Some Home Yeast Infection Remedies You Be Used With Caution

It’s easy to believe that any natural remedy for yeast infections would also be naturally safe – but they do require some caution.

Some of herbal remedies can be poisonous if used incorrectly, and can cause allergic reactions in some people. And some of the remedies are general anti-microbial agents that can weaken or kill your beneficial bacteria.

“Natural” yeast infection treatments are available at pharmacies, natural health food stores, in grocery stores, and online.

 

 

If you would like to treat your infection with a natural or herbal remedy, your naturopath or practitioner of oriental medicine can diagnose your condition (to make sure it really is a yeast infection), and then he or she can suggest an herbal or natural remedy that will be effective without reacting with any other medication you’re taking.

Many people assume that if you use a “natural” product the yeast cannot become resistant, but this is not always true.

Yeast organisms have been on Earth for millions of years precisely because they are so good at adapting to changes in their environment. Any anti-fungal medication, whether it’s a brand that’s sold at a pharmacy or an herb that’s grown in your back yard, can cause the yeast to mutate and become resistant. Antifungal products should only be used when needed.

Some natural remedies are inserted into the vagina with a douche. A douche can force a bacterial infection (which often mimic yeast infections, but are far more dangerous) upwards into the uterus and fallopian tubes, where the infection can cause permanent damage to your reproductive organs. If you do decide to use a douche of any kind, make sure you actually have a yeast infection first by visiting your doctor. Remember that the symptoms alone are not enough to make an accurate diagnosis. If at all possible, choose a remedy that does not require a douche.

You should be extremely cautious about using any home remedies if you are pregnant or nursing, because it could delay necessary medical treatment. See your doctor first.

  • Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is a natural antibiotic that has been used by many women to treat vaginal yeast infections. To apply, coat the top half of a non-applicator type tampon (like the OB ® brand) with a vaginal lubricant or olive oil. Then add a few drops (no more) to the top of the lubricant, and insert in to the vagina.

You should use extreme caution if you decide to try this remedy. Tea tree oil can cause irritation if too much is applied (and “too much” can be measured by drops). Tea tree oil is known to be a skin irritant, and is poisonous if ingested. Some people have shown an allergic reaction to the oil even at low concentrations.

Tea tree oil should not be used if you’re pregnant or breast feeding. For more information, see The University of Western Australia website.

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract

Add about 15 drops to warm, pure water and use as a douche (remember all those caveats we’ve already discussed about douching!).

Grapefruit seed extract is often added to commercial Candida remedies, and is supposed to have generalized anti-microbial properties. However, studies have been done that cause researchers to question this claim. To read more about the properties of grapefruit seed extract, see the Wikipedia.org website.

  • Commercial Candida Remedies

Natural food stores and vitamin stores carry a variety of products that claim to work for vaginal yeast infections or for “systemic yeast infections.” For instance, one product that is available from MotherNature.com, called Yeast Fighters®, contains the following ingredients:

Biotin, Fiber Blend (Psyllium Seed Husks, Guar Gum, Apple Pectin, Chitosan), Lactobacillus Acidophilus (providing 2.5 billion viable cells at time of manufacture), Garlic Bulb Extract (equivalent to 1500 mg of fresh garlic), Herbal Blend (Pau D’ Arco Bark Extract, Onion {Allium Cepa} Bulb Extract, Golden Seal Root Extract {aerial parts}, Black Walnut Seed), Caprylic Acid (from medium chain triglycerides).

Many commercial products, like this one, are intended to be used as systemic medication to rid the body of all Candida, and are taken orally. This means the antimicrobial ingredients may kill yeast (and bacteria) in the colon as well as in the vagina.

Yeast can become resistant to the active ingredients in these products, and this could make future infections more difficult to treat. In addition, many of these herbal products are antimicrobial, meaning that may kill bacteria in addition to yeast. Pau D’ Arco bark extract, for instance, is considered an antibiotic by some practitioners, and can harm the vitally important bacterial population in your colon that you need to keep you healthy.

Dr. Jeffrey McCombs, a well-known author who talks a lot about yeast infections, and who wrote the book Lifeforce: A Dynamic Plan for Health, Vitality, and Weight Loss, reminds us that eating yogurt or taking capsules with live acidophilus is pointless if you are taking antimicrobial herbal remedies at the same time, because the herbs will kill the beneficial bacteria. To me, this indicates that a systemic herbal treatment could do more harm than good if you are suffering from a vaginal yeast infection.

Playing it Safe with Natural Yeast Infection Remedies

To be on the safe side, you may want to try yogurt, garlic, a vinegar bath (but not a douche), or honey first, since these are the mildest remedies. If this doesn’t work in just a few days, it may be safer to use a topical medicated cream or ointment from the pharmacy instead of one of the “natural” systemic remedies that are taken orally, or one of the stronger topical remedies like tea tree oil.

If any natural yeast infection remedy does not work in a few days, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

2 thoughts on “Some Home Yeast Infection Remedies You Be Used With Caution

  1. I just bought some Pau D’arco tea to help with my fungal/possible-candida problem, on the recommendation of many anti-candida websites. Are you sure this herb could actually make the problem worse? I don’t want to believe so many would recommend this herb if you are indeed correct. I do the “anti-candida” diet, and eat acidophilus yoghurt for the fungal/candida problem as well as to help counter-balance the anti-biotic (doxycycline) I’m taking for a different problem (acne).

    1. Hi Paul. As I mentioned in my answer to your other comment, I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. But I would advise against taking any anti-fungal product without at least discussing it with a doctor first. There are holistic medical doctors, and naturopaths, who are very familiar with the effects of herbal products, and they’re the right people to ask. As for so many people recommending various anti-candida herbs, many, if not most, of the articles are all copied and re-posted. They may be right, but if you don’t see scientific studies proving it, it makes sense to be careful.

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