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Herbs and Vitamins for Yeast Infection

The Best Vitamins & Herbs for Candida

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Yeast infections are caused by opportunistic fungi that normally live inside the human body without causing any negative abnormalities in your health.  The the fungi that cause yeast infections are considered to be opportunistic pathogens because they require an opportunity to proliferate and cause the familiar symptoms of a yeast infection.  One opportunity that affords yeast the ability to multiply without restraint is an impaired immune system.  Without a properly functioning immune system, the body is more vulnerable to infestation of harmful microbiota that normally would not cause any health problems.

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There are two relatively simple methods you can employ to strengthen your immune system: taking dietary supplements and using immune system stimulating herbs.

Dietary Supplementation for Yeast Infections

Vitamin Supplements

Some vitamins and minerals that can be utilized to help support the body’s immune system include:

  • copper
  • zinc
  • selenium
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin C

Supplementing your Diet with Copper

Copper is an essential mineral to have a sufficient amount of as a deficiency of copper can cause the immune system to function at a less than optimal level.  Copper is an important mineral to have to ensure the body has enough white blood cells.  A healthy level of white blood cells helps ensure your body will be equipped with the cells it needs to properly combat the fungus responsible for a yeast infection.

Copper does more than just ensure your body has an adequate amount of white blood cells, copper is an important component of other bodily functions.  Copper is required for the production of red blood cells, and helps the body keep blood vessels, bones, and nerves functioning properly.  

Supplementing your Diet with Zinc

Zinc is a component of several enzymes in the body and is utilized by the body for many different functions.  Zinc also plays an important role in the maintenance of the immune system.  Taking zinc supplements should be considered when you wish to bolster the body’s natural defenses against the invasion of yeast organisms.

Zinc works to support the immune system by helping the body synthesize white blood cells called T lymphocytes.  There are a variety of T lymphocytes synthesized by the body.  Each type of T lymphocyte is an important component of the immune system as they help destroy undesirable pathogens.

In addition to supporting the immune system zinc also helps the mineralization of bone, protein digestion, and the metabolizing nutrients.  Zinc is also utilized in the production of proteins, maintenance of the genetic code, and healing of wounds.  There are other functions that zinc is utilized in, but will not be covered by this article.

Supplementing your Diet with Selenium

The human body does not require a large amount of selenium, but this nutrient is essential in the production of selenoproteins.  Selenoproteins are enzymes that have antioxidant capabilities and are necessary to help the immune system operate well.  Your dietary intake of selenium should be 200 mcg of selenium every day.

Selenium is also a component of fungicidial shampoos and lotions as selenium has anti-fungal capabilities in high doses.  Using over 600 micrograms daily can be toxic to the liver; therefore, you should use caution when taking selenium supplements orally.

Supplementing your Diet with Vitamins A, C, and E

Vitamin E is a vitamin that is comprised of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E supplementation has been linked to immunoregulation and antibody production.  Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and is necessary to prevent free radicals from damaging fats in the body.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin so you should use caution and consult a physician before you take large doses of any fat soluble vitamin.  High doses of alpha-tocopherols has caused hemorrhage and has inhibited the coagulation of blood in animals.  If you are taking a drug that is an anticoagulant you should avoid taking vitamin E.

If you decide to take an oral vitamin E supplement you should take 400 international units of vitamin E daily.

Along with vitamin E, vitamin A is another powerful vitamin that you can utilize to help allay a yeast infection.  Vitamin A helps in the synthesis and maintenance of the body’s natural barriers to infection like the skin, lungs, and the linings of the mouth and throat.  In addition to helping support the body’s infection barriers, vitamin A also stimulates the immune system.  Deficiency in vitamin A has been linked to cancer development.

Vitamin A, as a fat soluble vitamin, can be hazardous for the body when taken in high doses.  If you are going through pregnancy, you should not take high levels of vitamin A.  Dosages of 10,000 international units of vitamin A taken in the early stages of pregnancy have been known to cause birth defects.  Ingesting 15,000 international units of vitamin A on a daily basis can be toxic to the human body.  Ingesting doses of 25,000 international units of vitamin A can cause abortions to occur if taken in the early phases of pregnancy.  Because of the various health maladies that can occur when taking elevated levels of vitamin A, make sure you take vitamin A under the guidance of a licensed doctor.

In addition to using vitamins A and E, you can also include the powerful water soluble vitamin C.  High doses of vitamin C can kill bacteria, fungi (including Candida), and some parasites.  When these organisms die off they can cause toxins to be released into the body; the result of these toxins in the body can include symptoms of feeling light-headed, headaches, nausea, and gas.

