Dealing with Vaginal Yeast Infections: The Wise Woman's Approach

May 21


Susun S Weed

Susun S Weed

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Virtually every woman has encountered a vaginal yeast infection at some point in her life. This article delves into natural and effective ways to manage and prevent these infections, offering a holistic approach that emphasizes self-care and natural remedies. Learn how to maintain a healthy vaginal environment and discover the benefits of various herbs and dietary changes.


Understanding Vaginal Yeast Infections

Vaginal yeast infections,Dealing with Vaginal Yeast Infections: The Wise Woman's Approach Articles primarily caused by the fungus Candida albicans, are a common issue for women. This single-celled organism thrives when the vaginal pH becomes alkaline, leading to symptoms such as a thick, white, yeasty-smelling discharge and irritation of the vulva. It's important to note that there is no direct connection between vaginal candida and overgrowth of candida in other parts of the body.

The Role of pH Balance

When the vaginal environment is acidic, Lactobacillus bacteria dominate, keeping Candida in check. However, when the environment becomes more alkaline, Candida can proliferate, leading to infection.

Natural Remedies and Preventative Measures

Yogurt: A Probiotic Powerhouse

Regular consumption of unsweetened yogurt is one of the best ways to prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections. Women who eat a cup of yogurt daily have only one-third the number of yeast infections compared to those who do not consume yogurt (Environmental Nutrition, 1998). For treatment, apply yogurt directly to the vagina using a tampon applicator, fingers, or even a partner's assistance. This method not only alleviates symptoms but also helps to restore the natural balance of bacteria.

Maitake Mushrooms: Immune Boosters

Maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa) are known to enhance the immune system and contain compounds that specifically inhibit and destroy Candida cells. However, their high mannitol content can cause gas and bloating. Women with chronic yeast infections may benefit from a regimen starting with ½ gram daily, gradually increasing to a maximum of 3 grams daily over several months (Prevention, 2001).

Antifungal Herbs

Several herbs have antifungal properties and can be particularly effective for women with chronic yeast infections:

  • Black Walnut (Juglans nigra): Extremely effective against Candida albicans (Herbs for Health and Healing, Kathi Keville).
  • Cranberries and Blueberries: Contain arbutin, which kills Candida albicans (Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, M. Murray ND & J. Pizzorno ND).
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita): Effective both internally and externally, especially for women who are sensitive and timid (The Green Pharmacy, James Duke).
  • Garlic (Allium sativum): Known for its antifungal properties (The Green Pharmacy, James Duke).
  • Goldenrod (Solidago): Used as a douche and tea to prevent and treat inflamed urogenital yeast infections.
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Effective as a root douche.
  • Ivy (Hedera helix): Used as a leaf wash.
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Used in infusions and sitz baths.
  • Pau D’arco (Tabebuia): Effective as a salve or tea.
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis): Used as a tincture or infusion.

Echinacea: Immune System Support

Echinacea is particularly helpful in preventing and treating yeast infections by stimulating the production of white blood cells. A German study found that only 10% of women who took Echinacea with antifungal drugs had a recurrence of infection, compared to 60% of those who took only the drugs. The recommended dose is one drop of Echinacea root tincture for every two pounds of body weight, taken every 4-8 hours for two weeks.

Dietary Considerations

Sweets, especially raw fruit, can promote Candida overgrowth. It's advisable to eliminate or cook these foods. Additionally, women with chronic yeast infections often have low levels of B vitamins. Foods rich in B vitamins include meat, whole grains, and beans. Herbal infusions of red clover and oatstraw are also beneficial.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a highly effective treatment for chronic yeast infections. Fill 00 gelatin capsules with boric acid USP and insert one in the vagina nightly for 14 days. This method has a 98% cure rate for women who did not respond to other treatments (Journal of Reproductive Medicine).


Sunlight has natural antifungal properties. Exposing the affected area to sunlight can help reduce yeast growth.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent. However, it must be used with caution as it can burn sensitive vaginal tissues. Always dilute tea tree oil or use a prepared cream with no more than 1% essential oil.


Managing and preventing vaginal yeast infections requires a holistic approach that includes dietary changes, natural remedies, and self-care practices. By understanding the factors that contribute to these infections and utilizing the power of natural treatments, women can maintain a healthy vaginal environment and reduce the frequency and severity of infections.

For more information on natural health remedies, visit National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.


  1. Environmental Nutrition, 1998
  2. Prevention, 2001
  3. Herbs for Health and Healing, Kathi Keville
  4. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, M. Murray ND & J. Pizzorno ND
  5. The Green Pharmacy, James Duke
  6. Journal of Reproductive Medicine