Natural yeast infection cream: 11 Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
11 Home Remedies for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Can garlic, vinegar, and boric acid really help remedy yeast infections? Find out the correct way to use them, when to see a doctor, and more home remedies for vaginal yeast infections.
A vaginal yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis) is a common condition caused by an overgrowth of a fungus that naturally lives in the vagina, called Candida albicans.
This overgrowth can trigger irritation, inflammation, itching, and painful discharge. Most folks with a vulva and vagina experience a yeast infection at some point during their lifetime.
If this is your first time experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection, a good first step involves visiting a gynecologist or other healthcare professional to confirm you actually have a yeast infection and not another vaginal health condition.
Symptoms of a yeast infection
Common symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include:
- vaginal discharge, which can appear white or yellowish (it may be watery or have a clumpy texture, similar to cottage cheese)
- vaginal itching
- burning when you urinate or during sex
- pain during sex
- tenderness or swelling around the vagina
How to diagnose a yeast infection
If you’ve never had a yeast infection before, it’s best to make an appointment with a healthcare professional to get a diagnosis.
Your clinician will ask about your health history and perform a pelvic exam, which involves examining your cervix, the walls of your vagina, and the surrounding area for external signs of infection.
They’ll also recommend some treatment options if they diagnose a yeast infection.
If you’ve previously had a yeast infection and suspect you have another one, you can try several home remedies to get relief. Some of these remedies use ingredients you might already have in your home.
Just keep in mind that the effectiveness of these remedies can vary, and evidence for their success remains mostly anecdotal.
Below, we’ll explore 11 home remedies for yeast infections and how they work.
1. Greek yogurt
Probiotics can be effective againstC. Albicans — and yogurt can be considered a probiotic because it contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria help promote a healthy environment in your vagina, and they can help address an overgrowth caused by an imbalance.
A 2017 study suggests that eating yogurt helps expand your gut microbiome, which can help reduce yeast in your body. If you don’t like yogurt, you can take a probiotic supplement or try other probiotic foods.
When it comes to using yogurt for a yeast infection, opt for plain Greek yogurt. Make sure the yogurt doesn’t contain any added sugar, flavoring, or fruit. Added sugar can fuel the growth of the Candida fungus.
To reap the benefits, try:
- eating the yogurt
- applying it to your vulva around your vagina
- inserting it vaginally using a clean tampon applicator or your fingers
Try these products
- 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Greek Yogurt Plain
- Chobani Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
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2. Boric acid
Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic, and some people claim it can help clear up yeast infections resistant to other remedies.
Boric acid vaginal suppositories may be used in combination with medications to treat vaginal infections.
However, boric acid is toxic in large amounts. It can lead to kidney damage, acute circulatory system failure, or death if you absorb too much. Avoid using boric acid on broken skin, and never take it orally.
If you’re pregnant, don’t use boric acid in any form. You may also want to consider another remedy if you have sensitive skin.
Discontinue use if you notice any discomfort.
Try these products
- Love Wellness The Killer Boric Acid Suppositories
- The Honey Pot Company Boric Acid & Herbs Suppositories
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3. Essential oil of oregano
Oil of oregano isn’t the same as common oregano, or Origanum marjoram, which you’ll usually find in your grocery store’s spice section.
To ease a yeast infection, search for oregano oil made from wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare.
A 2017 study suggests oregano essential oil may prove effective for altering the growth of C. Albicans.
To use, mix three to five drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil, such as olive or sweet almond oil. Then, apply it to your skin by massaging or inhaling it using a diffuser. Don’t apply this essential oil near your vagina.
Never ingest essential oils. Essential oils are meant to be inhaled as part of aromatherapy, or diluted with massage oil to use during massage. They’re also not meant to be used internally–external use only!
Try these products
- Plant Therapy Oregano Essential Oil
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4. Probiotic suppositories and supplements
Probiotics can help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.
Taking oral probiotics that contain strains of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria can offer a number of health benefits, including helping bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment.
Oral supplements can take several days to a few weeks to reach full effect, so some people use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to get results more quickly.
Evidence suggests probiotic suppositories can also help treat bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Try these products
- Uqora Promote
- FloraFemme Homeopathic Vaginal Probiotic Suppository
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5. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a fatty oil derived from the flesh of the coconut. The oil has many health benefits, including antifungal properties.
Research suggests coconut oil is effective against C. Albicans, making this home remedy one of the few with supportive evidence behind it.
To treat a vaginal yeast infection using coconut oil, be sure to buy pure, organic coconut oil. You can apply the oil directly to the affected area.
Try these products
- Coco & Co.’s Pure Coconut Oil
- Okay 100% Pure Coconut Oil
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6. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil used to help kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses. In fact, research supports tea tree oil’s antifungal properties.
Research from 2016 suggests a combination of probiotics and vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil may help treat vaginal infections.
More recent lab findings continue to support the antimicrobial activities of tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is an incredibly powerful essential oil. So, you’ll always want to make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, if it’s going to touch your skin — undiluted tea tree oil should never touch your skin. And just as a reminder, essential oils should never be used internally!
If you can, opt to purchase prepared tea tree vaginal suppositories — this is the safest option.
