Do The Remedies In Yeast Infection More Really Work?
This is a really important question. After all, 60% of Americans turn to the Internet for home remedies. With this number of people looking for information, what’s available needs to be reliable, trustworthy and dependable.
One way of making sure that that information about home remedies can be trusted is to look at the scientific research that’s been conducted and see whether or not it bears out the claims made by programs like Yeast Infection No More.
Good news: as soon as you start looking for scientific evidence about the effectiveness of home remedies for yeast infection, you find a great deal of information which proves they work.
In fact, there’s so much information that it’s impossible to review it all here. So I’ll review a few of the scientific articles that absolutely prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that home remedies for yeast infections really do work.
One of the most common cures / remedies for yeasts like Candida recommended on the internet is tea tree oil.
Tea Tree Oil
(By the way, it turns out that the native Australian people have used tea tree oil in their natural medicine for generations, talking about “healing pools” where they would go to cure infections and illnesses. And, not surprisingly, these pools were full of the decaying leaves of the tea tree plant. Coincidence? I think not!)
One of the most prolific researchers in the field has been Professor TV Riley of the University of Western Australia. He describes how this essential oil has been used for about a hundred years in Australia, both as an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic compound, and it’s recently become extremely popular worldwide.
Professor Riley’s scientific research can help us understand whether or not it actually really does have properties that make it effective as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent.
Tea tree oil is a volatile essential oil derived from the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It’s widely incorporated in many over-the-counter medicines for skin infections, as well as being marketed as a remedy for various other conditions like yeast infections.
Oddly enough, it’s only recently that scientists have really studied tea tree oil. The early studies conducted up to 1980 demonstrated that Candida albicans was highly susceptible to tea tree oil, but recent work has shown that a much wider range of yeasts and other filamentous fungi than Candida albicans alone are inhibited or killed by it.
For the scientists among you, scientists have shown how tea tree oil kills Candida.
It turns out that tea tree oil alters the permeability of the cell walls of Candida albicans, and also affects their membrane fluidity. This inhibits the fungus’s biochemical activity and this in turn kills Candida.
Tea tree oil is also very effective at inhibiting the conversion of Candida albicans into its mycelial form.
Another interesting thing about tea tree oil is that there’s never been a report of clinical resistance among the target organisms like Candida. Now that’s a definite contrast to the azole drugs which are generally prescribed to control Candida infection!
More to the point, Yeast Infection No More uses many of these traditional home remedies which are now scientifically proven.
Another study reported by Professor Riley showed that tea tree oil is extremely effective when used as a mouthwash in the treatment of oral thrush or candidiasis.
Although tea tree oil is poisonous if ingested, when applied to the skin or vulva and vagina, or when used as a mouthwash, it appears to be perfectly safe.
Further safety studies are being conducted, but the fact is that tea tree oil has been used without incident for 80 years quite safely.
As Professor Riley concludes in his paper:
Paradigm shifts in the treatment of infectious diseases is necessary to prevent antibiotics becoming obsolete … there are already several non-antibiotic approaches to the treatment of infection including probiotics….alternative therapies are viewed favorably by many because they are not being helped by conventional therapy and they believe there are fewer detrimental side effects. In addition many reports significant improvement while taking complementary and alternative medicines ….. unfortunately the medical profession has been slow to embrace these therapies.
In other words – home remedies like tea tree oil work. These home remedies really do kill Candida albicans and other yeast species.
You can read a lot more about them in Yeast Infection No More, where all these home remedies are described in detail.
Garlic Contains Allicin – But Does This Really Kill Candida?
The first study which suggests that allicin has an important role to play in the fight against Candida comes from research conducted at California Polytechnic State University in 2005.
The researchers tested miconazole against several natural home remedies including grapefruit seed extract, probiotics, garlic, and tea tree oil.
As we know, Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen, and its overgrowth is caused by changes in the physiology of the host.
(Candida is the primary cause of candidiasis, which is estimated to have affected over 50% of women over the age of 25 in at least one episode.)
That’s why so many publications like Yeast Infection no More have appeared on the market. Yeast is a serious problem.
For although most infections are limited to skin folds (as seen below),
it is a fact that thrush, vulvovaginitis and vulval rash, or vaginal infection, can cause serious problems. You can see that in the picture below.
More, immunocompromised individuals may develop severe infections that are life-threatening including myocarditis, abscesses of the liver or spleen, and other chronic conditions. But fortunately that is comparatively rare.
Drug Treatment Against Candida
Historically, amphotericin B was the standard treatment against fungal infection for 40 years, and it proved to be very effective as an antimycotic agent.
Concerns about its toxicity have, however, led to the use of azole compounds as antifungal agents, but even these are not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Worse still, as you may know, there is a possibility that Candida species are becoming resistant to these compounds. (This is all discussed in Yeast Infection No More by Linda Allen.)
