharomyces boulardii can be taken at the same time as antibiotics to help manage the potential for yeast infections after a round of antibiotics. Because it’s transient and doesn’t take residence in your gut, it’s important to also replenish your microbiome with probiotics that stick around long-term.
Only eat organic: Because of the association between pesticides and candida overgrowth, buy only organic fruits and vegetables. Wash them well prior to eating. Stick with low glycemic fruits if you are prone to yeast infections. Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables and high alkaline vegetables that will help flush toxins from your system.
Baking soda: A 2014 study found that baking soda kills candida. Put a pinch of baking soda in un-fluorinated water and drink it daily for prevention. This helps transform your system into an alkaline environment---and candida can't survive in alkaline! For symptom relief, you can create a paste with baking soda and coconut oil or just baking soda and a little water and apply to affected area. You can also sit in a bath with baking soda for symptom relief. (Take that, Monistat!).
Boric Acid: Although this sounds like some sort of torture technique--applying acid to the vagina--it's actually not a true acid as you might be imagining and it won't harm you! In fact, boric acid use for yeast infections is supported by about 14 clinical studies. Cure rates range from 40-100%, so it’s worth a try! Studies didn’t see any differences in recurrence rates when compared to commercial products. You can purchase boric acid suppositories online. Boric acid destroys candida--and symptoms can be managed--fast!
Oil of Oregano: Test-tube studies have shown that oregano essential oil is effective against candida . Oil of oregano is nature's anti fungal, anti viral, and antibiotic. Take 1500 mg twice daily (orally, with food) to help kill the candida and restore microbiome balance. You can also mix oil of oregano essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil and apply to irritated area. More on the how-to here.
Mainstream pharmaceutical antibiotics, such as Cipro, Doxycycline and Levaquin kill over 90% of your microbiome, which can cause candida to overgrow. It is believed that even just one round of antibiotics can negatively affect your microbiome for up to three years. Only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary.
Garlic: Consume at least a clove a day of garlic. A garlic clove can also be inserted into the vagina to kill candida at the source. Remove in the morning. The garlic helps destroy the infection. More on the how-to here.
Rest: A go, go, go lifestyle can wear down the immune system, making you susceptible to imbalance and infection. Take time to rest and reduce stress. Get outside and connect with nature, which has a way of increasing our spirits and promoting wellness. Sun naturally increases vitamin D levels, which, in turn, stimulates our immune system to function properly.
Avoid anti-bacterial soap: Switch to a natural soap with all-natural ingredients. Anti-bacterial soaps kill both good and bad bacteria, and remember, you need the good army to kill the candida.
Stay natural down there: Do not douche, use perfume, chemical lotions, chemical lubricants, or any other toxic substances on or near your vagina. Switch from Monsanto/glyphosate laden tampons to all-natural tampons (they exist). Remember that anything you put down there is circulating through your entire system. Have a mindful vagina!
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil naturally contains properties that are anti-fungal and kill candida. You can create a paste with coconut oil and tea tree essential oil (just a little goes a very long way!) and apply directly to the vagina. Tea tree is a potent anti-fungal that will destroy candida. More on the how-to here.
They're not considered serious, but if you've experienced a yeast infection, it might have felt like you're dying! Take charge of your health with natural solutions, and you won't regret it.