You are by no means alone: Three out of four women will suffer from at least one yeast infection at one point in their lives. It's uncomfortable, sometimes painful, but can be swiftly treated with a variety of over the counter medicines. But if you would prefer to use a more natural approach, there are plenty of effective holistic approaches.
Boric acid is probably the most famous natural treatment for a yeast infection. It's the one to which your grandmother turned, and for good reason. It not only treats the random infection that cropped up at the last – and most inconvenient – moment, but it also is effective against recurrent infection. Applied topically, boric acid will treat 70 percent of yeast infections successfully.
Wild oregano oil is not just for homemade pizza anymore: you can use it to treat a yeast infection! Take a small amount of the oil and apply it to the infected area twice daily. The oil works because it contains two naturally occurring antimicrobial agents, carvacrol and thymol. These react with the water in your bloodstream to dehydrate and kill the yeast cells.
Another oil with anti-fungal properties that you are likely to already have in your kitchen cabinet is coconut oil. A 2004 study showed how raw organic coconut oil can be applied internally or externally to ease symptoms of a yeast infection.
Tea tree oil is also prized for its anti-fungal mojo, but it comes with some caveats. It can irritate the skin, and vaginal walls are particularly sensitive. Also, allergic reactions to tea tree oil are not uncommon, so test a small dab on your arm before you set it loose on your yeast infection. Because tea tree oil is an essential oil, you will need to mix it with a carrier oil, such as warmed coconut oil, before application. Use 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil to one ounce of coconut oil, then soak a tampon in it prior to application.
Probiotics seem to be curing everything else lately, and you would be correct to assume they can be effective against a yeast infection as well. One study laid out how a specially formulated probiotic pill inserted into the vagina resulted in a nearly 87 percent improvement in the symptoms of yeast infection. As a bonus, the treatment also had a long-term effect on the yeast responsible for the infection. The women in the study used one pill a night for a week, then inserted one every third night for 3 weeks. They then just took one pill a week, for maintenance.