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Yeast Infection



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What Is Yeast Infection

Vaginal Yeast Infections, also known as candidiasis, are fairly common in women.  While Yeast Infections can be passed during sexual intercourse, they are not a Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI).  Roughly 3 out of 4 women will experience a Yeast Infection at some point in their lives.  Once you get a Yeast Infection, you are more prone to getting another one.  Yeast Infections are commonly associated with irritation, discharge, and itchiness of the vagina and vulva. 

Signs Of Yeast Infection

The most common symptoms a woman experiences is irritation, discharge, and itchiness.  Symptoms can be mild or moderate, and are more likely to occur in the week preceding the menstrual period.  Sometimes women with Vaginitis may experience similar symptoms like the following. 

  • Vaginal Itching (often itching around the vulva)
  • Red or Irritated Skin (around the labia or vulva)
  • Burning Sensation (during intercourse or urination)
  • Vaginal Rash
  • Vaginal Pain
  • Watery Vaginal Discharge
  • White Discharge (may be thick like cottage cheese, but it is usually odorless)
What Causes Yeast Infection

The vagina has yeast cells growing in it, including Candida, as well as other bacteria.  This mix of yeast and bacteria is naturally balanced, but a Yeast Infection occurs when there are too many yeast cells growing in the vagina.  This usually happens if there is an imbalance in the body, causing the lactobacillus bacteria (these keep yeast cells in check) to not work effectively.  Most Yeast Infections, while easily treatable, are caused by the yeast strand Candida albicans.  Common causes are:

  • Antibiotics (these lower the amount of lactobacillus in the vagina)
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Poor Diet (lots of sugary foods can contribute to yeast infections)
  • Stress
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Hormonal Imbalance (before your menstrual cycle)
  • Weak Immune System

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies

 

  • Garlic has incredible antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat Yeast Infections.  You can eat raw garlic, juice or blend it in a smoothie, or wrap an unpeeled garlic clove in gauze and stick it in your vagina.  If you opt for the latter option, be sure to only leave the garlic clove in the vagina for 30 minutes, and no more than once a day.  
  • Fenugreek seeds can be very helpful in restoring the vagina's pH balance and boosting the immune system. The best way to help yourslef is by steeping 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in 1 cup of hot water.  Let them steep for 5 minutes before straining the tea.  You can add 1 teaspoon of raw, organic honey to add a little flavor. 
  • Tea tree oil can be a great way to remedy the symptoms of Yeast Infections.  The oil contains antiviral and anti-fungal properties that can help kill the excessive yeast.  Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a small bowl of warm water, mix up the solution, and gently rinse the opening of the vagina once daily until symptoms subside.  If you don't want to do that, you can add 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a luke-warm bath.  Soak in it for 15-20 minutes to help with symptoms. 
  • You may think that douching can help remedy a Yeast Infection, but it actually can cause a Yeast Infection or worsen it.  Douching can remove healthy bacteria, which help to prevent yeast cells in the vagina from growing in excess.  And don't douche with vinegar, as vinegar can increase pain when it comes to Yeast Infections.  If bad bacteria is more present than good bacteria in the vagina, douching can be a good natural remedy.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be an effective remedy to reduce a Yeast Infection.  Because a common cause of a Yeast Infection is a change in the pH balance of the vagina, the acidity of apple cider vinegar can help regulate the pH level and restore balance in the body.  You can do this by mixing 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water.  Drink this solution once a day until the symptoms subside.  
  • It can be beneficial to eliminate sugar from your diet because this can help a woman recover from a Yeast Infection.  In addition to avoiding sugar, avoid meat, medications, dairy products, salt, and processed foods because these things can contaminate the body with toxins and create an imbalanced pH level.  Switching to a more plant-based diet can give the body essential nutrients, while also helping it maintain a neutral pH balance. 
  • Decrease the amount of stress in your life because stress can contribute to a hormonal imbalance and result in a Yeast Infection.  Try acupuncture, meditation, Tai Chi, or yoga, as all of these help establish a healthy mind/body connection.  Acupuncture and Tai Chi also promote healthy circulation, which is important for a healthy body. 
Things you should eat
  • Chickpeas
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Lima Beans
  • Raw Nuts and Seeds (almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds)
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Green Pepper
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, & chard)
  • Radishes
  • Parsley
  • Lemon/Lime
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
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