Only use tea tree oil occasionally, and never swallow it. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll generally want to avoid using tea tree oil. Discontinue use if you experience any discomfort or irritation after using it.
Try these products
- NutraBlast Tea Tree Oil Suppositories
- Maple Holistics Tea Tree Essential Oil
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Apple cider vinegar
One popular yeast infection remedy is an apple cider vinegar bath.
Vinegar has many medicinal uses, some more supported by research than others.
But when you add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub and soak for 20 minutes, the acidic component of the vinegar may help eliminate any harmful microorganisms, including yeast.
An apple cider vinegar bath is not the same as douching, which aims to flush out all bacteria (good and bad) from your vagina. Douching leaves you more prone to a recurrence of the yeast infection, so avoid douching with apple cider vinegar — or any other substance.
You’ll want to dilute vinegar in water before it touches your skin. In addition, you could also try adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.
Try this product
- Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
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Evidence suggests garlic may also help kill Candida, though some strains may prove more effective than others.
While more studies are needed, research from 2019 examined the effect of using a garlic solution on sores of the mouth and found it could effectively help curb the growth of Candida. That said, garlic was less effective than nystatin (Nystop), an antifungal medication.
If you want to try garlic to treat a yeast infection, it’s best to simply add more garlic to your diet.
Some websites recommend inserting garlic into your vagina, but we do not recommend this approach. That’s because the active compounds in garlic can cause burns and pain when applied to your skin or mucosa. Mucosa, or mucous membrane, is the type of moist tissue that lines your mouth, and yes, the walls of your vagina.
9. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that can kill bacteria and yeast. Lactobacillus bacteria in your vagina produce hydrogen peroxide as part of natural biological activity.
Some people swear by using hydrogen peroxide topically when they get a yeast infection.
Adding it to a bath or diluting in water before applying to your skin may help with yeast growing on the genitals. You can dilute by combining equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide.
Just keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide may not work on every species of yeast, and no strong research supports the use of hydrogen peroxide to treat vaginal infections.
Always avoid douching with hydrogen peroxide, never use hydrogen peroxide internally, and avoid using it for an extended period of time.
Try these products
- Medline Hydrogen Peroxide
- Swan Hydrogen Peroxide Topical Solution
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10. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an immune system booster that also has a role in skin health. A strong immune system allows your body to bring itself back into balance.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, has antimicrobial components, so some people add it to their diet to treat Candida overgrowths.
Try increasing your intake of vitamin C to boost your body’s ability to beat the yeast infection. Don’t apply the acidic vitamin C to the sensitive vaginal tissue.
Try these products
- Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C, 500 mg
- Nature Made Extra Strength Vitamin C Chewable, 1,000 mg
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11. Vitamin E
Some doctors recommend vitamin E for certain types of vaginal inflammation. In fact, lab research suggests vitamin E can help reduce inflammation caused by Candida albicans.
Evidence also suggests vitamin E suppositories may help address atrophic vaginitis (aka, vaginal atrophy), which is the thinning of the vaginal walls caused by a lack of estrogen. Atrophic vaginitis causes changes to the vagina’s acidic environment, increasing the risk for bacterial and yeast infections.
You can also purchase vitamin E suppositories intended for vaginal use, or apply vitamin E oil to your vulva or vagina. Vitamin E may help soothe itching, burning, and inflammation.
If vitamin E doesn’t seem to help, a good next step involves asking a healthcare professional for more guidance.
Try these products
- Nature Made Vitamin E, 180 mg
- Femally Organic Vitamin E Melts Vaginal Moisturizing Suppositories, 14 count
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The main cause of a yeast infection is the overgrowth of yeast on an area of the body.
You could get a yeast infection for any number of reasons, including:
- Hormones: Changes during pregnancy, nursing, your menstrual cycle, or menopause can change the balance of yeast in your vagina.
- Sex: Yeast can be passed from person to person during physical sexual contact. Plus, sexual intercourse can change the bacterial balance of your vagina.
- Diabetes: An increase in sugar in the mucus membranes of your vagina can create a place for yeast to grow.
- Antibiotics: These drugs can kill off many of the “good” bacteria that live in your vagina.
- Douches and vaginal sprays: These products can change the balance of yeast in your vagina.
- A weakened immune system: If you are HIV-positive or have another immune system disorder, the yeast may also grow uncontrolled.
Interested in other vaginal health products?
We’ve got you covered. Our reviews and comparisons cover the top products for sexual wellness, total-body health, and more so you can find what’s right for you.
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It may take several days to notice results when using a home remedy to improve your yeast infection.
It’s always wise to connect with a healthcare professional if your symptoms get worse or if you notice new symptoms appear at any time during treatment. You’ll also want to make an appointment if you have persistent irritation that’s separate from yeast infection symptoms.
If your infection goes away with a home remedy but then returns, it’s best to contact a doctor for advice. You may need a prescription-strength treatment to get rid of the infection for good.
