Many common ailments are caused by the Candida albicans fungus. Diaper rash, thrush, a skin infection or a yeast infection in women — all are due to an overgrowth of the yeast fungus.
Though not a serious condition, it’s important to treat a Candida infection as soon as you notice symptoms. In addition to minimizing discomfort, early treatment will reduce the risk of the infection spreading and your susceptibility to more serious conditions.
Candida is normally present on your skin and in your mouth and gastrointestinal tract without causing any harm. In women, it is also present in the vagina.
However, an overgrowth of Candida can cause candidiasis, giving rise to symptoms like intense itching and redness. It can affect the skin, mouth, stomach, urinary tract and vagina.
- When it affects the mouth, it is called an oral thrush and is characterized by a creamy, white coating or patches in the mouth.
- On the skin, it leads to rashes and blisters, especially on skin folds.
- Vaginal yeast infections cause itching and a white, cottage cheese-like discharge.
A variety of factors can increase your risk of developing a Candida infection, such as a weakened immune system, a bacterial infection, prolonged use of antibiotics, birth control pills, and pregnancy.
People who have diabetes also tend to be more prone to this problem. Moreover, the Candida fungi thrive in warm, moist areas.
Chronic Candida infections can cause issues like fatigue, lightheadedness, irritability, and poor memory. Whether you are dealing with a single instance of the infection or chronic reoccurrence, several simple home remedies can help you treat it and relieve symptoms.
Garlic has a number of sulfur-containing compounds that give it natural antifungal properties that help fight Candida infections.
- It’s a good idea to include garlic in your regular diet due to its many health benefits. You can have two to four raw garlic cloves a day. Crushing the cloves first helps release their beneficial properties.
- If you do not like the taste of garlic, you can take garlic supplements. The dosage usually depends on the severity of the condition, but the general recommendation is 600 to 900 mg daily.
- You can also apply raw, crushed garlic cloves on the affected area.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil works as an effective remedy for candidiasis due to its medium-chain fatty acids like lauric, caprylic and capric acid.
Studies show that these saturated fats have antimicrobial properties that help kill Candida fungi without leading to the development of strains of Candida that are more resistant to other antifungal treatments.
- Apply coconut oil topically on the affected area three or four times a day until you see improvement.
- You can also include it in your daily diet. Start with one teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil daily, gradually increasing the dosage to up to three tablespoons per day.
The probiotics present in yogurt, especially yogurt with live cultures, are helpful in fighting off candidiasis or yeast infection. The Lactobacillus acidophilus culture, in particular, keeps Candida yeast in check by producing lactic acid.
- Make plain yogurt with live lactobacillus acidophilus part of your daily diet.
- To treat a vaginal yeast infection, you can apply it by inserting a tampon dipped in yogurt. Do this two times a day until the infection clears.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another effective natural cure for candidiasis as it has antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- For vaginal yeast infection, put several drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and insert it. Replace it every four to six hours.
- For oral thrush, add five to seven drops of pure tea tree oil to a cup of water and gargle with it for a few minutes twice daily until the infection clears. Do not swallow the solution.
5. Oil of Oregano
Oregano oil contains a compound called carvacrol that has been found to inhibit growth of Candida yeast. Scientific studies also found that the oil’s antifungal and antimicrobial agents can be effective in treating as well as preventing candidiasis.
- Mix three drops of oregano oil with one tablespoon of olive oil. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours. Do this daily until you see improvement.
- Alternatively, mix three drops of oregano oil in a glass of water. Drink it twice daily for a few days to a week.
- If you are taking oregano oil capsules, take one or two capsules twice a day after meals. Continue the treatment for two to three months.
When purchasing oil of oregano, look for a product that does not contain alcohol and has a high level of carvacrol.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also considered beneficial for treating Candida infections as it helps restore your body’s natural pH balance.
It is also rich in enzymes that help regulate the presence of Candida. It creates an unfavorable environment for the fungi and encourages healthy gut bacteria to balance the flora in your intestinal tract.
- Add one tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Sip it slowly before a meal. Do this daily until symptoms subside. Symptoms may worsen during the first few days due to the yeast dying off, but you will notice improvement after that.
- You can also apply apple cider vinegar on the affected area or mix one cup of it in warm bath water and soak in the bath for about 15 minutes. Do this daily for a few days.
7. Olive Leaf
Olive leaf is a potent destroyer of Candida yeasts and fungi due to its natural antifungal properties. Plus, it has active ingredients called oleuropein that stimulate the immune system.
- Make olive leaf tea by steeping one or two teaspoons of the herb in a cup of boiling water for about 15 minutes. Drink two to three cups a day.
- You can also take olive leaf extract (250 to 500 mg) three times a day.
When the infection clears, continue to drink a cup or two of olive leaf tea or herbal infusion daily as a preventive measure.
Cranberries contain a compound called arbutin that helps kill Candida albicans.
- Drink a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice two or three times a day for a few weeks to clear out Candida yeast.
- You can also take cranberry tablets two or three times a day.
Cinnamon has been found to be active against Candida albicans due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties. Studies also found anticandidal activity when using cinnamon oil against other types of Candida yeast, too.
So, include cinnamon in your regular diet by adding it to your yogurt, sprinkling it on your French toast, or simply having cinnamon tea.
The typical dosage of ground cinnamon bark is one to four grams a day (1
gram of cinnamon is approximately a quarter or one-half teaspoon); the
typical dose of cinnamon oil is 0.05 to 0.2 grams daily. Follow this
treatment for one or two months.
10. Black Walnut
Black walnut bark contains high levels of tannins that have powerful antifungal and astringent properties. It also has an active ingredient, juglone, which has been found to have moderate antifungal and antibiotic effects. To treat a Candida infection, you can take black walnut extract or capsules according to the directions on the label.
In addition to these remedies, you can help prevent growth or spread of Candida by restricting your intake of foods high in carbohydrates and sugars, which tend to fuel yeast growth in the intestine.