Why is it that home remedies for yeast infections are becoming evermore popular? Why is it that victims of yeast infections — particularly those who have suffered recurring infections — are increasingly turning their face away from conventional medicines towards natural home remedies for their yeast infections? And do they work?
In order to understand these questions, it is important first to get to know where yeast infections come from and the underlying causes that can trigger them. Let’s start by listening to the excellent Dr. Mercola…
Causes of Yeast Infections
Have you heard of the name ‘Candida?’ This is another term for a yeast infection. Why is this important? Well, it’s important because it gives us a clue as to what actually causes the horrible symptoms of yeast infections. Candida is used to describe this type of infection because the culprit is the ‘Candida Albicans’ fungus, which naturally resides in the human body.
Luckily for us this yeast-like fungus is kept under control and prevented from multiplying and spreading by our body’s beneficial bacteria. In other words, as long as there are sufficient numbers of good bacteria in our bodies to keep the Candida Albicans at levels that pose no threat to our health, then we can say that our body’s internal bacterial environment is ‘in balance.’ And under these conditions yeast infections are highly unlikely to be triggered.
However, should the body’s essential good bacteria numbers ever reduce to such an extent that they cannot keep the Candida Albicans in check, then the outcome is that the yeast-like fungi can ‘overgrow’ into a full-blown yeast infection with all the horrible symptoms that such an infection entails…
1. Beneficial Bacteria Depletion
So this gives us our first underlying cause or trigger for yeast infections; friendly bacteria depletion. One of the most obvious ways this can happen is through the over-use of antibiotics. Although these can be very effective in eliminating the bad bacteria they are prescribed for, they unfortunately can also kill the good bacteria as well. You need to also bear in mind that much of the food we eat nowadays contains added antibiotics, e.g. meat, dairy produce, fish, and eggs, etc.
2. Weakened Immune System
A directly connected issue that can cause internal environmental imbalance is a compromised or weakened immune system. If your immune system — your body’s natural defence — is unable to work to its full potential then, under this circumstance, the Candida fungi can overgrow into an infection. This can happen due to a number of environmental and dietary factors such as, long-term stress, poor diet (e.g. insufficient nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc.), illness, antibiotic or steroid therapy, chemotherapy, HIV, and drug therapy for auto-immune diseases and transplants, etc.
3. Hormonal Imbalance
It is also a fact that many more women than men get yeast infections. Although the reason for this still isn’t absolutely clear, what has been noted is that women are more likely to suffer infections during pregnancy, just before their periods, while taking oral contraceptives, or if they are using HRT (hormone replacement therapy). A key factor in this is hormonal imbalance as a result of these issues. This hormonal imbalance leads women under these conditions to be more susceptible to yeast infections.
4. High Blood Sugar Levels
Another key trigger for Candida infections is sugar. The yeast fungus adores sugar, it’s its favorite food. Yeast needs sugar to help sustain it and allow it to multiply and grow. So sugar is an important underlying cause of yeast infections. Linked to this are refined carbohydrates, because they eventually reduced to sugars during the digestive process. By consuming too much sugar and refined carbohydrates you thus end up with high blood sugar levels that help to feed an infection.
Summary of Underlying Causes of Yeast Infections
In summary, we can say that the critical root causes are; beneficial bacteria depletion, weakened immune system, high blood sugar, hormonal imbalance and certain drug therapies . More…
Now, before we speak about home remedies for yeast infections, we should also address conventional treatments for Candida…
Conventional Yeast Infection Treatment
Mainstream medications you get over-the-counter and by prescription are essentially anti-fungal drugs to help kill-off the Candida fungi. They come in several forms such as creams, sprays, lotions, tablets, oral suspensions, and so on, depending on where the infection is and its severity. More…
This approach, while being pretty effective in getting rid of the symptoms given enough time, suffers from the major drawback that it only addresses the symptoms and not the underlying problem(s) causing the infection in the first place. What this means is that although the symptoms may well go away over time, if the root cause isn’t tackled then there isn’t anything to prevent the yeast infection coming back time and again.