Keep in mind that some yeast infections can be severe. You’ll typically want to make a doctor’s appointment if:
- you’re pregnant
- you’ve had more than four yeast infections over the last year
- you have a weakened immune system from medications
- you have uncontrolled diabetes
- you have HIV
- you’re experiencing redness, swelling, or itching severe enough to create sores or tears in your vaginal tissue
For more serious yeast infections, your doctor may recommend:
- several doses of fluconazole, an oral tablet or suspension used to treat candidiasis, a fungal infection
- treatment with a topical antifungal medication, like miconazole (Monistat)
- a prescription suppository or tablet vaginal treatment, like terconazole (Terazol)
These tips may help prevent future yeast infections:
- Limit the amount of sugar and processed foods you consume. Yeast thrives on sugar.
- Include yogurt or supplements with Lactobacillus in your diet.
- Wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear. When doing laundry, wash them in hot water, using mild, unscented detergent.
- Avoid spending extended periods of time wearing wet bottoms or bathing suits. Yeast grows in warm, moist environments.
- Only use antibiotics when necessary.
- Don’t use douches unless advised by a doctor, and avoid vaginal deodorant sprays and scented vaginal lotions. These products may alter the balance of good bacteria and yeast in your vagina.
What is the fastest way to get rid of a yeast infection?
The fastest — and most reliable — way to get rid of a yeast infection is to visit a doctor if you suspect you have one. They will likely prescribe fluconazole, an oral treatment that may take 1 week to get rid of the infection.
Can yeast infections go away on their own?
A mild yeast infection may go away on its own, but this is rare. It’s always a good idea to treat a yeast infection, even if it’s mild. If yeast infections are not treated properly, they’re more likely to return.
What happens if a yeast infection is left untreated?
It may go away, but it is likely to return. Your symptoms may also get worse without treatment.
How do I know if it’s a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
Yeast infections and UTIs occur in the same area, but they have very different symptoms.
With a vaginal yeast infection, you may have unusual, generally odorless, vaginal discharge that has a thick and milky appearance. You may also have pain or itchiness in your genital area.
With a UTI, you may notice pain and burning when urinating and foul-smelling urine, as well as fever, chills, nausea, and pain in your pelvis.
What is the difference between a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis?
BV and vaginal yeast infections have similar symptoms, but different causes and treatments. Both cause inflammation of the vagina, or vaginitis.
One of the differences between BV and a yeast infection is that BV produces a foul-smelling, fishy odor, while a yeast infection produces no vaginal odor. Additionally, a yeast infection may cause redness and inflammation of the vulva, while BV doesn’t produce such symptoms.
To determine whether a vaginal infection is BV or a yeast infection, a doctor may:
- ask about your medical history, including previous vaginal infections
- perform an examination to look for signs of infection and vaginal discharge
- take a sample of the discharge for analysis to check for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or fungi
- test the pH of your vagina — a pH of 4.5 or above can point to BV
Can I take over-the-counter (OTC) medicine for my yeast infection?
Yes. Most simple vaginal yeast infections improve with OTC vaginal creams or suppositories. You can find these products in 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day treatments.
Home remedies may or may not work to treat a yeast infection. If you use herbs, supplements, or essential oils, be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor these for safety, purity, and quality. That’s why it’s always best to purchase them from a reputable source.
The effectiveness of a home remedy varies depending on the person, the severity of your infection, and the quality of the treatment used. For recurring vaginal infections, talk with a doctor about additional natural approaches to prevention and treatment. It’s also best to consult a healthcare professional if you’ve never had a yeast infection before.
Keep in mind that any product, natural or otherwise, may irritate sensitive vaginal skin. Stop using the remedy and call a doctor if you experience any irritation or discomfort.
Have There Ever Been Deaths from Boric Acid Suppositories?
While ingesting boric acid suppositories is dangerous and potentially fatal, using a suppository vaginally and as directed won’t cause death. You may experience mild side effects, though.
Boric acid is a chemical that’s been used to treat some types of vaginal infections. It’s available in several forms, including suppositories that you place into your vagina.
You may have heard that you can become very sick or potentially die from boric acid. Because of this, you may be wondering whether boric acid suppositories are actually safe to use.
There have been no deaths reported from using boric acid suppositories. While boric acid can indeed be toxic when ingested orally, vaginal applications are considered to be safe.
Continue reading to learn more about the safety of boric acid suppositories and more.
A quick internet search may bring up some concern about the safety of boric acid suppositories.
But while boric acid suppositories can cause mild side effects, no serious side effects or deaths have been reported.
Important safety information
While swallowing a boric acid suppository is very dangerous, inserting one labeled for vaginal application into the vagina is generally considered safe.
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Is boric acid toxic?
When consumed by mouth, boric acid is toxic and can potentially lead to death. Deaths due to accidental boric acid ingestion have been reported in both adults and children.
A 2011 statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that ingesting about 30 grams of boric acid in a short period of time is toxic to humans and can eventually result in death.
This is much more than the amount of boric acid that’s in a boric acid suppository, which is typically 600 milligrams.
Because suppositories may appear similar to a pill that you take orally, there is the risk that they could be accidentally swallowed.
Swallowing a boric acid suppository is dangerous, but using one as labeled for vaginal application is generally safe.
Side effects of using boric acid vaginal suppositories as directed tend to be mild. They can include things like vaginal irritation or discharge.
