Can Apple Cider Vinegar Cure Yeast Infections

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The verdict is still out on the use of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for yeast infections, but there are a number of arguments both for and against its application.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Yeast Infection

While ACV is a common staple in most pantries, let us look at what exactly makes it a health tonic.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a thin liquid made from fermented sugar, crushed apples, and yeast. It is acidic and sour to taste and is often used in food preservation and various dressings. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in the health properties of ACV. It has long been used as a treatment for yeast infections, but there are mixed opinions about the suitability and effectiveness of using apple cider vinegar in this way.

Using it for Yeast Infections – For and Against

A yeast infection, also known as thrush or Candidiasis, can affect the mouth, throat, and vagina. According to a study conducted Dr. Frank Odds, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the high pathogenic potential of this species of fungal infection is due to its ability to display different phenotypes during progressive phases of infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these infections are common, but uncomfortable, with side effects that include burning sensations, inflammation and soreness, itchiness, and pain during sex and when peeing. In terms of whether apple cider vinegar can help clear up a yeast infection, some women swear by it, while others think over-the-counter prescriptions are the only form of effective treatment. Let’s break down some of the arguments for and against the use of apple cider vinegar for yeast infections, which should factor into your treatment decision.

A jar of apple cider vinegar with whole and halved fresh apples and leaves

Against

Some women are told to douche—wash or soak—the vaginal area with an apple cider vinegar solution. However, there have been studies that show douching of any kind is not recommended for vaginas. Professor Lamont, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists points out that this approach to cleansing the vagina could kill all of your bacteria, both good and bad. Rather than halting an infection, the mainstream medical opinion suggests that it would be more likely for an apple cider rinse in the vaginal area to increase the risk of infection. This method is not recommended for pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant. It is important not to use a tampon soaked in apple cider vinegar solution, which is another popular traditional method. Other studies have focused on the damage and irritation that apple cider vinegar might cause to the teeth and mouth if used to treat oral infections.

For

There are also some studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in treating yeast infections. According to a study published in Scientific Reports 2018, apple cider vinegar “can have multiple antimicrobial effects directly on E-coliS. aureus and C. albicans”. Furthermore, in a study conducted in the Jazan Area of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mervat G. Zaghloul found a high degree of correlation between herbal treatments for vaginal infections, including the use of apple cider vinegar, and a decrease in the symptom severity of these conditions. Naturally occurring acids in this type of vinegar are antifungal by nature and could help external yeast infections on the skin or nails. Some women maintain that washing in the vaginal area with diluted apple cider eases their symptoms of pain, inflammation, and irritation. It is thought that the acidity of the solution helps kills the excess candida (yeast) bacteria and helps the vagina reestablish its natural pH balance. 

Takeaway

Yeast infections go away easily but if you suffer from discomfort for more than a day, it is advisable to take medications prescribed by a doctor, according to the Office on Women’s Health. If you are going to use ACV, there are several ways to include it in your diet. You can add it to your salads, smoothies, or have a tablespoon diluted with water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Many women swear by the home remedy of adding ACV into their warm bath and soaking in it to get the health benefits, but this is not medically proven. It is best to use apple cider vinegar with the mother, which simply means unfiltered ACV. It is available in most grocery stores as well as online.

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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