Using essential oils for yeast infection is a popular approach for many women who suffer from this condition due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. Yeast infections are a rather common fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of yeast, in the vagina. Under normal circumstances, there is typically a small number of yeast cells in the vagina but the other bacteria and microscopic compounds in the vagina keep the growth of yeast in check. However, yeast infections flare up when the bacterial balance in the vagina changes for some reason. This can be caused by another infection, hormone therapy, pregnancy or the use of certain antibiotics.
People who have diabetes are prone to more yeast infections. Although this primarily affects women, having sexual intercourse with a woman who has a yeast infection can spread the infection to male genitalia, which will manifest as a red rash or possibly white and shiny sores on the penis. According to 2014 study women with diabetes have a high risk of contracting a vaginal yeast infection. However, whether it is due to higher overall levels of blood sugar or some other factor is yet to be determined.
Fortunately, yeast infections are relatively harmless and somewhat easy to treat. Some of the common symptoms of yeast infections are burning or stinging sensations in the vagina, particularly when urinating or engaging in sexual intercourse. Discomfort, itching or slight pain in the vagina may also indicate the presence of a yeast infection, along with thick white discharge from the vagina. Standard remedies for yeast infections include vaginal suppositories, oral medications or soothing creams, but there are potential side effects with each of these strategies. Therefore, at-home remedies like essential oils for yeast infection have become increasingly popular, due to their availability, ease of use and rapid effects.
List of Best Essential Oils for Yeast Infection
If you are suffering from an overgrowth of Candida albicans, the best essential oils for yeast infection include clove, lavender, lemongrass, thyme, tea tree, geranium, orange, oregano, and cinnamon oils.
The rich blend of vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds has proven to be very effective against molds and fungi of all kinds, which is why it can be so helpful for the treatment of yeast infections.
How to Use – You should always dilute orange oil in a milder carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or sweet almond oil and then topically apply it to the infected area on the vagina. Allow it to sit temporarily and absorb before washing it off or flushing it with a vaginal douche.
Tea Tree Oil
As one of the strongest anti-fungal essential oils on the market, this is an extremely popular choice for yeast infection treatment. It can quickly re-balance the bacterial levels in the vagina but only a small amount is necessary, due to the strength of this substance.
How to Use – Experts recommend mixing 4-5 drops of tea tree oil with olive oil and then coating a tampon with this mixture. Insert the tampon for direct topical effect on the infection. You can leave the tampon in for up to 2 hours to ensure that the oil is properly absorbed.
Not only does lemongrass oil contain potent anti-fungal properties but it can also speed up the healing process following infection and make you less susceptible to yeast infection flare-ups in the future.
How to Use – Always dilute this oil with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and then apply directly to the topical inflammation or area that hurts near the vagina. This oil can be absorbed by the skin but only 3-4 drops are needed for it to be effective.
The active ingredients in cinnamon oil, cinnamanol, and cinnamaldehyde, both have antioxidant and anti-fungal properties, and research has shown that they can quickly reduce the discomfort and severity of a yeast infection when used in moderation.
How to Use – Dilute 4-5 drops of cinnamon oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil before applying it topically to the areas of discomfort on the outside of the vagina. You can also apply this mixture to a tampon for internal use, although it is not necessary.
This particular essential oil is known for its powerful anti-fungal effects as well as its anti-inflammatory properties, which can not only heal the underlying infection and re-balance your vagina, but also reduce pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
How to Use – You can mix 5 drops of geranium oil with water and use it to douche your vagina, as this oil should not be allowed to remain inside the vagina for too long. Following a thorough douching, you can take a warm bath to further soothe inflammation and discomfort.
The powerful active ingredients found in clove oil, namely eugenol, and carvacrol, are able to rapidly eliminate any overgrowth of fungal cells when topically applied, while also delivering antioxidant effects that can speed healing and lower inflammation.
How to Use – You can apply 4-5 drops of this oil to a cotton ball and then gently dab it against the inflamed areas of your vagina. The oil will absorb through the skin and does not need to be internally applied.
One of the fastest-acting essential oils for yeast infection is thyme oil, thanks to its active ingredient thymol. This oil is used around the world due to its efficacy against yeast infections and its immune system-boosting properties.
How to Use – You can blend 5 drops of thyme oil with 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and then apply that mixture to a tampon. Leave the tampon in your vagina for at least an hour, allowing the oils to effectively neutralize the fungal infection.
This oil is widely available and extremely effective against infections of all kinds, including dozens of different fungal pathogens. This oil is also rather mild and is recommended for people who have sensitive skin, but still want to use a natural, topical remedy for yeast infections.
How to Use – Many people choose to add 10-15 drops of lavender oil into a warm bath and then take a long soak, allowing the oils to fully absorb and take effect, while also eliminating inflammation in that area of the body.
Arguably the best essential oil treatment for yeast infections, oregano oil has been proven time and again to eliminate all sorts of fungal infections in the body, including those that cause nail overgrowth and Athlete’s foot.
How to Use – You can dilute oregano oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and then gently apply 1-2 times per day to the inflamed areas on the vagina until the discomfort and discharge disappear.
A Word of Warning
With the multitude of options when it comes to essential oils for yeast infections, it can seem like a simple and easy fix for your fungal infection. However, it is important to consider the type of essential oil you are using, as well as the concentration and method of extraction. Some essential oils are extremely potent and can cause skin inflammation and allergic reactions, particularly in people with sensitive skin. Furthermore, if you are taking other medications for the condition, it is wise to speak with a doctor before adding an at-home essential oil remedy to your treatment strategy.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, yeast infections while pregnant are extremely common, but there are also many essential oils that you should not use during pregnancy under any circumstances. If you choose to use essential oils for yeast infection while pregnant, always get permission from your doctor first.