Boric acid and reproductive health
Because boric acid suppositories are inserted into the vagina, another concern related to them has to do with their potential effect on reproductive health.
Studies in animals have found that when taken orally, boric acid can affect fertility in male animals and affect a developing fetus in female animals. However, studies in humans haven’t returned the same results.
A 2020 research review examined the animal studies discussed above and compared them with studies in humans who are regularly exposed to high levels of boron, the key element in boric acid, in the environment.
Overall, researchers found that:
- So far, studies of human exposure to high levels of boron haven’t produced the same reproductive effects that have been observed in animals.
- Even the highest levels of environmental boron exposure were too low to reach blood and tissue levels that would have harmful effects on human reproduction.
Symptoms of boric acid poisoning
Boric acid suppositories can appear similar to pills that you’d take orally. If you or someone else accidentally swallows a boric acid suppository, call 911 or local emergency services.
Some symptoms of boric acid poisoning include:
- abdominal pain
- nausea or vomiting
- feeling weak or lethargic
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Boric acid has been used, either alone or with other medications, to treat some types of recurrent vaginal infections, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. (A recurrent infection is an infection that continues to return, despite treatment.)
A 2011 research review looked at 14 studies comparing boric acid with other treatments for recurrent yeast infections. The included studies were clinical trials, case series, and case studies. Researchers found that boric acid had a cure rate of 40 to 100 percent, depending on the study.
Research into boric acid for bacterial vaginosis is more limited. To date, one clinical trial has been performed on boric acid for bacterial vaginosis, although others have been proposed.
In the 2009 trial, participants were given oral nitroimidazole, an antimicrobial drug used to treat vaginal infections, followed by boric acid suppositories.
Cure rates were between 88 and 92 percent after this treatment. However, the infection returned in many participants over the course of several weeks.
Some more research has also found that boric acid may help treat infections with Trichomonas vaginalis that are difficult to treat. T. vaginalis is the organism that causes trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
How exactly does boric acid work?
It’s unclear how boric acid works to treat vaginal infections. It’s believed that it may work through disrupting fungal and bacterial growth.
It may also prevent these organisms from forming biofilms. Biofilms are a group of microorganisms organized within a sticky matrix. Organisms that have formed a biofilm can be harder to treat with some types of medications.
New boric acid-based therapies for vaginal infections
A novel boric acid-based therapy appears to be safe and effective in clinical trials. It’s called TOL-463. TOL-463 is made of boric acid and another chemical called EDTA, which can enhance the activity of boric acid.
A 2018 paper reported the results of a phase 2 clinical trial of TOL-463 for the treatment of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. The trial had 106 participants who took TOL-463 once per day for a week.
Researchers found that a TOL-463 vaginal insert had a cure rate of 92 percent for yeast infections and 59 percent for bacterial vaginosis. The researchers note that this was comparable to the cure rates of other approved treatments for these conditions.
Additionally, side effects were mild and mainly included vaginal irritation. No serious or severe side effects were observed.
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Using boric acid suppositories is associated with a few side effects. These are generally mild and can include:
- vaginal burning
- watery vaginal discharge
- vaginal redness
If you’re using boric acid suppositories to treat a vaginal infection and experience significant discomfort, stop using them and contact your doctor for other treatment options.
Additionally, if you’ve been using boric acid suppositories and your infection isn’t getting better or gets worse, contact your doctor for a different treatment option.
Avoid having vaginal intercourse while you’re using boric acid suppositories.
It may also be a good idea to avoid receiving oral sex to reduce the risk of your partner ingesting boric acid that may still be present in or around your vagina.
Boric acid products and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
It’s likely you’ll notice that boric acid suppositories are marketed as a homeopathic product. It’s important to know that homeopathic products, including boric acid suppositories, aren’t currently approved by the FDA.
This means that the FDA hasn’t reviewed these products for their safety and effectiveness in treating specific health conditions before they entered the market.
Because of this, it’s important to talk with your doctor before using any homeopathic product, including boric acid suppositories.
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Because studies into the reproductive effects of boric acid are ongoing, avoid boric acid suppositories if you’re:
- planning to become pregnant
Additionally, avoid using boric acid suppositories if you:
- currently have vaginal bleeding, open cuts, or sores in or around your vagina
- have or suspect that you have an STI or pelvic inflammatory disease
- are currently experiencing symptoms that could indicate a more serious condition, such as fever, chills, or nausea and vomiting
- have certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system
- are currently taking blood-thinning medications
Boric acid typically appears as an odorless white powder. It can be naturally found in the environment in:
Additionally, boric acid is used in various commercial products, such as:
- plant fertilizers
- household cleaning products
- laundry detergents
- personal care products
Boric acid was first used as an antiseptic in 1873. Since then, it has continued to be used for various vaginal infections.
Because boric acid is naturally found in the environment, many people consider it to be a “greener” option for treating vaginal infections. But this isn’t entirely true.
One of the main sources of boron and boric acid is the mining of minerals that have a high boron content. Not only does mining consume a lot of resources, but it can also introduce pollutants into the environment.
Boric acid suppositories can be used to treat some types of recurrent vaginal infections. Examples include yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Using boric acid suppositories as labeled is generally safe. Side effects are mild and may include vaginal irritation and discharge. No serious side effects or deaths have been reported.
