Yeast Infections home remedy and natural therapy, treatment with probiotics, bacterial vaginosis by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
March 17 2016

A vaginal yeast infection is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus or yeast Candida. Yeast normally live in the vagina in small numbers, but when the bacteria in the vagina become out of balance, too many yeast grow and cause an infection.

Natural yeast infection treatment - Home remedy
Consider eating less sugar and junk foods and more vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fish.
   Lactobacillus recolonization (via yogurt or probiotic capsules) shows promise for the treatment of both yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis with little potential for harm. Boric acid can be recommended to women with recurrent vulvovaginal Candidal infections who are resistant to conventional therapies, but can occasionally cause vaginal burning. Tea tree oil and garlic show some in vitro potential for the treatment of vaginitis. Some women have found mild relief using a few drops of tea tree oil placed on a tampon and inserted in the vagina.

We assessed the effectiveness of vaginal probiotic capsules for recurrent bacterial vaginosis (BV) prevention. One hundred twenty healthy Chinese women with a history of recurrent BV were assigned randomly to daily vaginal prophylaxis with 1 capsule (Probaclac Vaginal; Nicar Laboratories, Inc, Blainville, Quebec, Canada) that contained 8 billion colony-forming units of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L acidophilus, and Streptococcus thermophilus for 7 days on, 7 days off, and 7 days on. Probiotic prophylaxis resulted in lower recurrence rates for BV and Gardnerella vaginalis incidence through 2 months. Between the 2- and 11-month follow-up period, women who received probiotics reported a lower incidence of BV and G vaginalis. Aside from vaginal discharge and malodor, no adverse events were reported in either study group. Short-term probiotic prophylaxis is well tolerated and reduces BV recurrence and G vaginalis risk through 11 months after treatment. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010. Efficacy of vaginal probiotic capsules for recurrent bacterial vaginosis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Department of Gynecology, Yuyao/Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

A total of 49 women with a diagnosis of BV were randomized into 2 groups. Group A was treated with a twice daily dose of 500 mg oral metronidazole for 7 days. Group B was treated with the same schedule followed by a once-weekly vaginal application of 40 mg of Lactobacillus rhamnosus for 6 months. A non-parametric analysis of variance for repeated measures was used to test whether there were significant changes in the vaginal ecosystems in the 2 groups. During the first 6 months of follow-up, a constant percentage (96%) of patients in group B had a balanced vaginal ecosystem. Follow-up over 12 months showed no statistically significant difference among vaginal ecosystems in patients in group B, whereas in group A there was a significant increase in the number of women with abnormal flora over time. The vaginal administration of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus allows stabilization of the vaginal ecosystem and reduces the recurrence of BV. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2010. Long-term vaginal administration of Lactobacillus rhamnosus as a complementary approach to management of bacterial vaginosis.

Urogenital infections afflict an estimated one billion people each year. The size of this problem and the increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant pathogens make it imperative that alternative remedies be found. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 64 healthy women given daily oral capsules of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14 for 60 days showed no adverse effects. Microscopy analysis showed restoration from asymptomatic bacterial vaginosis microflora to a normal lactobacilli colonized microflora in 37% women during lactobacilli treatment compared to 13% on placebo. Lactobacilli were detected in more women in the lactobacilli-treated group than in the placebo group at 28 day and 60 day test points. Culture findings confirmed a significant increase in vaginal lactobacilli at day 28 and 60, a significant depletion in yeast at day 28 and a significant reduction in coliforms at day 28, 60 and 90 for lactobacilli-treated subjects versus controls. The combination of probiotic L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 is not only safe for daily use in healthy women, but it can reduce colonization of the vagina by potential pathogenic bacteria and yeast. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003. Oral use of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 significantly alters vaginal flora: randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 64 healthy women. Reid G, Charbonneau D, Erb J, Kochanowski B, Beuerman D, Poehner R, Bruce AW. Lawson Health Research Institute, Canadian Research and Development Center for Probiotics, London, ON, Canada.

The in vitro activity of vaginal Lactobacillus with probiotic properties against Candida.
Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2005.
Lactobacilli, the predominant vaginal microorganisms in healthy premenopausal women, control other members of the vaginal microflora and thus protect against bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. It has been claimed that some lactobacilli are also protective against Candida vaginitis. Little is known, however, about the mechanisms by which these lactobacilli can control vaginal populations of Candida and prevent vaginitis. To address this question, vaginal Lactobacillus strains with known antagonistic properties against bacteria were tested for their cell surface properties, adhesion to vaginal cell lines in vitro and antagonistic activities against Candida. A small proportion of the lactobacilli tested adhered strongly to cultured vaginal epithelial cells and inhibited growth of Candida albicans but not of C. pseudotropicalis. This anticandidal activity was in some Lactobacillus strains related to hydrogen peroxide production, but catalase treatment did not suppress this activity in other Lactobacillus strains, suggesting alternative mechanism(s). Moreover, tested vaginal Candida strains were resistant to relatively high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide that markedly exceeded those produced by even the most active Lactobacillus strains.