So anything that can help with the treatment of Candida infections is to be welcomed, including the possibility of any natural home remedy for yeast infection.
We know that garlic has been used as such a remedy against conditions as diverse as parasitic infections and the common cold, in addition to its role as treatment or prophylactics for infection against Candida species.
Researchers conducting this study were attempting to establish how much garlic is necessary to inhibit the development of Candida. They wanted to compare this with the standard dose of azole antifungal compounds like miconazole.
To do this, they purchased garlic from the local market, peeled and pressed the cloves and squeezed them to extract garlic juice.
Using a centrifuge to remove cell debris, and dilation with ionized water, the researchers prepared an extract of garlic juice at concentrations of between 10 and 20 µg per milliliter.
Of course, this is an experiment in a test tube, so to speak, so the results might not be directly applicable to the human body! Even so, any evidence that garlic, or more accurately, its active ingredient Allicin, is an effective antifungal agent will bear out the anecdotal evidence in support of it as a traditional home remedy for yeast infection.
A team in Saudi Arabia also investigated the effectiveness of Allicin against common species of yeast like Candida.
Their objective was to compare the antifungal activity of drugs like fluconazole and nystatin with home remedies like garlic and cinnamon.
(Nystatin is a polyene commonly used in the management of Candida infections in the mouth. Its activity and effectiveness are broadly comparable to fluconazole.)
As the researchers observed after the experiment: Garlic (Allium sativum) belongs to the plant family Amaryllidaceae or Liliaceae. Its volatile oil contains many sulfur enclosing compounds like allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide.
They conclude their research paper by stating: Allicin, which is derived from freshly compressed garlic, is associated with strong antimicrobial actions and possesses very powerful antifungal property especially towards Candida albicans.
So – the evidence in support of garlic as an antifungal agent is unquestionable!
And in fact it’s mounted so much that no further evidence is really needed to show that garlic inhibits yeast, that garlic or allicin really is an effective yeast infection home remedy.
The question now is more about “What concentration do you need?” And how do you use it?
One possibility is to smear garlic paste all over the affected area.
Another is to make a kind of tampon with a raw garlic clove inside and push it inside your vagina. Another idea is to place a raw peeled garlic clove up inside your vagina. Read about it here.
Probiotics – Can A Yogurt Douche Really Help?
You can read the techniques of self help with yogurt here.
Evidence about how effective it si comes from plenty of research papers, including one by Matthew E. Falagas, Gregoria I. Betsi, and Stavros Athanasiou of Athens University.
They start by making the observation that vulvovaginal candidiasis is a common infection that affects the quality of life of many women. And that yogurt is a powerful treatment.
This may well explain why Lactobacillus products have been used by 40% of American women for the prevention of post-antibiotic vulvovaginitis.
The development of candidiasis in the vulva or vagina has been associated with a low number of Lactobacillus organisms or with a strain that does not produce hydrogen peroxide. (It seems to be the bacterially produced hydrogen peroxide which kills Candida species.)
Certainly, Lactobacilli are the most dominant microorganisms in the vagina of a healthy woman. They produce lactic acid and other substances which keep the vaginal pH low, thereby preventing the overgrowth of Candida and other pathogenic species.
When the balance between the vaginal microflora is disrupted, Candida can overgrow.
This could happen as a result of the use of antibiotics, spermicides, oral contraceptives, estrogen therapy and diabetes, or just through frequent sexual intercourse. Such possibilities are discussed at length in Yeast Infection No More.
To complicate things further, the correct proportion of various species of Lactobacillus bacteria is important in keeping Candida at bay, an observation which may be due to the fact that some species of Lactobacillus produced more hydrogen peroxide than others.
Admittedly, different pieces of research produce different explanations as to how Lactobacilli may inhibit Candida species, but the evidence seems pretty clear that they do indeed inhibit Candida quite effectively.
You would expect that, of course, because there is so much anecdotal evidence about the effectiveness of probiotics in general, and yogurt in particular, as a source of effective yeast infection home remedies.
Research into the effectiveness of vaginal Lactobacillus species have been conducted by methods as diverse as inserting a pessary containing Lactobacilli cultures and orally administering lactobacilli.
It does appear, however, that oral ingestion of yogurt is not necessarily a very effective way of ensuring that the vagina is colonized by these bacteria.
It seems to be better to insert the yogurt directly into the vagina. To sum up the authors’ conclusions:
“Probiotics, especially L. acidophilus, …. may be considered as potential empirical preventive agents in women who suffer from frequent episodes of vulvovaginitis (more than three episodes per year), since adverse effects from their use are scarce, especially when the use of antifungal agents is contraindicated or is associated with adverse effects.”