How yogurt, vinegar and garlic help to fight yeast infection?

How yogurt, vinegar and garlic help to fight yeast infection?
January 24, 2014 10:55 AM

In this post we shall look at three simple natural cures for yeast infection - yogurt, garlic and vinegar.

Garlic as a cure for yeast infection

You might be wondering that how garlic can cure yeast infection? Believe it or not but garlic is one of the best cures for yeast infection. We all know about garlic as a tasty kitchen spice but we are unaware of its astounding health benefits. Apart from its use in curing yeast infection, garlic is used as a home remedy for prevention of heart diseases, atherosclerosis, diabetes and strokes. The nature has bestowed this herb with a unique property to kill microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and parasites. This is the reason that our ancestors used to apply it on wounds to wipe off the infections. But what does make garlic unique? How can it cure yeast infection? What is the scientific evidence behind its antifungal nature? 

How does garlic work?

It is capable of warding off the yeast infection by inhibiting the growth and function of yeast Candida Albicans. Garlic contains a special chemical compound called alliin and an enzyme allinase which are stored in different compartments within garlic. Alliin is a substrate to allinase enzyme. When alliin reacts or combine with the enzyme allinase, another chemical compound is produced called allicin. Allicin is an organo-sulphur compound which imparts the characteristic pungent smell to garlic. It is the allicin which is responsible for antifungal action of garlic. But allicin is not usually present in fresh garlic, until and unless it is crushed. Once it is chopped or crushed, alliin and allinase enzyme combine with each other and allicin is produced as a result. 

Allicin released from garlic acts as an anti fungal. It inhibits the growth of yeast by disrupting the cell membrane or outer covering of yeast cells- the protective covering without which the yeast cells cannot survive. After damaging the membrane of yeast cells, allicin enters the cell and strongly oxidizes the cellular components, inhibiting the function of yeast cells. This is how garlic helps in curing yeast infection.

How to use garlic for curing yeast infections?

There are several easy and convenient methods to use garlic as a home remedy for curing yeast infection:

  • Take a clove of garlic and peel the white papery skin off it. Cut this fresh clove into half and then wrap it in a cheese cloth with a string tied to it. Now insert this wrapped garlic clove inside your vagina before going to bed at night. Leave it overnight. Take it out next morning. Don’t worry the clove won’t be lost inside you as it cannot enter cervix. You may feel garlic taste in your mouth but that won’t bother you once you are asleep. Mild infections can be cured overnight but the remedy can be repeated two to three times until the itch and infection goes away.
  • Or you can simply chew 2-3 cloves of garlic each day to get rid of yeast infection.
  • Garlic tablets are available in market which can either be inserted into vagina or taken orally.

Yogurt as a cure for yeast infection

Using yogurt as a home remedy is an effective way to get rid of yeast infections. To understand the role of yogurt in curing yeast infection, you must know how yeast infections develop? Yeast infection usually occurs when the body pH gets disturbed. Human intestine and vagina (in females) contains some friendly bacteria belonging to the genus “lactobacillus acidophilus”. These bacteria fight against bad bacteria and yeast. Lactobacillus bacteria produce:

  • Hydrogen peroxide that kills the unwanted microorganisms by producing reactive oxygen compounds.
  • These bacteria also produce lactic acid, lowering the pH of intestine and vagina. Yeast cells cannot resist the acidic environment and are killed by lactic acid.

Sometimes, the use of antibiotics kills these friendly bacteria and disturbs the pH, providing a perfect environment for the yeast cells to grow and thrive. Yogurt is a best home remedy to cure yeast infection. Yogurt contains the friendly lactobacillus bacteria that help in killing harmful microorganism and restoring the pH back to normal.

How to use yogurt for curing yeast infection?

For treating yeast infections, the yogurt can be used in various ways:

  • Eat more and more plain yogurt if you are suffering from yeast infection. Yogurt will keep body’s acid base balance normal and will limit the growth of Candida yeast. Remember, the yogurt must not contain any added sugar because sugar can promote the growth of fungus.
  • If you are suspecting vaginal yeast infection, take a bowl of plain, unsweetened yogurt and freeze it. Now take a tampon and dip it in yogurt until it is fully coated with yogurt. Insert this yogurt dipped tampon inside vagina at night. Remove it in the morning and wash off. Yogurt will fight the yeast infection by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria inside vagina.
  • If you find it difficult to use tampons, simply apply some plain yogurt directly on the labia or you can inject it into vagina with the help of needleless syringe.
  • In case of skin yeast infection, directly apply plain some plain yogurt to affected areas. Try this remedy thrice a day until the infection is cured.

Vinegar as a cure for yeast infection

A question might be popping in your minds that how can vinegar cure yeast infection? What good can it bring to you? It sounds weird but this is a fact that vinegar helps a great deal in fighting off yeast infection. Vinegar is rich in acetic acid that maintains the acidic pH, promotes the growth of healthy bacteria and limits the growth of yeast cells.

How to use vinegar for curing yeast infection?

Vinegar can be applied topically or taken orally to fight yeast infection. It can be used in following ways:

  • Mix 1-2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it three times a day. You may not like the taste of vinegar but it will help a lot in treating yeast infections of skin, mouth and intestine.
  • Add 1-2 cups of apple cider vinegar in your bath tub and soak yourself in it for 20 minutes. This will help in the eradication of skin and vaginal infections. Repeat this process twice a day for a week.
  • Or you can apply cider vinegar, mixed with equal portions of water, directly to the affected area. 
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Written by: Michal Vilímovský (EN)
Education: Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Published: January 24, 2014 10:55 AM
Next scheduled update: January 24, 2016 10:55 AM
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