Essential Oils For Yeast Infection
Plant derivatives like essential oils have been used for generations as food preservatives, cosmetics and a cure for various ailments.
Essential oils obtained from aromatic plants have been shown to possess powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Because of the growing interest, more essential oils are being tested to understand their action and potential benefits.
For instance, in the treatment of yeast infection caused by overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungi.
It is important to recognize that Candida naturally exists in the human body in places like the gut, mouth, mucosal membrane and genitals.
In a study published in PubMed Journal, researchers found essential oils to be very effective in destroying C. albicans.
An analysis of the cellular level indicated that the essential oils did more damage compared to certain antifungal medications. The essential oils tested in the study include tea tree oil, oregano oils, lavender and mint. (1)
The potency of essential oils came from their ability to break and weaken the cell wall and membranes that form the disease causing fungal pathogen.
To test the effectiveness of essential oils and drugs, researchers studied the antifungal activities of essential oils against leading antifungal drugs like fluconazole, itraconazole and clotrimazole.
The antifungal activity of the antifungal drugs and essential oils was investigated using the micro-dilution method.
According to an excerpt on WebMD, Candida infection (candidiasis) usually comes in the form of invasive candidiasis, vaginal candidiasis and orophryngeal candidiasis or oral yeast infection.
The yeast that causes Orophryngeal Candidiasis, also called thrush usually attacks and spreads around the throat and mouth area. The infection is common among the elderly people, newborns and individuals with weaker immune systems.
The symptoms of Orophryngeal include cracking of the mouth lining, appearance of white or yellow patches on the gums and pain when swallowing. Genital yeast infection occurs when there is an overpopulation of yeast in the genital area.
The infection can arise due to diabetes, use of lubricants, pregnancy and use of certain medications. Yeast infection affects the vast majority of women and men.
Some accounts suggest up to 75% of all women will suffer vaginal yeast infection at one time or the other in their lifetime. The infection can easily spread from one person to the other through sex.
The statistics are made worse by the fact that yeast infection is likely to reoccur. The fungal pathogen that causes yeast thrives in acidic environments where there are elements like too much sugar, antibiotics and processed food.
Essential oils for yeast infection
Essential oils are widely used in treating irritating and often uncomfortable fungal infections such as genital yeast infection, cutaneous yeast infection and oral rashes.
Although most doctors prescribe conventional medicines to treat yeast infections, some medications are resistant to Candida or may end up destroying the good bacteria.
According to Healthline, the most effective essential oils for combating yeast infection and ensuring a balanced body flora include:
Essential Oils For Yeast Infection
1. Tea tree Essential Oil
During the ancient times, tea tree oil was widely used to heal wounds and infections. This popular essential oil contains several antibacterial and antifungal properties that can aid in the treatment of genital or vaginal candidiasis.
Human and animal studies conducted in the laboratory also show tree oil can cure numerous drug resistant strains of yeast infection. In one study, tea tree oil was found effective in treating 14 drug resistant derivatives of C. albicans.
Some reviews indicate tea tree oil can clear yeast infection in a few days. If you are treating genital yeast infection, take 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil and add it on 1 ounce of coconut oil.
Soak the solution on a tampon, which should be replaced regularly. The possible side effects of the tea tree oil include watery discharge, itching, burning and redness in the genital area.
Research is ongoing to test the medicinal value of different concentrations of tea tree oil and combinations with other medications. The essential oil can be purchased as a suppository and prescription yeast infection medication.
The most popular premade suppositories in the drugstores include Femallay Natural and Tea Tree Therapy.
People with a yeast infection can also try prescription antifungal medications sold in the form of ointments, tablets and cream. The popular options include clotrimazole, butoconazole, miconazole and miconazole.
Origanum marjoram or common oregano can easily be purchased at the grocery store. However, the essential oil of oregano is obtained from the wild oregano (Origanum vulgare).
The oil contains powerful antifungal compounds for fighting fungal infections. The active compounds in the oil of oregano include carvacrol and thymol.
A study published in Molecular Cellular Biochemistry in 2005 indicates that Oregano is also effective in killing a wide spectrum of bacteria, namely:
- Helicobacter pylori
- E. coli
- Staphylococcus aureaus
Users are generally advised to consume essential oils through inhalation as part of aromatherapy or applied topically over the skin. The oil should not be taken orally.
