5 Ways to Naturally Treat a Yeast Infection
Early in life, I learned that yeast infections were a part of womanhood. Something that many women get on a regular basis and required treatment either by prescription or a white box from the drug store.
…a horribly embarrassing white box that contains a turkey baster mess of epic proportions.
Who came up with that idea?
Yeast infections of any kind are not normal, expected, or inevitable, and are completely preventable. Let me tell you why.
Why We Get Yeast Infections
Chronic yeast infections are caused by imbalances within our bodies.
Our skin’s health is directly affected by liver function and gut health, especially the microbes in the GI tract. The GI tract requires a wide diversity of microbes to protect us from overgrowths of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and parasites.
Did you know that we carry an estimated 3 pounds of microbes just in our digestive tract? Microbial cells outnumber our cells by 10 to 1 and number in the trillions. (source)
A main role of the liver is to break down and filter hormones and toxins. When it’s not functioning properly, the skin becomes a primary filtering organ.
5 Natural Yeast Infection Remedies
1. Vinegar Baths
My favorite method of instant relief is a vinegar bath. Vinegar is great for bringing the skin back to proper acidity and killing yeast.
I only recommend organic, non-GMO vinegar and ask my clients to use organic raw apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ from either a local health food store or online.
- Add 1 cup of raw apple cider vinegar to tub full of warm water. If you don’t have a water filter, you can easily neutralize the chlorine using this method.
- Soak for 20 minutes, and then dry the area thoroughly. A hair dryer works well.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also a great barrier against chafing for irritated, sensitive skin caused by the yeast overgrowth.
- Clean and dry the area thoroughly. Again, I like to use a hair dryer.
- Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the affected skin as needed. Morning and evening before bed are usually the easiest.
I don’t recommend anything for internal use unless directly recommended by your health practitioner. I find that external use is enough for most people.
Normally taken internally as a supplement or through fermented food, they can help reverse pathogenic overgrowths of harmful microbes such as sinus, ear, and skin infections.
- Apply a powdered probiotic 2-3 times daily away from anything antimicrobial or it can kill off the beneficial microbes. Apply at least 30 minutes before or after antimicrobial remedies.
- Pour about 1/4 teaspoon into a small bowl. Tablets can be crushed into powder, and liquid supplements can be used as is.
- Dip a clean finger into the powder and apply to moist skin with a dabbing motion to help it stick. Try to cover skin with a light layer. Leave on until you shower or bathe next.
In addition to bring an essential nutrient, iodine is still one of the most effective germ-fighters we have. It’s up there as one of my favorite nutrients, and I even supplement with it daily through my iodine protocol.
Do not take iodine if you have an autoimmune disorder unless you are working closely with a qualified health practitioner and addressing the autoimmune condition first.
- Add liquid iodine to coconut oil 1-2 times per day, starting with one drop at a time to find your tolerance level.
Iodine will stain so be careful during application, and remind yourself not to panic if your skin color changes to brown or yellow. The color will return to normal, usually within 24 hours at most.
And who’s going to be down there anyway while you’ve got all this going on?
Iodine is an amazing nutrient for thyroid health and energy levels but can cause a detox reaction, so please be aware of the cautions before using it and go slowly.
5. Long-term Solutions
Though these remedies can be helpful for short-term use, a permanent health change is the only way to prevent future outbreaks. Replacing high sugar foods, alcohol, and refined and processed foods with nutrient-dense healing foods is a critical step to healing any chronic condition.
Healing digestion is the first step to 99% of the protocols I provide to clients and a perfect way to begin your journey to preventing future yeast infections.
Where to Buy Online
Probiotics – I recommend probiotics based on bioindividuality, so I don’t feel comfortable making broad suggestions. I don’t usually suggest those that sit on the shelves in a conventional grocery store.
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.