Several herbs and foods possess active ingredients with natural antifungal properties that prevent or treat excessive yeast growth in the human body. Inevitably, yeast infections are a problem for many people. Candida yeasts, especially Candida albicans, most often cause them. If you think you may have a yeast infection, you should first talk to your medical provider. However, several foods and dietary changes may also help you. Here are some everyday foods which you can switch to fight Candida infections.

Yogurt:

Plain yogurt without added sweetener or probiotic live cultures is a great food yeast infection preventative. Probiotics are viable microorganisms utilized for health benefits, especially for the healthy digestive system (1). Probiotic-rich foods assist in restoring the gut flora to normal balance, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and killing the harmful ones (2).

A recent study has proven that the ingestion of yogurt consisting of probiotics along with Lactobacillus acidophilus help in the suppression of yeast overgrowth (3). Another review of research has found that certain kinds of probiotics combat some yeasts that cause vaginal infection (4). Other research has suggested that probiotic Lactobacillus enhances the activity of antifungal medications which are consumed by women suffering from vaginal yeast infection. (5)

Oil of Oregano:

One of the essential oils known to have excellent health benefits is oregano oil. A study found that oregano oil can inhibit the activity and the growth of Candida albicans, one of the most common causative agents causing vaginal yeast infections (6). This study proved that oregano oil was more effective in fighting yeast overgrowth than the prescription antifungal drug clotrimazole. Another study confirmed similar findings that showed growth inhibition of Candida albicans (7). Another research study provides the same evidence of the effectiveness of oregano oil against Candida albicans (8).

Cranberry Juice:

Cranberry juice is beneficial in urinary tract infections as it prevents the formation of Candida albicans (9). Although studies have not exhibited its benefit in curing Candida albicans in the vagina, some women have claimed to have excellent results. In addition, cranberry juice contains high amounts of vitamin C, which supports the prevention of yeast infections.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar prevents and treats the excessive growth of bacteria and yeast in our body as it has both antimicrobial and antifungal properties. For example, a study has found that apple cider vinegar retards the growth of Candida albicans (10). In fact, yeast infections which are unresponsive to conventional treatment options can be treated effectively with apple cider vinegar (11).

Garlic:

Garlic possesses antifungal properties and has shown effectiveness in reducing the number of yeast cells in the course of yeast infection. Garlic and garlic oil possess well-known antifungal properties. Studies have even proven their antifungal activity against Candida albicans (12). Another study has demonstrated the effectiveness of garlic as a Candida killer (13).

Research has examined the results of utilizing a solution of garlic on sores inside the mouth and has found that it was efficacious in retarding the number of Candida albicans cells. However, it was not as efficacious as utilizing nystatin, an antifungal treatment (14).

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is an excellent booster of the immune system and plays a significant role in healthy skin. One of the superb ways to bring the body back to its natural balance is to build the immune system strong.

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid and consists of antimicrobial components, so the addition of vitamin C in the diet helps treat excessive growth of Candida.

Vitamin C has outstanding antifungal and antimicrobial effects and can be consumed orally as a remedy for fighting yeast infections (15). Vitamin C can be taken by eating citrus fruits and leafy greens or consuming vitamin C supplements. Increasing the intake of vitamin C boosts the body’s ability to beat yeast infections.

Lemongrass Oil:

Another essential oil for treating Candida albicans is Lemongrass essential oil. Its vapours can be inhaled easily for incredible results. A study has proven the effectiveness of the vapour method in treating excessive yeast growth (16). In addition, this oil has a strong anti-inflammatory property, so a reduction in inflammation helps reduce itching and burning linked to yeast infections.

Curcumin:

Curcumin is one of the main active components of turmeric, a popular Indian spice. Another study suggested that curcumin may reduce yeasts’ ability to attach to cells from the mouths of people with HIV. Curcumin was more effective than fluconazole, an antifungal drug (17).

About The Author

Dan Jackowiak, Nc, HHP, is the Founder of  Yeast Infection Advisor. Dan is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner and Nutritional Consultant that personally suffered from yeast and bad bacterial overgrowth of the gut for most of his life. The information on his website is a combination of his own nutrition and holistic training, life experiences, collaboration with fellow experts on his team, and over 18 years of studying medical research on candida yeasts infections of all types, which has allowed him to take his life and health back help others overcome yeast-related health problems and digestive problems of all kinds.

References

1.            Williams NT. Probiotics. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2010;67(6):449-58.

2.            Kim S-K, Guevarra RB, Kim Y-T, Kwon J, Kim H, Cho JH, et al. Role of probiotics in human gut microbiome-associated diseases. 2019.