And the resulting repeated application of drugs over time can lead to the Candida Albicans becoming drug-resistant, making future drug therapy even more ineffective. Plus, for many sufferers, these drugs can have some nasty side effects such as nausea, rashes, diarrhea, stomach pain, itching, swelling, headaches, vomiting, etc.
So people are increasingly discovering the benefits of natural home remedies for their yeast infections…
Home Remedies For Yeast Infections
The critical element with yeast infection home remedies is that they should not only help to eliminate the Candida fungus causing the symptoms, but also address the underlying causes, especially by ‘re-balancing’ the body’s internal environment.
And the first step is to get a professional diagnosis from your physician. Before you even begin to implement any home remedies for Candida, you have to get confirmation that you do, indeed, have Candida / yeast infection and that your symptoms — chronic itching, redness, swelling, inflammation, painful urination, cottage-cheese-like discharge, painful intercourse — to name but a few — aren’t signs of some other problem you may have. More symptoms…
Once having been correctly diagnosed you can then proceed to the next step which is to identify potential root causes and address those…
(1) Addressing the Root Causes of Candida
For example, if you happen to be on a lengthy course of antibiotics, or any other medications (including the Pill) that we know can help trigger yeast infections, you should consult your physician about suitable alternatives.
Take a close look at your diet. Is it high in sugar and / or refined carbohydrates? If so, you need to reduce, or better still, avoid these in your diet plan. Also, is your diet deficient in key nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc? And could you be allergic to certain foods? Consult your physician / qualified nutritionist about a healthier, more balanced diet, i.e. an anti-Candida diet.
Then you have to consider if stress could be a factor. Do you feel stressed-out on a daily basis? Do you take sufficient time-out to relax and recharge your batteries? If you are like most of us, probably not. Try stress-reducing relaxation exercises, join a yoga class, take daily exercise such as brisk walks, read a good book, listen to relaxing music.
If you are female then your hormones may be out of balance. And as we have seen this can happen due to pregnancy, just before your periods, if you are on HRT or if you are taking oral contraceptives. It can also happen if you have thyroid problems. So consult your physician about tests to confirm whether you have hormonal imbalance or not. Certain herbs such as black cohosh and liquorice have hormonal-balancing properties. Talk also to your local herbalist to get more details.
So now we come to natural anti-fungal home remedies for Candida…
(2) Anti-fungal Home Remedies for Yeast Infections
There are many natural remedies that can help to kill-off the Candida fungus. These can be every bit as effective as drug-based medications — sometimes even more so — but nowhere near as toxic as the drugs.
One of the most popular and effective is raw garlic. This has natural anti-fungal properties as well as the ability to lower blood sugar levels. This makes garlic a potent weapon in the fight against yeast infections. It can be eaten and / or topically applied as a paste to the affected area. As an alternative, you can take garlic in capsule form, but it has to be those capsules that still have the odour, not the odourless ones.
Herbs such as oregano and thyme, and spices like cinnamon and turmeric, are also known natural anti-fungal agents. Pop into your local pharmacy or health food shop for the full range. And talk to a herbalist about anti-fungal herbs too.
Many sufferers have praised natural yogurt as a natural home remedy for yeast infections. Natural yogurt — no added sugar, fruit or coloring — contains a beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus Acidophilus which can help to replenish the good bacteria in the gut. You can also apply it directly to the affected area.
The oleic acid in olive oil helps to impede the transformation of Candida Albicans from its pretty much innocuous yeast form into its devilish fungul form that spreads throughout the body causing havoc. Extra virgin olive oil is best and can be taken as a salad dressing, poured over meat or fish, or even just by dipping fresh bread into a saucer or small bowl of the oil; delicious!
There is no longer any doubt that natural home remedies can be a very effective way to get rid of Candida. But the key is to ensure that you target both the underlying cause of the infection and the symptoms. This may well take a lot of work on your part, but the end result will be worth the effort, because it will get your health and your life back on track again.
But, instead of doing all this work yourself, you can fast-track your cure by taking advantage of years of successful research already undertaken and resulting in a unique 5-step holistic method that will cure your yeast infection, eliminate Candida, and regain your natural inner balance…
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