Ah the dreaded yeast infection... I wish we didn’t have to talk about it let alone get it, but that would just be too easy wouldn’t it?!
We all get them so we might as well understand why and how we can clear them naturally.
WHAT IS A YEAST INFECTION?
Our bodies are ecosystems that contain trillions of different types of bacteria. The bacteria found in our gut is of most importance. They provide the first line of defence as part of our immune system by keeping other larger more harmful bacteria and viruses in check and away from our bloodstream. They help us digest our food and provide us with nutrients like vitamin B and K.
When there is an imbalance of these all too important bacteria, yeast or fungus start to grow in larger numbers in the gut and in the vagina causing an infection. In many cases this causes an unpleasant itchiness which often is accompanied by whitish discharge and sometimes odour. Just what we need down there!
An imbalance of bacteria can come from an overload of toxicity, such as chemicals found in the air that we breathe, and in our food. It very easily happens when we take medications such as antibiotics. A change in hormones can sometimes be the culprit as well.
Lesser known reasons include meat consumption as conventionally raised meats contain a low dosage of anti-biotics. The use of products like Splenda have been observed in scientific studies to reduce the good intestinal bacteria by as much as half, from one single serving sized packet! The really bad news with all of this is that intestinal bacteria take years to return to the intestines, adhere and thrive. In the meantime, we will be left vulnerable to infections of all kinds, allergies, loss of nutrients and an overgrowth of yeast!
The conventional treatment for a fungal/ yeast infection is an over the counter medication, Clotrimazole which usually comes in a suppository tablet and a topical cream. According to Drugs.com this medication can be harmful to the liver in some cases and can cause side effects such as stomach cramps and nausea, skin rashes, blistering, burning, itching and irritation. These don’t happen to everyone of course, as I have never experienced them myself, so you may just be ok.
NATURAL/ ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT
I am always looking for the most natural approach because that’s what resonates with me so here it is:
1. Eliminating sugars
This is always the #1 most important step. Only once we eliminate or minimize our sugar intake can we really get these critters under control.
This is best done by eliminating all refined sugars from the diet and minimizing the intake of grains.
Grains: corn, wheat, rye, oats, rice and barley. Potatoes will also be helpful to reduce as they are very starchy and break down into sugar.
2. Garlic - the antibacterial/ fungal master
The quickest remedy is to gently peel a piece, being careful not to cut into it and pop it into your vagina, leaving it there overnight. Yes you will have what I like to call ‘garlic vag’ in the morning but well worth it! Your itchiness will likely be complete history by then.
Getting it out can be the fun part. The easiest way I’ve found is to hunker down and push like you would a good poop first thing in the morning. Some prefer the 'soap on a rope' method of piercing and tying it with a string. The string will sometimes cut through the clove when you go to pull it out, leaving you empty handed.
Another idea is to chop up raw garlic and shoot it back with an ounce of water or orange juice before bed.
3. Candigen by Genestra
A human strain probiotic suppository that is easy to use and works like a charm! You can use this instead of the garlic or even better as a follow up the next evening. There isn’t much warning as to when a yeast infection will make itself known so you may not have any of this product in your fridge, in which case you can use the garlic until you get some. A great combo.
4. Berberis Formula by Genestra
This herbal preparation containing berberine is indicated for parasitic, bacterial/ viral infections, and candidiasis. Perfect.
From personal experience this formula is a life saver and warrants a spot in your cupboard for a variety of infections from a simple cold to a killer viral infection. This is a keeper.
These are what help keep a healthy normal environment in the intestinal tract by keeping yeast and fungi in check and helping your immune system stay strong.
Probiotics, meaning 'pro-life', need to be replenished after each course of antibiotics, but more importantly they act as a preventative to traveller’s diarrhoea and other bugs contracted in a variety of ways when taken regularly.
Probiotics are needing to be alive in order to have an effect on the gut and for them to be alive they must be kept cold.
I prefer to use Genestra’s HMF line because they are made with human strain probiotics which means they adhere to the gut lining for maximum benefit and each batch is tested before it is accepted into the warehouse for distribution.
I also like BioK as it is a live probiotic food which comes in a variety of bases such as rice, milk, soy and coconut.
Yeast infections are fairly simple to take care of but are also a sign of an important bigger picture. If we can address it at the root, we have a much better chance in keeping our defences strong, bugs and viruses out, and as new research indicates, prevent bigger troubles ahead such as diabetes, cholesterol, and allergies.