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Cure Yeast Infections with Yogurt or Probiotics

Updated on February 19, 2016
Yogurt
Yogurt | Source

This is one of those cures that you think is known to everyone who doesn’t live in a pineapple under the sea—until one of your adult daughters confides that she thinks she needs to see a doctor, because she thinks she has a yeast infection.

Many older women, even if they have no special interest in natural healing, are familiar with this cure. But there was never any occasion to mention it to their daughters—until the daughter goes off to college, and a course of antibiotics she took for a minor ailment is quickly followed by an entirely different kind of discomfort.

Yeast infections are caused by the depletion or destruction of beneficial intestinal flora—the normal, healthy flora that live in both the digestive tract and the vagina—which allows the overgrowth of yeast in the gut and elsewhere in the body. Overgrowth of undesirable bacteria in the gut will often cause diarrhea as well—which may be another problem resulting from a course of antibiotics.

The most common symptom is vaginal itching and burning and/or pain or burning when urinating or having sex.

YOGURT

Yogurt contains cultures of the same beneficial bacteria that normally reside in the healthy intestinal tract and the vagina.

To treat yeast infections, use plain, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt, and be sure to check the label to be sure the yogurt contains live lactobacillus cultures.

Apply the yogurt to the afflicted area, making sure to get some up into the vagina. A once or twice a day application should do the job.

It is also a good idea to eat lots of yogurt, since the beneficial flora in your digestive system have also been depleted. In fact, many women feel that yeast infections can be cured just by eating lots of yogurt, and eating yogurt regularly is an excellent preventative.

PROBIOTICS

An even more effective cure is to take probiotics containing lactobacillus or bifidobacterium. Probiotics are widely available at health-food stores, drug stores, and even grocery stores. While health-food stores will probably keep them in the refrigerator section to prolong the life of the bacteria, most other stores keep them on the shelf.

Probiotics are more effective for treating yeast infections because they are more concentrated. A single tablet may contain one billion Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria—many times more than you can get from yogurt.

As with yogurt, take the probiotics tablets by mouth, and also apply to the vulva and the inside of the vagina. Be sure to use unsweetened, unflavored probiotics for applying to the vulva and vagina. The powdered or capsule form may be the easiest to use for applying locally. Open the capsules and apply the powder. Tablets may be crushed. Any form may be dissolved in water for easier application. Be sure to take probiotics orally, according to the directions, or you can take a bit more than suggested.

Unrefrigerated probiotics are fine, but be sure to check the expiration date. As with baking yeast, these live organisms can be stored in sealed containers at room temperature for some time, but they will still eventually die, whether refrigerated or unrefrigerated.

We have all had the experience of buying expired baking yeast from the grocery store, or with discovering that the baking yeast we keep at home has expired. Probiotics works the same way; it won’t live forever.

Once opened, probiotics must be kept in the refrigerator or they will quickly lose potency.

As with yogurt, some people feel that taking probiotics internally will do the job, and that application to the vulva and vagina is not strictly necessary. My experience is that taking probiotics orally alone will often work, though it may take a little longer, but why suffer?

You should always take probiotics—or at least eat quite a bit of yogurt—following any course of antibiotics. Drink lots of water while taking antibiotics, too, as they are hard on the kidneys.

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