Boric acid is toxic when ingested by mouth, though. Boric acid poisoning can lead to serious symptoms and can be fatal. Because of this, always keep boric acid suppositories separate from oral medications to avoid accidental ingestion.
There are some people who should avoid using boric acid suppositories. If you’re interested in using boric acid suppositories or have questions or concerns, speak with your doctor first.
Methods of treating oral thrush with natural remedies
Treatment of oral thrush: how is it?
Thrush of the oral cavity not only looks bad, it is a rather painful and problematic disease. It can be easily passed from one person to another even before the symptoms of candidiasis begin to appear. To make matters worse, there are many cultures of drug-resistant fungi that cannot be cured with conventional antifungal agents.
But there are still safe, proven and natural remedies for treating thrush. Strong immunity, fermented foods and essential oils will help not only cope with the problem, but also prevent its further occurrence.
What is oral thrush?
Overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the oral cavity leads to the appearance of thrush. Fungi in a small amount are present in the mouth of every person, without harming him. However, when there are too many of them, they spread throughout the oral cavity, gums, tonsils, back wall of the larynx. This causes symptoms such as white patches, redness, and even bleeding. Left untreated, oral thrush (or candidiasis) weakens the immune system and contributes to the development of more serious diseases.
Oral thrush is very “sociable”, meaning it is easily spread from person to person. Pregnant women can pass thrush to their baby at the time of birth; children can pick up by exchanging toys with other children. And adults pass it on to each other through saliva.
When you have oral candidiasis, your doctor will usually prescribe antifungal medications. But antifungal medications can damage the liver and affect estrogen levels. They can also cause an allergic reaction and interact with other medications. In addition, antifungal creams and medications only treat the symptoms and do not affect the environment in which the fungus thrives.
If it is resistant to the drug, which is quite common due to the spread of antibiotic resistance, amphotericin B may be prescribed.
Amphotericin B is an antifungal medicine given by intravenous drip over 2 to 6 hours every day. It can cause serious side effects, including fever, rapid breathing, blurred vision, fainting, vomiting, and changes in heartbeat. The drug should only be used to treat life-threatening fungal infections. However, people with weakened immune systems due to stress, illness, or medication are prescribed stronger drugs, such as amphotericin, due to the resistance of microorganisms to drugs.
Fortunately, there are safer and more natural ways to treat candidiasis, particularly oral candidiasis. The most important element is the elimination of foods and drugs that cause this disease. Instead of using antibiotics that weaken the immune system, look for natural and effective essential oils (like oregano oil) that have antibiotic and antifungal properties. It is also important to maintain optimal pH balance in the body and stimulate the development of beneficial bacteria in the gut with the help of probiotics and fermented foods.
Symptoms of oral thrush
Oral thrush develops very quickly, and symptoms can become pronounced and dangerous over time:
- white coating on the tongue, upper palate, or inner cheeks. It can cause pain and even bleeding if touched by teeth, food, or a toothbrush.
- inflammation of the mouth
- loss of taste
- erosion of tooth enamel
- mucus in the mouth
Breastfed babies and their mothers can pass the infection to each other while breastfeeding. During pregnancy, a woman with a vaginal yeast infection can pass the yeast on to her baby at birth, causing him to develop oral thrush.
Young children with oral candidiasis may be irritable and restless, and may also have feeding problems. If a woman’s breasts are infected with a fungus, she has a shiny or dry areola, redness, itching and tenderness in the nipples, and stabbing or unusual pain deep in her breasts and nipples.
In severe cases, the lesions may spread outside the mouth, traveling down the esophagus to the stomach. This condition is called candidal esophagitis and can cause difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal bleeding.
The body may also show signs of a metabolic response as the fungus and toxins are released. Symptoms that occur when the fungus is eliminated include brain damage, headache, fatigue, dizziness, bloating, gas, sweating, sinus infections, skin rashes, and flu-like symptoms. These signs usually disappear within 7-10 days. When the fungus leaves your body, you will feel more energetic and focused.
Main causes of oral thrush
1. Weakened immunity
Weak immunity can lead to the development of candidiasis. Therefore, it often appears in young children and the elderly. We all have fungi in our mouths, on our skin, and in our digestive tract, but stress, some illnesses, and medications can upset the microbial balance and cause Candida to grow.
Diseases and disorders that affect the immune system make us more susceptible to infections. HIV/AIDS, for example, destroys the cells of the immune system, as do other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
In fact, in the 1980s there was a surge in the incidence of oral thrush, which was associated with the growth and spread of HIV infection and AIDS. And the widespread use of immunosuppressants has only exacerbated the problem.
Some medications, such as birth control pills, corticosteroids, and antibiotics, disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the mouth.
Birth control pills adversely affect the body, leading to the development of a fungal infection. Some women note that birth control pills provoke the appearance of fungal infections. A study conducted in Italy, which included 153 patients, concluded that oral contraceptives can contribute to the recurrence of candidiasis.
According to the study, patients with recurrent fungus tend to take or have taken birth control pills, antibiotics, or have had more sexual partners compared to controls. All this increases the risk of developing candidal vaginitis.
