There are many herbs available for the treatment of a yeast infection; however, make sure you know that you have a yeast infection before resorting to taking an herbal remedy. You can always use a yeast infection test found on this website to help you determine if you truly have an infection of Candida species.
There are a wide variety of herbs that can be used to treat Candida infestations; according to Dr. James A. Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy, echinacea, garlic, cranberry, goldenseal, pau-d’arco, purslane, goldenrod, ivy, licorice, sage, and spicebush are all efficacious yeast infection treatments.
Herbs for Yeast Infection: Echinacea (Echinacea, various species)
Echinacea helps to treat Candida infections by stimulating the immune system; echinacea helps by stimulating leukocytes (white blood cells) to eat up Candida organisms, a processes known as phagocytosis. Echinacea has been used to fight the common cold, the flu, and other infections. There have been studies conducted on the efficacy of echinacea to treat upper respiratory infections and there have been mixed results.
Echinacea is a genus of the daisy family Asteraceae and is also known by the name American Cone Flower. Echinacea is only found in eastern and central North America. Echinacea tends to grow in prairies and woodland areas. Echinacea was named for the plant’s scales and large purple cone flower. The spines of the plant resemble a hedgehog and “echinos” is Greek for hedgehog; hence the name echinacea.
There are a few chemicals that play a role in causing physiological effects, they include polysaccharides, glycoproteins, alkamides, volatile oils, and flavonoids. There is not enough information available on echinacea to determine if it is safe for pregnant women or women who are nursing. As a result, pregnant and nursing women should avoid using echinacea. If you think you may have had an allergic reaction to echinacea, make sure you consult with a physician immediately. Some allergic reactions include rashes, worsening asthma, and anaphylaxis (a critical reaction that can cause death).
Herbs for Yeast Infection: Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic contains a powerful antimicrobial phytochemical known as allicin. Allicin has been known to be effective at killing broad spectrum of bacteria and has shown itself an efficacious killer of Candida albicans (the primary type of fungus responsible for yeast infections). As a result, garlic can be used to treat vaginal Candidiasis and oral thrush. To eliminate yeast infections, a oral dose can range up to 12 raw, chopped cloves of garlic. These cloves should be taken 2 to 3 times daily in their juice.
There are some mild side effects of garlic; however, garlic does seem to be safe for use among most adults. Having bad breath and body odor is one side effect that taking garlic can cause. Sweat can take on a garlic-like smell due to the allyl methyl sulfide it contains. Allyl methyl sulfide gas is transferred into the blood through the digestive process and can travel to the skin pores (causing a garlic like body odor) and can also exit the body through the lungs, causing halitosis.
Heartburn, upset stomach, and other allergic reactions are also side effects that can occur with individuals using garlic. The side effects are more probable when raw garlic is being taken. Additionally, garlic can also tend to then the blood and may be problematic while undergoing surgery, or shortly after surgery. Make sure you consult your physician if you have a health malady related to bleeding or if you plan on undergoing surgery.
Herbs for Yeast Infection: Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Cranberries have long been used to help keep the body healthy. Native Americans were some of the first to actually benefit from the cranberry. Additionally, sailors used cranberries to prevent scurvy as cranberries are a good source of vitamin C.
Cranberries contain a chemical known as arbutin which can help to rid the body of Candida infections. Despite its ability to treat yeast infections, there is some controversy over the safety of arbutin. Some suggest that arbutin causes cancer; however, there are also claims that arbutin reduces cancer risk.
In the past, cranberry fruit and leaves were used to treat a plethora of physiological maladies. Wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, and liver problems have all been treated in the past with cranberries. More recently, cranberries have been used with the hope of curing Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) infections (which can cause stomach ulcers), urinary tract infections, and to help stop dental plaque.
More Herbal Remedies
If you would like to learn about more herbs you can use to stop Candida, Candida Hub has an entire section on this. The herbs listed on this section have a proven track record for stopping Candida. You can order these herbs online or just pick them up at your local grocery store. Many are also able to stop certain viruses and bacteria as well! If you want to enhance your herbal medicine, check out this page detailing these herbs: Herbal Remedies for Yeast Infection.
- Dr. James A. Duke, THe Green Pharmacy. 1997 Rodale Press
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhinovirus - the common cold
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flu - the flu
- Cranberry at-a-glance pdf
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