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Dealing with Vaginal Yeast - by Susun Weed

 

“The world is filled with life, my daughter, and some of that life can distress you. Your vagina is filled with life, dearest granddaughter, and some of that life can distress you, too.

 

“When you are too sweet, life can run over you. Stay a little on the sour side, wise sister; it is to your benefit. Bacteria, funguses, and parasites like it when you always say ‘yes,’ when you always agree; they thrive on your sweet acquiescence. When you put your needs aside and let others have their way, the life in your vagina magnifies your decision.

 

“What you term an ‘infection’ is a reminder to pay attention to yourself, to take some time-out from your responsibilities, and to recreate safety in your life.”

 

Virtually every woman alive has had one or more run-ins with vaginal yeast. Candida albicans is a single-celled organism, a kind of acidophilus. When the vaginal pH is acidic, Lactobaccillus rules. When the vaginal environment becomes alkaline, Candida proliferates. Candida - monilia, moniliasis, yeast, the whites, leucorrhea - is characterized by a thick, white, yeasty-smelling, lumpy, vaginal discharge which is highly irritating to the vulva. Candida can also live on the skin, nails, mouth, lungs, and feet (called athlete’s foot); it is part of healthy intestinal flora. There is no connection between vaginal candida and overgrowth of candida anywhere else in the body.

A yeast infection is a good way to say “no” to intercourse. Do you have any other way to say it?

The single best remedy for, and prevention against, vaginal yeast is the regular consumption of unsweetened yogurt. Women who consume a cup of yogurt a day have only one-third as many yeast infections of women who consume no yogurt.[1] As a prevention, eat yogurt. As a remedy, eat yogurt and apply it directly to the vagina. How? With a spermicide or tampon applicator, your fingers, a dildo - or ask a man to use his penis to apply yogurt gently to the inner surfaces of your vagina. This has the added advantage of pushing the yogurt well up into his urethra to inconvenience any Candida lurking there. Yogurt applications ease your pain and itching, too. Repeat daily for 10-14 days.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa), Japanese mushrooms, not only enhance the immune system, making all vaginal infections less likely, they also contain compounds that specifically inhibit and destroy Candida cells. The only down side is their high manitaol content, which can cause severe flatulence and gas pains. Women with chronic yeast infections benefit the most from maitake. The dose is ½ gram daily for a month, then 1 gram daily for a month, increasing each month to a maximum of 3 grams daily.[2]

Before resorting to antifungal drugs, you may wish to try one of these safe and effective antifungal herbs. They are especially recommended to women who have chronic yeast infections.

o          Black walnut (Juglans nigra) husk tincture; extremely effective against Candida albicans.[3]

o          Cranberries and blueberries contain arbutin, which kills Candida albicans.[4]

o          Chamomile (Matricaria recutita); strong tea, internally and externally, extremely effective against Candida albicans.[5] Best for women who tend to be touchy, sensitive, timid, and afraid of their own sexuality, say Swiss herbalists Barbara and Peter Theiss.[6]

o          Garlic (Allium sativum); effective against Candida albicans.[7]

o          Goldenrod (Solidago) flowers; douche and a tea approved in Germany to prevent/treat inflamed urogenital yeast infection.

o          Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) root douche.

o          Ivy (Hedera helix) leaf wash; effective against Candida.

o          Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra); infusion as finger, sitz bath.

o          Pau D’arco (Tabebuia); salve effective against Candida,[8]or drink two cups of tea daily for two weeks plus finger or sitz baths.

o          Sage (Salvia officinalis) tincture or infusion, internally and as a sitz bath.

 

Echinacea is particularly helpful in preventing and treating yeast infections since it stimulates the production of white blood cells, which love to snack on yeast cells. It works with antifungal drugs, too. In a German study, 60% of women with a Candida vaginal infection who took drugs had a recurrence, while only 10% of those who took Echinacea with their drug had a recurrence. The most effective dose of Echinacea root tincture is one drop for every two pounds/one kilo of body weight, taken every 4-8 hours depending on the severity of the infection for two weeks.

Sweets in the diet, especially raw fruit, promote Candida overgrowths. Eliminate, or eat it only cooked.

Fill 00 gelatincaps with boric acid USP from the drugstore and insert one in the vagina nightly before bed 14 times in a row. The Journal of Reproductive Medicine reports this cured 98% of women with chronic yeast infections, none of whom had responded to drugs.

Sunlight kills yeast. Spread ’em! Be inventive, but discreet.
     

The B vitamin complex is generally low in women with chronic yeast infections. Best food sources of B vitamins are meat, whole grains, and beans. Nourishing herbal infusions of red clover and oatstraw are also high in B vitamins.

Tea tree oil (Melucca alternafolia) is widely used and often one of the first remedies recommended by alternative practitioners faced with bacterial and fungal infections. Tea tree oil is especially effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria; it is a powerful antifungal. Essential oils (EO), including tea tree, are highly concentrated, and therefore dangerous. Essential oils are drugs, not herbs; they require great care in their use. Tea tree oil can burn sensitive vaginal tissues, inflame the cervix, and devastate protective bacteria and yeasts while getting rid of the bad ones. For safety, always dilute tea tree oil or use a prepared cream with no more than 1% EO.



[1] “Yeast Infections,” Environmental Nutrition, Dec 1998

 

[2] “Mushroom Remedy for Chronic Yeast Infections: Maitake may reduce itching and soreness,” Prevention, November 2001

[3] Kathi Keville, Herbs for Health and Healing

[4] M. Murray ND & J. Pizzorno ND, Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine

[5] James Duke, The Green Pharmacy, Rodale, 1997

[6] Barbara and Peter Theiss, The Family Herbal, Healing Arts, 1989

[7] Duke, Green Pharmacy

[8] Ibid



Susun Weed, green witch and wise woman, is an extraordinary teacher with a joyous spirit, a powerful presence, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of herbs and health. She is the voice of the Wise Woman Way, where common weeds, simple ceremony, and compassionate listening support and nourish health/wholeness/holiness. She has opened hearts to the magic and medicine of the green nations for three decades. Ms. Weed's four herbal medicine books focus on women's health topics including: menopause, childbearing, and breast health.

 

Visit her site  for information on her workshops, apprenticeships, correspondence courses and more or contact her at:


Susun Weed

PO Box 64

Woodstock, NY 12498

Fax:  1-845-246-8081


For permission to reprint this article, contact us at:
susunweed@herbshealing.com

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Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.

 

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Browse the publishing site - Ash Tree Publishing - to learn more about her alternative health books.

 

Venture into the NEW Menopause site to learn all about the Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way.

Or Join the Forum! Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Forum - an open space for discussion. Make yourself at home, post a message or start a discussion. This place is for you to share your questions, concerns, and comments with other wise women like you. Take a moment to register and become part of the community. Enjoy!
 

 

Susun Weed’s books include:

 

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year

Author: Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $11.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

 
Healing Wise 

Author: Susun S. Weed. Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston. 312 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $17.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

 

New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way

Author: Susun S. Weed. The best book on menopause is now better. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $16.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on menopause, visit the site.

 
Breast Cancer? Breast Health!

Author: Susun S. Weed. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. 380 pages, index, illustrations.

Retails for $14.95 Order at: Ash Tree Publishing

For more great info on Breast Health, visit Susun's Breast Health site.



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