Inhaled corticosteroids used by people with asthma can also cause health problems because they increase the risk of developing a fungus in the mouth.
Over the past decade, there has been ample scientific evidence of immune dysfunction associated with antibiotic use and a reduction in beneficial probiotics. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the body, allowing candidiasis to thrive.
Probiotics refer to beneficial bacteria or flora present in the human digestive tract. These bacteria, yeasts and molds make up 70-85% of the immune system and help break down food to take nutrients from it.
3. Cancer treatment
Cancer patients are at a higher risk of developing fungal infections because cancer and its treatments (radiation or chemotherapy) weaken the immune system, allowing harmful germs to spread in the body.
In 2005, a study was published in the Journal of Infection that showed that invasive candidiasis is a common and serious complication of cancer and its treatment. Of 224 patients (33%) undergoing cancer treatment, 74 had active candidiasis pathogens and a confirmed diagnosis of invasive candidiasis.
In diabetic patients who do not treat or control their disease, saliva contains large amounts of sugar. It promotes the growth of the fungus, in particular Candida . The fungus is a type of yeast, and sugar feeds the yeast. As a result, people with diabetes are more likely to develop oral thrush. According to a study published in Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism , diabetic patients are more susceptible to infections because the hyperglycemic environment causes immune dysfunction.
Sugar and bacteria can build up on dentures, allowing candidiasis to grow and overwhelm good bacteria in the mouth, especially if the person has taken antibiotics in the past or eats foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. It is very important to properly care for dentures and clean them every day, because plaque on dentures can lead to the accumulation of microorganisms and the development of candidiasis.
Top 6 products to help treat oral thrush
Studies have shown that people who include cinnamon in their diet tend to be less likely to suffer from fungal overgrowth. Cinnamon, which has many health benefits, also contains antifungal compounds that control microbial growth, according to scientists in Brazil.
2. Unsweetened cranberry juice
A cup of unsweetened cranberry juice will create an acidic environment in your mouth that makes it difficult for fungus to grow.
3. Fermented vegetables
Fermented vegetables strengthen the immune system and improve the microflora in the intestines. Kimchi, pickled cucumbers and sauerkraut enrich the body with probiotics and help restore the balance of bacteria in the mouth and throughout the body. Regular consumption of fermented vegetables also improves immunity.
4. Warm starchy vegetables
Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, peas, mung beans, lentils, red beans, pumpkin, carrots, and beets help the spleen clear fungus from the body.
5. Dairy products
By adding fermented milk products and foods rich in probiotics (such as goat’s milk, kefir or yogurt) to your diet, you can support the work of beneficial bacteria and effectively fight the fungus.
6. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, and the combination of lauric and caprylic acids in its composition kills harmful fungus. A 2007 study published in the journal Journal of Medicinal Food, , found that coconut oil was as effective in fighting fungus as fluconazole, a common antifungal drug prescribed for thrush.
Gargling with coconut oil is one of the best ways to prevent oral diseases. According to the Indian Journal of Dental Research, oil pulling removes toxins from the mouth and creates a clean environment.
Simply gargle with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil for 10-20 minutes every day. In no case do not swallow the oil, because it contains toxins and bacteria. Then rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth.
Foods to avoid
Processed, refined and sugary foods create an environment in the body that is conducive to the development of the fungus. Even fruits and natural sugars like honey and maple syrup should be consumed in very moderation.
A study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine, showed that sugar restriction resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence and severity of candidiasis . A study of 100 women attempted to elucidate the role of sugar in the pathogenesis of this infection.
Alcohol should also be avoided if you want to get rid of oral thrush forever. Alcohol weakens the immune system and allows the fungus to grow
Food supplements for oral thrush
1. Natural antibiotics
- Raw garlic . The allicin in raw garlic is a powerful antifungal, antibiotic, and antiviral agent, making it an effective natural treatment for thrush. One clove of garlic a day or taking garlic supplements will help you fight the infection.
- Oil of oregano. Oregano oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects! It is enough to take 500 mg or 5 drops of oil per day for no more than 10 days.
- Colloidal silver . This beneficial alkaline and antiviral agent strengthens and supports the immune system. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily to treat infection.
Natural remedies for oral thrush
1. Essential oils
- Carnation. One of the most striking features of clove oil is its ability to fight oral thrush. A study published in Microbiology looked at the effectiveness of clove oil compared to other antifungals. The results show that cloves were as effective as nystatin (a drug commonly prescribed to treat oral thrush and has many unpleasant side effects). Another study in 2005 found that clove oil has strong antifungal activity against fungal pathogens. Dilute 2-3 drops of clove oil with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and gargle this mixture in your mouth for 20 minutes. Then spit out the oil and brush your teeth.
- Oregano. Oregano oil is able to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses and infections inside the body. In 2010, scientists conducted a study that was published in the journal “ Brazilian Journal of Microbiology “. During this study, they noticed that oregano oil has a potent antifungal effect against Candida and could be included in an alternative treatment for oral thrush. Drink a glass of water every day with 1-2 drops of oregano oil. The course can last no more than 10 days; the break between courses should be at least a week.
