Yeast infection affects 75% of women. It’s a fungal infection from an overgrowth of vaginal yeast caused by a decrease of probiotics called lactobacillus acidophilus.
Probiotics fight yeast. And a lack of it makes yeast flourish. Here’s when it happens:
1. Use of antibiotics kills bacteria including probiotics.
2. High blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes feeds yeast making it outnumber probiotics.
3. Excess estrogen spikes vaginal glucose level, which feeds yeast’s growth. Pregnancy and oral contraceptives increase estrogen levels.
4. Inadequate prebiotics in your diet decreases probiotics. Eat prebiotic foods like bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes and berries.
Dr. Oz reveals all-natural yeast infection cures that rival over-the-counter treatments!
Learn why kefir milk, crushed garlic and Greek yogurt should be your preferred methods of yeast destruction. Watch “The fastest ways to get rid of a yeast infection”
What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for yeast infections?
Diet: A diet high in sugar may predispose some people, especially women, to yeast infections. Experiment with cutting back on refined sugars. You may even want to lower carbohydrates as a group for a time. Over a four to six week period, avoid fruits and fruit juices (except green apples, berries, grapefruit, lemons and limes), dairy other than plain yogurt and sour cream, breads and grains, alcohol, peanuts, potatoes and beans. Also stay away from sugary condiments like ketchup, salad dressings, horseradish, and barbecue sauces.
Be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables of various colors, as long as they are not starchy or root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or rutabaga. Eat one to two cloves (not the entire bulb) of garlic per day, preferably raw. Garlic has a long history of use as an effective antifungal agent. You may also want to use thyme in your cooking, which is approved in Europe for use in upper respiratory infections and is effective against oral thrush.
Topical herbal preparations: Dr. Weil recommends tea tree oil, extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. This is a natural disinfectant that works as well or better than pharmaceutical antifungal products. Apply a light coating to the affected area two or three times a day, and continue to apply it for two weeks after signs of the infection have disappeared to make sure the fungus is eradicated. You’ll find tea tree oil products at health food stores – be sure to select brands that are 100 percent tea tree oil. An alternative remedy is grapefruit seed extract used the same way as tea tree oil – twice a day for at least two months.
You can also use topical calendula cream or lotion made from petals of the ornamental “pot marigold” (Calendula officinalis) to soothe the affected areas of skin irritated by yeast. Look for products with at least 10 percent extract of this plant, and you might also try washing the irritated skin with a diluted solution of calendula tincture.
Probiotics: A proven probiotic product such as Lactobacillus GG or Bacillus coagulans (BC-30) may help to help restore normal gut flora. This is also a good preventive strategy whenever you have taken a dose of antibiotics. The dose is one tablespoon of the liquid culture or one to two capsules with meals unless the label directs otherwise.
Other supplements: For yeast infections of the skin, Dr. Weil also recommends taking a good multivitamin plus a supplement of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the form of black currant oil or evening primrose oil. The correct dosage for adults is 500 mg twice daily; half the dose in children.
Learn more: Treating Yeast Infections – Dr Weil