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Natural Cures for Vaginal Yeast Infections

written by: TheresaHalvorsen • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 2/3/2009

Vaginal yeast infections are extremely uncomfortable and can be difficult to fully get rid of. Luckily, there are many natural cures for yeast infections that may clear up the infection, including apple cider vinegar, using yogurt or various herbs.

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    Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infections

    Vaginal yeast infections have common symptoms including vaginal itching, burning, a rawness sensation, a yeasty smelling cheesy discharge, pain upon urination and pain during sex. They're caused by an overgrowth of yeast which is a natural microorganism that lives on our skin. When the vaginal flora becomes unbalanced and less acidic than it's supposed to be, yeast can multiply.

    Please remember that yeast infection symptoms can be caused by STDs, hormonal changes, poor diet, stress, antibiotics or other micro-organisms. If you treat a yeast infection and it doesn't go away, see your care provider. You may need over the counter treatments or be diagnosed with something else.

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    Try an Herbal Tea

    Rosemary Gladstar in her book, Herbal Healing for Women suggests creating an herbal tea by mixing 2 parts sage, with 2 parts raspberry leaf, 2 parts mullein and 1/4 part goldenseal root together. Add the herb mixture to cold water and bring to a simmer. Once simmered, remove from heat and let seep for a good 20 minutes. She recommends combining the tea with unsweetened cranberry juice to make it more palatable.

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    Use Apple Cider Vinegar

    Most experts agree that mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with about a quarter cup of warm water and drinking it may help keep yeast at bay. Some experts also recommend creating a douching solution to fight vaginal yeast infections. Mix one part apple cider vinegar and eight parts warm water to create your solution. Since douching can force yeast further up into the uterus and fallopian tubes, caution should be used.

    Talk to your care provider before douching or using any douching solution.

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    Try Boric Acid

    Contact your care provider for boric acid suppositories placed into the vagina. Boric acid can kill the yeast infection. Caution should be used because boric acid treatments can be very uncomfortable, though effective. If your care provider approves it, use for 7 days.

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    Change your Diet

    Yeast tends to thrive in bodies where the diet consists of alcohol (particularly beers), sweets and white sugar. Consider cutting back on the sweets and alcohol. Try to keep your vaginal flora more in balance by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

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    Eat Yogurt

    Eating a simple eight ounce container of yogurt (with active cultures) a day, may help keep vaginal yeast infections at bay. It's a cheap natural cure for yeast infections that gives you a low calorie calcium boost. Yogurt fights yeast with the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus and helps keep it in check.

    If you don't like eating yogurt, you could apply a little bit of yogurt to the vaginal area (about 1 teaspoon) to improve your yeast infection symptoms. Just make sure the yogurt is plain and doesn't have any sugar as sugar can make your yeast infection worse.

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    Avoid Sex

    Sex tends to irritate vaginal tissue, especially if it's already irritated from a yeast infection. In addition, it is possible to give a yeast infection to your partner and then pass it back and forth. Some experts recommend using condoms during yeast infections though caution should be taken since the chemicals in condoms can irritate a yeast infection.

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    Keep the Vaginal Area Dry

    Make sure you're wearing cotton underwear, especially during workouts to prevent sweat from sitting close to the vaginal area. After washing, rather than attempting to dry the vaginal area with a towel or tissue, use a blow dryer. Set it on a low, cool setting and use that to dry your vaginal area.

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    References

    Gladstar, Rosmeary. Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside, 1993

    Martin, Jeanne Marie & Rona, Zoltan P. Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook Prima Publishing, 2000

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information you have just read.