- Mirra. Myrrh oil is capable of destroying parasites and fungi, including Candida. A 2012 study found that the combination of sodium fluoride found in toothpaste and botanicals such as myrrh, sage and chamomile exhibited antifungal activity, stimulated the immune response and reduced inflammation. Toothpaste with herbal extracts effectively controls oral candidiasis.
- Baking soda and vinegar. Mothers with thrush on the nipples should apply white distilled vinegar and one teaspoon of baking soda diluted with a glass of water to the affected area.
- Correct dental hygiene. Because of the plaque and sugar that build up on dentures, it’s important to clean them thoroughly and properly. You should always remove your dentures before going to bed, this gives the oral mucosa an opportunity to recover. They should also be soaked overnight in vinegar or a natural denture cleaner.
- Pau d’arco tea. Take a tablet to treat oral thrush or just drink pau d’arco tea. This drink has antifungal properties and naturally blocks the spread of fungus in the mouth and vagina. To make pau d’arco tea, pour two cups of bark into four cups of boiling water and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then take the tea off the heat and let it cool for at least an hour. Strain the drink and drink in small portions throughout the day.
- Overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans causes oral thrush.
- Oral thrush can be easily transmitted from person to person, including from mother to child and vice versa.
- To reduce the risk of thrush, it is necessary to maintain a strong immune system and limit the intake of sugar, which promotes protein growth.
- Avoid processed, refined and sugary foods and alcohol.
Top 6 products to help treat oral thrush
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Fermented vegetables
- Warm starchy vegetables
- Dairy products
- Coconut oil
Dietary supplements for oral thrush
- Natural antibiotics: raw garlic, oil of oregano and colloidal silver
- Milk thistle
- Vitamin C
- Caprylic acid
Natural remedies for oral thrush
- Essential oils: clove, myrrh and oregano
- Baking soda and vinegar
- Dental hygiene
- Pau d’arco tea
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Effective vaginal and thrush preparations for women
Authors of the article
Saprykina Lyudmila Vitalievna
Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Russian National Research Medical University. N.I. Pirogova, obstetrician-gynecologist of the highest qualification category.
Thrush or vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is a disease that occurs at least once in 75% of females, and more than once in 40-50% of women of reproductive age. As a rule, thrush occurs in an acute form, but in 10% of cases it becomes recurrent. Viral infections play a significant role in the development of relapses. Often, genital viral infections are asymptomatic, while viruses can create favorable conditions for the development of inflammatory diseases. The reason for this is viral-fungal and viral-bacterial associations, which significantly disrupt the local immunity of the vagina. It should be understood that until local immunity and microflora are restored, it is unlikely to get rid of the disease forever. The “vicious circle” of inflammation will start again and again every time a woman’s body is exposed to provoking factors.
What is candidiasis?
Thrush is a lesion of the genital mucosa caused by a fungus of the genus Candida. Vulvovaginal candidiasis received this name due to the fact that during the intensive reproduction of a unicellular fungus, a whitish coating is created on the surface of the vulva and vaginal mucosa.
The following microorganisms are of clinical importance:
- Candida albicans (from albus – white) – is the causative agent of thrush in 90% of cases.
- Candida non-albicans – cause a similar clinic, but due to structural features, this group of fungi is resistant to classical antimycotic drugs, which complicates the treatment process.
The fungus begins to actively multiply when a woman’s immunity decreases or the composition of the vaginal microflora is disturbed.
Vulvovaginal candidiasis is accompanied by itching, burning and pathological discharge.
Additional signs that indicate the presence of thrush include:
- increased itching after sports or water activities;
- redness and swelling of the skin, vulvar mucosa;
- discomfort and burning when urinating;
- pain during intercourse, increased itching after intimacy.
If a woman is concerned about burning, itching and vaginal discharge of a white or yellowish tint, it is necessary to consult a gynecologist. He will conduct a survey, examination and take a vaginal swab to determine the causative agent of the infection. With light microscopy, yeast fungi with pseudomycelium can be detected. In some cases, such as when a clinician suspects Candida non-albicans VVC, the laboratory cultures this fungus in special media (eg, Sabouraud’s medium, which uses maltose or dextrose) to identify the pathogen and determine susceptibility to specific antimycotic drugs. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method is also used, which detects the DNA of the pathogen. An additional PCR study for viruses makes it possible to detect viral-fungal associations, the treatment of which necessarily involves local antiviral and immunostimulating therapy. Otherwise, a sluggish inflammatory process in the vagina will provoke relapses of thrush.
How to treat thrush?
Depending on the severity of the course, the frequency of relapses, previous treatment and its effectiveness, as well as the sensitivity of the detected fungus to antifungal drugs, the doctor individually selects etiotropic (antifungal) therapy. Antimycotics directly affect the pathogen, can cause the death of fungi and disrupt the process of their division. Antifungal drugs are of general and local action.
Systemic agents against candidiasis
Systemic drugs are used for recurrent thrush. They are presented as tablets or capsules that the patient takes orally. For the treatment of complicated candidiasis, intravenous antimycotics may be prescribed. Drugs of general action enter the bloodstream and are carried with the blood to all organs and tissues. In drugs that have an effect on the whole body, the following active substances are often present:
They contribute to the eradication of the pathogen.