Vitamin C does two important things that help allay yeast infections: helping white blood cells to perform at their best, and acidifying the vagina.  When white blood cells are functioning at their best, they are able to help destroy the invading fungus that is responsible for causing infections.  Additionally, yeast are not able to thrive in highly acidic environments, keeping the body supplied with vitamin C can help ensure that yeast will find the vagina too acidic to proliferate their.

If you wish to utilize vitamin C to help your body in its battle against yeast you should take two 2,000 milligram doses each day.  Take one one 2,000 milligram dose in the morning and take the other dose sometime in the evening.  Please do note that ingesting doses of 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C can cause diarrhea.  If you are planing on taking such high doses of vitamin C, you may wish to consult a licensed physician.

Herbal Supplementation for Yeast Infections

Some herbs that can be utilized to help support the immune system include:

  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
  • Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
  • Red Root (Ceanothus spp.)

By keeping the body’s immune system supplied with the right nutrients and supporting it with herbs, you can help better protect yourself from yeast infections.

Please do not use any herbal supplement on children or when pregnant without first discussing it with a licensed medical doctor.  There are many different chemicals present in herbs and it is important to seek the guidance of a licensed medical doctor before giving an herbal remedy to a child or using an herbal remedy while you are pregnant.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)


Astragalus has been discovered to be quite an efficacious herb for fortifying the body’s immune system.  Clinical studies have shown astragalus to be capable of protecting the human heart from the Coxsackie b 2 virus and can help to repair damage in previously infected individuals.  Other research has demonstrated astragalus to enhance the activity of the immune system’s natural killer cells.  Astragalus also prevented cancer metastasis in 80 percent of mice in a test.  Astragalus stimulates phagocytosis, increases the total number of cells and increases the veracity of their activity.  In addition to these activities, astragalus also performs other beneficial functions in the body.

If you wish to utilize the chemical compounds in astragalus to help fortify your immune system, you can make it into a soup stock or cook rice in a strong astragalus infusion.

To make a tea of astragalus you can place 2 to 3 ounces in a pot of tea and drink this tea during the day.  Or, as aforementioned, you can make a broth or soup by placing 6 slices of dried astragalus root in a pot with approximately 3 cups of water or broth; cover the pot and let the herb simmer for approximately 2 to 3 hours.

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

Eupatorium perfoliatum

Boneset has been exploited by the indigenous peoples of North America for hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years for intermittent fevers and chills.  Clinical trials have demonstrated that boneset stimulates phagocytosis even more than echinacea does, and can reduce cold and flu symptoms.  More herbalists continue to state that boneset is an efficacious immunostimulant.  Consequently, this herb can be an important edition to any regimen of supplements designed to augment the immune system.

To use boneset you can make a tea by combining one ounce of boneset with one quart of boiling water and let the herb steep in the water overnight.  Once the herb has finished steeping in the water you can strain the herb out of the water and drink the tea during the course of the day.  You can also make a hot boneset tea by adding approximately 1 teaspoon of boneset to 8 ounces of hot water and letting the herb steep in the liquid for approximately 15 minutes.

Please note that using a large amount of a hot infusion of boneset can cause vomiting.

Red Root (Ceanothus spp.)


Red root helps to improve the immune system’s function by clearing dead cellular tissue from the lymph system.  By clearing the dead cellular tissue form the lymph system, healing can be significantly improved.  Red root can be very helpful when a section of the lymph system is suffering from an infection or is inflamed.  Red root may also be able to augment the lymph node’s synthesis of lymphocytes.

Echinacea’s effects may also be increased when using it in tandem with red root.  If you are already using echinacea, consider adding red root to your arsenal of herbal remedies and use these herbs in conjunction.

If you wish to harness the power of red root, try making a tea by combining one teaspoon of powdered root with 8 ounces of water and simmering the mixture for approximately 15 minutes.  You can drink up to six cups of this tea each day.

You can also make a strong decoction of red root by combining 1 ounce of the herb with 16 ounces of water and simmering it in a covered pot for approximately 30 minutes.  You can take 1 tablespoon of this mixture 3 or 4 times each day.

If you are pregnant you should not use red root.  Additionally, if you are taking blood coagulants you should discuss taking red root with a licensed doctor before using this herb.



  • Somer, Elizabeth. The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. Health Media of America 1992


  • Martin, Jeanee Marie.  Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook Revised 2nd Edition. Three Rivers Press 2000

Vitamins A, C, and E


Red Root (Ceanothus spp.)

  • Buhner, Stephen Harrod.  Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternative for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria. copyright 1999


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