3.            Fares BS, Abd el Kader S, Abd El Hamid AA, Gaafar HM. Effect of ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus on vulvovaginal candidiasis among women attending a gynecological clinic. Egyptian Nursing Journal. 2017;14(1):41.

4.            Falagas ME, Betsi GI, Athanasiou S. Probiotics for prevention of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a review. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2006;58(2):266-72.

5.            Martinez R, Franceschini S, Patta M, Quintana S, Candido R, Ferreira J, et al. Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR‐1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC‐14. Letters in applied microbiology. 2009;48(3):269-74.

6.            Bona E, Cantamessa S, Pavan M, Novello G, Massa N, Rocchetti A, et al. Sensitivity of Candida albicans to essential oils: are they an alternative to antifungal agents? Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2016;121(6):1530-45.

7.            Manohar V, Ingram C, Gray J, Talpur NA, Echard BW, Bagchi D, et al. Antifungal activities of origanum oil against Candida albicans. Mol Cell Biochem. 2001;228(1-2):111-7.

8.            Karaman M, Bogavac M, Radovanović B, Sudji J, Tešanović K, Janjušević L. Origanum vulgare essential oil affects pathogens causing vaginal infections. Journal of applied microbiology. 2017;122(5):1177-85.

9.            Rane HS, Bernardo SM, Howell AB, Lee SA. Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins prevent formation of Candida albicans biofilms in artificial urine through biofilm- and adherence-specific mechanisms. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014;69(2):428-36.

10.         Yagnik D, Serafin V, J Shah A. Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):1732-.

11.         Ozen B, Baser M. Vaginal Candidiasis Infection Treated Using Apple Cider Vinegar: A Case Report. Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine. 2017;23(7).

12.         Li W-R, Shi Q-S, Dai H-Q, Liang Q, Xie X-B, Huang X-M, et al. Antifungal activity, kinetics and molecular mechanism of action of garlic oil against Candida albicans. Sci Rep. 2016;6:22805-.

13.         Shuford JA, Steckelberg JM, Patel R. Effects of fresh garlic extract on Candida albicans biofilms. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005;49(1):473-.

14.         Haji Fattahi F, Alirezaei S, Goodarzi H, Khalesi MA. Investigation of antifungal effect of aqueous extract of garlic on Candida albicans (INVITRO). Res Dent Sci. 2019;16(1):20-6.

15.         Avci P, Freire F, Banvolgyi A, Mylonakis E, Wikonkal NM, Hamblin MR. Sodium ascorbate kills Candida albicans in vitro via iron-catalyzed Fenton reaction: importance of oxygenation and metabolism. Future Microbiology. 2016;11(12):1535-47.

16.         Boukhatem MN, Ferhat MA, Kameli A, Saidi F, Kebir HT. Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs. Libyan Journal of Medicine. 2014;9(1):25431.

17.         Martins CV, da Silva DL, Neres AT, Magalhães TF, Watanabe GA, Modolo LV, et al. Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2009;63(2):337-9.

Websites

  1. Probiotics | American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
  2. https://www.jmb.or.kr/journal/view.html?uid=5262&vmd=Full
  3. https://www.enj.eg.net/article.asp?issn=2090-6021;year=2017;volume=14;issue=1;spage=41;epage=49;aulast=Fares
  4. https://academic.oup.com/jac/article-abstract/58/2/266/721575
  5. https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2008.02477.x
  6. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jwh.2010.2708
  7. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/idog/1998/704527/
  8. https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jam.13282
  9. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/SCIENTIFICA/2016/7061587/
  10.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844018308983
  11.  https://academic.oup.com/jac/article-abstract/69/2/428/716409
  12.  https://journals.asm.org/doi/abs/10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006
  13.  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.5422
  14.  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18618-x
  15. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=10786791&AN=127117853&h=Sxqo8DyvXHR57%2BMNzQZFl66w1HGXSr97vnnw1AKQLi3W9Gx9iMb92ARf5KtgzIH7OVbbFogKeDS9rZuOFlKaWg%3D%3D&crl=c
  16. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14786419.2017.1413567?casa_token=GNuSa0E5QrsAAAAA:2EngqhH7hCmz6vZ_-xM2rkhzTff34i2pQQTCD-BvmBIxU7AEZtvVw3JQFrTxNX5A0KADVYoqZWKHZbE
  17.  Curcumin as a promising antifungal of clinical interest – PubMed (nih.gov)
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