To quickly get rid of the symptoms of thrush, it is recommended to additionally use drugs with a local anti-inflammatory and healing effect. For these purposes, Epigen Intim Spray is well suited. It helps relieve burning sensation, itching, inflammation and stimulates local immunity in the vagina.
Vaginal preparations for thrush
Topical antifungals are used to treat acute or recurrent uncomplicated candidiasis. They act directly on the infection locally in the affected area, i.e. on the skin and vaginal mucosa. The drugs are presented in several dosage forms:
- Vaginal tablets are convenient and have no systemic side effects. Intravaginal tablets act locally, preventing the growth of the fungus on the skin and vaginal mucosa.
- Vaginal suppositories – suppositories are suitable for the treatment of almost all types of VVC, except for severe ones, when a systemic effect is needed. It should be noted that candles based on oil components can violate the integrity of latex contraceptives (condoms and diaphragms).
- Creams and ointments are equally common forms of remedies for thrush.
Among local antimycotics in Russia, the following active substances are most often used:
Vaginal antifungal agents for thrush successfully fight the pathogen, however, for the fastest possible relief of the patient’s condition in the acute phase of the disease, additional anti-inflammatory and healing therapy is necessary. At the same time, to prevent relapses, especially those caused by viral-bacterial associations, drug support for local immunity and antiviral treatment are recommended. Epigen Intim Spray has a complex effect in these areas due to the active ingredient of the drug – glycyrrhizic acid. The unique method of its activation, created by the developers of the drug, significantly enhances the therapeutic effects of the active substance:
- acceleration of the regeneration of damaged tissues;
- reduction of inflammation;
- increased local immunity;
- antiviral action – the fight against viral-fungal associations;
- elimination of itching, burning, dryness.
The drug accumulates in the lesions, while it penetrates into the systemic circulation slowly – the drug is found in the blood only in trace amounts. Can be used by pregnant women and during breastfeeding. The spray is equipped with nozzles for intravaginal and external use, which makes its use as convenient as possible.
When the body is weakened or exposed to factors that disrupt the normal microflora of the vagina, local antifungal drugs are prescribed as part of preventive measures. The preventive use of Epigen Intim spray will help to strengthen protection against recurrence of thrush. Its use is indicated when taking antibiotics, weakening the body after hypothermia, respiratory viral infections, stress, while traveling.
Treatment of recurrent VVC
Restoring the protective properties of the immune system is especially important in the diagnosed chronic course of candidiasis. One of the frequent causes of a decrease in local immunity and subsequent relapse of thrush is viral-fungal associations, therefore, in the treatment of recurrent candidiasis, it is important to prescribe antiviral therapy. Activated glycyrrhizic acid in the composition of the Epigen Intim spray actively fights viruses, including mutant strains against which classical antiviral drugs are ineffective.
In addition to the main treatment, after relief of acute symptoms, a woman is prescribed therapy aimed at preventing relapses. As part of the complex treatment, Epigen Intim Spray is prescribed for the following purposes:
- Quick relief from discomfort, reduction of inflammation and acceleration of regenerative processes during the acute phase of candidiasis.
- Treatment of viral-fungal associations and enhancement of local vaginal immunity to break the vicious cycle of VVC recurrences.
- Relief of the acute period takes an average of 7 days. Preventive therapy with various means can take up to 6 months.
Epigen Intim Spray
Epigen Intim Spray
With candidiasis, hygiene procedures should be given special attention – careful intimate care helps maintain the natural microflora, which provides additional protection against recurrence of thrush. Epigen Intim gel is well suited for this purpose. This is a cosmetic cleanser for daily intimate hygiene. Its regular use maintains the normal pH level of the intimate area. Lactic acid, also included in the composition, helps maintain the natural balance of the vaginal microflora. Epigen Intimate gel has a pleasant aroma and provides a feeling of cleanliness throughout the day.
Compliance with a number of preventive recommendations minimizes the risk of vulvovaginal candidiasis. The main preventive measures are listed below:
- Regular visits to specialists to compensate for chronic diseases that can increase the risk of developing candidiasis.
- Wear underwear made from natural fabrics and regularly change tampons and pads during menstruation, because the blood serves as a breeding ground for many pathogens.
- Avoid indiscriminate change of sexual partners, since in such a situation, even with protected contact, the risk of thrush significantly increases.
- All antibacterial drugs should be taken strictly according to the doctor’s prescription, as they inhibit the activity of other bacteria, and on the contrary, they provoke fungal growth.
- Don’t neglect your intimate hygiene by choosing pH-neutral care products. One of these reliable products is Epigen Intim Gel – it contains activated glycyrrhizic acid, obtained from licorice root, and lactic acid. This combination helps to maintain normal microflora, physiological pH of the intimate area and prevents the development of inflammation. For ease of use, Epigen Intim gel has a special dispenser, which also ensures economical consumption of the product. The gel bottle has a stable wide base to prevent accidental dropping.
- Wash from front to back during hygiene procedures to avoid the introduction of pathogens from the anal area.
- When using toilet paper, it is not recommended to roughly rub the crotch area; dirt should be removed with gentle blotting movements from front to back.