A yeast infection is caused by the fungus candida. The vagina naturally contains a balance of yeast and bacteria. A vaginal yeast infection occurs when the balance is disrupted and too much yeast begins to grow. An overgrowth of yeast can be caused by:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • An impaired immune system
  • Oral contraceptives or hormone therapy

If you visit a health care professional for a vaginal yeast infection, you may be prescribed a cream, ointment or oral medication as yeast infection remedies. However, there are several natural yeast infection remedies you can use at home to stop the overgrowth of yeast and get rid of the infection. The next time you’re suffering from a yeast infection, try some of the yeast infection remedies below.

Here’s how to get rid of a yeast infection:

1. Keep Your Skin Clean and Dry

The best way to step a yeast infection from multiplying to harmful levels is to keep your skin clean and dry. That means practicing good hygiene and taking care of any open cuts, scrapes or wounds anywhere on the body. To treat a vaginal yeast infection, it’s important to shower every day and cleanse the area. After you shower, make sure you dry off completely. Fungi thrive in moist environments.

2. Wear Clean Clothes

Wear clean, breathable clothing to help stop moisture from developing in the area. Underwear that is too tight or made of a thick fabric can stop air from reaching the genitals, which can worsen a vaginal yeast infection. Yeast infection remedies include looser-fitting clothes and breathable fabrics.

3. Boost Your Immune System With Probiotics

A weakened immune system means a greater chance of illness or infection, including a yeast infection. Make sure you eat a healthy and well-balanced diet to promote a strong immune system. Don’t forget to include probiotics in your diet – they contain beneficial bacteria that help fight infections, including vaginal yeast infections. Probiotics such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso and natto can work as yeast infection remedies.

4. Make Sure It’s Not Allergies

Sometimes allergies can play a role in yeast infections. Make sure you’re not allergic to condoms, latex or hygiene products such as bath oils or tampons. Chemicals in these products may irritate the genital area and negatively impact the balance of bacteria in the vagina, leading to a vaginal yeast infection. If you suspect these products might be an issue, switch to more natural products instead.

5. Consider Other Medical or Hormonal Problems

Certain medical conditions may make you more susceptible to developing a yeast infection, such as a hormonal imbalance. When the chemical and bacterial balances in the body are off, you are more likely to develop an infection. Diabetes can also play a role in a vaginal yeast infection. A diet high in sugar can fuel the growth of candida yeast.

6. Use Supplements and Essential Oils

There are several yeast infection home remedies you can use to help stop yeast in its tracks. Try:

  • Apple cider vinegar to balance pH levels in the body.
  • Elderberry and milk thistle to help cleanse your liver from prescription medications and hormones from birth control.
  • Antioxidants such as Vitamin C to help boost the immune system.
  • Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender and myrrh to help kill yeast, parasites and fungi. Mix several drops of essential oil with coconut oil and use it topically just outside of the vaginal area as a yeast infection home remedy.

Dr. Axe
Mayo Clinic