Tea tree oil in combination with prescription medication
Biomed Res Int. 2015. The influence of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on fluconazole activity against fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans strains. The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of fluconazole against 32 clinical strains of fluconazole-resistant Candida albicans, and C. albicans ATCC 10231 reference strain, after their exposure to sublethal concentrations of tea tree oil (TTO) or its main bioactive component terpinen-4-ol. The results of this study demonstrate that combining natural substances such as TTO and conventional drug such as fluconazole, may help treat difficult yeast infections.

Stress as a cause for vaginal yeast Infection
Women who suffer from frequent vaginal yeast infections show biochemical signs of being under chronic stress. Researchers studied 35 women who experienced at least four yeast infections during the preceding year and 35 healthy "controls." The team collected saliva samples from the participants in order to measure levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol levels usually rise in the morning, but the research team found that this rise was blunted among the patients with recurrent yeast infections compared with the control subjects. A shallow rise in cortisol, somewhat paradoxically, indicates a state of ongoing stress, according to the researchers. They also found that more patients than controls had a history of other vaginal infections, supporting "the hypothesis of a reduced local immunity" in women with recurrent yeast infections. The authors conclude that "chronic stress may play a role" in the occurrence of frequent yeast infections, and "further studies are needed to elucidate the connection between" all their findings." American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2005.

Boric acid for yeast infection
Boric acid vaginal suppositories treat yeast infections in women with diabetes better than the prescription anti-fungal pill fluconazole. Vaginal yeast infections in diabetic women are often caused by a fungal type known as Candida glabrata, and this tends to respond poorly to treatment with oral anti-fungal drugs like fluconazole. Dr. Ravinder Goswami, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, randomly assigned 111 diabetic women with vaginal yeast infection to be treated with either a single dose of fluconazole, which is widely known by the brand name Diflucan, or daily boric acid vaginal suppositories for 14 days. Nearly two-thirds of the women had Candida glabrata infections. In this group, the cure rate was 64 percent for those given boric acid suppositories compared with 29 percent in women treated with fluconazole. Diabetes Care, 2007.

Do you really have a yeast infection?
Dr. Susan Hoffstetter, the co-director of the SLUCare Vulvar and Vaginal Disease Clinic at Saint Louis University has found in her study that only one in every four women who came for treatment for persistent yeast infections actually had one. Dr. Susan Hoffstetter and her colleagues looked at the medical records for 150 women who reported persistent yeast infections. Only 26 percent of the women were infected with Candida. Other causes of vaginal itching included sexually transmitted infections, dry skin, or inflammation.

Yeast Infection research trials
J Med Microbiol. Nov 2013. Endocarditis due to a co-infection of Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis in a drug abuser.

Alternative therapies for bacterial vaginosis: a literature review and acceptability survey.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2005. Boskey ER. Department of Preventative Medicine and Community Health, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
This article reviews current research into non-antibiotic treatments for bacterial vaginosis and assesses interest in the use of alternative therapies for women's health in a non-representative sample of women. A convenience sample of 192 women was selected from an online community devoted to the discussion of women's health. Data on alternative treatments for bacterial vaginosis are mixed. Studies have shown both positive and null effects for probiotic- and lactic acid-based treatments. The results of antiseptic studies were more uniformly positive, but the studies were generally not placebo-controlled. Women in the survey population were both interested in and experienced with alternative and complementary therapies for reproductive health problems--44% of them had used home or natural remedies to treat vaginal infections or menstrual problems, and only 20% indicated that antibiotics and antifungals would be their treatment of choice. Women are interested in alternative treatments for women's health problems such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Although such treatments have been investigated, further research--particularly in the form of high-quality, randomized, controlled trials--is strongly indicated.

Antifungal activities and action mechanisms of compounds from Tribulus terrestris.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2006.
Antifungal activity of natural products is being studied widely. Saponins are known to be antifungal and antibacterial. We used bioassay-guided fractionation to have isolated eight steroid saponins from Tribulus terrestris. In conclusion, Tribulus terrestris has significant in vitro and in vivo antifungal activity, weakening the virulence of Candida albicans and killing fungi through destroying the cell membrane.

Male yeast infection
The same yeast that causes vaginal infections in women can cause yeast infections of the penis in men. Signs and symptoms of a male yeast infection include a red rash and burning at the tip of the penis. Most male yeast infections are easily treated with over-the-counter antifungal treatments, such as Monistat.

Oral yeast infection
Oral yeast infection, or thrush, is a common infection that occurs in some newborns and younger children. It is caused by the Candida albicans yeast or fungus, which can also cause vaginal infections and diaper rashes. When it infects a child's mouth, it is called oropharyngeal candidiasis, or thrush.
Yeast infection cure

Vaginal yeast infection symptom
Symptoms of vaginal yeast infection include vaginal itching, burning and irritation. Some women have painful sexual intercourse or painful urination.