Can garlic, vinegar, and boric acid really help get rid of yeast infections? Find out how at-home yeast infection treatments may ease symptoms.

1. Greek yogurt

Probiotics can be effective against Candida albicans — and yogurt can be considered a probiotic because it contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria help promote a healthy environment in your vagina, and they can help address an overgrowth caused by an imbalance.

In a 2015 study, a vaginal cream mixture of plain yogurt and bee honey was found to improve symptoms of vaginal yeast infections.

A 2017 study suggests that eating yogurt helps expand your gut microbiome, which can help reduce yeast in your body. If you don’t like yogurt, you can take a probiotic supplement or try other probiotic foods.

When it comes to using yogurt for a yeast infection, opt for plain Greek yogurt.

Warning: The yogurt shouldn’t contain any added sugar, flavoring, or fruit. Added sugar can fuel the growth of the Candida fungus.

To reap the benefits, try:

  • eating the yogurt
  • applying it to your vulva
  • inserting it vaginally using a clean tampon applicator or your fingers

2. Boric acid

Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic, and some people claim it can help clear up yeast infections resistant to other remedies.

Boric acid vaginal suppositories may be used in combination with medications to treat vaginal infections.

However, boric acid is toxic in large amounts. It can lead to:

  • kidney damage
  • acute circulatory system failure
  • death if you absorb too much

Warning: Avoid using boric acid on broken skin, and never take it orally.

If you’re pregnant, don’t use boric acid in any form. You may also want to consider another remedy if you have sensitive skin.

Discontinue use if you notice any discomfort.

3. Oil of oregano

Oil of oregano (the extract) and oregano essential oils come from the same plant but are different in application. Oil of oregano is also not the same as common oregano or Origanum marjoram, which you’ll usually find in your grocery store’s spice section.

To ease a yeast infection, you could search for oregano oil extract drawn from wild oregano or Origanum vulgare.

A 2017 study suggests oregano essential oil may prove effective for altering the growth of Candida albicans.

To use, mix three to five drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil, such as olive or sweet almond oil. Then, apply it to your skin by massaging or inhaling it using a diffuser. Don’t apply this essential oil near your vagina.

Warning: Never ingest essentialoils. Essential oils are meant to be inhaled as part of aromatherapy or diluted with massage oil to use during massage. They’re also not meant to be used internally — external use only!

Oil of oreganoOregano essential oil
effective antimicrobial for restoring vaginal pH levelseffective for altering the growth of Candida albicans
mayapply internally? should not be applied near the vagina at all
? apply essential oils externally to skin with carrier oil (inner wrists, behind ears, back of neck)

4. Probiotic suppositories and supplements

Probiotics can help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.

Taking oral probiotics that contain strains of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria can offer a number of health benefits, including helping bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment.

Oral supplements can take several days to a few weeks to reach full effect, so some people use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to get results more quickly.

Evidence suggests probiotic suppositories can also help treat bacterial vaginosis (BV).

5. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a fatty oil derived from the flesh of the coconut. The oil has many health benefits, including antifungal properties.

Research suggests coconut oil is effective against C. Albicans, making this home remedy one of the few with supportive evidence behind it.

To treat a vaginal yeast infection using coconut oil, be sure to buy pure, organic coconut oil. You could apply the oil directly to the affected area.

6. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil used to help:

  • kill fungi
  • bacteria
  • viruses

In fact, research supports tea tree oil’s antifungal properties.

Research from 2016 suggests a combination of probiotics and vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil may help treat vaginal infections.

More recent lab findings continue to support the antimicrobial activities of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is an incredibly powerful essential oil. So, you’ll always want to make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, if it’s going to touch your skin — undiluted tea tree oil should never touch your skin. And just as a reminder, essential oils should never be used internally!

If you can, opt to purchase prepared tea tree vaginal suppositories — this is the safest option.

Warning: Only use tea tree oil occasionally, and never swallow it. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll generally want to avoid using tea tree oil. Discontinue use if you experience any discomfort or irritation after using it.

7. Apple cider vinegar

One popular yeast infection remedy is an apple cider vinegar bath.

Vinegar has many medicinal uses, some more supported by research than others.

But when you add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub and soak for 20 minutes, the acidic component of the vinegar may help eliminate any harmful microorganisms, including yeast.

