The most common home remedy for vaginal yeast infections is non-sweetened yogurt that contains active bacteria. Many commercial brands do not contain live acidophilus bacteria, so be sure to read the label. Nancy’s Yogurt, made in Oregon, contains several different types of live cultures and may help you re-establish your yeast/bacteria balance.
If you don’t live in an area that sells this particular brand, check the labels on the yogurt available at your local supermarket – “live cultures” should be prominently noted.
If you add sugar to the yogurt you will cancel out its benefits by feeding your yeast – if you really can’t bear the idea of eating unsweetened yogurt, add a small amount of honey instead of sugar. Honey has been proven to increase the numbers of beneficial bacteria in your gut, while sugar inhibits bacteria and feeds yeast. If you have to choose between sweeteners, always choose honey.
Brown sugar, raw sugar, and other forms of sugar are just sugar – they aren’t any better for you, and they should be avoided like the plague if you have a yeast infection.
Some people put yogurt in the vagina instead of eating it, in order to get the acidophilus down where it’s needed more quickly, but some studies have shown that this is not needed or effective. If you want to try it, you can insert the yogurt directly into the vagina by dipping a tampon (the kind without an applicator, like the OB brand) into unsweetened yogurt and then inserting it into the vagina. Remove the tampon after an hour or so.
You can also freeze yogurt in the fingers of a sterile plastic glove, and then insert the frozen yogurt popsicle in the vagina like a tampon. This can be a bit messy, so you may want to use a sanitary pad for a few hours. Believe it or not, the icy yogurt will feel good against your inflamed vaginal walls.
You can also find suppositories containing live bacterial cultures at the natural food store and online. These products deliver the beneficial probiotics directly to the affected area. Make sure you select a capsule that contains only live bacterial cultures, and which does not contain herbal remedies such as Pau D’ Arco bark extract or black walnut that may kill the bacteria.
If you use one of these products or put yogurt in the vagina, you should also eat a cup of unsweetened yogurt every day as well. You need a strong population of acidophilus in your intestinal tract to help build up your natural defenses and keep your infection from coming back.
Since yogurt is not an antifungal treatment, there is no risk that it will cause your yeast population to mutate and become drug resistant. Even if you are lactose-intolerant, you may be able to tolerate yogurt, but if not, try one of the acidophilus capsules sold at the natural food store, instead.
If you want to use yogurt as a natural home remedy for your yeast infection, go ahead and experiment to see if it works for you. You may decide to cover all your bases, and use yogurt both as a topical treatment in the vagina or on your genital area, while also including it in your diet. As always, if your yeast infection does not clear up in a few days while using this remedy, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. Most home remedies, including yogurt, will only work if you catch your yeast infection while it’s still fairly mild.