Oregano can be diluted using other essential oils like sweet almond oil or olive to obtain a tone down outcome. To clear Candidiasis simply mix 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil used.
The oil should not be applied directly around the vagina area. To treat thrush tongue, adults should take the recommended dosages of oil 2 to 3 times daily with meals.
3. Coconut Essential Oil
This fatty oil comes from fresh coconut. One of the key benefits of using coconut oil is the antifungal properties that can effectively aid the fight against C. albicans.
The oil is rubbed directly on the affected area. Note, only pure coconut oil should be used in treating vaginal yeast infection. To treat yeast infection of the oral lining, take 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and have it melted for a few seconds.
Once the temperatures have risen to the required level, swish the essential oil and spit it out. Avoid eating or drinking anything for half an hour to give the coconut oil sufficient time to settle and heal the mouth.
The edible oil contains over 90% saturated fatty acids, mostly triglycerides. Coconut oil is also known for long shelf life and is widely used in the manufacture of items like hair oil products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Lemongrass has anti-fungal properties that can help protect the body against yeast and fungus and speed the healing process.
The active ingredients on lemongrass include myrcene and geranial. In a study conducted in 2012 and published in the Journal of Enthnopharmacology, researchers established that lemongrass and clove were very effective in penetrating and breaking the protective biofilm created by Candida.
This essential oils can be diluted with sweet almond oil before use to reduce the potency levels. The oil is usually applied directly to the targeted area. Lemongrass is safe for consumption and its use has been approved by the FDA.
To treat yeast infection, add a drop of lemongrass on 1 teaspoon of honey or add the drop on 4 ounces of desired liquid. The essential oil should not be used by children under 6 years.
Other essential oils
The other essential oils for treating yeast infection include thyme, peppermint, cinnamon leaf, clove and geranium. These therapeutic oils have a long history dating hundreds of years and diverse applications.
The oils are often harvested through distillation or steaming of the plant root, flowers, bark or leaves. According to the scientific resource rich Science.gov portal, clove contains over 20 active ingredients; key among them are eugenol, eugenyl acetate, alpha-humulene. This essential oil has the ability to inhibit Gram positive and negative bacteria as well as yeast.
The antifungal properties of clove has also been tested and found effective in fighting dermatophytic fungi such as Trichophyton rubrum, Microsporum audouinii and C. albicans.
Researchers have also established the effectiveness of clove essential oil and volatile vapor in inhibiting the mycelial growth of dermatophytic fungi and spore germination.
Geranium is the other powerful essential oil used in the treatment of genital yeast. In one study, a group of researchers administered geranium essential oil intravaginally into several test mice.
After a while, the essential oil greatly reduced the number of viable C. albicans and diminished the effects of vaginal inflammation.
Success was also recorded in a vitro study that combined low concentrations of geranium oil (25 microg/ml) with geraniol.
Thyme has also been found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of yeast and mycelial growth. Thyme, whose active ingredient is thymol, can also boost the immune systems.
The healing properties in thymol include antioxidant, anti-bacteria, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.
Safety tips when using essential oil
The problems caused by Candida can be overcome using appropriate medications, natural therapies and essential oils. According an excerpt on the Miracle of Essential Oils, here are general safety measures to keep in mind when using essential oils.
- Always go for high quality essential oil; if possible only buy high quality organic products from a trusted outlet
- Essentials oils must be kept away from the reach of children and pets
Not every essential oil is effective in treating all fungi because of differences in fungal characteristics, behavior and host.
- Before using an essential oils, consider its short term and long term side effects. Taking high concentrations or dosages of essential oil can lead to several side effects, including allergic reaction, toxicity, damage to the skin and other organs.
- Take extra precaution when using hot essential oils such as clove.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using essential oil and instead seek consent from a doctor.
- Take time to test the essential oil to gauge its safety before applying on the affected area. The ideal testing area for topical essential oils is around the inner elbow. If a negative reaction is noted, wash off the essential oil and keep it away.
- Most essential oils are not ingested unless it is indicated. The essential oils are normally taken via inhalation and skin absorption. Always seek the advice of a professional health adviser, aroma therapist or physician for user directions and guidance.
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