Natural ways to cure yeast infections

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Most women, some time or other, have been troubled by symptoms of vaginal yeast infections – itching, burning, whitish discharge and reddening of the labia. Yeast infections may be caused by any of the number of organisms that inhabit a healthy vagina but the most common culprit seems to be the fungus Candida albicans. While prescription medicines are effective in curing yeast infections, some of them can have unhappy side effects. Here are then a few natural ways of curing yeast infections.

Watch what you eat

According to nutritional therapy, eating certain foods can contribute to a yeast infection in one of two ways: by encouraging the growth of the Candida albicans in the body and by weakening the body's immune system. These foods may contain yeast or mold or trigger the symptoms of food allergies or sensitivities. if you are prone to yeast infections, Foods you may want to avoid include sugars (including honey, fruit juices, and maple syrup), artificial sweeteners, cheese, dried fruit, alcohol, mushrooms, meat, poultry, and milk (which can have traces of antibiotics in them). An elimination diet will help pinpoint any foods that trigger allergy symptoms. Nutrient deficiencies may also contribute to an overabundance of fungus. Supplements that can be helpful include vitamin A, vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, and essential fatty acids, among others. Garlic can be added to the diet for its fungus-blocking properties and may prevent infections. Caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract, and undecenoic acid also have strong antifungal properties. In general, good nutrition comes from a diet based on varied, whole-foods which in turn builds up a stronger immune system -- one that can ward off infections, including those troubling the vagina.

Mild vinegar douche

For women with yeast-infection symptoms, a mild vinegar douche can help restore the vagina's normal pH (which is about 4.5). Before you begin the process, make sure the container, tube, and irrigation nozzle are very clean. If not, clean them with a good antiseptic solution. Then lie in the tub with a folded towel under your buttocks and with your legs parted. Suspend the container 12 to 18 inches above your hips. Insert the nozzle into your vagina with a gentle rotating motion until it encounters resistance (two to four inches). Allow the solution to flow in slowly. Use your fingers to close the vaginal lips until a little pressure builds up inside. This allows the solution to reach the entire internal surface. An effective douche should take ten minutes or so. You can use a vinegar douche twice a day for two days but avoid douching if you do not have a yeast infection. Women who douche frequently in the belief that it's a healthy practice may actually increase their risk for yeast infections by altering the vagina's natural pH balance.

Use yoghurt

Douching with yogurt that contains live lactobacillus or acidophilus bacteria may help restore the friendly microorganisms lost during infection or as a result of antibiotic use. when preparing a douche, dilute yoghurt with warm water but apart from this you can also insert 1 to 2 tablespoons into your vagina or apply it externally to the affected area (anal or vaginal). While you can also consume yoghurt as food, its relief for your yeast infection, will be less immediate.

Reach for Boric

Several studies have shown boric acid to be a safe, inexpensive and effective yeast remedy. If your doctor approves of the idea, try using boric-acid capsules as a suppository the next time you have a flare-up. To make your own suppositories, fill size "O" gelatin capsules with boric acid. Insert one capsule vaginally once a day for a week. However if you are pregnant, this may not be a good idea since the safety of boric acid in pregnant women hasn’t been studied. Instead, talk with your physician about other treatment options.

Kitchen cabinet remedies

Unsweetened cranberry juice may acidify vaginal secretions and equip them to fight off the yeast. Eating two fresh garlic cloves a day, either plain or minced and tossed in a salad or sauce, may also prevent yeast infections since Garlic has antifungal properties.

Herbal relief

Alternate medicine suggests some herbs may be able to relieve itching and burning associated with vaginal yeast infections. For this, make a tea of rosemary, and use it as a douche or dab it onto the external area. Or make a thyme tea using 1 teaspoon dried thyme per 1 cup boiling water. Steep and drink 1 to 4 cups per day if you have a yeast infection. Other herbs which can be used in the form of capsules, extracts, or teas and in some cases as douches include calendula, echinacea (purple coneflower), German chamomile and ginger. The bark of the pau d'arco tree has achieved folk-remedy status as a treatment for fungal infections, including vaginal yeast infections and athlete's foot. Researchers have examined its infection-fighting powers and have pinpointed lapachol as being the bark's possible active ingredient. It can be taken in the form of capsules, extract, or tea.

Keep yourself dry

Yeast organisms thrive in warm, moist conditions, with little or no oxygen. In order to restrict their growing medium, dry your vaginal area thoroughly after bathing or showering. Also, avoid lounging around in a wet swimsuit; change into dry clothing as soon as you're done swimming for a time. Another important way of keeping yourself dry is to opt for "breathable" cotton underwear and loose pants;  if you must wear nylons, choose those that have a built-in cotton-lined panty.

Use other preventive measures

Very often practicing the basics of hygiene can vastly reduce the chances of yeast infections. For instance wash your vaginal area well with water after passing urine and stool; avoid sharing a bath unless you are certain that person is infection free. Very often sexual partners can play "hot potato" with yeast infections, passing them back and forth. This may negate the effectiveness of treatment you have undergone recently. Often, men harbor yeast organisms, especially in the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis, but show no symptoms. So when one partner is treated for a yeast infection, the other should be treated at the same time to avoid reinfection.

Couples who make love before a yeast infection has been completely cured should also use condoms during intercourse so as to act as a barrier and prevent passing the infection. If you have been facing recurrent yeast infections, discuss alternate forms of contraception with your doctor since women using the Pill and contraceptive sponges seem to have a higher rate of yeast infections.

Before you try out natural cures, it's important to be sure that yeast is really the culprit. Infection with other types of organisms, which may require treatment with prescription medication, can often cause symptoms similar to those of a yeast infection. Finally all the above suggestions act best as a guide and cannot be a substitute for trained medical advice. in fact it is best you see your doctor if you have abdominal pain, recurrent or significant amounts of bloody discharge between periods, vaginal discharge that gets worse or persists for two weeks or more despite treatment, recurrent yeast infections, been exposed to an STD or have discharge that is thin, foamy, and grey or yellowish green in color. All these are symptoms of significant problems which only a medical professional is trained to diagnose and treat.