An apple cider vinegar bath is not the same as douching, which was designed to flush out all bacteria (but it actually eliminates good and bad) from your vagina. Douching leaves you more prone to a recurrence of the yeast infection, so avoid douching with apple cider vinegar — or any other substance.

You’ll want to dilute vinegar in water before it touches your skin. In addition, you could also try adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.

8. Garlic

Evidence suggests garlic may also help kill Candida, though some strains may prove more effective than others.

While more studies are needed, research from 2019 examined the effect of using a garlic solution on sores of the mouth and found it could effectively help curb the growth of Candida. That said, garlic was less effective than nystatin (Nystop), an antifungal medication.

If you want to try garlic to treat a yeast infection, it’s best to simply add more garlic to your diet.

Warning: Some websites recommend inserting garlic into your vagina, but we do not recommend this approach. That’s because the active compounds in garlic can cause burns and pain when applied to your skin or mucosa. Mucosa, or mucous membrane, is the type of moist tissue that lines your mouth — and yes — the walls of your vagina.

9. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that can kill bacteria and yeast. Lactobacillus bacteria in your vagina produce hydrogen peroxide as part of natural biological activity.

Some people swear by using hydrogen peroxide topically when they get a yeast infection.

Adding it to a bath or diluting it in water before applying it to your skin may help with yeast growing on the genitals. You can dilute by combining equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide.

Just keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide may not work on every species of yeast, and no strong research supports the use of hydrogen peroxide to treat vaginal infections.

Warning: It’s recommended to avoid douching with hydrogen peroxide, never use hydrogen peroxide internally, and avoid using it for an extended period of time.

10. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an immune system booster that also has a role in skin health. A strong immune system allows your body to bring itself back into balance.

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, has antimicrobial components, so some people add it to their diet to treat Candida overgrowth.

You can try increasing your intake of vitamin C to boost your body’s ability to beat the yeast infection.

Warning: Do not apply the acidic vitamin C to the sensitive vaginal tissue.

11. Vitamin E

Some doctors recommend vitamin E for certain types of vaginal inflammation. In fact, lab research suggests vitamin E can help reduce inflammation caused by Candida albicans.

Evidence also suggests vitamin E suppositories may help address atrophic vaginitis (aka, vaginal atrophy), which is the thinning of the vaginal walls caused by a lack of estrogen. Atrophic vaginitis causes changes to the vagina’s acidic environment, increasing the risk for bacterial and yeast infections.

You can also purchase vitamin E suppositories intended for vaginal use, or apply vitamin E oil to your vulva or vagina. Vitamin E may help soothe:

  • itching
  • burning
  • inflammation

If vitamin E doesn’t seem to help, a good next step involves asking a healthcare professional for more guidance.

A vaginal yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis) is a common condition caused by an overgrowth of a fungus that naturally lives in the vagina, called Candida albicans.

This overgrowth can trigger:

  • irritation
  • inflammation
  • itching
  • painful discharge

Most folks with a vulva and vagina experience a yeast infection at some point during their lifetime.

If this is your first time experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection, a good first step involves visiting a gynecologist or other healthcare professional to confirm you actually have a yeast infection and not another vaginal health condition.

Symptoms of a yeast infection

Common symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include:

How to diagnose a yeast infection

If this is your first yeast infection, it’s best to make an appointment with a healthcare professional to get a diagnosis.

A clinician will ask about your health history and perform a pelvic exam, which involves examining your cervix, the walls of your vagina, and the surrounding area for external signs of infection.

They’ll also recommend some treatment options if they diagnose a yeast infection.

If you’ve previously had a yeast infection and suspect you have another one, you could try one of several home remedies to get relief. Some of these remedies use ingredients you might already have in your home.

Just keep in mind that the effectiveness of these remedies can vary, and evidence for their success remains mostly anecdotal.

The main cause of a yeast infection is the overgrowth of yeast on an area of the body.

You could get a yeast infection for any number of reasons, including:

  • Hormones: Changes during pregnancy, nursing, your menstrual cycle, or menopause can change the balance of yeast in your vagina.
  • Sex: Though vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection, yeast can be passed from person to person during physical sexual contact. Plus, sexual intercourse can change the bacterial balance of your vagina.
  • Diabetes: An increase in sugar in the mucus membranes of your vagina can create a place for yeast to grow.
  • Antibiotics: These drugs can kill off many of the “good” bacteria that live in your vagina.
  • Douches and vaginal sprays: These products can change the balance of yeast in your vagina.
  • A weakened immune system: If you are HIV-positive, immunocompromised, or have another autoimmune disorder, you may be more susceptible to vaginal yeast infections.

