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The itching, the burning...aghhhh! It's enough to test the limits of sanity for any woman. And while yeast infections are thought to be mainly a problem among women, did you know that men can also get them? This is especially true for a man whose wife is suffering from one, since having sex will pass the infection back and forth. For a woman, however, the problem is a little trickier, since yeast thrives in a dark, moist environment. Simply put, the vagina is yeast's dream home!
Many women (and men) suffering from yeast infections resort to the remedies found in a drug store: creams, suppositories, and other "medical" remedies. The problem with these is that they tend to help for only a short period of time and then the yeast comes back with a vengeance. In my experience, there are other, more effective ways to combat this evil menace. In this article, I will highlight some remedies that have worked for me, as a woman. Most, if not all, of these can be adapted for a man, as well.
Here are some home remedies that have worked for me:
The good bacteria in plain yogurt helps fight yeast and yogurt can be used both internally and externally. BUT, be sure you buy plain, unsweetened yogurt. Since sugar feeds yeast, this is a crucial point. You can also make your own, using a yogurt starter. I have done this myself and it is simple and the results are quite good. The advantage is that you can use other types of milk, such as soy or almond. While I made mine directly on the stovetop, you can also purchase a yogurt maker, if you want to take the thinking out of the process. Whether purchased or homemade, yogurt is a great thing to eat before meals because it provides "good bacteria" for your stomach to aid in digestion.
For a topical treatment, you can also dip a tampon in plain yogurt and insert it into your vagina or simply rub some on the outside. I have found, however, that leaving it on for a prolonged period tends to have the opposite effect. It seems that once it has done its job, it is best to wipe it off or you will feel itchier due to the moisture.
Garlic is a big enemy of yeast! This is one of the most effective home remedies I have found for instant relief. Inserting one garlic tab (such as Shaklee's Garlic Tabs) or a garlic clove into the vagina every few hours or as needed provides soothing relief. If you use garlic tabs, be sure the ingredients are natural and pure. I highly recommend the Shaklee garlic tabs. They are what I have always used with great results.
Of course, garlic can be taken internally, as well. Again, the Shaklee garlic tabs work great. I have also used Kyolic garlic tabs and liquid in the past with good results. Or, if you don't mind the smell, you can press a whole garlic clove and drink it down quickly with water. I have found this to be very effective. Do it as often as necessary. Garlic is one of nature's amazing "drugs" that has a number of other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and reducing bad cholesterol. It is a natural antibiotic. In fact, my Greek father-in-law eats raw garlic everyday and, in his mid-sixties, is very rarely sick.
Apple-cider vinegar (with the mother)
Apple-cider vinegar has many health benefits (including aiding in weight loss) and can be used both internally and externally, as well. However, it is very strong, so it is not recommended that you apply it directly on the skin. It will kill the yeast, but it will burn like nothing you've ever felt! The best external application is to add about a cup of it into your bathwater and take a nice hot bath. This will feel very relaxing and soothing and will help temporarily. I don't find it as effective long-term, however, as the garlic suppositories. They provide full-day relief.
The type of vinegar I recommend is Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, with the Mother. It is important that it have the mother, as this is more natural and less processed. Never use plain, white vinegar! This actually feeds the yeast instead of killing it.
In my opinion, this is one of the world's most powerful, secret remedies for any illness! I strongly believe that if we all drank the amount of water our bodies need, we would see a great reduction in all types of sicknesses.
Most doctors say that we should drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily, but many people need even more than that. I have found that simply drinking enough water greatly reduces my likelihood for getting a yeast infection. Because I am drinking more water, and subsequently urinating more frequently, my body is able to flush out the sugars that feed the yeast.
Be sure to drink water that is pure and free from toxins. It is best to purchase some type of water filtration system, such as one made by Shaklee. Other brands that are good are the Brita and PUR brands. Be sure that regardless of what system you purchase, you do your research first to be sure that it will be effective in its performance.
If you do only one thing, drink more water. It's easy, accessable, natural, and has no side effects!
Oil of Oregano
This is an amazing herb! It is very potent against yeast. Take it internally daily, according to directions. Be sure, also, that the type of oil you choose has a high carvacrol content, as this is the active ingredient. I recommend Oreganol Super Strength P73.
Beneficial bacteria supplement
A healthy body contains trillions of microoragnisms, most of which reside in the colon. Their main function is to provide balance for less-desirable organisms (such as yeast). I use Shaklee Optiflora to help maintain these probiotics and prebiotics in my intestines. I have used other products in the past, but have not found that their level of quality matched this product's. Other products can only gaurantee a certain amount of organisms at manufacture. However, Shaklee gaurantees that the bacteria will be alive when you ingest it and be delivered to the intestines. So, at this point, I can only suggest their product.
This is a botanical, non-toxic multi-purpose solution that can be sprayed directly onto the skin. It is extremely soothing on a yeast infection and is effective at killing yeast. I use it straight from the bottle, without diluting it. I find it works best that way, but please be aware that this is not how the company recommends using it. It can be purchased at this site: www.solutions-4-you.com.
Here are some things that you should try to avoid when fighting a yeast infection:
Taking birth-control pills