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It may take several days to notice results when using a home remedy to improve your yeast infection.

It’s always wise to connect with a healthcare professional if your symptoms get worse or if you notice new symptoms appear at any time during treatment. You’ll also want to make an appointment if you have persistent irritation that’s separate from yeast infection symptoms.

If your infection goes away with a home remedy but then returns, it’s best to contact a doctor for advice. You may need a prescription-strength treatment to get rid of the infection for good.

Keep in mind that some yeast infections can be severe. You’ll typically want to make a doctor’s appointment if:

  • you’re pregnant
  • you’ve had more than four yeast infections over the last year
  • you have a weakened immune system from medications
  • you have unmanaged diabetes
  • you have HIV
  • you’re experiencing redness, swelling, or itching severe enough to create sores or tears in your vaginal tissue

For more serious yeast infections, a doctor may recommend:

  • several doses of fluconazole, an oral tablet or suspension used to treat candidiasis, a fungal infection
  • treatment with a topical antifungal medication, like miconazole (Monistat)
  • a prescription suppository or tablet vaginal treatment, like terconazole (Terazol)

These tips may help prevent future yeast infections:

  • Limit the amount of sugar and processed foods you consume. Yeast thrives on sugar.
  • Include yogurt or supplements with Lactobacillus in your diet.
  • Wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear. When doing laundry, wash them in hot water, using mild, unscented detergent.
  • Avoid spending extended periods of time wearing wet bottoms or bathing suits. Yeast grows in warm, moist environments.
  • Only use antibiotics when necessary.
  • Don’t use douches unless advised by a doctor, and avoid vaginal deodorant sprays and scented vaginal lotions. These products may alter the balance of good bacteria and yeast in your vagina.

The fastest — and most reliable — way to get rid of a yeast infection is to visit a doctor if you suspect you have one. They will likely prescribe fluconazole, an oral treatment that may take 1 week to get rid of the infection.

A mild yeast infection may go away on its own, but this is rare. It’s always a good idea to treat a yeast infection, even if it’s mild. If yeast infections are not treated properly, they’re more likely to return.

It may go away, but it’s likely to return. Your symptoms may also get worse without treatment.

Yeast infections and UTIs occur in the same area, but they have very different symptoms.

With a vaginal yeast infection, you may have unusual, generally odorless vaginal discharge that has a thick and milky appearance. You may also have pain or itchiness in your genital area.

With a UTI, you may notice pain and burning when urinating and foul-smelling urine, as well as:

  • fever
  • chills
  • nausea
  • pain in your pelvis
  • increased frequency and urgent need to pee

BV and vaginal yeast infections have similar symptoms but different causes and treatments. Both cause inflammation of the vagina, or vaginitis.

One of the differences between BV and a yeast infection is that BV produces a foul-smelling, fishy odor, while a yeast infection produces a yeast or dough-like vaginal odor or even no odor.

Additionally, a yeast infection may cause redness and inflammation of the vulva, while BV doesn’t produce such symptoms.

To determine whether a vaginal infection is BV or a yeast infection, a doctor may:

  • ask about your medical history, including previous vaginal infections
  • perform an examination to look for signs of infection and vaginal discharge
  • take a sample of the discharge for analysis to check for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or fungi
  • test the pH of your vagina — a pH of?4.5?or above can point to BV
  • ask about your medical history, including previous vaginal infections
  • perform an examination to look for signs of infection and vaginal discharge
  • take a sample of the discharge for analysis to check for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or fungi
  • test the pH of your vagina — a pH of?4.5?or above can point to BV

Yes. Most simple vaginal yeast infections improve with OTC vaginal creams or suppositories. You can find these products in 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day treatments.

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Home remedies may or may not work to treat a yeast infection. If you use herbs, supplements, or essential oils, be aware that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor these for:

  • safety
  • purity
  • quality

That’s why it’s always best to purchase them from a reputable source.

The effectiveness of a home remedy varies depending on:

  • the person
  • the severity of your infection
  • the quality of the treatment used

For recurring vaginal infections, talk with a doctor about additional natural approaches to prevention and treatment. It’s also best to consult a healthcare professional if this is your first yeast infection.

Keep in mind that any product, natural or otherwise, may irritate sensitive vaginal skin. Stop using the remedy and call a doctor if you experience any irritation or discomfort.